Historical Events in the 1920s

15 May 1920Charles Mackay shoots and wounds D'Arcy Cresswell (Whanganui, New Zealand)
Mackay is the Mayor of Wanganui at the time.
Links: GayNZ.net, Te Ara
27 May 1920Charles Mackay is sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the attempted murder of D'Arcy Cresswell (Whanganui, New Zealand)
Mackay had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge. In the hope of mitigating Mackay's sentence, his defense lawyer pointed to how Mackay had been suffering from homo-sexual monomania for a number of years.
Links: Papers Past
24 Jun 1920Albert Edward McGurk is released from New Plymouth Prison (New Plymouth, New Zealand)
McGurk had been convicted in 1915 of committing an unnatural offence and had been jailed for 7-years with hard labour.
5 Jul 1920Eugenia Falleni (a.k.a Harry Crawford) is arrested over the death of wife Annie Birkett (Sydney, Australia)
Links: Wikipedia, Papers Past
6 Oct 1920Eugenia Falleni is found guilty of murdering Annie Birkett (Sydney, Australia)
Falleni is condemned to death but the sentence is commuted to detainment at the Governor's Pleasure.
Links: Wikipedia, Papers Past
3 May 1921George Rocake (a.k.a Winifred Wilson) appears in court charged with offensive behaviour (Sydney, Australia)
Police had earlier raided Rocake's room and removed "female clothing, paints and powders".
Links: Papers Past
25 Sep 1921Prime Minister Robert Muldoon is born (Auckland, New Zealand)
As Prime Minister, Muldoon accuses MP Colin Moyle of having been picked up for homosexual practices. Moyle resigned from Parliament in 1977.
Links: Te Ara
9 Jan 1923Katherine Mansfield dies (France)
Mansfield dies of Tuberculosis.
Links: Te Ara, Papers Past, Wikipedia, PrideNZ.com
12 Oct 1923Hector Froggatt is sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for indecent assault on boys (Christchurch, New Zealand)
A medical man giving evidence at the trial said Froggatt suffered from "homo-sexual abnormality".
Links: Papers Past
23 Feb 1924A headline in NZ Truth reads "The growth of degeneracy and sex crime - sterilisation proposed" (New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past
23 May 1924A parliamentary inquiry begins into Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders (Wellington, New Zealand)
Links: Parliamentary Papers
Aug 1924Effie Pollen and poet Ursula Bethell begin living together (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Links: PrideNZ.com, Te Ara
1 Dec 1924Music teacher John Leslie Lander dies in New Plymouth Prison (New Plymouth, New Zealand)
Lander had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 1915 for committing an unnatural offence, plus 10-years hard labour for indecent assault. He was known to have epileptic fits. His death was recorded as heart failure following a fit.
Links: Papers Past
10 Dec 1924The Society for Human Rights is formed (Chicago, United States of America)
The Society is the oldest documented homosexual organisation in the USA.
Links: Wikipedia
7 Feb 1925NZ Truth reports The Dazzling Dandies - a prisoners' extravaganza at New Plymouth Prison (New Plymouth, New Zealand)
Since 1917, New Plymouth Prison had mainly housed sexual offenders - including homosexualists.
Links: NZ Truth
28 Mar 1925NZ Truth reports on homosexualists in high society and in the arts (New Zealand)
Links: NZ Truth
16 Jul 1925A report into Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders is tabled in Parliament (New Zealand)
Links: Hansard, Report
1 Oct 1925Peter Stratford (a.k.a. Deresley Morton) marries Elizabeth Rowland (United States of America)
Links: Papers Past
2 Oct 1925Kenneth James Dell is arrested on Queen Street and charged with behaving in a disorderly manner (Auckland, New Zealand)
Dell is seen walking on Queen Street wearing woman's shoes, a hat, veil and neck scarf.
Links: Papers Past
3 Oct 1925Kenneth James Dell is hospitalised on the morning of his court appearance (Auckland, New Zealand)
Links: Papers Past
10 Oct 1925NZ Truth reports on the court case involving Kenneth James Dell (Auckland, New Zealand)
Dell had been arrested in women's clothing on Queen Street. Dell was hospitalised on the morning of the court appearance.
Links: Papers Past
1927Henry Field conducts an investigation into homosexuality (New Plymouth, New Zealand)
Field has an interest in the psychopathology of criminal behaviour and interviews 40 inmates at New Plymouth prison. The exact date of this investigation is unknown - circa 1926-1929.
Links: Te Ara
20 Apr 1927George Grace is convicted and sentenced to 3-months imprisonment for wearing female clothing (Napier, New Zealand)
Grace had also gained admission to the local girls college. The Magistrate said "I will teach you to leave girls' clothing and girls' colleges alone in the future."
Links: Papers Past
27 Jun 1927Photographer Brian Brake is born (Wellington, New Zealand)
Links: Wikipedia, Te Papa
1928The Prisons Department report for 1927/28 is tabled in Parliament (New Zealand)
The report notes (p.18) "Owing to the homo-sexual proclivities of of the prisoners detained here it is absolutely necessary that they be kept under constant observation during the periods of the day when they have to intermingle with one another, and, as the configuration of the quarry particularly lends itself to this end, the majority of the men have been kept employed there during the year."
Links: Prisons Department report
17 Mar 1928Morals campaigner Patricia Bartlett is born (Napier, New Zealand)
Bartlett would later form the Society for Promotion of Community Standards.
Links: Wikipedia
27 Jul 1928The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall is published (United Kingdom)
The lesbian-themed novel is later judged obscene by a British court and banned.
Links: Wikipedia, Papers Past
16 Nov 1928A court decides the book The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall is obscene (United Kingdom)
The judge orders the book to be destroyed.
Links: Wikipedia
1 May 1929Expatriate Peter Stratford (a.k.a. Deresley Morton) dies (California, United States of America)
A headline in NZ Truth reads "Death of masquerader reveals incredible deception".
Links: Papers Past
3 May 1929Former Mayor of Whanganui Charles Mackay is shot dead (Berlin, Germany)
Mackay is killed by a policeman while covering a street battle as a journalist.
Links: Papers Past, Te Ara
9 May 1929The NZ Truth reports on a "man with female mentality" (Auckland, New Zealand)
The news report documents the court case against Nikora Hune Haora. The prosecuting sub-inspector said to the court that Haora is actually wanting "an order to allow him to continue wearing female apparel".
Links: Papers Past
18 Jun 1929Politician Colin Moyle is born (Thames, New Zealand)
Moyle resigned from Parliament in 1977 after it was made public that he had been questioned by the police on suspicion of homosexual activities.
Links: Wikipedia
22 Jul 1929The Evening Post reports on a recent presentation entitled "The Adolescent Girl" (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Speaking to members of the Christchurch branch of the Parents' National Education Union Dr Jessie Scott talks about how girls between 11 and 16 experience a homo-sexual period. They "showed great affection for members of their own sex, often for women much older than themselves". This is followed by the heterosexual stage.
Links: Papers Past
1 Oct 1929Leonard Hollobon is arrested and charged with indecently assaulting a male (Wellington, New Zealand)
Norris Davey (a.k.a Frank Sargeson) is the other party. Both are charged, with Davey later testifying against Hollobon.
Links: Papers Past, Te Ara
29 Oct 1929Norris Davey is convicted of indecent assault on a male (Wellington, New Zealand)
Soon after Davey begins using the name Frank Sargeson.
Links: Papers Past, Wikipedia
31 Oct 1929Leonard Hollobon is sentenced to five years reformative detention after pleading guilty to three charges of indecent assault on males (Wellington, New Zealand)
Norris Davey had earlier testified against Hollobon.
Links: Papers Past