Hue and Cry


North Terrace east - 1884 - 1886.

Front Cover

Foot Police marching with Police Band leading, North Terrace, Adelaide

North Terrace east looking east from corner King William Street. 

 1884 - 1886

On Friday the 4th of March about 50 members attended our monthly meeting at Thebarton Barracks where our guest speaker Terry Arnott treated us to a very interesting talk.  Terry is a marine archaeologist who spoke about the whaling history of South Australia.  New pages of South Australia were revealed as Terry showed a number of slides of various locations around the state where whaling stations had been set up in the 1820s by dropping off families at remote locations for up to 9 months at a time, hunting whales and living off the land.  It was very pleasing to see Isabel Brooks looking well, back with us after a trip to hospital. 

Foundation day will be held in Victoria Square on Thursday the 28th April 2005 and will celebrate “Women in Policing” focusing on Kate Cocks and Annie Ross, the pioneers who established the first Women Police Force in the empire on 1st December 1915, nearly 90 years ago. 

On Sunday the 22nd of May we will host an open day at the Thebarton Police Barracks as part of History Week.  Three galleries of the museum will be open, and our historic vehicles will be on display in the parade ground.  Various forms of interest and entertainment will include, police rangers band, mounted operations unit, dog squad demonstrations. We will be hoping for plenty of volunteers to assist us to make this a successful open day so if you are interested, please contact the society with your details. We will give you more information in our next issue.

Our next meeting will be at 8.00 p.m. on Friday 1st April where our speaker will be former Deputy Commissioner Mr. Neil McKenzie APM – his topic – “Do you remember when – Landmark Events over last 40 years”.  Our speaker for our May Meeting will be the current Commissioner Mr. Mal Hyde APM.  So over these next two meetings we will be given an insight to Policing in South Australia both past and present.   



Closing of the SA Police Switchboard.

  Back row L-R   Judy Bemmer, Lorraine Masters, Sandy Dicker, Naomi Ellis, Rebecca Wiese, Barbara Lugg.
Front row L-R   Dianne Elson, Rose Bowden, Gill Bemmer, Shirley Hayward, Margaret Spry. 

For the last couple of years there were only 4 Switchboard operators.  Those being Margaret Spry, Lorraine Masters, Helen Rainsford (not pictured) and Barbara Lugg.  The other ladies moved on to ‘greener pastures’ several years ago.

 Sandy Dicker went to the Call Centre; Noami Ellis to Adelaide LSA Administration;  Judy Bemmer to Education Dept;  Rebecca Wiese to Expiation Notice Branch;  Dianne Elson to RAH Radiology;  Rose Bowden to Elizabeth LSA Admin Support.

Lorraine Masters to Adelaide Criminal Justice; Margaret Spry – temporary position in Call Centre; Helen Rainsford (not pictured) – temporary position in Call Centre;  Barbara Lugg to Communications Branch Administration;   Shirley Hayward and Gill Bemmer retired.


Margaret Spry.answering the last call on that day


The “Tour Down Under” (week commencing 18/1/05) featured the Chrysler Royal for the whole week with many of our volunteers involved.  Plenty of interest was shown in the old vehicle, and it worked very hard (not as hard as the cyclists) keeping up with the pace car.  With the sponsor vehicles following, the parade made a spectacular sight ahead of the athletes who averaged 40KPH over all the races, up and down hill.
Elees Pick and Shirley Hayward attended the closing ceremony of the police switchboard on Friday the 25th February 2005 after 45years of operation.  Shirley was a switchboard operator for many years on the 9th floor
 (1 Angas Street).

Society volunteers were involved in this year’s Tour Down Under.

“The Policeman’s Eye” a photographic exhibition of the work of Paul Foelsche.

On Friday the 18th February a number of members attended the opening of the “The Policeman’s Eye” a photographic exhibition of the work of Paul Foelsche (formerly the officer in charge Northern Territory police), at the Adelaide Museum on North Terrace.  This is a wonderful display and not to be missed, with photographs taken in the 1880s beautifully mounted and displayed.  There is much to learn from displays such as this, and thanks to Tony Kaukas we now have a considerable amount of material and information to help us with our photographic displays. 




Geoff Rawson

new members


Kevin & Marjorie  MORGAN
John PORTER (U.K.)

we welcome you

South Australian Police Camel Transport.

  By Chas Hopkins
Camels were introduced to the Department in approximately 1880, but had been in use in the State for about 40 years. They were first introduced to Australia by John Horrocks, the Explorer. Ironically, a camel also caused his death when it brushed against him when he was handling a firearm, causing it to discharge and fatally wounding him.

Inspector Besley,  who was Officer in Charge of the Northern Division in 1885, submitted a report for the information of the Commissioner of Police of Queensland, who had sought information regarding the use of camels for Police work in out back areas. The Inspector stated: "I have had five years experience with camels and found them to be suitable, safer and less expensive on the whole than horses for the far Northern Stations. The men like them better than horses, and in fact, they are the only safe animal to bridge over long tracts of waterless country so frequently met with in the far North of this province and the South Western portion of Queensland. In purchasing, I should recommend camels from 4 to 7 years old, not too heavy, but should be full master of 3 to 5 cwt, and they will get stronger and equal to more weight according to the stamp of the animal. The pack camels can average 20 miles per day for months, carrying from 4 to 6 cwt, travelling six days per week. In saddle they go much quicker and further, and some of ours, after a long journey, travelled home 50 miles per day for the last four days. This was done as a test, and their condition at the time of commencing, was not good. They eat greedily herbage and bushes no other animal will touch. The total absence of grass does not affect them if bushes are obtainable, and they generally are. They are good in hilly or stony country and do not require shoes, but they excel in the sandhills. They become useless in boggy places, inevitably after rain they slip a good deal, and if travelled, are liable to strain the triceps muscle at the shoulder, as their foot slips from them. In wet weather they should be at once removed to high ground, as they are easily bogged. They require no forage after the first few days from landing, if bushes are available. They are inclined to become tender footed if travelled quickly soon after landing. Mr. C. Care and  Company of Port Adelaide are agents for vessels trading to India, and import camels to order, and on speculation, I believe. I can safely recommend them as a reliable firm. They have imported camels for the Police and Crown Lands Departments, and they turned out excellent animals and cost 50 pounds each delivered at Port Adelaide. They are prepared to deliver more at that price now, for good riding camels, and young pack, or small animals, can be obtained for less money. They are likely to rise in value owing to the large sales of them in India for military purposes. There are camels here for sale from 65 pounds to 75 pounds each. I shall here mention that we have a
Police Station on the Diamantina, and only about 40 miles from Birdsville Station. Anyone who is kind and firm can easily manage camels after a few days amongst them

At this time, Inspector Besley advised that he needed 18 camels to efficiently cater for the needs of the Stations in the far North. The animals were later issued to Fowlers Bay, Tarcoola and Innamincka Stations. In the latter case, it was because the police horses were straying in excess of 25 miles from the Police Station, seeking fodder. The most camels owned by the Department was in 1889, when there were 30 in use.

When M.C. George Aiston was posted to Tarcoola at the turn of the century, he was required to travel on the Ghan train with his new bride to Coward Springs, and then proceed by camels to his new Station approximately 300 miles to the West [it was seven years prior to the laying of the line for the Trans Australian Railway].

Camels were last used in the Department at Oodnadatta Police Station in the early 1950's, and were then withdrawn from service. At that time, the condition of the outback road had improved, and 4 wheel drive vehicles were being introduced to those outback Police Stations. The Marree camels were turned loose on the Commonage in that area, when police stopped using them in about 1950. Information has been received that some of the originals and/or their descendants, are still roaming wild in the area.


did you know                    
                                                                                                      By Jim Sykes

In 1928

In May, Foot Constable Albert Thomas Dick when attending a disturbance, faced Robert Hefferan who aimed a double barrel 12 g. shot gun at him. He jumped aside as the gun was fired and the charge struck his coat but did not injure him. Hefferan was charged with attempted murder but was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Dick received compensation for the damage to his coat and was also recommended for a monetary reward.

In 1929

In 1930




It is not often we get an opportunity to spend time with our country members, but earlier this month we had a visit from Billie (Grace) Ewens.
Billie, who has now moved to Loxton, was given a cook’s tour of the Museum & entertained members of our Thursday Volunteer group with reminiscences of her husband Lance’s  time with SAPOL.

By the late John Sharp

I will always remember the time our patrol was sent to a family dispute in the city.  You could hear the yelling & language a full block away.  My partner and I went to the rear of the house where the noise was coming from & we saw several people lying around drunk.  There was a woman being bashed by a man, this woman was covered in blood, others were yelling abuse at one another; in fact, it resembled a real battle field.  I ran to the aid of the woman & tried to stop the man attacking her.  I pulled the man off the attack & held him on the ground so he could not hit the woman, who seemed to be in a bad state of shock & covered in blood.  By this time I was covered in blood also.  Within a few seconds of me pulling the man off the woman I felt several blows to the back of my body & head & heard a string of abuse & language coming from a woman.  I was the woman I had saved from further bashing, she kept saying “Leave my husband alone” & kept bashing at my head.  Eventually we all got up from the ground & the outcome from it was that the husband & wife were taken to the R.A.H. for treatment & later admitted to my custody.  They were both charged with offensive language that could be heard from a public place.  I learnt from that – If it’s a family dispute, do not rush to the scene, then when you get there they might be exhausted & it’s then you can pick up the bits without injury to yourself.

I was called to rock & roll dance at the Hackney Tramways Hall one hot evening – a disturbance was in full swing between two prostitutes in the hall.   The hall attendants were removing them as we arrived at the hall.  Both women were in a full punching match with each other.  The only onlookers were we three police officers.  I felt there had been enough fighting & stepped between these women.  I fast learnt not to step between 2 fighting women & especially prostitutes.  While one bashed at my face & chest, the other fell to the ground, reached up & grabbed my private parts, holding on so tightly that I bent forward in pain and as I did so the woman standing kicked me in the chest.  I learnt a lesson that evening also. In a fight like that, women use all the bad words in the book & they seem ton know more than men. I would rather be involved with a dozen men than two women fighting.

There have been many frightening experiences in my police career.  The one that comes to mind is – one summer night we were called to a house in Stepney by an Italian gentleman who said that his eldest son had gone mad & he was frightened that he would set the house alight.  His son was in his 20’s.  My mate & I duly arrived at the house & spoke to the father who then told us that he had a shotgun & a knife.  We went to the door of the bedroom, where he had locked himself, kicked the door open &, as we sneaked a look into the room, a large knife crashed into the wooden door with a terrible thud.  The blade of the knife, which was about 10 inches (25 cm) long was buried into the door up to the hilt, with most of the blade on the outside of the door right near my ear.  There was silence in the room & we ventured another look – the youth had gone, the window was open & he had disappeared out into the side street.  A quick search was made of the room for the shotgun without success.  We called for reinforcements before we moved onto the street.  Within a minute there was a patrol car with two traffic policemen, after conferring on the situation we went in different directions to locate the offender.  I went into the back yard of a local business, adjacent to the offender’s home.  There was a yard toilet & as I went behind it there was the youth with the shot gun pointed right at me.  I will never forget that experience – I stopped breathing, my heart thumped, my knees knocked, my brain worked overtime trying to think what I should do -–my eyes couldn’t believe what I saw.  There was double barrel pointed to my head with a deranged man on the other end.  I can tell you the barrels of that shot gun looked like to six foot Hume pipes, so large I could have walked own them.

Seconds later, when I calmed down, my brain went into action.  I started to remember what I had been taught at the Police Barracks during my training.    Unarmed Combat!   I brushed the shot gun away with my arm & within seconds had the offender on the ground, disarmed, whilst calling for assistance.  Again within seconds I had that support & we had to hand cuff him behind his back from his wrist to the opposite ankles across his back.  I pick up the shotgun & emptied both barrels of the cartridges.  That wasn’t the end of it, we now had to get him to the Parkside Mental Institution.  He became so violent in the police car that he had to be wrapped tightly in blankets from his home.  He stayed at Parkside for some months until his release.  He eventually married, built a lovely home & a couple of years later burnt it to the ground whilst going through one of his mental episodes.  I do not know what has happened to him since his return to Parkside.  This was an experience I never wish to go through again.  It happened several times later, but with people who you could reason with, which made it much easier. 

Thanks once again to Val Harvey for another item from the first edition of the
Adelaide News, with photographs from the Society’s archives.


  “Run for your life. Here comes Kate Cocks!”

There is a scatter of the little group of masculine & feminine anti-prohibitionists, leaving behind the receptacles containing liquid refreshment.
One would imagine that the officer who is head of the women police in Adelaide is a fearsome, awe-inspiring being, but when one has met & talked with her it becomes obvious that her cause is full of heart & helpfulness.
The fact that the qualifications necessary to the appointment of a woman to the police force are the same as those demanded of a man, & that the sexes are equal with regard to salary & conditions does not cause a wild rush on the part of women to be enrolled.  In this, as on every other profession, the successful are they who have a natural aptitude for the work.
Even the prospect of some day being a woman Commissioner of Police does not appeal to Miss Cocks.

“I would not do my work for mere money’s sake if they gave me ₤1,000 a year” she said, “The thought ever present with me is the good that I can do.  A police-woman must be sympathetic, patient, understanding & prepared to give up the leisure hours to which she is entitles if the call of duty comes.” 
While Miss Cocks was talking of her work another member of the staff came into the room for instructions from her chief, which meant for her a journey into the country with some detective work attached.  She went away cheerfully, not withstanding that it was her afternoon off.
“If folk will be so inconsiderate,” she said “as to do something wrong when it is my afternoon off, I must be philosophical about it.”


Victoria has three women police, South Australia has ten.
What is the inference?  That Adelaide’s morals are lower than Melbourne’s?  That there are more female delinquents in our city than across the border?  No, to both of these queries.  Rather let it be said that Adelaide is keenly alive to the necessity for preventative measures in dealing with young girls & saving them from social destruction, & that women are better qualified for this work than men.

Miss Cocks states that scarcely a day passes without the rescue of a girl from undesirable surroundings by the women police.

Here is an instance – one of many.  A girl came down from the country, ostensibly to go into service.  Her aged father had no tidings of her for some time, so he asked his son, also in the city, to find out the reason.  The young man went to the women police, who traced the girl to lodgings.
She was not in service, but was spared the necessity of working by the monetary help of a man boarder.  The women police requested an interview with this man, &, after a good deal of persuasion, he consented to marry the girl.

“Bring along a parson whenever you like” he said “& I’ll marry her”.
No time was lost, & now the girl can tell her aged father that all is well.

Another form of trap, into which guileless girls fall, is that of answering matrimonial advertisements.  Here again some instances were given of the work of the women police.

A man advertised for a wife, preferably a widow, because she might have a little of this world’s goods from her husband.  A widow answered the advertisement, & made the acquaintance of the wife hunter.  After a few weeks he persuaded her to sell her little house & property & to entrust the money to him.  He went through the form of marriage with her, having already, unknown to her, a wife & family.
The women police recognise the danger of these matrimonial advertisements for there are always plenty of young women, unsophisticated enough to answer them.
It is a big feather is their caps that in not a single instance have Miss Cocks & her staff failed to trace a young girl who has been reported missing.

Brig. Gen. Leane speaks in the highest terms of Miss Cocks.  He says that no one can know the tremendous amount of noble self-sacrificing work performed.  “She doesn’t tell me everything she does” he said “& I do not ask her.  I have implicit faith in her & her administration.”
Miss Cocks eulogised the work of the Travellers’ Aid Society & the Salvation Army.
“They are of the greatest assistance to us” she said “In fact every religious body & philanthropic society stands by us & helps us tremendously.  They believe, as we do, that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”.



Our next meeting will be at 8.00 p.m. on Friday 1st April where our speaker will be former Deputy Commissioner Mr. Neil McKenzie APM – his topic – “Do you remember when – Landmark Events over last 40 years”.  Our speaker for our May Meeting will be the current Commissioner Mr. Mal Hyde APM.  So over these next two meetings we will be given an insight to Policing in South Australia both past and present.   


FEBRUARY 6, 1909

Police Court. Moonta, February 2.
                  (Before Mr T.A. Bradshaw, S.M)
   ARTHUR DAW, laborer, Moonta, was charged on the information of Fred Luke, horsedealer, Moonta, with stealing his pocket book on the night of January 30.
   Plaintiff stated that on the night in question, he was in the vicinity of the Institute in George-street, when defendant, who had his arm around him put
his hand in his pocket.  Said "Don't come those games on me, I have no money on me."  Finding nothing in his trousers' pocket, defendant opened his vest and removed his pocket book.  He asked him to return it, but he refused to do so.  He threatened to inform the police, and Daw knocked him against the
institute wall.  He then went to the police station and informed Sergeant  Rolland.  He valued the pocket book at 1/6, which contained letters and papers
   Wm. Daly, of Weetulta, laborer, said he saw Luke and Daw near the Moonta Institute on Saturday night last, and heard the former ask for his pocket book.  Defendant swore, and said "Are you accusing me of taking your pocket book?  He then struck Luke, who fell down
   M.C. Webb said he arrested defendant and cautioned him, but he made no statement Fined £1 or seven days' imprisonment

Mr Emmitt, on behalf of Mr Uffindell, who appeared for defendant, asked for a remand until Friday, which was granted.
   He also asked for a reasonable bail; but, on the objection of the police, this was refused   Bail was, however, subsequently granted on a doctor's certificate being obtained.

REGISTER 30.7.1920...YOUNG MAN ATTACKED Slashed with Razor…
John Herbert Hill, a young man, received treatment at the Adelaide Hospital on Saturday night for a cut lip, which, he said, had resulted from being slashed with a razor by an assailant at the corner of Brown and Gouger Streets. Later Constable Kurtz arrested a man in Brown Street, and took him to the City Watchhouse, charged with assault on Hill. He gave the name of Frank Anderson, aged 38 years, of Adelaide. Accused will appear at the Adelaide Police Court this morning


With a gunshot wound in the chest, Mrs. Alice Elizabeth Paige, 22, of Muriel Street, Prospect, was taken in a civil ambulance to the Royal Adelaide Hospital yesterday afternoon and admitted in a serious condition.  Detective Vogelsang and FCC Cameron—Smith, who are investigating, have taken possession of a 22 calibre rifle.

A rookie police officer was out for his first ride with an experienced partner. A call came in telling them to disperse some people who were loitering. The officers drove to the street and observed a small crowd standing on a corner. The rookie rolled down his window and said, "Let's get off the corner people." A few glances, but no one moved, so he barked again, "Let's get off that corner... NOW!" Intimidated, the people began to leave, casting puzzled stares in his direction. Proud of his first official act, the young policeman turned to his partner and asked, "Well, how did I do?" Pretty good," chuckled the vet, "especially since this is a bus stop."

  Dave Aylett

Dave Aylett is another hard working member of the Thursday group who has been involved in almost every facet of volunteer work.

Dave worked in the department at the Nova Gardens workshops as a mechanic and his skills have been very useful within the society in relation to our historic vehicles.  He owns two fully vintage vehicles, which he has restored and has been involved in events such as the “Bay to Birdwood”

He is always available to drive the Chrysler Royal in parades, or attending at functions where the society is represented.

His skills as our resident BBQ chef are legendary.  He has organised most of the BBQ events for volunteers.

He will take on just about any task for the society, whether it is moving furniture or equipment, cleaning or data entry.  He is currently assisting Alan Peters with his research.

He has a very happy disposition and is respected by all.

Keep up the good work Dave
Thanks and well done!

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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