Gilbert Arthur MIDSON



  A man in a suit stands next to a bride and another woman at a 1960s wedding

A black and white photo of a man in bathers in the 1960s standing next to an old car


Missing since: 
Wednesday, November 4, 1964
Last seen: 
New Town TAS
Responsible jurisdiction: 
Year of birth: 



On 4 November 1964, Gilbert Arthur MIDSON left his home at New Town TASMANIA and travelled to the Metropolitan Transport Trust depot in Hobart where he was employed as a bus driver.

Mr MIDSON completed his work shift but did not return home.

There has been no sign or trace of Mr MIDSON since 4 November 1964.

Mr MIDSON’s disappearance is totally out of character.

Anyone with information regarding Mr MIDSON’s disappearance is encouraged to phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Tasmanian Gilbert Midson has been missing since 1964, but his case is now very much alive

By Will Murray

Tony Ross was just a baby when his father disappeared.

He has no memories of his own, but has been able to paint a picture of him over the years thanks to his mum Fay.

"He was a very close family man, and he absolutely adored me from what mum would say … and loved mum."

In 1964, 23-year-old Gilbert Midson worked for Hobart's Metropolitan Transport Trust as a bus driver.

He and Fay were recently married, he had a young son, and a unit in New Town, just north of the city — a seemingly idyllic life.

"They were just soulmates," Tony said.

"Especially the barn dancing and the ball dancing they loved to do, so they were very close."

A day like any other

On Wednesday, November 4, 1964, Gilbert left his Burnside Avenue home and went to work.

Colleagues would later tell police it was a day like any other.

Gilbert finished his shift about 3pm and clocked off — but he never collected his belongings from his locker at work, and never returned home.

"The police basically told mum he just left because he didn't like us anymore."

It was an explanation the family never accepted, but others did.

"It was pretty hard for mum, apparently, and it is still hard for my mum to talk about Gilbert," Tony said.

"She had people shun her about being a single mum, and she got ridiculed for Gilbert leaving."

That attitude began to change in the 1990s, when it became increasingly clear it was nearly impossible for someone to deliberately disappear for decades so effectively.

Tony was also taking an increasingly keen interest in his father's case.

But when he went searching for answers, there was almost no information available, including very little media coverage.

In 2010, Tony approached Tasmania Police for a copy of their records.

"They said they'd destroyed them."

A new investigation — and a lead

Sergeant John Delpero from Tasmania's Missing Persons Unit reopened the case last year.

The destruction of the original records meant his team needed to start all over again.

"It hasn't helped," he said.

"We were satisfied that we collected as much evidence as possible."

However, he concedes some people attached to the case are no longer alive, and memories have faded over the years.

"Of course, there's no denying that," he said.

"People who were interviewed in the 1960s probably have a better memory of it [then] than perhaps they do in 2021."

Despite those challenges, the new investigation team did zero in on a single person of interest, and a new lead in the search for a body.

"The inquiries actually brought some information that resulted in a property in Hobart being excavated," Sergeant Delpero said.

While the current investigation team can't rule it out definitively, Sergeant Delpero says it's almost impossible Gilbert walked out on his family and has remained hidden all these years.

"Those investigations included inquiries with many service providers, many agencies both government and non-government, that quite frankly an alive person would be recorded with," he said.

It was also totally out of character.

He believes Gilbert is deceased, and that foul play is a serious possibility.

The evidence he has collected is now with a coroner, who is expected to present their findings in the coming months.

'It sent me off the rails'

Tony and Fay Ross have endured immense hurt over the past five and a half decades.

"It's been horrible, it's been really horrific, to not have a role model to mold yourself off in that sort of way," Tony said.

"It sent me off the rails a bit when mum told me about it when I was 12.

"Trying to deal with all the trauma of losing a father that I didn't really know.

"But here I did … in my heart I did."

Fay Ross is now in her 80s, but still finds it too painful to speak about Gilbert.

Tony wants answers for himself and for his mum, but he's losing hope.

"The police haven't had much luck, and that's not through lack of trying I don't think.

Sergeant Delpero and Tasmania's Missing Persons Unit haven't given up.

While the coroner will shortly release their findings, the case is still very much open.

"This is a case where I very strongly suspect there is someone out there with information who can help solve this, because there still are gaps," Sergeant Delpero said.

"I urge that person; now is the time to step up and report that information to the police."

Anyone with information about this matter can contact CrimeStoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.