Posted in Family History Friday

Family History Friday: The Redlock-Erbie Ring-in

My husband’s Great Grand Uncle, Charles Albert Prince was sentenced to two years jail for taking part in the Redlock-Erbie ring-in, South Australia, 1934.

charlie prince

from page 119, Ringers & Rascals: A Taste Of Skulduggery, by David Ashforth.
Prince served only five months of his two-year sentence, thanks to remission to mark a visit by the Duke of Gloucester. In 1954, when he was 60, he had further cause to be a royalist. To mark a visit by the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth, the South Australian Jockey Club lifted Prince’s life disqualification.
The mischievious looking Prince told The Sun, a Melbourne paper, that he was happy in his job, working in the bar of a hotel in Violet Town and growing vegetables.
“I made a stupid mistake in helping to ring in Erbie as Redlock,” he confessed. “I hope that nobody else will be as silly as I was and try to get away with it.”
It was a vain hope.

redlock inspection

prince charles redlock erbie 1934

prince charles mug shot 1934

Below is part of this full newspaper story on TROVE online newspapers, 1954.

prince charlies 1954


I started blogging in an effort to keep the old brain cells alive. I'm writing a fantasy series, I take more MOOCs than I can handle, and am trying to get my Nikon D3000 off auto. I live in Victoria, Australia, with my husband and our dog, Vika.

8 thoughts on “Family History Friday: The Redlock-Erbie Ring-in

  1. He seems to be a happy soul Christine! Obviously knew how to get on with people to get out of jail without any problems!! Fascinating finding the newspaper cuttings.


    1. Charlie is the spitting image of Rob’s grandfather and I had forgotten all about his reduced jail sentence! The Duke of Gloucester visited and he was one of the lucky ones to have a royal pardon. Only served five months. I’ll add that to the original post. Every descendant I’ve met from that family line are such lovely people, I was honoured to be married into them, and stoked to find out they are my blood relatives too.

      I love those online newspapers, they are free too. You can find out all sorts of things, like, for instance, Christopher’s other two names. I remember you said he was related to the Wills family. 😀


  2. Pretty cool stuff here, especially the criminal offence part. Turf fraud, eh? Never had one of those kinda cases in my book; I wouldn’t mind having a go at it — brains already stacking up the relevant evidence to prove the case. Heh 🙂
    I agree with the author Ashforth, he was looking a bit mischievous in a cute kinda way in that profile pic 😉 Anyone in the family who took after him then Christine?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Raroto. According to Ashworth’s book, the mastermind was a bloke called James Donovan who used several aliases to register race horses in Australia. He was arrested when he ran off to England, but the authorities didn’t think it worthwhile to extradite him. Ashworth says at least Charlie had the decency to use his own name. Apparently it took him three hours with a pair of tweezers to make the brand on the freshly dyed horse look the same. The other people involved all got off, too. The book has another photo which I think I’ll add, he has the most cheeky grin.


    1. Ha Ha Sue, so right. Charlie is on Rob’s father’s side but I had horse racing on my side too. I know dad used to slip horses bex powders or something. He got me to keep watch for him once at the trots, I swear I didn’t know what he was doing.


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