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David Thomas Hill BARR

david Thomas Hill BARR

Senior Constable David Barr was stationed at Para Hills and on uniform patrol when he was  dispatched by  Comcen to a report of a man threatening a woman at the Salisbury interchange.

It was July 26th, 1990 just another cold day on patrol and just another incident to attend.


More further on …


   Bill Prior

On Friday 25 June 2010 I had the pleasure to represent the Historical Society at the Annual Police Association Retirement Dinner.  This year 69 members retired from South Australia Police.  Two of those members, Sergeant Brian Johnson and Commander Phil Cornish served more than 50 years, although Phil’s first three years were as a civilian in the Payroll Section.  Never-the-less, these two gentlemen provided exceptional service to both the South Australia Police and the community of South Australia for over half a century.  Several members had provided over 40 years service.


Prior to each member being presented with a gift, a short history of their careers with SAPOL was read to the audience.  While listening to these presentations I reflected on the diversity of postings, roles, experiences and contributions each of these members had made to both policing and the community generally.  And, as each member reflected on some highlights and experiences through their careers it was interesting to note the significant changes and advancements that have been made in the past 50 years.


Members spoke of the improvements in training, quality of equipment and particularly the improvements in working conditions and financial rewards brought about by the introduction first of a Police Award and more lately by a number of successful Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.  Of course there have been significant improvements throughout the community in areas such as Occupational Health and Safety considerations, risk management, improvements to road safety through areas such as better vehicle design and general education.


That then got me thinking about what SAPOL will look like in 50 years from now.  We know a new Police Academy and a new Police Headquarters are both currently under construction.  Will they still be in use in 2060?  Remember, both the old Police Headquarters at 1 Angas Street and the current Academy were built in the 1960’s.  Our uniforms, vehicles and equipment will all have changed significantly. 


That means we, as a Historical Society, must ensure that the activities occurring today are properly documented and archived so that the members serving in the future can look back at what we achieved in this current era.

At the July meeting the speaker was Chief Inspector Paul Barr whose subject was the "Constitutional Crisis of 1975".  Paul was the 2008 champion on the 'ABC TV - Einstein Factor' in 2008and it is easy to see why, with his knowledge of the subject.   His presentaion concentrated on the South Australian conection to this crisis, and his talk was extrmely entertaining and interesting.   Paul was thanked by retired Deputy Commissioner, and Life Member John White who presented Paul with Charlies Hopkin's book "SA Police 1838 - 2003.
Pauline Follett conducted the raffle which raised $56.00 from the 30 members who braved the cold.

   Bill Prior.


David Thomas Hill BARR

(continued from page 1)

The offender Lindsay Allan Fry, 42 was arrested at the scene by David’s partner Constable Jamie Lewcock who had to use his baton to disarm the man and subdue him.

David was rushed to hospital but died from massive blood loss.

Two weeks prior David Barr was recommended for a commendation for bravery following his role  in disarming a crazed gunman at Ingle Farm on July the 10th.  Barr and several of his colleagues wrestled the man to the ground, seconds after one of the officers had fired a warning shot from his service revolver as the man pointed a shotgun at him.

David Barr

David was born 6 weeks premature weighing 3lbs in Glasgow, Scotland in 1959 the eldest of two sons to David & Sarah Barr.  The family migrated to Australia in 1969 when David was 9 years of age.  He attended primary and secondary schools in  Elizabeth and was above average in scholastic ability but a quiet and thoughtful in behaviour.  He had a close circle of friends and maintained these for a number of years.

David Barr                                                  David Barr

As a teenager he expressed interest in being a police officer and leaving school at 16years he applied to join the force as a police cadet.  His first application was unsuccessful on the grounds that he was “not sporty enough”.   He was very disappointed but joined the local Rugby Club to develop his physique and enhance his prospects of acceptance into the police.  He was encouraged to re-apply that same year and was accepted.

He attended at Fort Largs Academy in August 1976 and graduated in December 1978 and developed close friendships with several other cadets which were maintained until the time of his death.  The offender Lindsay Allan Fry, 42 was arrested at the scene by David’s partner Constable Jamie Lewcock who had to use his baton to disarm the man and subdue him.

Whilst undertaking his police studies he was also a member of the CMF.  He loved his work as a police officer, and continued his studies and applied for the  Commissioned Officers course.  At one stage he was offered a desk job that included the prospect of promotion but rejected this in favour of staying on patrol.

David Barr

He married his wife Gwenda in 1981 and they had two daughters. 

David Barr

However this terrible deed had an effected so many people.  His wife  Gwenda was devastated at the time and passed away about 9 years later after a battle with cancer.  His partner at the time of his death Constable Jamie Lowcock will never forget that awful day when his mate was murdered and remembers the incident every time he sees a knife.  Jamie was awarded a bravery medal for the capture and disarming of Fry.

His parents recall that on the day of his death they received notice that David had been accepted into the Commissioned Officers Course.

The offender Lindsay Allan Fry 42yrs of age was charged and convicted of the murder of David Barr and was sentenced to 30years imprisonment.  Fry had a history of violent attacks against police  officers, and was also involved in a violent struggle with Correctional Services officers in a corridor behind the court soon after he was sentenced to  imprisonment.  One officer was hit from behind and another officer was slammed into a wall.  A shout of help by one of the officers was clearly heard in the court and a police officer in court to hear the sentence leapt into the dock and through the door to aid the two officers.  Fry was eventually subdued. On another occasion the court was told that Fry had attacked a police officer with a tomahawk.  Fry was also involved in an assault outside John Martin’s Department store in Rundle Mall the day before the murder when he had pulled a knife on a women handing out vouchers because he could not get one.  The following day he robbed a restaurant employee who was waiting at the Salisbury interchange. 

From the Advertiser 14/3/92 a quote from Justice Mulligan” who was reported as rejecting evidence Fry had been struck by Constable Lewcock at an earlier stage in the incident prior to Constable Barr being involved. He said Constable Lewcock’s actions were entirely appropriate and showed considerable restraint.  The courts must do what they can to stop violence against police on duty.”

David’s workmates at Para Hills were counselled for some time by Sgt Dowd a psychologist.  He stated in an article reported in the Advertiser “Because police mix with police socially, many wives are good friends with other policemen’s wives and it’s not just a case of losing one of your husband’s friends but you lose one of the family.  Everyone realises how vulnerable they are”

David Barr                                 David Barr

The actions of Fry affected his partner, his workmates and their families, David’s family and  witnesses to the murder itself.   Fry was never released and died in custody.

A trust fund was established for the family of David by the Police Association and raised in   excess of $90,000.00 and was of considerable assistance to his widow and daughters.

July was a very difficult month for Police Officers with the death also of Constable Gordon Loft when he was working at Speed Detection and was brutally run down by a speeding car which did not stop.  Once again tragedy struck when Gordon’s wife Pauline, was later killed in a car accident at Vale Park.  The children of both tragedies were at the National Police Remembrance Day at Fort Largs Academy.  After Nicola and Sarah Barr had laid their wreaths at the memorial they ran to the side of Melissa Loft to comfort her and a friendship developed.

David Barr                 David Barr

The Police Funerals for both David Barr and Gordon Loft were both held at the Centennial Park Cemetery and both were attended by just about every police officer who could be spared and both were very moving. 

The training centre at Elizabeth Police Station was later dedicated to David Barr and is now known as the David Barr Memorial Training Centre.

David Barr

The Dorothy Pyatt Gallery now proudly displays the framed memorial to David Barr presented by his parents David and Sarah several months ago.  A memorial wall is currently being prepared for all police officers killed in the execution of their duty.

David Barr



Our  sincere thanks to David and Sarah Barr for assisting the preparation of this article with photographs and other information.


David Aylett.
31/5/1945 - 28/6/2010.

David Aylett

Esteemed regular "Thursday Group" volunteer, passed away on Monday the 28th June 2010 after a long illness.

David will be remembered for his work with the (now restored) Chrysler Royal and FJ Holden 'police cars', and also the 'Uniform Collection'.

He will be sadly missed.



The Advertiser, Wednesday 25 October 1905, page 8. (By "Semitone.")

Mr. W. S. Gilbert is responsible for the statement that "a policeman's lot is not a happy one." That may be the case in England, but if Mr. Gilbert could have seen an Adelaide policeman at band practice it is quite likely that the policeman's song in the "Pirates of Penzance" would have been written in a different strain.  The South Australian Police Band was formed some twenty years ago. The late Mr. W. J. Peterswald was Commissioner of Police at the time, and the first bandsmaster was Mr. Robert Howlett.   Of the original band there are four performers who still parade with the band, viz., Messrs. W. Jackson Graves, George Johns, William Renfrey, and William McDonald. The greatest trouble the Police Band has had to encounter and grapple with is the replacement of capable musicians.   Commissioner Madley has always insisted that qualifications for admission to the force shall be a policeman first, musician after. If a candidate combines the two, so much the better for the force.


Most bandmasters like to get their material young and plastic, but Mr. Davey has to be thankful to get even a player now and again, and that he makes good use of the material which comes to hand is evidenced by the playing.   The Commissioner is naturally very proud of the band, and where it does not interfere with police duty will always grant permission for it to assist in a charitable demonstration, but under no consideration will he allow it to compete with other bands in the matter of engagements.   On the occasion of the Broken Hill South disaster the Police Band raised the splendid sum of £125 as a result of a benefit concert.
The band is self-supporting, and when funds get low it runs a concert. The Police Band concerts always attract large attendances.  The band entered for the B grade contest run by the A.N.A. at the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition in 1902, and won easily, despite the fact that it was handicapped in the matter of players, being able to muster only l8 men as against 24 in competing bands.   It also won all solos entered for.   The present bandmaster (Mr. T. H. Davey) is a most painstaking conductor, and he spares neither time nor trouble in his attempts to make the Adelaide Police Band a musically body of men.   He has been in his present position for twelve and a half years, and succeeded Signor Squarise, who had charge of the band for a short season.   The band is at present hard at work on a selection entitled "Reminiscences of Rossini."   There is a history attached to this selection.   It is the only copy of the work in existence, having been prepared and arranged by Mr. Alexander Owen, bandmaster of the celebrated English band, "Besses o' the Barn," and played by them on hundreds of occasions.
The band won so many contests on this selection that the contest committees barred a band playing as own choice any selection by which they had previously gained a prize.   Mr. Owen thereupon decided to destroy the MS.S., but Mr. J. Dixon, who toured Australia a few years back, persuaded the bandmaster to give it to him.   Mr. Owen did so on the distinct understanding that it was not to be used in England.   Mr. Dixon gave his promise, and forwarded the precious copy to his friend, Mr. T. H. Davey.   The Police Band is at present hard at work rehearsing this beautiful arrangement from the works of the greatest master of the Italian school of music, and will, no doubt, regale the public with it at no distant date.

Charlie Tredrea
Bushrangers in Adelaide?      
By Charlie Tredrea

When we hear of Bushrangers we immediately think of big burly strong, bearded men armed and on horseback.  In fact though there have been many youthful bushrangers across all states of Australia including a couple in South Australia.
On a cold July day in 1922, on a Tuesday a farmer, Frederick de Caux, from the Willunga district on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 50 kilometres south of Adelaide, was held up at gun point by an (almost) 15 year old lad.  Norman Wilfred Baker, 14 years and 10 months was also from the Willunga district and lived with his Father about eight miles out of the township.

Baker was on horseback, wearing a military overcoat and armed with a rifle and pistol and 130 rounds of ammunition.   He forced the farmer to hand over his purse with 28/- and then went on the run.
This event on the 22nd of July 1922 caused a sensation and was widely reported in the press in all states from Hobart to Darwin.  The headlines in ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’, Saturday 29 July 1922, page 11 read “BOY BUSHRANGER.  AT LARGE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.”  ‘The Brisbane Courier’, Saturday 29 July 1922, page 7, read “BOY "BUSHRANGER” BUSH ESCAPADES.  POLICE IN PURSUIT.”
The police were informed and together with an Aboriginal tracker searched the area of dense scrub.   The boy’s father stated that his son got into a rage the previous Sunday, and the next morning "cleared out, taking with him two rifles, ammunition, bread, a tin of jam,  wearing an army overcoat had only the clothes he wore and leaving the following note;  "I am going to have a short life and a merry one.”  He intended bailing up everyone he met next day and was going to shoot to kill.  “Don’t tell anyone about what occurred last night, or I’ll blow your brains out, both of you,  Norm.”
The boy had been reading books such as ‘Four years of Australian life in Queensland’ and ‘History of the Kelly Gang’, and doubtless the influence of the books had fired his imagination.
Police searched the surrounding country, which is covered with dense scrub for several days and on Thursday discovered that a hut used by an employee of an N. Brookman had been entered and provisions and two rugs removed. 
With the aid of an Aboriginal tracker the police traced the boy to Prospect Hill, which is further north, and found traces of a camp fire, but there, their search ended.  On Friday,   S. Dodd, of Prospect Hill reported to the police that he had seen a lad answering the description of Baker near his property.  The lad, however, soon eluded his pursuers in the scrub. 
Later further information was received from Kangarilla, a near-by township, that a robbery had occurred there, and another party of police are searching the countryside in that vicinity.
Then on Friday night he was arrested in bed at the farm of his parents, near the township of Willunga, after his Father notified police.   He appeared before the local Magistrate the next morning.
According to the evidence of a police witness, the boy, while being conveyed to the lock up, stated that on the occasion one of the constable's in search of him had come within a short distance while he was hiding in the bush.  If the constable had come within 10 yards of him he intended to shoot him through the chest.
Baker pleaded guilty to robbery-under-arms and was committed for trial at the next criminal court sittings in Adelaide.   Bail was refused.
Then in March 1923 Baker escaped from Magill reformatory on a Sunday night, but was arrested at Strathalbyn on the following Wednesday dressed in his father’s clothes, and carrying a blanket and three knives.   He said that he had been hiding in the scrub near Willunga, and had stolen his food supplies in small quantities from his father's house.

Willunga Police Station and Courthouse in High Street built in 1855 and used as a Police Station until 1929.
Now restored by the National Trust.



The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 29 January 1931, page 10.



ADELAIDE, Wednesday.

The Government has decided to make a reduction of one per cent, in the wages of police from January 31. The Commissioner of Police and the principal officers are not included in the reduction.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), Tuesday 30 November 1926, page 11


Drunkenness Denied.


ADELAIDE, Monday -Resentment is being experienced by members of the South Australian  police force at the statement included
in the annual report of the commissioner of police (Mr R. H. Leane) to the Chief Secretary that the principal offence which occurred
during the year in the force was that of over-indulgence in liquor.   The matter is to be discussed at the annual meeting of the Police
Association on Wednesday when the executive will submit a motion protesting against the statement with a recommendation
that it be forwarded direct to the Chief Secretary.   Police officials point out that during the period under review only three men
were charged with drunkenness.   Two were fined and the charge against the third was not sustained.  The statement of the
commissioner is described as extravagant.


The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 24 June 1916, page 14


ADELAIDE, Thursday.

Sub-Inspector Thomas Edward has been appointed Commissioner of Police, in succession to Mr. W. H. Raymond, who retires under the age limit; and a new position - that of superintendent of metropolitan police and detective forces - has been created and filled by the appointment of sub-inspector Priest, formerly superintendent of detectives.  The number of sub-inspectors of the force have been increased and other changes brought about.




   The next meeting on Friday the 6th August 2010 at 7.30pm will feature Chief Superintendent Michael Cornish who will be speaking about the new Academy currently under  construction. 


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On Saturday the 29th May, Thursday the 3rd, Tuesday the 8th, Wednesday 9th and Thursday the 10th June various volunteers managed to finally clear the entire Archive area of some 600 archive boxes, 4 draw filing cabinets, desks chairs and other items.  The Asbestos removal process commenced on  Tuesday the 15th June and will continue for some weeks. 

The documents have been transferred into standard archive boxes and sent to a repository for temporary storage until the asbestos removal is completed.  It is then planned to purchase a double compactus to be installed in this area and when the boxes are returned there will be another working bee to sort, re-organize and cull where necessary before replacing the boxes into the new storage facility.  Planning is well underway for this process but to all the hard working volunteers, a job well done in record time.







At 2-00pm on Sunday the 13th June 2010, the Historical Society hosted the Glynde Lutheran Church Group who enjoyed Devonshire Tea and visits to the mounted, vehicle museum and the museum.  Kevin Beare (V/President), Di Lugg, Geoff  Rawson (Scone maker), President Bill Prior, Max   Griffiths, Bethany Boettcher and Kevin Johnson entertained the group of 24 who thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon.






On Sunday the 27th June the Society hosted the Erimus Group and the Christies Beach Neighbourhood Watch for a tour and Devonshire Tea from midday.  Volunteers Kevin Beare, Di Lugg, Ray Freak, Mary Furnell, Max Griffiths, Bethany Boettcher and Helen Ward, entertained the 34 visitors who had a very enjoyable visit.



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"I know where everything is I think"

Stewart Munro at work before the archive room cleanout. 


"How can I be 25cents out!"

Treasurer Tony Woodcock in his officer pondering a bill.


Kevin Beare attended the Probus Club Parkholme on Friday the 11th June 2010, speaking about Drugs in the community.  Kevin’s talk is in high demand and I overheard one of the members discussing the talk in our local chemist shortly afterward.  The 24 members including retired officers Dudley Denton and Mal Easton.  Well done Kevin.


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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


Charlie Tredrea

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