Who was Joseph Pascoe?

Joseph Pascoe
Joseph Pascoe

The death of Lighthorse Trooper Joseph Pascoe in the Illbogan Lagoon in December 1918- January 1919 was one of those unexpected events in the life of a soldier. 

A soldier faces unknown risks to his life while overseas fighting for his country, and returns home only to lose his life in an accident when the risk apparently no longer exists.

What better place to hold a picnic than on the banks of Illbogan Lagoon? 

Organised to celebrate both Christmas and the safe return home of local soldiers and attended by many Beaudesert locals, obviously anxious not only to welcome home the soldiers, but also to take the opportunity for a day off work to celebrate Christmas.  

Being December, the weather on the day was undoubtedly very hot. 

Mr Pascoe and Mr M Wright decided to swim their horses across the lagoon. 

Unfortunately, when they were in the centre of the lagoon, Pascoe’s horse began to plunge, unseating his rider. 

It was immediately obvious that Pascoe was in trouble as he was unable to swim. 

Mrs Pascoe and her family were among the people at the picnic and sadly saw the event at first hand.

The incident was reported in the Beaudesert Times on 3 January, 1919, but no date of the picnic was given. 

Research conducted by David Mason of the Beaudesert Historical Society, failed to find the enlistment details for a Joseph Pascoe locally, although both Herbert and John Pascoe did. 

Records show that it could not have been Herbert, but John returned in 1918. 

If anyone can shed light on this mystery, please contact the Museum by phone on 5541 3740 or by email to info@beaudesertmuseum.org.au.

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