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Police Ambulance Drill Thebarton Barracks 1920-21


On Friday the 3rd February 2006, the 29th Annual General Meeting of the SA Police Historical Society Inc. was held at the Meeting Room, Thebarton Barracks.

A very large crowd of in excess of 60 attended. 

 Tony Woodcock presented his Treasurer's Report, followed by my Annual Report, which is included in full in this issue.

 I was re-elected as President, and Tony Woodcock as Treasurer.  

There were four nominations for the office of Vice President, which was eventually won by Kevin Beare.

There were two nominations for Secretary, but Jim Sykes withdrew his nomination and Owen Bevan was re-elected.

This left nine nominations for six positions for committee members. 

Kevin Beare, having been elected as Vice President, withdrew his nomination for committee, leaving eight nominations.

The successful members were Bob Bosence, Alan Peters, Tony Kaukas, Rex Greig, Elees Pick and Bill Rojas.

 Rex Greig had the windscreen glass fitted to the FJ Holden with the assistance of Instant Windscreens, and thanks to Rex they are our latest sponsors. All windows have now been fitted to the FJ, and the next step is the chrome work and some additional wiring.  Hopefully we will see this vehicle involved in parades this year.

 We have Tom’s Towing to thank for rescuing the Chrysler from Yankallilla recently, when it broke down during the Tour Down Under.  

 Included in this issue is a list of speakers for the monthly meetings for the rest of the year.  28th April will be Foundation Day at Thebarton Barracks, in which the Museum will be officially opened and galleries formerly named. 

On the 21st May (Sunday) we will be holding an Open Day similar to last year during History Week, and we will be seeking as many volunteers to assist us as possible. 

So if you can help on that day, please mark your diaries and let us know.

Next meeting will be Friday the 3rd of March, and will feature John McArdle who will talk about the new Adelaide Airport Terminal.  I hope to see you there.

   Geoff Rawson


South Australia Police Historical Society Inc.
29th Annual Report
2005 - 2006

Presented by
President Geoff Rawson
SAPHS Annual General Meeting
Thebarton Barracks
Friday 3rd February 2006

It is with much pleasure that I present the 29th Annual Report of the South Australian Police Historical Society for the year 2005-2006, my second Annual report as President of the Society.

This year’s Annual Report provides a detailed overview of the many activities of this Society over the last 12 months & includes the ambitions for the future.

 We mourn the passing of the following members over the last year:-

Ken Phillips, John Haseloff, Jack Cawley, Ern Sparrow, Shirley Waye,  Rob Thomson, Beryl Blanden, Brian (Salty) Glenie

They will all be sadly missed.

As in the past 28 years, the strength of the Society has been in the enthusiasm, dedication & strong commitment by its members, in particular our volunteers without whom little could be achieved. Our Wednesday & Thursday group volunteers have been exceedingly busy over the past year.

 My sincere thanks also goes to our Treasurer Tony Woodcock, who continues to serve & manage the financial affairs of the Society. Our financial situation is not as good as it was last year & we will be looking at ways to improve this situation.  The establishment of the museum & repairs & upgrades to vehicles have been very expensive.







As in previous Annual Reports, I recognise the outstanding contribution made by the “Thursday Group” of dedicated volunteers.



     Our thanks must also go to our Sponsors –


     Beaurepairs, My Fair Lady Picture Framers, NRMA Insurance, Southern Quarries, Tom’s Towing, Wardshaw Interiors, Police Credit Union, Industrial Engineers & Springmakers, Truline Wheel Aligners, Multi Spares, Wurth Australia, Pat Roberts, Motor Traders Assoc. & Instant Windscreens  for their outstanding support throughout the year.


    Some of the projects planned for 2006 include:

In conclusion I would once again like to thank the outgoing executive & wish the new Committee all the very best for the coming year.                

 Geoff Rawson

2005 Annual Toy Run

Frank & Fran O’Connor & Helen & Bob Ward together with their grand daughters Tara & Brooke
 represented the Society at this very special event.

Whilst checking through our archives we came across a transcript of a taped recording by the late Sergeant (Retired) Bob Clark of his early days with SAPOL from 1928.  This recording gives us a comprehensive insight into the early days of policing in South Australia & covers many milestones in our History.  We will be bringing you excerpts from his memoirs over the coming months.

 This is Port Adelaide commencing on the 14th November 1928.  After passing an examination conducted at the      City Watch house
at Adelaide I received a call up notice from the Police Dept. to report at the Port Adelaide Police Depot on the 14th November 1928.  At the original test there were about 30 men in attendance and it lasted most of the day.  Some dropped out after portions of the exam consisting of medical, education and aptitude and finally a riding test which was conducted at the Police Barracks and at that time only 2 of us had survived for the Mounted Section and we both passed. On arriving at Port Adelaide at 9 a.m. I found that there were approximately 100 men there, all to commence training as recruits and about equally divided between mounted and foot Police.  The average age of the men would have been about 21 to 25 years, and very few would have been over that age. The Force at that time were distinct groups and generally the mounted men would be eventually located at Country Stations and the foot police used mainly in the City and a few of the larger country centres.  Most of the first day there was spent in sorting the groups out and members of the mounted were billeted together and the foot police in their own groups.

In charge of the depot over all was a foot Inspector who was in charge of Strike Arrangements and took no part at all in our training.  The Mounted Police were under the direct supervision of a Mounted Inspector but junior in rank to the foot Inspector and these two officers appeared to have very little in common.

The accommodation provided for sleeping consisted of tents with dirt floors, cyclone mesh beds and 2 men to each tent.  No provision was made for the keeping of clothes and your personal belongings had to be kept in your suitcase.  The toilet facilities were in a wood and iron building with open cubicles both for toilets and showers and were situated about 100 yards from the lines of tents.

Meals were served in an open wood and iron shed about 30 feet high. Formerly used for the storage of timber.  No doors or windows and only partly enclosed.  This building also had a dirt floor and there was plenty of dust at meal times.  It also adjoined a similar type building under which about 40 horses were kept tied on rope lines and as a result of the nearness of horses and stable manure there were always plenty of flies to contend with.  This of course was not too bad when you went to meals in a large group as there were plenty of men to share them but if you came in after a shift and there were only a few of you that meant trouble.  A trick which usually kept flies at a distance was to sprinkle a few spoons of sugar at one end of the trestle and eat at the other end. 
The meals provided were served by volunteers and some members of the Women Police including our first Women Police Officer the late Kate Cocks & Connie McGrath who was the daughter of one of the Adelaide Superintendents.

The cost of meals was made up fortnightly taking the amounts paid for provisions and striking an average for each man which usually worked out at about 15/- to 1 pound per week or $1.50 - $2.00 by today's values.

Our commencing rate of pay was 13/6 a day thats $1.35 and paid for seven days a week.  This amount was to operate for one year during which time you were classed as a Probationary Constable and was to be increased by one shilling per day after a year of service.

Unfortunately for us the year 1929 was the beginning of a very big depression and all South Australian Govt. employees were forced to accept a wage cut of 10% which reduced us to a wage lower than that presently being paid even with the rise.  It took some time for us to get back to our commencing rate of pay.

Whether or not it was true it was strongly rumoured that, because of the big intake of constables mid way through the Financial Year, sufficient provision had not been made in the estimates to cover the cost of their salaries and difficulty was being experienced in keeping up with the expenditure.  As a result it had to be negotiated with a prominent private citizen to carry on. When you consider that at that time the cost of employing 100 constables would have been less than 500 pounds per week, the loan need not necessarily have been very large.

Next Month –

“training begins in earnest!”

You are cordially invited to a

“Back to Port Augusta  Reunion”

To mark 10 years in the “new” Port Augusta Police Station we are holding a “Back to Port Augusta” reunion.  We are looking for ex Port Augusta  police officers to come back for the weekend, catch up with old faces, tell stories & share memories.  There will be a ‘muster’ night on Friday 12th May  for anyone arriving in town then.  The main muster is to be held on Saturday night the 13th May, & will be a campfire night at Spear Creek Station, a short Distance from Port Augusta.  Dinner will be supplied both nights with BYO drinks.

The full weekend schedule & cost of events is still being finalised & will be advised as soon as possible.

A wide range of accommodation is available, both at Spear Creek & within Pt. Augusta.  Details & contact numbers are available from Carolyn Dale, Samantha Mundy or Nicole Morgan at Pt. Augusta Police Station on 86485020.

We hope to see as many people as possible.

Letters to the Editor

Re January 2006 Hue & Cry – Regarding the photo of the constable on duty at Henley Beach Road intersection.  It would have been about 1943.  I was stationed there with Eric Weich in the single men's quarters from May to October 1943.  We used to have to stand and observe the traffic North /South each evening from 5 pm but no actual “traffic duty”.  I have never seen it without traffic on the intersection as it is in the picture.  The intersection was controlled by STOP signs for North /South traffic  & was always busy by those standards.                                                                                                  
Eddie Trotter

Thanks Eddie – We are still in the dark re November Cover Photo  any ideas? Ed.               

John & Pamela  MATTINGLY


                  We Welcome you …….

3RD MARCH, 2006


Mr John McArdle

The New Adelaide Airport

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With the demolition of the Glenelg Police Station during the recent upgrade of
Moseley Square we felt it an appropriate time to reprint the following article which first appeared in the Police Journal July 1982

(Compiled by the late Chief Superintendent W. B. Budd, Q.P.M., President, South Australian Police Historical Society).


Glenelg has the proud distinction of being the birthplace of South Australia. Under a bent gum tree near the present City centre on the 28th December, 1836, the first Governor, Captain (Royal Navy) Sir John Hindmarsh, Knight of the house of Hanover, read the Proclamation of King William IV setting up the new British Province. In 1979 the Corporation of Glenelg celebrated 124 years of civic administration and development from 1855.

A Corporation workman, Mr. David Davie, provided the first “police protection”.   The Council paid him ₤1.00 per week on a part time basis.  His commission was to find as follows:  
"Perambulate the beach between 6 to 8 in the morning daily, on Saturday afternoons between 2 and 5, and during the greater part of Sunday - that he bury all broken bottles he shall find on Corporation's grounds, lay information and act as Constable generally for one pound a week in addition to his present salary."
Soon after its accession in February, 1856, the Corporation petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Major P.E. Warburton, C.M.G., for official protection. However, difficulties regarding accommodation for a Mounted Trooper and his horse prevented an appointment. Undaunted, the Council continued to negotiate with the Police Department, offering in 1864 to pay half costs of a policeman's expenses.
Finally, a police station was built by the Government in 1865 near the site of the present Town Hall. It consisted of a dwelling house of 7 rooms, 2 cells, and a Dead House. Police Constable G.P. Badman was appointed as the first officer-in-charge of the new station and police district. Glenelg was a small village at this time and the residents relied upon a well near the Old Gum Tree at the Proclamation site for their water supply. The water cost half a crown a barrel upon delivery.
Some interesting information about the Dead House appeared in a publication, "Glenelg, Historic Guide and Directory, 1883," compiled by John Lee, Councillor, Glenelg Ward, (Advertiser General Printing, Adelaide, 1883), page 37. "In the first instance dead bodies found on the beach, etc., were placed in the cells. . . but as the number of suicides increased ......
a wooden building was erected as a Morgue; but on the representations of medical men that there was not sufficient accommodation for post-mortem examination, the Government caused to be erected a stone building.

“The mournful catalogue of inquests held was at one time very large but since the opening of the Torrens Lake the number of suicides has considerably decreased.  We may add that, in addition to relieving the "Bay" of these unpleasant troubles, we have to thank the (Adelaide) Corporation for finding a rendezvous for the larrikin element on Sunday afternoons."
Unfortunately, the course of law and order at Glenelg was not to run smoothly. It was noted in the Council minutes during 1868 that Constable Badman had been withdrawn and the police station reverted to Council control. The Council had to appoint a Special Constable - the town was back to the 1856 situation.


A protest meeting held by ratepayers caused the Government of the day to send another Constable to Glenelg, Lance Corporal Edward Allchurch, to take charge of the station from 1868 to December, 1899, when he retired at the rank of Sergeant.
A total of 31 years served in one posting! His police district was extensive, including Henley Beach to the north and Brighton to the south. For years he worked without assistance and his duties were many and varied.
One of his principal duties was the boarding of the mail steamers from Western Australia and examining the clearances with which all passengers from that colony desiring to land had to be provided. The object of the inspection was to prevent the influx of "undesirable persons" - (Convicts). Provided that a convict had served his sentence at the Swan River penal settlement and remained in Western Australia for a further three years, he was allowed to land in South Australia but not otherwise. Upon the arrival of a ship at Glenelg, Lance Corporal Allchurch would collect all the passengers' clearances. They then had to accompany him to the Detective Office to be identified. In 1887 he visited England to take charge of a purser on a P. & 0. boat. The purser had been detained on charges of conspiracy and false pretences. He had been about 30 years in the employ of the company and had hosts of friends at every port, but Lance Corporal Allchurch brought him back safely. In time, the purser went on trial, was convicted and served a sentence.
Allchurch was on duty in Adelaide when His Royal Highness, Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, making his first Royal Visit to South Australia, laid the foundation stone at the base of the General Post Office clock tower, called the Victoria Tower, in King William Street on 1st November, 1867. The Prince, a son of Queen Victoria and her Consort, Prince Albert, also laid the foundation stone of Prince Alfred College during his historic visit. (The foundation's stone of the Adelaide Town Hall was laid on 4th May, 1863, by the Governor Sir Dominick Daly. The clock tower of the Town Hall is known as the Albert Tower).
Prince Alfred landed at Glenelg from the combined steam and sailing ship "Galatea" on 30th October, 1867.
In June 1887, about six months after Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations, original and new settlers gathered beneath the Old Gum Tree to plant trees to beautify the Proclamation site. Lance Corporal Allchurch was on duty and posed in the official photograph with the Mayor and other dignitaries including Sir John and Lady Morphett.
Sergeant Allchurch was hailed at his death at Glenelg in 1916 at the age of 88 as a fine old colonist and one of the best known residents of Glenelg, where he lived for nearly 50 years. He was born in Kent, England, on 16th November, 1828. He joined the Brighton Police in 1854 and served 9 years. Promotion was slow and his pay was 19/6d a week, and so Police Constable Allchurch decided to seek a future in South Australia.
He left England on 23rd January, 1866, with his wife and 3 children on an immigrant ship, the sailing vessel "Atlanta", 930 tons, which left Plymouth with 394 immigrants for Port Adelaide. Another child, Atlanta Hope, was born aboard the ship on 9th March, 1866. Four more children were born at Glenelg between March, 1868, and January, 1876.
One of these, Herbert Allchurch, born 19th March, 1868, followed his father and joined the S.A. Police Force. He became a Detective Sergeant in the Adelaide C.I.B., and in later years a Police Prosecutor.

The old police station that Sergeant Edward Allchurch knew so well was demolished in 1933 and it was replaced by the present Court building incorporating a police station. However, the Glenelg Corporation was required to pay its moiety towards police protection until 1938, when the amount was £583 a year. Since then the State Government has met the total cost.


While Foot Constable Albert Edward Ring, aged 38, was walking his beat in Jetty Road, Glenelg, early on 29th March, 1908, he was shot dead by a local 55 year old fisherman, James Albert Coleman. The murderer ran off and was next seen at 1.00a.m. on 29th walking along the jetty towards the shore. Later, his gun and shot flask was found in the sea near the jetty. A warrant was issued at Adelaide on 1st April for Coleman's arrest, and on the 8th April the Government offered a £100 reward for information leading to his arrest. Coleman was eventually captured and stood his trial. On Thursday, 4th June, 1908, he was sentenced to death at the Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court and he was executed at the Adelaide Gaol on Thursday, 2nd July, 1908.
There was no apparent motive for this cold blooded killing. Coleman had a reputation for violence among the local fisherman.


During 1947 a launch was purchased by public subscription and presented to the Police Department by the citizens
of Glenelg. It was based in the Patawalonga Basin for use by the
Water Police stationed at Glenelg. It was named the "William Fisk" in honour of M.W. Fisk a former Mayor.
This launch served as a police boat and lifeboat for 24 years, carrying out rescue missions in all weathers. It was skippered by Senior Constable William Bird for 18 years, who played unsung heroic roles in many hazardous rescues of people in peril in sea. The launch was withdrawn from service at Glenelg in 1971.

For some years the "William Fisk" was moored at the Port Adelaide Water Police Station. But on Monday 30th December, 1974, after an official Commemoration Day Ceremony at the Old Gum Tree, the veteran police launch was handed over to the Mayor of Glenelg, Mr. M. J. West, by the then Police Commissioner, Mr. H. H. Salisbury, Q.P.M.

After renovation, the "William Fisk" returned to its Patawalonga moorings.

The modern visitor to Glenelg sees a law abiding, prestigious holiday resort playing a tourist Mecca role to Adelaide as Manly does to Sydney. But there was a time when the "Bay" was a pioneering outpost for the official upholders of law and order. There was human drama, tragedy, personal danger, as well as civic duty, to make up the lot of early policeman who protected the colonists cementing the foundations of the fair Province of South Australia at its birthplace.

* (Knight of the House of Hanover).

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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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