Here are a few accidents that involved the ukulele, all of them grim in their own way…
The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) reported 8 January 1936 that a single car accident at St Kilda, Melbourne, which left two men dead and six others injured. The party was on route to a dance at Carlton via Leo Griffin’s place to pick up his ukulele. On the way, the vehicle struck the curb and struck a tree with grim results.
The Sunday Times (Perth) repeats gossip from the US, 1 January 1924, that Herbert Rawlinson “he of the dimples and ukulele playing” had married into the nobility (seemingly by accident) when he wed Loraine Abigail Long. The marriage seems to have been a mistake, as it lasted only three years.
The Sunday Times (Perth) on Sunday 6 March 1927 reported the death of band leader Bert Ralton. Bert was accidentially shoot while taking part in a shooting party. While lining up to shoot at a buck (deer, I suppose), Bert apparently backed into the muzzle a fellow hunter’s weapon. On that impact, the gun discharged into Ralton’s leg (its owner had his finger on the trigger). A doctor was sent for immediately, but Ralton was losing blood despite first aid efforts. While he was waiting for further treatment, he asked for his ukulele and sang I’ll be loving you…always‘, a song by Irving Berlin. In hospital, Ralton asked that his ukulele be placed by his side. He was operated on but died in hospital the next day.