Arthur Loveridge was a Gawler footballer who showed promise in several games with Norwood in 1894 but was not a member of that year's premiership team. He moved to Western Australia, where he married and became a highly respected headmaster of the West Guildford State School until he mysteriously disappeared. After a search that lasted 11 days, his body was found in the Swan River on 15 July 1908. Aged only 36, he left a widow and four children, the youngest just two weeks old.
Arthur had been first assistant at the Bunbury State School for five years when he married Grace Howard at St Paul's Church, Bunbury, on Easter Saturday 1904. During his time at Bunbury he was captain of the football and cricket teams and took a prominent part in rowing and lacrosse. He also was a strong swimmer.
He played with the West Guildford Cricket Club throughout the 1907-08 season. Although popular with the children he taught, there were signs that he was suffering from the stress of heavy responsibilities, accentuated by influenza, at the time of his disappearance. He was found floating face downwards, fully dressed in a grey serge suit, and a pair of brown leather boots and leggings. His hat was missing. One of his trouser pockets contained the sum of £14/10/- in gold, two coppers, a silver matchbox inscribed with the initials A.H.L. and the date 2-7-04, and a small bottle. An inquest found that he had died by drowning but made no determination on how he had come to be in the river.
Arthur was born at Gawler on 2 July 1873 to George and Mary Loveridge - and it was his father who was the last family member to see him alive. George was helping to look after his son while Arthur's wife visited Bunbury. Arthur was survived by his widow and children George and Ralph, who were twins, Charles and Grace.
P Robins Sept 2018
* We are grateful for the help of family members Merrilyn Hunter, Roslyn Dow, and Mark and Kristie Phenna