From the President

The President hopes all members had a pleasant Christmas and New Year, and hopes to see everyone at the first meeting of the year on Friday 1st February 2002!

John White



“Subscriptions remain unchanged for 2OO2

That time has arrived again for all our loyal members to pay their annual subscription, in order to renew their membership for 2002.

You will find a ‘renewal’ form for the forthcoming year. ** HERE  **  Would you please complete the  form,  and return it to the Society office, together with your payment.


‘Early attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.’

Should you have any query as to the status of your membership, please do not hesitate to contact our Treasurer, Tony Woodcock. on any Thursday at the Thebarton Police Barracks on 82074098 between 10.30a.m. and 3.00p.m.


S.A. Police Historical Society restored Chrysler Royal V8 Highway Patrol car representing
the Society and SA Police at a country show

- ooOoo-



Allan. Peters



A correspondent sends the Port Augusta Despatch the following account of this affair: -

“Not many days since a bootmaker in a festive mood, at Farina, proceeded to the Police Station and locked it up, taking the key away with him.

Upon meeting the worthy conserver of the peace he demanded 5s from him. The demand was of course indignantly refused, upon which the incautious ‘snob’ said he had something in his possession worth more than ‘five bob.’

When the trooper arrived home he found the premises carefully locked, so that he could not get in. Remembering the conversation with the son of Crispin, he at once hunted him up and found the key in his pocket. By way of keeping the joke up the bootmaker was locked up for the night, and next morning the presiding Justice inflicted a fine of £2 upon him for the perpetration of the little joke.

The sequence of the tale goes beyond a joke, though. Smarting under the infliction the foolish fellow proceeded to simulate the career of the Kellys.

After stealing a revolver, loaded in one barrel, from a harmless ‘heathen Chinee,’ he borrowed a horse from a colt-breaker, and rode bravely up to the door of the Police Station and challenged the trooper to come out and be shot. This very polite invitation was not complied with however.

Mr Snob then rode off, and meeting the owner of the steed, was requested to dismount. This he refused to do, and discharged the revolver at the indignant proprietor. Fortunately his aim was unsteady, and no harm was done.

Putting spurs to his horse he made off into the bush, and was last seen at Blanchwater, where his equine companion appeared rather knocked up. He would probably make a change at that place, and proceed to Queensland, unless intercepted by the myrmidons of the law.”

- ooOoo-

Policing South Australia’s Outback


Len Coghlan.

Those of us who have had the privilege of seeing at first hand the outstanding initiative and indeed courage, of our members who have policed our Outback Police Stations will never cease to be grateful and sometimes amazed at some of their efforts.
Having had several years experience learning the difficulties and hardships of those in the far west of our State and relieving Divisional Officers in the Whyalla and Port Augusta Divisions, I believe it is nigh time some of their more humorous and often-time dangerous escapades should be put to print.

Maybe those resolute officers see fit to skip over the many do’s and dont’s of the regulation book. Those of us who spent the majority of our lives in the city do not realise the pressures under which mere constables, of only several years service, have to make instant decisions when their nearest neighbouring mate is 50 or 100 or several hundreds of miles away.
Let me relate just one of numerous incidents which confronted one particular officer whose unorthodox and slightly irregular initiatives were required when confronted with a situation which necessitated instant and serious decisions.
Some years ago this young and very active constable named Anderson was enjoying the peace of the most westerly station in South Australia, Penong. One never knew if he was going to be turned out like a smart officer should or whether he would be in overalls with blood on his hands and taking a half a sheep over to the local minister who perhaps didn’t have the heart to kill a sheep and chop it into edible portions.

There was no Butcher for 45 miles so such trifles as killing and dressing a sheep did not disturb him.
So on one particular day a phone call from Nundroo Road House took him from domestic duties when he learnt that two young girls were heading his way in a very classy Holden, almost certainly stolen.
Everyone from Eucla to Ceduna were always anxious to help our friendly policeman so out he went to the 10 mile dog fence and blocked off the ramp and so two 15 and 16 year old girls became ensconced in the “delightful” single cell. The 6’ X 6” wood and iron “mansion” soon became their boudoir. The nearest police neighbours west, the Norseman police [a mere 700 miles down the road] confirmed that the girls had stolen the car from Perth after escaping from a Reformatory.
The fact that a male prisoner who was merely sitting out time as he couldn’t afford to pay his fine and now had no cell, presented no problem to Constable Anderson. He was well known to the officer and would be more than happy to spend his day in the sun and use the more comfortable Land Rover and shed for his nightly confinement.
It didn’t take long for Murray and his two very young daughters [his wife Joan was away getting medical treatment] to realise what “delightful” guests he was entertaining. His 6 year old becoming distressed at continuous screaming, came running to Dad to tell her what terrible words they were saying about him even though she didn’t understand what they meant.

While contemplating how he would best deal with the girls’ tirade, in rushed the pleasant, athletic happy go lucky aboriginal prisoner to the house to let Murray know that the girls had started a fire in the cell and smoke was pouring out.
Needless to say the constable moved with unbelievable speed to let them out, dragging burning blankets behind him and the girls coughing and spluttering. Of course the inevitable happened, one of the “charming” prisoners tore off into virgin country to the south while the other headed west up the Perth Road towards Fowlers Bay. And so once again this officer like many of his remote outback companions realised another instant decision was required. In that small community where perhaps the only possible nearby man to help was maybe the local Minister and of course the aboriginal prisoner.
Fortunately for the Constable he had always treated everyone in the town with the respect and friendliness, which was their right, and so with a smile in his face the young man readily offered his services.
With one of the car thieves heading towards Perth, Murray flew off in his Land Rover and the other girl would have had no idea that with the speed, sporting skills and the natural talents of her pursuer she had no chance of being free for very long.
So about 30 minutes later the police vehicle returned with one “young lady” firmly handcuffed to a bar in the back of the vehicle.

Had it not been so serious the picture of a violent young prisoner screaming, scratching and swearing being firmly forced forward by the scruff of the neck by this powerful athlete with a big grin on his face would be the stuff for which the “Three Stooges” were famous.
Fortunately for the girl, and more so for the Constable, the girls venture into the desolate and virgin country was short lived.
Realising he couldn’t ask more of his local guest, Murray recognised he’d better seek some more police assistance so he rang Ceduna and the Officer in Charge, Ron Arney, the erstwhile cook at the Police Barracks Thebarton, sent over another Constable to assist. Was it John Hartwig who was the lucky player?
There was no good asking for a Woman Police Officer, the nearest being about 400 miles south and so Murray was able to get in a reasonable night’s sleep.

So as a favour for the great assistance given by the prisoner and knowing there would be no vacant cell available until the court work and hearing could be dealt with, he told the well known footballer he could go for a few hours and not have to sit around the station all day.
It was sheer coincidence that the Grand Final of the local football was on that day and that the Aboriginal Team from Koonibba was one of the contestants and one of their stars was missing.
One could imagine their delight when up strolled their most needed man and announced that he could stay a while.
hat was all they needed and they won the day. True to his word their star wandered back to his make believe cell and had a sound sleep in the police station Land Rover with the shed door firmly latched.
Next day the prisoners from Perth, having been charged, convicted and sentenced, were taken to the Ceduna Prison and later returned to the Reformatory from which they came.

It was many weeks before this episode came to the notice of the writer and the local officer did not prevaricate about what took place. He was fully aware that there were strict rules about early release for good conduct and how civilians who helped police were compensated.
It was appreciated fully that had even one of these girls escaped into such inhospitable country that she could have been in extreme danger and it was recognised that had not the prisoner consented to search and find the girls the cost and manpower would be great and stressful.

The Regional Commander too, Chief Superintendent Ted Chamberlain a most humane man, realised that we had always stressed that great initiative was a must for any member to succeed in these far away places, but there was a limit after which the most competent and conscientious members could distribute largesse without seeking advice.
Despite the humane but unauthorised help afforded to this model prisoner, a most remarkable coincidence occurred some months later in which that same young man repaid some of the kindness which his local officer had shown him. Work was hard to obtain for the unqualified in this area and he was again expiating a small fine for a minor offence. When he was due for release Constable Anderson had to go to Ceduna on urgent business so he formally released his prisoner and agreed that as there was no public transport to Koonibba he would drop off the prisoner near the Mission enroute. Rain and slush was everywhere at that time and roads were not good in the area and despite Murray’s excellent driving record, the Land Rover tipped over on its right side. The Constable was forced against the side and on top of him lay his wife Joan with his baby Brendan on top of her and the aborigine was in the back. None were badly hurt but the Andersons could not move but their passenger struggled out uninjured.

With great difficulty he pulled off the crying child then Mrs. Anderson and then Murray himself. Although badly shaken, luckily they were not seriously hurt apart from Murray’s pride. After attending to them first, this young athlete told then he knew exactly where they were and that he was a friend of the nearest farmer and would get a tractor while they relaxed. Murray confirmed that he had little idea of precisely where he was or if any homes were nearby.
After the farmer and his passenger returned on a very welcome tractor the vehicle was righted; the farmer was thanked effusively. The young man said his farewell at Koonibba and the grateful family went on their way. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Many other episodes occurred in which this young officer showed considerable initiative and ability but you can be assured that whenever something extraordinary occurred I received a call, often on the Traeger radio, when telephones weren’t within miles of where he sat on Yatala Mission on the Western Australia border straight ahead.
In his mature years Sergeant Anderson enjoyed life as a Watch Sergeant at Elizabeth and I am assured that the late Inspector Ray Kennedy [one of our Force’s most respected officers] more than once called on Murray’s direct and sometimes unorthodox approach to fix some of the problems caused by the unemployed youth of the area who thought they were beyond the control of some of our own more inexperienced members.
Of one thing we can be certain, no Elizabeth prisoner who caused our young members in that area so much stress by their abuse and many assaults ever got any special privileges when the wiser and more mature Sergeant Murray Anderson was in charge of the station.

48        THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN POLICE GAZETTE.              [March. 8, 1882]

Police Commissioner’s Office, Adelaide, March 1st, 1882.
MEMo.—Special attention is called to General Order No. 15/79, page 212, Police Gazette, 1879, re delay in forwarding vouchers to this office for payment, and also after they are receipted. Constables should post the receipted vouchers immediately to their inspectors for transmission to P.C.O..
WM. J. PETERSWALD, Acting Commissioner.

Police Commissioner’s Office, Adelaide, March 8th, 1882.
Police officers are to note the following extract from 
Government gazette of 2nd instant.
WM. J. PETERSWALD, Acting Commissioner.

Crown Lands and Immigration Office, Adelaide, Feb. 21st, 1882.
Notice is hereby given, that from and after the date of the publication hereof in the Gazette, the following birds, viz., piebald geese, aversets, snipe, widgeon, shovellers, painted ducks, grey doves, and native companions shall, for a period of three years, be excluded from the birds indigenous to Australia, protected by the second schedule of the Game Act, 1874, and the said birds may be shot at any time of the year.
Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration.

Police Commissioner a Office, Adelaide, March 7th, 1882.
Return of appointments, &c., in Police Force
Lance-Corporal J. Kerr, to be Corporal from 1st February,
1882, inclusive, vice Pascoe resigned.
First-Class Constable C. A. Miller, to be Lance-Corporal
from 1st February, 1882, inclusive, vice Kerr, promoted.

MEMO.—A Police Station has been opened at Mitcham.

Continuing in the series of




Scott Point
Minor geographic features near Fow1er's Bay.   Creek & Mount are in the North Flinders Ranges and near Copley.
Scott Creek
Mount Scott
All are believed to have been named after Edward Bate SCOTT who with George Hamilton overlanded cattle from NSW and joined with Edward John Eyre on several explorations. In 1847 he succeed E.J. Eyre at Moorundie on the River Murray (near present day Blanchetown) as Inspector of Native Police, sub—protector of Aborigines and Returning Officer until
Believed to have been Police Inspector 1853 -1857
Hundred of HOWE
Geographic land measure in southern Flinders  Ranges, County of Victoria. C 100 square miles.

James Henderson HOWE (1836-1920). Police Constable 1857-1866. Respected member of parliament 1881-1896 and member of legislative council 1897—1918. Cabinet minister four times and played an important role in Australian federation conferences in 1897—1898.

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By 1928, thieves in New South Wales had already realised the profitability of stealing motor vehicles. In that year almost 1700 vehicles, including 224 motorbikes, were stolen, an average of five thefts per day. The police recovery rate however was extremely good, with all but two or three of the stolen units being returned to their owners.

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From The Murray Pioneer
October 25, 1991
10 years 
SERVICE FOR JIMMY JAMES: A memorial service for Jimmy James, the legend Aboriginal tracker who died on Sunday evening, form the River Murray by a Renmark fisherman will be held in Adelaide tomorrow. Mr James,   believed to be 81, was famous for his tracking   exploits. He began helping the SA Police   Department find escapees and missing persons   in 1948, and was involved in several major   searches. His most publicised track was north of
Renmark in August 1982, when he led police to
convicted killer and Yatala escapee, James
Smith, after a six-day manhunt. He was also 
commemorated with a plaque on the Jubilee 
Walk, on North Terrace in Adelaide. 
From The Murray Pioneer
November 15, 1951
50  years
ADELAIDE: The body of the woman recovered
in late September was last week buried in the
West Terrace Cemetery. The body, which has
been lying in the Adelaide City Morgue for six
weeks, still remains unidentified
 From The Murray Pioneer
5 November 5, 1926
75 years
DERED: Persistent rumours concerning the
alleged murder of a woodcutter on the River
flats at Winkie have circulated here during the
past few days and one version went as far as the
arrest of two suspects. Police enquires have suggested there was no evidence of foul play and are satisfied that the man has not been murdered
From The Murray Pioneer 
November 12,1991
10 years  .
and white filed slowly together down a dusty
track to the small cemetery at the Gerard
Reserve where Jimmy James was buried on 
Friday. It was an emotional walk for the crowd 
of about 350, whose lives had been touched by
the Aboriginal tracker.
 From The Murray Pioneer
November 12,1926
75 years
man was charged on the information of mounted constable Messner with the unlawful possession of a lamb. He pleaded guilty and was fined five


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