Senior Constable Peter Sims at Brinkworth Centenary Celebrations with camel 'Brinky' & baby “Sahara”  S.A. Police Historical Society 'Black Maria' in background behind Ford F150 utility.  October - November 1992.            
See Sahara story below.

On Friday the 6th August Franco Moretti spoke at our monthly meeting about the Darwin to Adelaide Railway.  This was a massive project that most South Australians’ had longed to see completed for many years. 

Franco provided a power point presentation to illustrate the facts and figures, which were astounding, and photos of track work, bridgeworks and the huge stockpiles of sleepers required to keep the project on track.  The project was so successful that it was completed within budget and well ahead of schedule.

There were a number of very good questions, which demonstrated the interest shown in this project, and Franco was presented with a certificate of appreciation, and a book for his effort.

The Transport museum has made much progress in the last few months thanks to Rex Greig and his band of workers.  The wiring loom for the FJ Holden has arrived and will be fitted soon.  This will allow the motor to be started and other electrical components can be tested.  The upholstery is well under way on the seats, and the interior will be completed soon.  All the motorbikes are now in running order however some work is needed on the Chrysler Royal. 

The September meeting will feature the future directions and discussion about the main museum featuring Tony Kaukas and Bob Bosence.  A plan has been completed and work is now underway outfitting the main gallery, which will focus on the history of the SA Police Force.  The smaller ground floor gallery will become an exhibition gallery, with the new upstairs gallery featuring the many photos in our collection currently locked away.  The badge display will remain in its present form. 


Geoff Rawson


When voluntary Police Chaplains are appointed to a local police division, that division presents them with a stole in recognition of their induction & office.

The stole remains the property of the Police Division & may be worn by their Chaplain when participating in police ceremonies or services.

Chaplains will also wear the stole when conducting services for police personnel or family members, such as weddings, baptisms or funerals.

The Stole is navy in colour with the police insignia to the wearer’s left & a theological motif on the wearer’s right.  Most divisions have nominated their own additions to the stole as an evidence of support & ownership.

Indications to the present are that both police & the chaplains are appreciating each other, the support service & the contacts.



Whilst scanning photos some months ago we came across these delightful shots of a baby camel.  Wanting to learn more of the story, it was suggested that I contact Robert Clyne for further information and as follows is a copy of Rob’s  letter re baby SAHARA

Dear Elees

Thank you for your letter of 3 June 2004 and your enquiry about the baby camel "Sahara". I apologise for not responding sooner.

The story of Sahara's demise is a little bizarre and unfortunate. Sahara was about four months old when I got her. She was newly weaned and had a delightful nature, as some camels (not all) often do. She was given to us by our camel trainer, the Sheikh of Arrow Creek, Gordon Hampel of Kapunda, who "allegedly" trained us and our camels for the 1987 Australian Bicentennial Police Overland Camel Expedition, from Darwin to Adelaide. The baby camel was to be our mascot.

S/Sgt Ken Gunn and I went to Kapunda to collect her and brought her back to my home at Millswood, where for a time she became part of our family, living in our back yard while a suitable enclosure was erected in the rear of the yard at the North Adelaide Police Station. During this time I would walk her around the block at night after work, much to the amazement of our neighbours. They might walk their dogs, but I walked a camel.

When the enclosure was completed, I walked Sahara from Millswood to the North Adelaide Police Station where I was stationed. It was early in the morning, (peak hour traffic) and I was suitably dressed in a suit and tie. Sahara and I walked down King William Street and up O'Connell Street etc. While passing the Hilton Hotel in Victoria Square a group of American tourists came up, wide eyed and one of them yelled out: "Hey man, we thought we'd see kangaroos and koalas here in Australia, but wow, you've got a camel" - and they all wildly took photographs of this unexpected spectacle. Then one of them said: "Hey man, where are you going with your camel?" To which I responded  "to work" and off I went to a chorus "Hey, this man's taking his camel to work! We thought we'd seen everything". But they hadn't of course, although they must have thought Adelaide was a strange place to visit.

At North Adelaide, Sahara was a big hit with everyone, particularly the children at the North Adelaide Primary School, where a competition was run to find an appropriate name to call her. Children and their parents were frequent visitors.

One Monday morning I arrived at work (I was stationed in the front office part of the building, while the Police Historical Society occupied the rear building) and there had been a storm overnight. Our mascot was missing. Panic. I thought she must have been frightened and jumped the fence and was off wandering the streets of Adelaide. This would require a message to be sent to all patrols to look out for a lost baby camel.

If that had been the case, then I would not have minded, but it wasn't. What had happened, as I discovered later, was that Gordon Hampel, the Sheikh of Arrow Creek, had decided to "borrow" Sahara for a function over the weekend and had come and done just that. Gordon, in his inimitable, way hadn't thought to tell anyone.

Now, while Gordon is one of Australia's more colourful characters, he is perhaps not one of the most gentle of men I have encountered. He had arrived in his old beaten up Holden panel van, grabbed Sahara, opened the rear window, "put" her in the back and had driven off. However, he broke one of her legs in the process and she had to be put down. It was a sad and ignoble end for our mascot. For the sake of the school children (and everyone else) we had to put the best spin on it that we could manage and said simply that she had "died".

Elees, that's the story. If you wish, I can refer back to a diary I kept at that time and probably provide a bit more detail.

Best wishes to every one at the SAPHS.
Robert Clyne

         By Graham Duerden, South Australia.

Have you been to a Post Mortem yet”? Sergeant Hailwood would ask me from time to time. “No Sergeant” was my reply. “We must get you on the next one” he’d say. Being a Probationer P.C.I can honestly say that I wasn’t looking forward to it!!

However the day came when I paraded for Afternoon shift with half a dozen others. “Five-nine-seven. Post Mortem  P.C. Gough will go with you”. The dreaded day had arrived but I was greatly relieved that P.C. Stan Gough was my backup and mentor. Stan had joined our Force – the Lancashire Constabulary prior to World War 11 and when War was declared he volunteered for military service.  He served in a Guards Regiment and apparently had survived without injury. When hostilities ceased, he rejoined the Force and was posted to Huyton where I was just starting my police career.  Stan was a good policeman and always immaculate in his police uniform.

We cycled from Huyton sub police station to the Council mortuary at Huyton village.  I must admit I was taken aback when I saw the Police Surgeon preparing to do an autopsy on a BABY lying on the slab.  The Council did not employ a mortuary attendant in those days (1947) and so police officers assisted.  In some areas policemen's wives washed bodies. I will spare the gruesome details except to mention that unlike these days the doctor used a hacksaw and not an electric saw to remove the top of the skull. By the time he had completed this task he was perspiring heavily.

After completing the autopsy he started to sew up the body with needle and string.  It has always remained in my memory that the string was thicker than it needed to be..  After the doctor had completed a few stitches. Stan said “I’ll do that doctor if you wish”. This really surprised me but the doctor said “Oh thanks that will be a great help”.  Stan then finished the task.

As we were leaving the doctor shook our hands.  In Stan’s he surreptitiously left two Half-crowns. Stan generously gave me one. Being a Probationer, I thought accepting it was the proper thing to do seeing he had helped me overcome the trepidation of my first P.M.

My second post-mortem was on an elderly lady under the following circumstances. I had cycled to Huyton police station and as I entered a 999 emergency call came through from the lady’s housekeeper. It was to the effect that on her return from shopping, all the doors were locked. On the back door was pinned a note which read ‘Beware of gas’. Fearing the worse she ‘phoned the police station.

I immediately cycled to the home and burst open the back door by throwing my body against it. The smell of gas was pungent. Lying on the kitchen floor with her head on a cushion inside the oven was the old lady. I immediately turned off the gas and pulled her out into the back yard.. Although she appeared dead, I then started what in those days was the Schaffer method of artificial respiration. It had been drummed into all recruits at the Police Training School that the only person who could pronounce life extinct was a doctor. Perspiration was pouring off me when Sergeant Potts arrived on his pedal cycle.  He took over trying to revive her until the local doctor arrived, examined her and announced that she was dead.

Arrangements were made with the local undertaker to convey the body to the mortuary. The Sergeant and I accompanied it and on arrival stripped off the clothing and looked and made notes in our Duty diaries of marks and bruises etc. on the body. 

The next day the body had been washed by a female part time Council employee and the P.M. was performed in my presence. 

During the following years I attended many Post Mortems. I was then in the Detective Branch.  The longest time taken was on two bodies, an elderly brother who had committed suicide after murdering his elderly sister. The Pathologist was two hours late arriving at the mortuary at Old Trafford where the Detective Chief Inspector and myself, (now a Detective Sergeant) were waiting on a freezing cold winter's day.  We were confined there for hours until he completed his autopsies.

Another walk down memory lane with Audrey Walker


I remember the cheese of my childhood & the bread we cut with a knife.
The children who helped with the housework, & the man went to work not the wife.
The cheese never needed an ice chest, the bread was crusty & hot.
The children always were happy - & the wife was content with her lot.
I remember the milk from the billy & the lovely thick cream on the top.
The dinners were straight from the oven, and not from the fridge in the shop.
The kids ere a lot more contented, they didn't need money for kicks.
But a game with their mates in the paddocks, & sometimes the Saturday flicks.
I remember the shop at the corner, where a penny worth of lollies were sold.
Do you think I'm a little nostalgic – or is it that I'm getting old.?

Sunday Mail 12.12.99

I have received cuttings (Sunday Mail 10.10.99) regarding Sir Mark Oliphant’s interview for ABC Stateline in which Sir Mark commented on the way he thought the dismissal of my husband Police Commissioner Harold Salisbury had been handled by former Premier, Don Dunstan.
The whole episode affected him very much, and for me to read this now, after 21 years, goes a long way to help “heal the wound”.  I have exchanged many letters with Sir Mark during this time and, during November 1994, joined him for lunch in Canberra.
When I arrived in Adelaide I felt “at home” at once, and in spite of the drama of January 78, feel no grudge.
What a pity we are not nearer, I could tell you many amusing stories about being the wife of a former Commissioner of Police.

Lea House, Elmley Castle, Worcestershire, UK

Allan L. Peters



To the Editors, Gentlemen  -  You are perhaps aware that public attention has been greatly excited by some circumstances connected with the recent capture & committal of the three bushrangers charged with several outrages & an attempt at murder, for whose apprehension the Government offered a reward of $100 each.

I understand that those rewards have been already paid to some police officers & men .... Information was given to the police on the Tuesday morning, by a person named Hardiman, that three strangers supposed to be the men in question were at Crafers Inn in the Tiers  .... Mr. Crafer was in Adelaide; & on his return home he found he had been robbed of some ale by two men then in the house, & he was satisfied from the appearance of the three strangers who had been in their company, & who were still there, that They were the men in question  ...  the police, accompanied by Mr. Crafer, Hardiman & the groom secured two men, the third was in a distant part, & by some management escaped  ... Hardiman rode a little on and said “Here is the man we want” & the man acknowledged he was.

I am, Gentlemen, yours,
        A Looker on”

(We publish the foregoing communication which has been forwarded to us for that purpose by an old and most respectable colonist.  We suspect the who police system requires revision Editors”)

old cuffs

Robert Gouger, on behalf of the Commissioners of Police wrote to Governor Hall outlining the Commissioners belief concerning the reward.  In the Out letter book, December 20th, 1839 – May 3rd it can be seen Gouger concluded his letter in this Fashion

“Under these circumstances the Commissioners are of the opinion that Mr. Crafer’s claim for remuneration does not so much consist of anything he may have done toward the detection of the men & shelter for the night to the prisoners & guard, while to Hardiman belongs the communication to the Police of the first intimation of the bushrangers being in that neighbourhood & active aid to the Police in the fulfilment of their duty” 

Dated the 20th March 1840


Mr. Ashton, Governor of the Gaol supplied the Adelaide Chronicle with a list of Prisoners for trial which was held Tuesday March 3rd 1840.  The following was printed on the same day –

“George Hughes, Henry Curran and James Fox, for stealing a coat, a waist-coat and several articles of clothing.  Value five pounds, the property of Michael Pffender, with the intention of murdering her, on the 26th January 1840.  Also for stealing from the tent of Julius Fielder, on the 28th January 1840, 20 lbs. of flour, 6 lbs. pork, 4 lbs. sugar, 1 lb tea, 5 in notes some power and shot, a double barrelled gun, a pistol etc., the property of the said Julius Fielder.  Also for stealing from the tent of Mr. Jones, a gun, his property, value ₤5.

The South Australian Register (March 7th, 1840) reported  some of the “Offenders” case.

“The prisoners pleaded not guilty. The Advocate General opened the case for the prosecution.  Mina Pffender . . . being examined said – I know the prisoners.  I first saw them in my house on the evening in question, except Curran, whom I had seen before . . . I heard the dogs bark, & sent my daughter to see what was the matter.  She said it was three men coming.  My husband was at home, the three men came in . . .  I said there was nothing in the house but bread & butter, which they had & they then asked for some eggs.  I said I had some – they asked for a dozen . . .  I gave them half a dozen  . . . (they then had some wine and) said they would wait until the moon rose and then return to town.  Hughes showed their guns and said they were all loaded with ball. 

Court SceneHe then offered to sell his gun to Pffender (who refused it) . . .  Hughes appeared to be going, when I said I expected he would pay for what they had got . . . they pushed me, my husband, and daughter towards the bed, and told us to go to bed.  My husband asked why . . . they said they wanted our money. I said there was no money in the house  . . .  (Hughes threatened to burn the house. 

Curran said “never mind we’ll find they money without firing the house” (They went to two chests threatening to break the second open) when I said I would get the keys and open it  . . .  (They took out the coat and waistcoat then turned the bed over) Curran and Hughes took the things while they made Fox stand at the door with his gun to watch.  They then went outside with a lamp.  I tried to make my escape to give the alarm to my neighbours.  As I was going out, I was pushed down and shot at immediately afterward.  I found that I was not hurt, and rose and ran  . . . . and hid myself.  As it was dark I cannot say positively who it was that fired at me but I think it was Curran  .  I heard then talking.  I am sure the gun was fired at me intentionally, for I saw the men point it at me. 

To FOX -  You gave me back a number of things and was going to return some more, but the other two looked at you and told you to stand still with your gun.

Michael Pffender  .... corroborated her evidence.  He also said that when they asked for money, Curran
said unless

they got his money he shoot him dead and held up a gun to him.  Fox seemed very unhappy and unwilling to do what he was doing  . . . He (Pffender) could swear to Curran and Hughes being two of the persons but, he was not quite sure of Fox  . . . Mr. Edwards, sub-inspector of mounted police, remembers going to the house of the prosecutor on the evening of the robbery. 

He examined the ground outside; the sand appeared disturbed as if a person had been thrown down, and in a fence about three yards off, there were three or four marks as if made by small slugs or swan shot.   These marks might have been caused by the rebounding of the shot from the sand.

The jury retired and, after consulting for a short time found all the prisoners guilty, but recommended Fox to mercy”

The next day the Judge passed a sentence of death on Hughes & Curran.

In September's Hue & Cry we will give details of the escape & eventual execution of the Bushrangers.

Following, is a report received from our friends at the Victorian Police Historical Society –

Report of William Battiscombe. Mounted. Constable 3242 relative to Barrack room in this station being very disagreeable to sleep in. 

I have to report for the information of the Superintendent that my Barrack room or sleeping apartment on this Station is literally swarmed with Bugs & henlice.  And I cannot sleep at night or stay in the room without having them crawling all over me.  I have to state that the Bugs were (sic) in the room last summer when I first came to this station & after being here a few days I mentioned and drew the attention of Sgt. Corbett to the matter.  And I then went & bought some insect powder to kill them, but it seems that is only drove them away for a time.  I was not troubled with them very much through Winter but now the summer has set in they are getting very troublesome & are coming out of the cracks of the wooden walls.  The room that I sleep in is the room that the Foot Constables parade in every day, & prisoners are also brought in to the same room & may be that some of them has brought the horrible things into the room, or else it as (sic) been the uncleanliness of the Mounted Men which has been at this station, which I cannot conceive. But at the time it is very unpleasant for me & I will not be able to sleep in it much longer the way it is at present.  Sgt. Gray & myself have been doing our best to get rid of them, but have not been successful in so doing.  It seems to me that they have got a good hold on the place, & it will take some time before they will be able to be removed clear from the place.  Hoping that the Superintendent will see into this has (sic) it is very important.  The above mentioned insects have found their way into my boxes & clothes & are destroying them.  I have to state for the information of the Superintendent that I would have reported this before, only I thought that they might have been got rid of.  But I find they are increasing.

Submitted.   Immediately I received the report I had the walls, floor etc. scrubbed & will continue the course from time to time until the vermin (if there are any) disappear.  John Gray Sgt.

Would fresh painting be of use or any liquid disinfectant be of use?  ... (Superintendent)

The walls are in excellent repair & well varnished, liquid disinfectant would be of use.   Sgt. Gray.

Has the officer in charge of the Depot any liquid disinfectant suitable in store?  Supt. J. Roche Sub Inspector, Depot:  None in Store.  A better recourse would be to search crevices & other places where bugs breed & use turpentine with a small brush or feather.  To get rid of them they must be well watched & destroyed as they appear.  Boiling water will also destroy them.

Permission granted for a small quantity of turpentine to be purchased.  Account for 2 shillings & 2d. forwarded for turpentine purchased from F. & J. Sims, Footscray .




Two very experienced members attempting to start a motor cycle but still it refused to start. "I can't understand it as it always starts to easily" said Rex, who later had to admit that it was out of petrol!



SA REGISTER l6.l2.1927…


In the big yard at the City Watchhouse on Thursday morning the Government conducted one of its periodic sales of stolen, lost, or unclaimed property. A more heterogeneous array of goods would be difficult to imagine, and the strange, motley pile, comprising hundreds of articles, were practically all disposed of.
A policeman who is a keen bowler was all smiles as he obtained four bowls for 17/-.   A man who had just purchased a motor car paid only 2/- for motoring rugs. A motor hood together with a motoring coat and leather motoring gloves changed hands at the cheap price of 4/-. A dainty nightgown was displayed blatantly, and the fluttering ribbons attracted female eyes. The garment found a new owner at 2/-. Another intimate article was offered and when shown caused roars of laughter, which were even louder when the woman successfully bid for it.

Some articles brought ridiculously low prices and perhaps one of the best bargains of the morning was a large, almost new, canvas tent which was secured or 12/-. People looking ahead for next winter bid keenly for bundles of umbrellas, one bundle of five ladies’ umbrellas being secured for 6/-, and another of six for a similar price. Seven or eight persons bid for three men’s umbrellas and business was concluded at the cheap price of 12/-.


Allan Peters
Allan Peters is another of our volunteers who enjoys being part of the Thursday group.  He becomes involved in most of our activities, including providing many interesting articles for the Hue and Cry (and internet pages).

Allan's primary role at Thebarton Barracks is as our main researcher and he is the author of several books.  He has spent many hundreds of leisure hours over several years researching and writing the Elizabeth Woolcock story in which Elizabeth suffered the death penalty for the murder of her husband.  This culminated in the publishing of Allan's book "No Monument of Stone".   He has been able to demonstrate many weaknesses in the case and was recently involved in the Adelaide Gaol re-enactment of her trial, resulting in Elizabeth being found not guilty by the 2004 Jury.

He formerly served an apprenticeship in the sales and small business management fields, which would account for his super salesmanship on behalf of the Society.   He attends most of our outings selling books and other memorabilia.

He also enjoys dressing up in the 1800s style uniform for these events and is another very valuable member of the Society.

Keep up the good work Allan, and thank you!

The “HUE & CRY” is

Published by the
South Australian

Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539 
Adelaide 5001
S.A. 5083



Elees Pick........

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