|St Hilda’s Katoomba in the 1940s
photo: Blue Mountains City Library
St Hilda’s Church of England in Katoomba, was designed by prominent 20th century architect John Burcham Clamp, a partner of Walter Burley Griffin, and built by a Mr. Johnson of Leura. It replaces the first Anglican church built in 1885. This was known as the School Church of St Hilda and was built through the activity of the Rev. Simons, the incumbent at Blackheath. The first clergyman was the Rev. Power. The present building was dedicated by J C Wright, Archbishop of Sydney, on 16th September 1914.
A woman’s screams were heard by the church warden Mr Robert Ashall, 56, who went to investigate. He was met by a woman staggering outside in the laneway, bleeding from stab wounds to the abdomen. Inside lying on the floor was Stella Reynolds bleeding profusely from a deep stab wound to the chest, she would be pronounced dead on arrival at Katoomba Hospital a short time later.
|The lane way at St. Hilda’s where Patricia Holcroft was found bleeding
from stab wounds and the hall at the rear where Stella Reynolds died.
photo: John Merriman
In response to earlier complaints about his behaviour from his wife, Reynolds had told Police, “She is hanging about with a dago at Blackheath and I will continue to persecute her,” and later said in a statement to police, “I had to kill her, I placed her on a pedestal but she killed my love. I was taught to kill in five seconds in the war. I’d do it again. I feel 15 years younger. I’ve got no more worries. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
John Merriman, Local Studies Librarian