INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Personalities of the Past
Roll of Honour
Blast from the Past
New look for Old Bill
Next Month's Meeting
POLICE TRANSPORT 1963/4
Photo taken at Thebarton Barracks Parade Ground. Shown are many types of transport &
Equipment, including Holden & Chrysler Valiant Patrol cars, Chrysler Royal Highway Patrol cars, BSA & Triumph motorcycles, solo & with sidecars or side boxes, Jeep truck with Emergency Operations Group Cooker, Land Rover Station Wagon, Bedford furniture van, Holden Station wagons used for accident investigation, Bedford tow truck, Holden cage van & early Police PL3 & Police Horses in background.
Foundation Day approaches and our volunteers are working at a feverish pace to ensure the event is a complete success. Please advise if you wish to attend this function to assist with catering. Details from this link.
National Police Remembrance Day will be held on Friday 29th September 2006 in Canberra with the unveiling of a monument to police officers throughout Australia who have lost their lives whilst on duty. There will be more information about this occasion in a later edition, but if you wish to attend members should should make enquiries about accommodation now as there are several major events on at this time.Retired members are advised that there is provision for them to be involved in the march from Old Parliament House.
On Friday 7th April we were treated to a talk by Ian Stratford on Colonial Firearms. He was an extremely entertaining speaker and there was a wonderful display of heritage firearms to view. Ian also treated us to a fireworks display by setting off some black powder (outside the meeting room) to the delight of those members who attended.
Our new Vice President Kevin Beare thanks Ian for his talk and presented him with an appreciation certificate and two books.
Colin Beams conducted the raffle which raised $79.00.
Next month's speaker will be Jim Birmingham. The subject of his talk will be Metropolitan Adelaide Public Transport Systems and Opportunities. I hope to see you all there.
By Len Coghlan
John Percy Raffen
29/2/1920 - 30/12/1943
Today I continue with the tragic stories of those of our friends in the South Australian Police Force who joined the Services and paid the supreme sacrifice in that terrible period of our history, 1939 - 1945. As we think of the times we joined them each day on the parade ground at Port Adelaide and then Thebarton Barracks, the saddest thoughts arise when we realise that all of these died before they were 25 years old.
Fifty six years ago last month, John Percy Raffen together with such friends as John Coligan, a sportsman of considerable skills, Bill Smith of Fraud Squad fame. Frank Patterson, one of our greatest horsemen, Ted Doyle, another mountie of note who was tragically killed while working for the famous Bart Cummings, Leo Moroney, the Irishman noted for his green boxing shorts, noted Prosecutor Lionel Samuels and about 25 others, placed themselves in the expert hands of Sergeant Instructors King, Menz and Sparkes.
Jack Raffen was still a 20 year old Junior Constable when he joined the R.A.A.F. and was sent for air-crew training at Somers in Victoria.
Such was the competency of our early instructors it was decided by the Air Force hierarchy in Victoria that Jack only needed one month initial training before returning to Parafield the master of cockpit of Gipsy Moths.
You can be certain that those of us who were forced to run many miles, around what is now known as Bonython Park, under the disciplined control of young Instructors Eric Meldrum and Charlie Schwerdt, would not have had the slightest idea that among those pilots who graced our skies in those flimsy moths would have been our friend Jack Raffen with a quiet smile on his face.
Getting back to Jack's early days, we in E, F, and G Troops and many of the Cadets who joined us such as Redney Giles, cricketer, golfer and talented bowler, Bernie Harvey, later Deputy Lord Mayor of Adelaide and about whom the present Lord Mayor Condous recently told me some interesting anecdotes, notorious and popular member of the O'Malley and Harvey Detective team, Maurie Evans, my gentleman Regional Commander when I was trying to get Elizabeth on an even keel, these and many others were Jack's friends and colleagues.
Jack, whose reserved and polite manner and ever present sense of humour always struck me as a typical well brought up country lad through and through. In fact he was City born and bred.
If Jack had been a Londoner he would have been a cockney as he was born within the sounds of the bells of St. Peters Cathedral and the Rector of St. James Church of England at Mile End [where he probably snoozed through a number of sermons] wrote, that he would be more than trustworthy if accepted as a Junior Constable.
Cowandilla and Hilton were his boyhood haunts and Adelaide High was graced with his presence. [incidentally Adelaide is a very small city as I note that Reg. West, his headmaster of many years, used to change houses with my father in Goolwa each Christmas while we journeyed to his beautiful mansion in Walkerville]
I must mention that like our expert Communications Sergeant, Ross Lawrie, he was a talented bugler and his humorous quips on bugling us to 9 am parade were sometimes classics, eg "Shorts, sandshoes and swords in the loft for wrestling" were typical of Jack.
Getting on to more serious matters, Point Cook was his venue for mastering twin engined Avro Ansons and Wirraways and then on to Evans Head as a staff pilot in Fairy Battles where he trained bomb aimers and air gunners. Later he joined No. 3 Squadron in the Middle East and after the Desert Campaign he followed with numerous flights during the invasion of Sicily and Italy.
Jack, in his Kitty hawk, flew 104 operational flights and on the 29th November, 1943 when providing support for the 8th Army, he was struck by anti-aircraft fire but his time was not yet due. He crash landed near the mouth of the Sangro Rover in Italy and eventually got back to his Squadron.
Fate was not kind to Jack because the very next day on his 104th mission, when the pilots took off in rain, gales and snow, while making low level attacks on German infantry south of Chiedi he was hit by anti-aircraft fire. One of his squadron saw "the plane of Flying Officer Raffen crash into a hillside in flames".
The name of Raffen will not mean much to those who pass by the plaques at the Police Academy, but some of us of mature years, who frequent the Police Club, will recall the name Raffen because of Jack's brother Doug. This well known architect whose name appears on the original plaque of this very popular meeting place was the principal designer of our Club.
Jack lies buried in the War Cemetery at Ortona. What a tragedy that Jack was called upon to fly an incredible 104 operational sorties and over 1000 flying hours. What hope did Jack and his colleagues have of survival ? Those of us who shared 3 years with this pleasant and conscientious young friend will not easily forget him.
John Percy Raffen
29/2/1920 - 30/12/1943
"At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them"
C. John Blackie A.I.F.
25/4/1918 50th Battalion
Killed in Action
M.C. Archie Badenoch A.I.F.
28/11/1942 Killed in action in Middle East.
M.C. W.H. Field A.I.F.
Killed in Action.
F.C. J.H. Beattie A.I.F.
17/6/1943. Died as prisoner of war in a
Thai Camp. Japanese would not give
cause of death.
F.C. A. Graham A.I.F.
25/8/1915 Cause of death not known.
J.C. G.B. Coad R.A.A.F.
28/5/1943. Killed in air operations.
M.C. H.M. Johnston A.I.F.
22/2/1916. Cause of death not known.
J.C. B.J. Davis R.A.A.F.
29/8/1942 Killed in aircraft accident
F.C. S.E. Jones A.I.F.
1/3/1915 Killed in action in France.
J.C. W.M. Hooper R.A.A.F.
26/2/1943 Killed in action
F.C. Francis Michael Nelson
32nd Battalion Killed in Action 26/6/1918
M.C. A.J.B. Humphries
Killed in action
M.C. L.T. Parsons A.I.F.
Killed in action.
F.C. J.E. MacLeod R.A.A.F.
5/12/1944. Missing in air operations.
F.C. Charles Gordon
50th Battery Killed in action
Messines Ridge 10/6/1917
F. C. D. McCulloch A.I.F.
3/9/1943. Killed on active
service in a Malayan Camp
F.C. V.L. Pope R.A.A.F.
23/5/1943 Killed in air operations.
P.C. C.S. Temby R.A.A.F.
23/1/1944. Killed in action.
J.C. John Percy Raffen
30/12/43. Killed in action
(see story above)
P.C. L.O. Tugwell R.A.A.F.
13/8/1944. Failed to return in raid over Germany.
P.C. M.J. Russell R.A.A.F.
14/8/1943. Killed in action.
F.C.C. Llewelyn John Thomas
Killed 26/7/1969 Serving with
Australian Police Unit in Cyprus
ANZAC MEMORIAL SERVICE
“Member's Special Birthday Celebrations”
During the Month we celebrated special milestone birthdays for three of our well known members
Volunteers toasting Jim Sykes on his 80th
Alf Jarvis 91 years young!
Peter malpas (former Deputy Director of the CFS) prepares to extinguish his
85th birthday candles.
We Welcome you .....
Friday 5th May, 2006.
Mr Jim Birmingham
Metropolitan Adelaide Public
Transport Systems and Opportunities
Memoirs of the late Sergeant (Retired) Bob Clark (cont’d .......................
After about 12 months of training we began to do patrol duty, sometimes as mounted patrols, at other times we were rostered to guard approaches to bridges & on ships where volunteer wharf labourers were employed. These volunteers had been called in to break a strike by waterside workers & they received a police escort from their pickup yard to the ships they were to work on for that day. As these men were taking the jobs of waterside workers who were on strike, naturally they were not looked on very favourably by those strikers. Unfortunately for the wharfies, I feel they were badly advised at that time & they gradually lost their right to return to the waterfront. What little contact I had with some of these men, it was apparent that most of them would have preferred to have returned to work, but they were prevented from doing so by their Union organisers. The Union at that time was controlled by a group known as the Young Communist League. Most of them being very young, hence the name YCL'ers. This group had a meeting place next to the waterside workers pickup yard & always managed to stir up trouble between workers & the Police. It was apparent that most of the rank & file wharfies were afraid to query decisions reached at their meetings & accepted them rather than risk reprisal.
The waterside workers pickup yard was situate on the opposite side of the street from where the coal gantrys were situate & it was common practice for some men to take in quantities of coal for use as ammunition when gangs of volunteers were passing & police also came in for a share. This barrage was so heavy on one occasion that a mounted constable was struck on the back of his head. At the time he was wearing a regulation police cap which was a fairly solid piece of headgear, but the cap was badly damaged & the constable's injuries required hospital treatment & as a result he was later transferred to Kalyra where he died some time after. Of course there was a big advantage in throwing from inside the yard because they were shielded by a 10 foot brick wall & no one could see who was doing the throwing.
There were also occasions when watersiders in numbers attempted to attack volunteers on their way to the ships & had to be restrained by use of the mounted police. This sometimes required more constables than those providing the escort & these had to be rushed out from the Depot. On one of our early call outs for this purpose a rush was made to the stables to saddle the horses. One chap, in throwing the saddle on his horse, failed to notice that the girth had gone over the rope line & was buckled up with the rope line inside. There was a bit of abuse when the horse refused to budge but fortunately someone else noticed the predicament & got him sorted out. This incident was only the lighter side of the call out but, on arrival at the wharf where the trouble was going on, it could be seen that a number of waterside workers were attempting to get on board a ship which was being worked by volunteers.
Our foot Inspector from the Depot, who was in charge of the strike arrangements, could be seen at the top of the gangway & was using his baton freely to prevent these men from getting aboard. Our mounted Inspector who led us out seemed a little hesitant to give any order to disperse the group & the position was becoming desperate. Our mounted Inspector then began addressing us on using discretion but the call came from the foot Inspector "Get your bloody batons out & get into them.'1 The mob was very quickly dispersed as the mounted Police went into action but there was no doubt that it was a very critical period for the Inspector before our arrival, when he was practically a lone figure between the two factions. I might say this foot Inspector was a big man & he had plenty of guts to go with it & I am quite sure that even without help, he would have been a difficult man to pass on that gangway.
The long arm of the law stretches from an early laughing policeman, on to the Victorian copper of 1870, into the 1950's Dixon of Duck Green era of bobbies on the beat - & now reaches into a new millennium with PC Mod.
NEW LOOK FITS THE OLD BILL
From his helmet to his boots, the British Bobby is about to undergo a transformation, writes David Rose in The Observer 20th October, 1996.
PC PLOD and his old Prussian helmet will soon be on the last patrol. Police uniforms for the
Next millennium will mark the most dramatic change in the appearance of British bobbies since their foundation by Sir Robert Peel in 1828.
Robocop it is not, but the new kit incorporates the latest technology. ‘Magic T-Shirts’ worn next to the skin, will stop a bullet or a knife. The new round, cycling style helmet, in polystrene & plastic, will have a built in radio microphone & will resist the force of a baseball bat.
That supreme test of a copper’s sang-froid, the soaking trousers, will be a thing of the past – an outer layer in breathable membrane fabric will be worn in foul weather.
For women officers an old embarrassment will be ended at last: villains will no longer be able to see through their shirts, & for the first time they will wear trousers on patrol. Both men & women will leave behind, also without regret, boots & shoes that fit so badly they may be responsible for making the PC Plod in the first place.
Assistant Commissioner Bill Hughes of the West Yorkshire Police led the Uniform Project Group report whose findings have been accepted by the Association of Chief Police Officers. The new look should be seen throughout Britain in 1998.
The biggest breakthrough is the ‘covert protective vest’, capable of withstanding a knife attack or bullet fires from a .375 mm pistol. It replaces cumbersome & detested designs which can only be worn outside clothing. It will be light, flexible & almost unnoticeable under a shirt.
Apart from thicker weave shirts to replace the bizarre see-through models issued to women officers, there will be fleece blousons like those worn by mountaineers & tough weatherproof jackets. Since radios will be concealed within the helmet & clothing, the only items to be worn on the new utility belts will be handcuffs & a baton.
The old helmet, modelled on a Prussian army style, has been worn since 1863. It is a powerful icon of the police in England – though not in Scotland, where it was abandoned in 1935 - & will be retained for ceremonial duties & special occasions.
But it has some nasty tricks. It falls off when an officer breaks into a run & fails British standards of impact absorption: officers are at serious risk of fractured skulls from assaults. The new design can withstand not only a mighty blow on cranium & temple but comes with retractable eye protection. It is almost ready for production.
Like the trousers, which soak up water, police have no affection for the old fashioned tunic, which has changed only marginally since the beginning of the century: it is considered, by most officers, ‘to be of no practical use’, according to the report. In the past 10 years, some forces have introduced Nato style pullovers, but these too have their faults: they are not waterproof & swiftly lose their smartness & shape.
Focus groups provided a cross-section of opinion throughout the police, & from these footwear emerged as an issue. Officers can choose what to wear as long as it is “smart & black”. A study estimated that leg & ankle injuries suffered while chasing suspects or, more prosaically, tripping on paving stones, cost the police in England & Wales ₤5.5 million a year in lost work days. A new lightweight boot is recommended.
The driving force behind the review was the impending change in health & safety regulations which, from next year, will apply to the police. Police chiefs believe that existing equipment & clothing did not begin to measure up to the standards covering personal protective equipment at work.
Further developments may be on the way. Mr. Hughes said that by the time the new helmets were being worn there might be no need for an external radio microphone: new ‘skull microphones’, able to transmit speech through the vibrations of the head, might then already be on stream.
It is understood that the strongest opposition to the new design has come from Sir Paul Condon, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, who wants to retain the traditional image of the bobby. The report counters such criticism by recommending that the traditional helmet & uniform be maintained for ‘designated ceremonial uniform areas, such as Downing Street & The Houses of Parliament’, Mr. Hughes said “We’re not losing the policeman’s helmet, we’re bringing it into the twenty first century”.
He emphasised that the new look for the police would give the service a ‘corporate image’, eliminating the existing differences between the 43 separate forces & Scotland.
Unley Centenary Celebrations - Unley Oval
Rex Greig, Mark Dollman,
Kev Johnson, Ernie McLeoad
and Holger Kruse
represented the Society
at this very auspicious occassion.
The following article was supplied by member Val Harvey from the
Weekend Australian magazine dated 18th - 19th March, 2006.
Governor Hindmarsh Arrives at Police Museum.
Governor Hindmarsh being escorted in the Police Prison Van to our Police Museum by volunteers Ernie McLeod & Kev Johnson.
The Governor has now taken pride of placein the Dorothy Pyatt Gallery.
The “HUE & CRY” is Published by the
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539