The Tasmanian sojourn of the fox terrier known as Kings Cross Bob began early in 1939.   It’s worth noting that by then  the dog had truly entered the mythology of The Cross. By the way, if you haven’t read part one of the story, CLICK HERE.

Here is a satirical piece written in 1940 by Syndey Morning Herald journalist Lindsay D. Campbell in which Bob features;

Of late the King’s Cross literati have been smitten by a desire to sing the praises of their beloved Almer Mata, dredging up in their efforts such flattering phrases as ‘Sydney’s Little Bohemia. ‘the Chelsea of Australia.’   (SMH Feb. 17 1940)

Here is Campbell’s take on the landladies of boarding houses and the cheeky reference to Bob;

The accommodation houses are splendid. They are run by long-suffering, but affable landladies, who always ‘trouble’ one for the rent about a yard on the wrong side of the threshold. Unfortunately, the breakfast steak is frequently of a special toughness, which causes a certain consternation at the table when a news item reporting the disappearance of ‘King’s Cross Bob’ is read aloud.’

Meanwhile Bob was experiencing more and more problems from his sugary diet. When his weekly washer Fred Thompson retired to run a pub in  his home state of Tasmania he took  the little terrier with him.  A correspondent for  The Sydney Morning Herald happened to visit the Imperial Hotel at Cygnet  and had a chat with  Mr Thompsom who said; ‘It is better for old Bob to have one master for the few years that remain to him, as he was literally being killed by kindness at King’s Cross. Everyone that passed had a word and a pat for him, and usually a sweet, to which he was very partial. He must have had nearly a hundred sweets a day, and no dog could live long on that fare. He seems happy and contented here, and we take care of his diet.’  (SMH, Feb. 6 1940)


The Sun Newspaper went to Cygnet with a photographer;

Text accompanying the photographs read as follows

Tasmanian country life has done the trick. It has taken the red from his eye, the rakishness from his ear, the grime from his coat, the rasp from his bark, and the leer from his eye. He’s a decent, clean-living dog now, and at the age of 12 ready to settle down and wonder how he could have stood the racket of The Cross.

When the pictures of Bob were shown to a newspaper seller back in Sydney he said; ‘That’s Bob alright. Don’t he look different?’  He added that The Cross had heard Bob was in Tasmania, and wasn’t very pleased about it. ‘They want to get him back’, adding, ‘Where is this Cygnet? Never heard of it!


The newspaper seller was right, reaction to Bob’s ‘kidnapping’ to Tasmanian was swift and strong. The manageress of the Hampton Court Flats described it as sheer burglary and a nearby resident, Mrs Rogers,  declared she would call a public meeting to rally support for the dog’s return.  A woman from Pont Piper even offered to pay his fare back home.

However, there were those who realized that a Tasmanian home with a caring human he had bonded with was best for Bob. Mrs J. Bovill of Point Point expressed her view to The Daily Telegraph,’ What have the people here got to offer if they bring him back here? He won’t stay with anyone here, and in the winter will have to sleep on the cold ground. He has got a god home now, and someone to care for him.

More importantly, the secretary of the R.S.P.C.A agreed, stating that Bob was getting ‘too old and rheumy.‘ to  be allowed to live at large in Kings Cross. He said that if  the dog returned he would have to live permanently at the King Edward Dog’s Home.

Meanwhile Mr Thompson made it clear  no intention of returning Bob, but of course circumstances change.



Fred Thompson enlisted in WWII on December 6 1940 when he was 44 years old, hence the slouch hat and uniform. This may have had something to do with his and Bob’s return to Sydney. Fred was sent to the Rutherford  training camp near Maitland, which is no doubt why Bob was boarded at Mascot.

King's Cross Bob with Private Fred Harrison.


The final mention I can find of King’s Coss Bob is in a little piece about New Year’s Eve in The Cross, published in the Daily Telegraph on January 1 1941;

Police chased a crown of 20 urchins who were peppering roysterers with pea shooters.  They confiscated the shooters amid yells of protest from street dancers. ‘Bob’ the famous King’s Cross fox terrier looked in on his old haunts for a few minutes. He looks fat and bored and rejected the offer of a fresh saveloy.’

Of course the writer’s mention of Bob may have been poetic license, but I’d like to think it was true.

Frederick Thompson was medically discharged in 1944 as a Staff Sergeant. He did not  serve overseas, so hopefully he was able to maintain contact with Bob.   Famous as he was,  I can find no mention of the beloved fox terrier’s passing  HIs  kind hearted guardian died at Bondi in 1968, aged 72.

Tasmanian born Frederick Thompson in later life.




  1. Thanks for the tale (tail) of Kings Cross Bob. Loved it!!

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.