|INSIDE THIS ISSUE
As this is my first formal report to members, I take this opportunity to thank you for your support in electing me as your
President. Thanks also to Deputy President Kevin Beare for ‘holding the reigns’ last meeting while I was travelling overseas.
April is a very busy month for all members of the Historical Society. We celebrate two significant events. During our Police
Anzac Memorial Service at the Academy on Sunday 18 April we remember those members who gave their lives in theatres
of war. On Wednesday 28 April we celebrate our 172nd birthday as part of Foundation Day. There is more information
relating to these two events on page 11 of this publication. I encourage members to attend and support your Executive
Committee and the many volunteers who put an enormous amount of time into researching material and preparing for
This publication also includes an interesting article prepared by Immediate Past President Geoff Rawson relating to the
history of training at the Fort Largs Police Academy. I am sure you are aware that a new Academy is to be built on the
vacant land area to the east of the current buildings. I have had preliminary discussions with several personnel involved
with the planning of the new facilities and have been assured that the Historical Society will be consulted in relation to a
number of issues, including the planning of a new Memorial Garden and other features within the new complex. In the
coming months we will also have the current Officer in Charge of the Academy, Chief Superintendent Michael Cornish
attend our Friday evening meeting to provide us with a more comprehensive outline of plans for the new Academy.
While I was on leave and travelling through various parts of Australia, I took the opportunity to visit several Museums and
to speak with managers and volunteers. As a result, I have been able to obtain a range of documents and some ideas that
may be of assistance to our Society. In the coming months I will be discussing a number of possible initiatives with the
Executive and the Thursday volunteer group. If you have any suggestions on how the Society can improve any aspect of
our business I would be very keen to speak with you.
At our monthly meeting on Friday the 9th April 2010, Peter Alexander past President of the Police Association was the
speaker. He spoke about his passion for history and the upcoming centenary of the Police Association in December 2011.
He highlighted some of the many achievements including the Police Credit Union (then known as the Police Association
Credit Union) the Leave Bank (proposed by Scan Sutherland), Police Health Fund and the Police award. They also
introduced Insurance for Police Officers. South Australia was the first in Australia and British Empire to introduce such an
organization representing Police Officers. He also spoke in glowing terms of the input by such members as Bob Fenwick,
Ralph Tremethic and H.G. Henderson.
President Bill Prior provided a vote of thanks and presented Peter with a Certificate of Appreciation and a book and
received well deserved applause for his very interesting talk.
I have considered the possibility of starting our monthly meetings earlier at 7-30pm instead of 8-00pm particularly in view
of the upcoming winter months. I would appreciate members views on this proposal. Next months meeting will still be at
8-00pm and will feature Max Slee speaking about his book “With Favouring Cricumstances” a biography of Henry Inman the first Commander of the SA Police Force on Friday the 7th May 2010. I look forward to seeing you there.
FORT LARGS POLICE ACADEMY—A BRIEF HISTORY
Work has already started on the building of a new Academy on the Eastern side of the Fort Largs site. The original academy on the Western side will be de-commissioned and demolished when the new Academy is completed. The old Fort will be retained as it is a Heritage site. It is an ideal time to look back at the origins
We have Brigadier J G McKinna to thank for the establishment of the Academy. In the early 60s he became aware that the site an army establishment was to be de-commissioned and sold. He flew to Canberra and purchased the site on behalf of the SA Government.
The only problem was that he had not told the then Premier Tom Playford of his plans. On his return he went to see the Premier in his office and when he told him what he had done, he reportedly said “your really shouldn’t have done that John , but I suppose we’ll find the money somewhere”
The rest is history.
See the Brief History of Fort Largs following.
From the Largs Bay Centenary Booklet page 39 is this article by E.V.G. Kirk (typing master to all of the Junior Constables and Police Cadets) On the 30th of November 1961 the Commander Central Command, Brigadier C.E. Long formerly handed the keys of the fort to Commissioner of Police, Brigadier J.G. McKinna.
The two 6-inch MarkVll guns which had been destined to be sold for scrap were reprieved to be remounted on their emplacements by Police Cadets under Army supervision. It was and is the earnest desire of the Police Department to preserve the old Fort in its original form.
Today one passes through the massive wooden gates to view the high, mounted guns, but finds that the old brick fort building is now given over to the Academy Administration. Only the exterior retains is original appearance, the inside is as modern as one would expect.
Gone today are the asbestos huts (ex Radium Hill) which housed Cadets of the 1960’s. The railway huts which at a later time provided the same service are now given over to other uses. Resplendent now stand the six dormitory blocks, said to be equal motel accommodation, and the extensive classroom area. The kitchen, mess room and auditorium stand apart, built over the plant-room having equipment providing hot water heating, and ventilating etc..
In the field two ovals and a swimming pool, tennis courts and gymnasiums provide a choice of recreation for Police personnel undergoing training.
Equestrian skills were included in the police cadet training and horses were stabled on the site for this purpose. This aspect of training was phased out when these skills were considered no longer necessary. The intensive Cadet courses of the immediate post-war years are no longer undertaken and have been largely replaced by internal training by police personnel of all ranks. Adult recruiting of both sexes for the police force is as required. Fort Largs, as the Police Academy, is known in many parts of the world. International Police Courses involving high-ranking police officers of many nationalities have been held at Fort Largs.
The catering staff showed their versatility in providing the varied diets often required by their religious beliefs.
The Police Department has not tried to hide Fort Largs from the public eye. In the rooms beneath the guns a museum of interest to firearm collectors is maintained. Here on view is some of a collection gathered from all over the world by an Adelaide jeweller, and the personal collection of Boer War trophies of the late Colonel Fyfe, together with relics from earlier days of the Police Department activities.
An open day is held at the Academy every two years, the next being in all probability in March 1983. The Police Dept. welcome public attendance at this function not only to view the museum but to learn something of our police, their operations and equipment.
It is hoped that readers of this article will keep this date in mind and take advantage of this opportunity to get to know their police force.
The early proposals for local defence in South Australia were mainly concerned with the raising of volunteer forces or strengthening of the detachments of Imperial Troops.
After the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854, it was recommended that the sitting of a battery of 32 pounder guns be placed on Torrens Island along with the raising of a mobile force of field guns.
In 1861, when it seemed possible that the American Civil; War could lead to a conflict between American and Britain, Commodore W. Wiseman, R.N. and Commodore G.H. Parkin, R.N. investigated the defence of the State further. They recommended building Forts at Glenelg, Semaphore, Torrens Island and inland towards Adelaide.
On November 30th. 1878 The Military Force Act was assented to, this being an Act for the enlistment, regulations and discipline of a permanent Military Force.
In 1878/79 Major General Sir William F.D. Jervois, R.E., K.C.M.G. and Lieutenant Colonel Peter H. Scratchley, R.E. designed Fort Largs. At that time, the Fort’s official title was the “North Battery”. The cost was reported in July 1883 as being ₤52,223.00, excluding the guns. The design of the
Fort was similar to Fort Glanville, with similar lunette earthwork backed by concrete on the flanks. The gorge was closed by a defensible barrack in the centre with loop-holed walls and stockades on its flanks, meeting the flanks of the lunette earthworks.
In April 1883 the armament was transported to Fort Largs from Port Adelaide in wagons each drawn by 17 horses. The consisted of two 9 inch Rifle Muzzle Loader guns, Mark II of 12 tons, sited in the position now occupied by the two 6 inch Mark VII gun. Two 80 pounder guns were sited wither side of the 9 inch R.M.L. guns.
In April 1884 the guns were fired for the first time
In 1886 the barracks and rear defences were completed.
In 1889 the 80 pounders were dismantled and replaced by two 6 inch Mark V breech loader Armstrong guns. The gun pits for these were built in the main earthwork to either flank of the 9 inch R.M.L. guns.
In 1905 the second major change in the armament of the Fort took place. One of the 9 inch guns was dismantled and replaced by a 6 inch B.L. Mark VII Gun.
In April 1910 the second 9 inch gun was replaced and the magazines constructed with lifts to take the cartridges to floor level.
In 1916 Fort Largs became a temporary Prisoner of War Camp. After the War ended, the Fort entered a period of strictly limited defence expenditure.
In 1919 electric light was installed to replace the original oil lamps.
In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, new guns were sent to replace those dismantled and more manpower arrived. During the next two years, new barrack blocks, mess hall, ablution blocks and drill hall were constructed.
In January 1942 further guns were installed. In February the same year, it was decided to move the guns to a new position 600 metres north where camouflage was easier.
By 1945 Adelaide was no longer considered a Defence Port and activity reduced to care and maintenance basis. The guns were returned to their original location within Fort Largs.
Between June 1951 and December 1960 the Fort was used as a WRAAC Barracks.
In 1961 the Fort became surplus to Army requirements and it was offered to the South Australian Government. Several suggestions were made as to its best use. Finally it was transferred to the South Australia Police Department as a site for the Police Academy.
In 1962, on a sunny afternoon, two former coast artillery gunners drove slowly through the gates of Fort Largs. Nearby a khaki-clad group of youngsters marched smartly along the roadway and in the distance another party hoed and raked up weeds. It was all very much like 1937 or 1912 or even perhaps like 1887!
The executive of the SA Police Historical Society passed a motion to name the Vehicle Museum Gallery bringing it into line with the other four galleries which are named after auspicious SA Police Historical Society Members who have had some connection with the relevant galleries.
Several names of persons who have had connections with Police vehicles in the past and have been or currently are members of the SA Police Historical Society.
All names submitted were put to the vote by members of the executive committee.
The successful name elected was that of the late Bruce Furler, L.V.O., A.P.M., retired SA Police Assistant Commissioner. Bruce was a member of the SA Police Historical Society. His wife, Connie, daughter Margaret Mowbray and her husband John are currently members of the Society.
Bruce as can be seen from the overview of his service with SA Police had a considerable period when he was involved in the Traffic environment which encompassed Police cars and motor cycles for patrol duties.
Bruce was born on 1 July 1923 and grew up in the township of, what is now called Old Noarlunga, which in his youth was a country town.
On 1 July 1940 as a youth of 16 years and 9 months the young shy country boy from Old Noarlunga assembled at 1 Angas Street, Adelaide with 20 other Police Recruits.
During that day the recruits were transported like prisoners in an old ‘black maria’ prison Van to the old Port Depot on Ocean Steamers Road, Port Adelaide.
On commencing training at the Port Depot with L troop, young Bruce received a salary of two pound nine shillings per fortnight and one pound per week was deducted for meals and lodgings, leaving nine shillings per fortnight to live on. At that time a quarter block of chocolate cost 8 pence. In 1941 Bruce was transferred to the Thebarton Barracks where he completed his Junior Constable training and was
subsequently sworn in as a Probationary Constable at 20 years and 6 months of age.
His swearing in was quite interesting. He was working in 1 Angas Street, when Inspector Currie instructed him to go to the Commissioner’s Office with no further explanation.
He arrived and was shown into the office where the Commissioner presented him with a bible, at he was sworn in. He was then asked “Furler, do you have a uniform?” He replied that he did not. “You had better acquire one because you will commence duty at 10-30pm tonight in the traffic branch.” He borrowed various portions of uniform and was able to present himself to the Traffic Division on 20th May 1944, which at that time was the only mobile patrol Section where about 70 Personnel performed patrol duties riding either Harley 10/12 or Ariel square four 1,000 cc motor cycle outfits.
He was 18years of age when he met Connie Stevens who was 16years of age. Love blossomed and on 14th April 1945 they were married in Holy Trinity Church North Adelaide.
He spent the best part of his career in traffic and his rise within the ranks was very rapid for the time and reflected the talent that he had shown for leadership.
He was promoted to First Class Constable on 20/5/55 Region G, Senior Constable 20/5/59 Traffic, Sgt. 3rd Grade 6/11/61- Traffic, Sgt. 2nd Grade Australian Police college Manly NSW, Inspector 3rd Class 14/9/67 Manly, Insp 2nd Class 17/9/70 Traffic Branch, Insp 1st Class27/9/73 posted to Papau New Guinea traffic, Superintendent 14/8/75 as OC Ops- Traffic, C/Supt. 5/8/76 Acting OC Region T, Sen. Chief Supt. 14/6/79 as O.C Reg T and Assistant Commissioner 21/8/80 O C R+D Group Traffic Services Director Services Command.
He retired on New Years Eve 1982.
He had many interests including the Police Historical Society where he and his wife Connie regularly attended when our Headquarters were at Hindmarsh, and later at North Adelaide and were tour guides at the North Terrace Museum.
He had been a member of the Leopold Lodge which his father was a member advancing to Master 1966, Grand Steward in 1973. He was most active for the care of the aged in the community, the Masonic homes at Somerton and chaired the Col.Light Gardens homes committee receiving the rank of Past Grand Sword-bearer in 1978, appointed assistant Grand
Inspector in 1985-86, Deputy Grand Inspector in 1987 and Grand Inspector of Lodges in 1988.
Connie and Bruce travelled around Australia and enjoyed overseas adventures, but for relaxation, friendship and much enjoyment was spent at Coffin Bay on the West Coast where he enjoyed fishing and companionship.
At 74years of age and after a long struggle, he passed away with his family around him on Sunday the 22nd June 1997 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital leaving his wife and father of Ian Kay, Margaret and John, Grand-father of Kylie, Neville, Scott and Danny, Great-grandfather of 5, and step grandfather of Carol and David and 5 Step great grandchildren.
He received the Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1966, the Queen’s Police Medal 1972 and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal 1977 the LVO (Lieutenant of the Victorian Order by the Queen at Government House) and was mentioned in 1964 and 1966.
The official naming of the vehicle gallery will take place in May this year.
We are glad to announce the formation of an efficient police force, and one which we trust will enable the colony to get rid of the worthless and desperate vagabonds who have lately been congregating in such numbers from the neighbouring colonies. Ten mounted policemen, with an equal number of foot, are considered sufficient in the present emergency, although, if the marines are not also retained, double that force will yet be required.
We regret to state that every obstacle has been thrown in the way of obtaining the necessary funds to meet the expenses of the police establishment by Mr. Resident Commissioner and his friend Mr. Edward Stephens, cashier of the South Australian Bank. Mr. Fisher, who paid £800 for the canal job without hesitation, positively refused to draw on the Commissioners for a single penny to keep the peace of the colony. Nor was he content with a simple refusal. He ventured so far as to declare publicly that any bills drawn by the Colonial Government on the Lords of the Treasury for this purpose would be dishonoured and this in the face of no less than two despatches from Lord Glenelg, expressly authorising the Governor to raise and defray the expenses of a police force. Mr. Edward Stephens, cashier of the South Australian Bank, following in the laudable track of the Resident Commissioner, offered publicly to bet twenty dozen bottles of wine, to one bottle, that the Government bills for the same purpose would be dishonoured. Mr. Stephens is perhaps a sporting gentleman. His conduct at least appears to us somewhat out of keeping with his place, and not exceedingly well calculated to advance the interests of the respectable Company whose servant he is. It will no doubt be onsolatory to both these considerate persons to know that the money wanted by the Colonial Government can be obtained at par without their assistance.
H.M.S. Alligator, Captain Sir J.J.G. Bremer, K.C.H., is on its way to South Australia. The Alligator will ship the Marines left there by the Buffalo, and is expected to remain some time on the station. The province will then be left entirely without military defence. Happily the
Police Force recently established by the Governor, and rendered so effective by the activity and care of Mr. Inman, the superintendent, relieves us from any apprehension of danger which the withdrawal of the Marines at any other time might have created. We have nothing to dread from the natives, who are but a handful and daily becoming more attached to the settlers. It is against the ruffianism of runaway convicts that the colonists have principally to guard; and in that respect we trust that by the severe example already made, and the determination of Government to adopt the most vigilant system with regard to these marauders, the peace of the colony will be effectually preserved.
While upon this subject we may recur to the fact, stated some time ago, that Mr. Fisher, the Resident Commissioner, had refused to provide funds to pay the expenses of the Police Force, under the pretext that his instructions did not authorise him to incur that expenditure. It has been one of his tricks suited to Mr. Fisher's convenience, on occasions when the Colonial Government was to be especially embarrassed, to refer to the Commissioners’ instructions and to abide by them. Mr. Fisher, however, could forget to examine his instructions when he wished to send to Timor for ponies, or to pay his friend Mr. Hack £800 for digging an unserviceable ditch at the Creek, a job his old friend, Mr. E. Stephens, publicly offered him to undertake for one fourth of that sum. In these instances, no doubt, "regard for the principles on which the colony is founded" induced him to blink his orders and shy away £4000 of the colonists’ money on a muddy gutter and five brutes not worth 20 shillings apiece. But when the lives and property of the inhabitants demanded sufficient protection, when the colony most urgently required an active Police to overawe any armed banditti and to repress the daring outrages nightly committed by them, Mr. Fisher referred to his instructions and found that they did not authorise him to draw upon the Commissioners for money for such a purpose.
With him the "principles on which the colony is founded," in nowise connected with its peace and security.
Nay more, not only did Mr. Fisher throw the Police Force overboard, but, when the Governor determined to draw upon the Lords of the Treasury for the amount required for its establishment, he threw all the discredit in his power upon the paper negotiated by the Colonial Treasurer, and got his friend, Mr. Edward Stephens, the cashier of the South Australian Bank, to offer publicly a bet of we know not how many dozens of wine to a bottle that the bills would be dishonoured. It may be satisfactorily to both these gentlemen that these very bills have been negotiated in Van Diemen's Land at par, while not as strong on the Commissioners’ for salaries etc., and certainly good, have been current in Sydney at 2 1/2 percent discount.
But there is something connected with this Police Force more curious and important than anything else. The Commissioners’ at home made it the subject of a formal complaint against the Governor "that he had endangered the safety of the colony by rejecting the Police Force and the Militia Staff they had proposed to supply." We confess ourselves mainly ignorant of any proposal to this effect, and we can appeal to every impartial colonist whether had the Governor been really empowered by the Commissioners’ to raise "A Police Force and a Militia Staff" he could have done so under the circumstances of the colony and the pressing demand for labour one day sooner than he did. But the complaint of the Commissioners’ puzzles us even more when we revert to the fact that when his Excellency succeeded in raising a Police Force, and applied to their colonial representatives for funds to support it, that functionary replied, "I have no instructions whatever from the Commissioner's on the subject, and I shall provide no monies for such a purpose." The explanation of this strange matter rests with Mr. Fisher and the Commissioners’.
It is probable that the latter has been imposed upon as usual, and that "murder will out" one of these spring mornings.
This article comes to us from Life Member Jim Sykes and will be continued in the May issue.
Isabel Brooks, long time Thursday group volunteer, achieved the O.B.E (over blooming eighty) on Friday the 26th March 2009, with a large group of friends and relatives at the Lutheran Church Hall North Adelaide.
Isabel is a hard working volunteer not restricted to the Police Historical Society. You will find her one day in the Blood Bank serving refreshments as well as giving blood, the Ashford Hospital another day at the information counter or volunteering with the Lutheran Church Shop.
She is currently working on a data entry program for old Human Resource files and has been involved in the re-organisation of our library.
A very willing volunteer she is always ready to assist with any job or outing involving the society. Congratulations Isabel and Happy Birthday.
Alf Jarvis who will be 95on 8th April extreme right and Peter and John Malpas 89 centre front with friends and family at a Chinese Restaurant on the 29th March 2010.
In military terms “The colours” are the flags of an infantry unit. They are made of fine fabric and are emblazoned with the names of battles fought. At the end of the war The colours are “laid up” in a Cathedral or accorded great honour.
The 2nd /43rd Battalion was raised in South Australia in 1940 and fought with distinction in the Middle East, New Guinea and the Islands.
The colours of this Battalion were laid up in the cathedral of St. Francis Xavier, Adelaide, many years ago. The condition of the fabric deteriorated. Thanks to some generous donations they have been repaired, restored and placed behind glass in the vestibule of the Cathedral.
Our Society has a particular interest in the 2nd/43rd Battalion. It was to this battalion that a South Australian Police Officer enlisted in 1940 after being granted Indefinite Leave. He was Archie Badenoch, aged 40years and Officer in Charge at Tarcoola. Sadly, in 1942 he lost his life at El Alamein, the first of our Police Officers to be killed in WW2. In his memory the South Australian Police named a Police Launch after him.
On Saturday 6th March 2010 the Ceremony of Re-Dedication of the Battalion Colours was held at a moving Service attended by both retired and serving Police Officers, all of whom had some family connection with members of the 2nd/43rd.
The Service was led by Archbishop Philip Wilson. Officers of the Royal South Australian Regiment, including one of our volunteers Captain Bob Boscence, President of the 2nd/43rd Association assisted. Music was provided by the 10/27 RSAR Band. The sound of “The Last Post” rang through the Cathedral and touched the hearts of the large congregation.
LEST WE FORGET.
On Sunday the 14th March our volunteers hosted the Blue Hill Travel Club and the Blue Stars (Netball Team coached by Kevin Beare) for a tour of the museum with Devonshire Tea. Volunteers for the day included Geoff Rawson, Kevin and Wendy Beare, Max Griffiths, Bob and Helen Ward, Ray Freak, Bob Boscence, Kevin Johnson and Bethany Boucher. Both groups enjoyed the tour and were very impressed by both the Vehicle and the General Museum.
Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th, Max Griffiths, Ernie McLeod, Kevin Johnson, Di Lugg and Dennis & Dot Irrgang, attended the Mount Barker Show with the Bedford Prison Van. The weather was far from kind and it appears from these photos there is some discussion between Ernie & Max on just how the Gazebo should be erected in strong windy conditions!
Because of the bad weather with drizzly rain all day crowds were down but thanks to the hard work $141.00 was taken in stall sales. Even under the worst conditions these volunteers have got what it takes. Well done.
The “HUE & CRY” is Published by the
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539