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Front Cover
President's Page
Police Memorial
The Black Maria
Police Heritage Day
Next Month's Meeting

Adelaide Gaol & Staff 1902

These old buildings do not belong to us only; they have belonged to our forefathers & they will belong to our descendants unless we play them false.  They are not  ..  our property, to do with as we like.  We are only trustees for those that come after us.     
William Morris 1889.


  On Sunday the 10th December our volunteers attended at Police Expo. Fort Largs.  My thanks to all who assisted.  Our volunteers on Saturday suffered from the 41deg heat when setting up displays and it is doubtful if we will be providing a large display for future events considering our limited resources.  See the article this issue.
On Sunday the 17th December a small group attended at the Academy Fort Largs for our Heritage Day in honour of John McKinna.  See article this issue. 
Of the most concern however is the health of our editor Elees Pick who has undergone major surgery and is now home recovering.  It will be a long term recovery of 6 to 10 weeks or more although Elees will probably disagree and is already at her wits end having to rest all day.  She has produced the major part of this issue prior to her surgery and I have the job of finishing it. 
I will also be working on next months Hue and Cry and will be looking forward to her return. 
There is no monthly meeting in January so our next meeting will be the AGM on Friday the 2nd February 2007.  I will be presenting my annual report and it will be time again for the election of offices for the executive committee. 
I encourage members to be involved either as volunteers or on the executive committee.  We will be looking for more assistance with museum tours throughout 2007, so if you would like to be involved please advise this office.

   Geoff Rawson




On the 29th September, 2006 well known media personality Ita Buttrose AO  OBE, was selected to MC the Dedication of the National Police Memorial.

In appreciation of her valuable support to this nationally    significant ‘one-off’ event, Ms Buttrose was presented with a very special memento, one which celebrated the service   history of her Ancestor, S.A. Police Mounted Trooper William Fenwick Buttrose.

1. Colonial period Coat of Arms used by South Australian Police.
2a-2d Trooper Buttrose’s postings  2a Mounted Police Barracks Adelaide.
2b Echunga Police Station PS  2c Morphett Vale PS 2d Angaston PS.
3a-3c Tools of the ‘Trade’ - 3a Early screw key handcuffs; 3b Saddle cuff pouch, 3C 1853 Cavalry pattern sword.
4. Queen Victoria Crown brass horse bit & stirrup insignia.
5. Photo of QVC tunic buttons & regimental number worn on shako.
6. Copy of Trooper Buttrose’s original SA Police personal record card.
7. Copy of a typical Mounted Trooper — circa. 1860’s Mounted police cross belt & pouch.
9. Adelaide Observer newspaper article regarding the death of Trooper Buttrose Paper incorrectly refers to a    non existent Trooper P. Burt. 
10. Brief history of Trooper Buttrose
Copy of original extract relating to Trooper Buttrose sourced from the Biographical Index of S.A.

The Black Maria
By the Late Jean Schmaal

Pictured is "Black Maria", a horse drawn prison van was used from its 1886 introduction until 1928 for conveying prisoners between the Supreme Court and the Gaols at Adelaide and Yatala.
When Black Maria first made her appearance there was a smaller vehicle doing duty and on many occasions Maria had to assist at the East End Market (that was in the days when hotels were open until 11 p.m. and long before the old 6 o'clock closing came into operation) to bring in the large batch of prisoners taken in as a result of revelries at the Christmas markets and on New Year's Eve.

Then, also, the van was often requisitioned to convey prisoners from the Watchhouse (then next to the G.P.O.) to the Police Court when the Court was held in the building later occupied by the Local Court.

Later the van conveyed the State's “customers”, from the Supreme Court to Yatala Labour Prison, when some of the most noted evil-doers of the day were given a lift to "the house on the hill".

On Maria's high days (once every two months) she looked spick and span with a policeman seated on the step at the rear, and with four prancing steeds to provide the propulsion force. And then, with two mounted men, each with drawn sabres, as escort, she sallied merrily forth on the highway to her destination - the Adelaide Gaol or Yatala.

One of the first to take the reins of the horses that drew Black Maria was Cpl. W. Clark, who was followed by Cpl. W. H. Saunders. Among others who had the honour were Constables J. Henderson, Allan Rush, C. Evans, I. Hyde, W. H. Fitzgerald and Pope.

For over 40 years Black Maria did her duty proudly, and then in 1928, she was replaced with a more modern, motorized vehicle, and Maria was disposed of to the highest bidder at a Government auction sale on Thursday May 24, 1928.

A Mr. A. A. Edwards M.P. secured the former prison van, for the sum of £8 ($16), and had it transported to a local beach where he used it for some considerable time as a bathing machine (changing shed).

 The following verse appeared in the local press a few days after Maria’s sale, a monument to her long and loyal service.
Ode to Black Maria.

Good-bye, Maria! You are in good hands:
Far from your strife and horror you’ll be buried.
Toward ozone, where only silvery sands,
And wavelets winking at the beach are curled...
You’ve had your day, and woe for you is done,
So give yourself to bathing in the sun.

You stood the wear and tear for fifty years,
And knew remorse and fit and blasphemy,
Laughter and strangled hopes and cringing fears.
Hatred and kindliness and sympathy;
Your day is past, but all your memories
Are worth £8 in all... life has its lees!

Maria, you are in good hands, but you
Are conscious (since you’re Bertie’s) you’re immune
From all the wrangling that erst riders rue,
From hate and calumny and every tune
That has been said or sung in your dull praise -
But at the briny you’ll be free to laze.

Tell Mr. Edwards, dark one, ere you go,
To treat you gently when the squalls arise;
Point out that sand and hail and fleeting snow
Have never soiled your floors nor caused surprise
To those who were passengers in chains -
And I shall drink a quart to your remains!

- Kenneth Scott.

In 1986 the citizens of Adelaide were greeted once more with the sight of a horse drawn Black Maria and once again listened the rhythmic clippity-clop of horses hooves, when the South Australian Police Historical Society launched its full scale replica of the once famous vehicle onto the streets of Adelaide. The beautiful old style vehicle today still occupies pride of place among the Society’s transport fleet and can often be seen at special functions as the mainstay of the Society’s static displays.

The old, original van was but another victim to progress, and had perforce to give way to the more up-to-date means of transport - the motor vehicle.

It is believed (one of the theories) that in New York, in the early days, there was a negro lady named Maria who was always being arrested by Police & thrown into their black horse drawn wagon.  Because she spent so much time in the vehicle it was nicknamed “The Black Maria” a name which spread to other parts of the world.

Historian Allan Peters photographed this sign at  Loxton, & asks “What Tune do you think this heroic Band was playing — perhaps
Row Row Row your boat?”


On Saturday the 9th of December 2006, Bob Boscence, Kevin Beare, Rex Greig, Con Reintals, Ernie McLeod, Kevin Johnson, Stewart Munro, Tony Woodcock, Dave Aylett, Alan Peters, Alf Jarvis, Audrey Walker, Bob Ward, Holger Kruse and I attended at Thebarton Barracks to load our exhibits.  The truck which was organized to take material did not eventuate as it was being repaired and the bus that we were going to use had a flat battery.  As a result we proceeded to Fort Largs, some towing trailers using our own resources.  By mid-day at the Academy it was 41.5 deg and our volunteers were suffering with heat exhaustion.  Our display was limited by the resources available and was not what we had anticipated or hoped for. 

On Sunday Bob Boscence, Ernie McLeod, Kevin Johnson, Stewart Munro, Isabel Brooks, Shirley Heyward, Tony Woodcock, Glen Mattingly (one of our new volunteers) Alan Peters, Holger Kruse, Bob and Helen Ward, Alf Jarvis and I manned the exhibits.  I have been informed that only about 45,000 people attended the Expo. function whereas about 100,000 were anticipated and this had quite an effect on the numbers visiting our display and takings from the sale of memorabilia amounted to about $450.00 (less expenses).  Our donation box raised $35.50. 

On Monday the 11th it was time to pack up and with the assistance of Bob Boscence, Ernie McLeod, Kevin Johnson, Con Reintals and I we proceeded to the Academy to pack up the remaining items and bring the Black Maria, Chrysler, Bedford and motorcycles back to Thebarton.  When the items had been pack away, we were surprised by a visit from the Andamooka Police who produced a coffin and a large quantity of old books and journals from Tarcoola station for the society.  They were lucky to catch us before we left but we were grateful for the donations which will be of assistance to researchers.


Once again, my grateful thanks to all those who contributed to the day. 

Geoff Rawson.




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The following messages were first printed in the 1949 Emergency Fire Services Souvenir Programme & come to us courtesy of Member Peter Malpas former Deputy  Director of the Country Fire  Services.

With the winding up of the Civil Defence organisations built up during the war, the Government decided that the Emergency Fire Service should be retained as a normal peacetime organisation.  The efficiency which has been obtained by the respective units, together with the valuable equipment distributed, has already demonstrated the value this service could be to the community.  The central administration has been located under the direction of the Commissioner of Police, who has competent officers to assist him.  I trust that with the past to guide, aided by improved mobility of both transport & communication systems, the many units existing will experience even greater interest & enthusiasm in the future.  In this field of voluntary service the personnel of Emergency Fire   Services has earned our greatest appreciation & good wishes.

                        A.L. McEWIN
                        The Hon. Chief Secretary

Emergency Fire Services exists to afford help & protection to those in peril of bush fires.  The Government has allocated the various fire appliances to Council areas to assist in the combating of bush fires.  It is expected that the areas where those appliances have been allocated will ensure that the equipment is kept in full working order during the whole year &, further, that there is trained personnel to staff such equipment when necessary.  The Director of Emergency Fire Services visits all centre throughout the year & his object is to advise & assist, where necessary, in the maintenance if fire fighting equipment & the instruction of the crews.
Emergency Fire Services might be described as:-

1.  Administration : which is located in my office.
2.  Fire fighting: under the direction of Mr. F.L. Kerr, A.M.I. Fire, E., Kintore Avenue, Adelaide
3.  Communications: Inspector W. Delderfield, Radio Branch, Police Headquarters.
4.  First Aid & Country Commissariate, Women Police Constable J.R. McMillan, Police     Headquarters, Adelaide
5.    This organisation exists to help,. Where required, those areas where fire fighting equipment has been allocated, and in times of serious outbreaks where local help is insufficient to combat the fire, to provide volunteers to go to their assistance.  At Kintore Avenue there is a  reserve of fire fighting equipment, which can be transferred from time to time when required if local equipment is insufficient to meet the menace.  Communication exist to assist fire  supervisors to direct & control those fire fighting personnel who are actually engaged in fighting the bushfire.  This is a very important Branch of Emergency Fire Services, & without   communication, control is practically lost.  Mobile Hospital, Arthur Street, Unley, exist to   provide first aid when casualties occur among fire fighting personnel..  There is also the Commissariat Department, which, in the event of a serious fire where local supplies are  insufficient by with me approval can be obtained for the purchase of foods at Government  expense.  The Organisation, therefore, as it exists now, is to render assistance to those centres when & where required. 

Commissioner of Police.

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Society Heritage Day

On Sunday the 17th December 2006, a small group of members attended at the Academy Fort Largs for a Heritage Day to commemorate the life of John McKinna and his contribution to the training of Police Officers.  John McKinna recognized the value of the Fort as a training establishment and when the Army decided to sell off the property he flew to Canberra and negotiated the sale to South Australia.  He had omitted to tell the Premier of the day, Tom Playford of his plans and approached him on his return.  When told what he had done, the Premier replied “You know you really shouldn’t have done that John, but I suppose we’ll find the money somewhere”.  The rest is history.

The weather could not have been kinder to us as we had a picnic lunch in the B.B.Q area between the old gymnasium and the classrooms in a shady spot.


Tony and Kath Woodcock were really prepared with almost a silver service with all the trimmings.  Helen and Bob Ward, my wife and I, Isobel Brooks, Shirley Hayward, Alf Jarvis, Holger Kruse, Audrey Walker and Dorothy Pyatt enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with Dorothy cutting the cake .


Dorothy does not like to miss an opportunity and she was photographed practising her chat up lines with several young trainees from the UK .



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Of 19 men charged with drunkenness over the weekend at the Port Adelaide Police Court on Monday, 15 had been found drunk on Sunday!   Mr G.W. Halcombe, S.M., asked Inspector J.R. Noblet, who was prosecuting what had happened that so many had been drunk on Sunday.  The prosecutor replied that there were so many beer casks about the wharfs.  Sergeant Keene in evidence, said the men were in the habit of adding water to the alcoholic dregs left in the casks.  “It bites well.” He added further.






Jack McPherson, 35 years, on Wednesday was arrested by Detectives Walters and Melhuish, and plainclothes Constables Stewart and McGrath, on a charge of having been in possession of a suitcase and contents valued at £20.   The goods were stolen from a room in a North Terrace hotel during the weekend.  The owner of the goods was also the occupier of the room, and he was absent in the country at the time.  McPherson will appear in the Adelaide Police Court this morning.

On Wednesday the 27th December 2006, we had a visit from Roy and Pat Bracy and their cousin June Arnold.   Roy was a member of the Essex constabulary until he retired about 16 years ago.   They were given a grand tour and Roy was very impressed with our facilities and made a very generous donation to the Society.

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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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