This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt picture reminded me of a story my grandmother Kathleen told about her parents returning home one evening and finding a burglar in the house.

Musee McCord Museum : Alexander Ramsay’s Paint Store, Recollet Street, Montreal, QC, 1868. The left hand image is a detail from the big picture.

My father also retold the story in his biography of Arthur Murray Cudmore (1870-1951), part of Chapter 7 of For the Love of the Land: The History of the Cudmore Family, compiled by Elsie Ritchie in 2000.

A man broke in [at home] but was disturbed by the family returning. The intruder took refuge under a bed on the upper floor, but his hiding place could be seen from the doorway because of a mirror. “Arthur, get your gun!” urged his wife. “You can’t shoot a man when he’s under a bed”, was the reply. Rather than await the outcome of the debate, the burglar jumped through the window, slid down a connecting roof and made his escape. The few pieces he had taken were recovered later.


The house of my great grandparents at 64 Pennington Terrace North Adelaide. Photograph  from Google Streetview.

The incident was reported in the local newspaper, though the story was a little bit different from my father’s account.

ROBBERIES REPORTED CLEARED UP (1931, July 7). Advertiser and Register (Adelaide, SA : 1931), p. 9. Retrieved from
HOUSEBREAKING ADMITTED (1931, July 16). Advertiser and Register (Adelaide, SA : 1931), p. 10. Retrieved from

Six years later there was another burglary from my great grandparents’ house.

THIEVES POSE AS PLUMBERS (1937, May 27). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), p. 44. Retrieved from