Nestled away in a copy of The Evening Telegraph and Post from late July 1905 is a dark tale of a violent ex-soldier. There aren’t many words, as the railway disaster in Liverpool which claimed 20 lives takes up the vast majority of the page, but what it does say paints a vivid picture of an angry, domineering man who was not opposed to using violence on members of the fairer sex in his family.
The article tells the succinct story of Robert Logan, who, upon serving his time in the Army, returned to Dundee to stay at his mother’s home in Victoria Road. A brief marriage to a local woman was described by the newspaper at the time as ‘unpleasant’ and lasted no more than 3 months before Robert Logan found himself back at his mother’s once again. He was said to be a very overbearing presence in the house and somewhat of a bully.
Robert Logan ordered his mother and sister around as though they were his personal assistants, so it’s not really hard to see why his wife had thrown him out after only a few months of marriage. On 29th July 1905, Robert returned from the pub to his mother’s house, where he proceeded to verbally abuse his mother. As things between the two got more heated, Robert lashed out and slapped his mother on the face. Dundee women are known for being feisty, so it’s highly unlikely she just stood there and took this assault.
With his mother fighting back, Robert pushed her back and held her over the coal bunker as he struck her face once more, undoubtedly shouting and screaming over the clatter and din. Alerted by the racket, Robert’s sister came rushing into the room to see what was going on and found her brother attacking her mother as she struggled to free herself from his drunken grip.
Still fuelled by rage, Robert turned his attack on his sister. Grabbing her and threatening to cut her throat if she continued to intervene, Robert continued his assault. Thankfully, the two women were able to overpower him and run to the Police station for help. Police arrested Robert for assault and took him to be detained until his Court appearance the following morning where Baillie Quirk sentenced him to 40 days imprisonment.
Whether it was enough to quell his temper, we may never know. He doesn’t appear to have been arrested since, so perhaps it did…or perhaps he just moved away and found someone else to take his anger out on.