Historical information

"On 5 July 1936, locals in Melton South saw a plane emerge from behind clouds above the railway station, in heavy wind and rain. Engine roaring, the plane went into a spin and disintegrated into pieces in mid-air, before crashing to the ground near Arnold’s Creek. The pilot, young Australian aviator Jimmy Melrose, and a passenger, Alexander Campbell, were killed.Jimmy Melrose was a popular figure in international aviation, having been the youngest and only solo pilot to finish the London to Melbourne Centenary Air Race in 1934. His death, at the age of just twenty-two, caused an outpouring of sorrow. He was honoured with a state funeral two days later at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, which was attended by thousands of people. Locals Maisie Arthur, Ted Wickham and Bill Cahill gave eyewitness accounts of the accident to the authorities, and an inquest found that it was the result of structural failure and poor weather. A cairn erected by locals near the scene was reconstructed by the Melton and District Historical Society in Brookfield, opposite the Melrose Memorial Reserve, on the 40th anniversary of the crash in 1976".

Physical description

Regional Gazette article of a cairn erected by locals near the scene of the plane accident which involved Jimmy Melrose, and passenger, Alexander Campbell