WESTERN DISTRICT BOY KILLED IN AIR CRASH. WELL-KNOWN LECTURER AND SOLDIER.
Residents of the Western District were shocked to learn of the death of Mr. Tom Skeyhill, who died at Nyanuis, Massachusetts, as the re- sult of injuries received in a forced landing in an aeroplane last Satur- day, while flying with a pilot (his secretary), and another friend. De- ceased was taking a pleasure ride near his summer home when the aero- plane developed engine trouble and dropped 200 ft. The pilot and the other passenger were seriously in- jured. He had used the aeroplane travelling round the country on lec- turing tours. He leaves a widow and child. The late Mr. Skeyhill was a son of Mr. and Mrs. James Skeyhill, of Warrnambool, and is related to the family of Skeyhills of Weerite, near Camperdown, and also to the Regan family of Camperdown. He was born at Terang, where his father conducted a cordial factory for some time. Later, he removed to Hamilton with his parents and received his education in that centre. He enlisted from the 8th Battalion and was engaged in the landing at Gallipoli, being later blind- ed by bursting shrapnel at Cape Helles. He was invalided back to Australia still blind, and from 1915 for many years, he toured Australia lecturing in the interests of the Red Cross, in which capacity he was known throughout the Commonwealth as the "Blind Poet" and "Signaller Skeyhill." He did a tremendou s amount of good work in various fields of service until after the war, when he travelled to America in an endeavour to recover his sight. Under medical attention in the United States for years, it was about five years before specialists were successful in restoring his sight. With his blindness gone, Signaller Skeyhill threw himself wholehearted- ly into lecturing work, and, after graduating at one of the mid-state universities, he lectured continuously until his death. He composed a number of digger poems and verses, and a volume of his works has been favourably re- ceived in Australia, as well as in other countries. Later, news was received in Cam- perdown last night, that Signaller Skeyhill's father died at Warrnam- bool yesterday.