NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Back Row L-R: Bill Prior, Rex Greig, Tony Kaukas, Elees Pick, Allan Peters,
Bob Boscence, Bill Rojas
Front Row L–R : Tony Woodcock , Geoff Rawson , Owen Bevan Kevin Beare.
Our monthly meeting was held on Friday the 3rd but unfortunately our advertised speaker John Mc Ardle was unavailable, however, Owen Bevan was able to secure the services of Gordon Fenich at very short notice.
Gordon is a survivor of
and gave an informative and interesting account of his adventures during the war. He described his first adventure riding a motorcycle as a dispatch rider in Dunkirk Francewith little knowledge of where he actually was and after discovering that the enemy had broken through and sweeping towards his location was forced to travel for considerable time towards the beach ad Dunkirkwhere he was fortunate to board a Destroyer and returned to . He was later sent to England Indiavia . His talk was very entertaining and he was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a book. South Africa
The raffle conducted by Colin Beams was marked by celebration when it was announced that he was to be awarded the OBE for turning 80 this coming weekend. He was treated to a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday before conducting the raffle which raised $67.00.
This is proving to be a very busy year with our involvement in the Police Tattoo, Foundation Day, Open Day and the National Police Remembrance day in
in September. If you would like to assist us for Open Day please complete the form included in this issue and return it to Historical Section SA Police GPO Box 1539 Canberra 5001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be needing as many helpers for the day as possible. Adelaide
Our next meeting on 7th April will feature Ian Stratford who will be speaking about Colonial firearms and their uses. Hope to see you there.
Memoirs of the late Sergeant (Retired) Bob Clark (cont’d)
Hours of duty did not mean very much at that time as we were required to be in the Depot all the time with the exception of each alternate evening from 5.00 p.m. to midnight & every other Saturday until midnight.
Work for the day commenced when the bugle sounded at 6.00 a.m. & you went on to Parade to answer roll call. A mounted Inspector always appeared when the Sergeant was about half way through the process & took great pleasure in taking the salute. After roll call the foot police were free to retire to their tents & prepare for breakfast which was at 7.00 a.m. The Mounted men however had to go in to the stables & attend the horses, which had been allotted to them & clean out the stables which usually took about half an hour. We then retired to the showers & prepared for breakfast. At this time of the morning another group of men came into the depot. These were the volunteer wharf labourers & they were confined to a space on the opposite side of the area. They were picked up in the usual way as wharf labourers for duty on the various ships. These men were taking the jobs of the normal wharf labourers who were then on strike & were the reason for the big intake ofpolice at that time.
At 9.00 a.m. each day training began & we were divided into groups. The mounted to do horse riding, physical training, sword drill & instruction in law & the foot police did physical training, law instruction, marching & rifle drill.
Our physical training, marching drill & mounted drill were all carried out in a very efficient manner, but our instruction in law was very inadequate. Two members of the mounted branch were promoted to the rank of Sergeant to undertake the instruction but neither of them was competent to instruct in law.
Training continued from 9.00 a.m. to mid day & then from 2.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. each day & after that time the mounted men had to attend their horses & their work for the day ceased at 5.00 p.m.
From the outset of training I felt that the mounted men generally were a much more athletic group than those in the foot branch & generally a little smaller in stature. The mounted group was going through a much more diversified form of training than the foot police but their training was not so demanding. The Sergeant Instructor for the foot police was also the physical instructor for both branches & we used to see some of the foot police being required to do extra laps of the parade ground or extra push ups or other tasks because of being a bit slack. The whole thing changed in a matter of a few months & by the time the foot police were given their rifles they had become a very efficient marching group. After about six months of training, I would think this group compared very favourably in rifle & marching drill with groups of that type anywhere in the world. The only thing which made them look inferior to crack regiments was the uniforms they were required to wear & anyone who remembers the old foot police uniforms of those days will know that they were anything but glamorous but I guess they were not designed with that in mind.
The mounted police did have a much more colourful uniform especially when using the mounted uniform with helmets & swords but they were poorly served by the type of horses which were supplied for their use. In the main the horses used were the rejects. The best being kept at City Barracks where they were used on various occasions in street duty and at sporting functions.
On the whole I believe the Sergeant Instructor in charge of training of the foot police was much more demanding than our Sergeant and he was not afraid to make things tough for anyone who was not pulling his weight. The early training did however sort the men out and a few unsuitable ones were weeded out which was all to the good as those that fell by the wayside early were never likely to become efficient policemen.
The mounted Inspector always insisted on mounted men being proficient in sword drill & boasted that he was able to go through the whole exercise using either hand although I never saw him do that. The foot Inspector however was unskilled in the use of a sword & came a day when the Governor was to pay a visit to the Depot. The foot Inspector who was the Senior Officer was required to meet him on arrival & for this he had to take a few lessons from the instructors on how to carry the sword at attention.
The Governor duly arrived &, of course, contrary to all teaching the Governor put out his hand to shake hands with the Inspector. This was something that had not been foreseen by the instructors & the Inspector after a bit of fumbling put the sword over into his other hand & all went well but I imagine he was very relieved when the whole incident was concluded.
Apart from lectures by the Sergeants we were visited by & received lectures by the mounted Inspector & there was never any doubt that he regarded the mounted branch as being superior to the foot branch of the service.
After spending about 12 months sleeping in tents the Department brought in 10 prefab wooden buildings similar to those used as portable schools & they were divided into 5 separate cubicles with a passage running the full length of each with board floors and 2 men were billeted in each cubicle. Although these rooms were much more comfortable than the tents we still retained the old cyclone mesh beds, and shelf to keep your shaving gear on, but you still had to keep your clothes in your suitcase.
The facilities for meals also improved and portion of the large building which housed the horses was enclosed and fitted with doors and benches provided for the washing of dishes.
Our training had been scaled down quite a bit by this time & in between various jobs we enjoyed a bit more freedom in our sporting activities. One of the mounted constables who had been employed on Colabity Station before joining the force brought into the Depot an old water cooled Lewis motorcycle. We had a measured mile pegged out on an oval shaped cinder track & competitions were held as to who could do the fastest mile.
Unfortunately one chap who looked like beating the record, failed to take a fairly sharp bend at one end because his throttle had seized up & he disappeared into the horse stables and finally stopped the machine by picking out the wooden plug which held the hot water in the tank. It did, however, cause quite a bit of trouble amongst the horses as a result of which the Inspector put a total ban on motorcycle speed trials. I think the best speed the motorcycle would have been capable of would have been about 30 miles an hour.
In the early days of our training a crowd of us were assembled in the old orderly room where a set of boxing gloves were produced and members were invited to become acquainted with the art of boxing on a friendly basis. A mounted constable who was then the police heavy weight champion put the gloves on and one of the chaps of our group volunteered to have a couple of rounds with him. This chap had done a bit of boxing but was a lot lighter than the champ and when he donned the gloves believed it was just a friendly spar. The champion had other ideas and when found this chap knew a bit about the art he promptly flattened him. The Sergeant who was in the room said "You had no need to do that, Tom, that chap is just a new recruit." To which the reply was "I am the Police Champion, Sergeant & I intend to remain the Champion." In my opinion, which I think was shared by all present, this particular champion was a typical thug & did very little to maintain the prestige of the force. It so happened that a couple of years later that the two met in a very bitter heavyweight boxing encounter & the recruit was successful in winning the championship & this proved to be a very popular victory.
First Formation of the Police Vaulting Team 1929, under the instruction of Sgt. Instructor W. (Rajah) King.
L>R: K.McCarthy, R.L.Leane, H.L.(Jonnie) Walker, C.Nash, M.(Sandy) Napier, Sgt.Inst. Jack Grimshaw, Alf Wundersitz, Les Gray, R. Clark.
During this time I was one of 8 constables selected to form what became the original Police vaulting team. Horses were selected from the best of those available & they became the responsibility of each member to care for. We had special vaulting pads made up by a saddler, each member having to pay for his own. The pads in their original shape were not a great success being too wide at the girth & caused chafing to the horses they were finally adjusted & the training started in earnest.
Our instructor was an ex Indian Army Sergeant commonly known as Rajah who indicated only the way things should be done, no demonstrations, but he got the job done. Some difficulty was
experienced early in the training as the horses had a tendency to stop when the rider dismounted to
begin the vault but this was
overcome by using a saddle ridden horse in front of the group. It took some time for the team to become proficient, due in part, at least by the men chosen which unfortunately was due to men being selected by name rather than ability. It was also difficult because of the type of horse available. The best horses being kept for duty at the Adelaide Barracks & those left at Port Adelaide being only required for duty about the wharves.
Next Month - “Training continues “
Trevor & Beverley HAWTHORNE
John & Janet POCOCK
We Welcome you …
SPEAKER: Mr. Ian Stratford
Colonial firearms & their uses.
From the Advertiser 11 th August 1967.
UNIQUE COLLECTION OF POLICE BADGES
At the exhibition yesterday, the Governor & the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Mr. G.M. Leane) inspect photographs & medals of Brig. Gen. Sir Raymond Leane, Mr. Leane’s father, who was Commissioner of Police in SA between 1920 & 1944.
The Governor (Sir Eric Bastyn) yesterday opened a “unique collection” of more than 2,000 international Police Badges & 60 head dresses. He admitted that the display was a result of a suggestion he made to Government House Police orderly Constable Roy Harvey, now retired.
The collection, the Roy Harvey display of International police badges, is on view to the public on the seventh floor of the police building in Angas Street.
Mr. Harvey was police orderly at Government House for 20 years until he retired about three years ago.
He said his collection, which he had accumulated over 21 years, was valued at about $10,000 & was the only one of its kind in the world. It contained at least one badge from every country in the world and about 40% of the badges were no longer issued.
The original Nazi Police badge, & another from Moscow, which cost him 36 air mail letters over a period of 12 years, are in the collection.
The oldest badge was issued in 1905.
The opening was attended by the Premier (Mr. Dunstan) Cabinet Ministers, the Commissioner of Police
(Mr. J.G. McKinna) & senior police officers.
Mr. McKinna thanked Mr. Harvey for giving his collection to the department for permanent display. He also thanked Constables J. Wilton & J. Robison for making available the mounting & cabinets.
These items, together with part of John White’s extensive badge & hat collection are now on display in the first floor Roy Harvey Gallery of the SAPHS Museum & will be open for Public viewing on our Museum Open Day Sunday 21st May, 2006.
On Thursday 16th February, 2006 two of Sir
Raymond Leane’s descendants, Doug & Allen Leane visited the Museum & were greatly
impressed with our Museum, particularly the Badge Collection.
TOUR DOWN UNDER:
Rex Greig, Kevin Beare, Fran & Frank O’Connor, Helen & Bob Ward, Ernie McLeod, Mark Dollman,
Dave & Gaye Aylett, Kevin Johnson, Dennis Irgang & Holger Kruse represented
the Society at this very popular event..
AN EMBARRASSING INCIDENT
by Chas Hopkins
In the mid 1940’s when stationed at Whyalla Police Station, which at that time was outside a Local Government District (prior to the formation of the Whyalla Town Commission). At that time the local police had the role of performing numerous extraneous duties not normally associated with Police work.
It included the registration of dogs in the area, and the destruction of injured and stray animals if the owners could not be located. At that time the Broken Hill Proprietary Co. controlled the area by providing roads, electicity etc. to the residents.
When performing office duties at the Station one morning, Sergeant Ted Williams advised me he had received a phone call from a person requesting an injured dog be destroyed at Hambridge Terrace which at that time was a newly developed housing area by the SA Housing Trust.
He asked me to perform the task, so I obtained a hand gun and proceeded to the address given. On arrival, I could not locate anyone, and as I was leaving, a small Australian Terrier dog crawled out of a patch of potatoes growing in the garden, and it was dragging its hind legs. I presumed it had been injured and that the owner had left the house in order to miss the dog being destroyed. I then shot the dog and as it was a very hot day I covered it with a bag I found there. I then returned to the Station and forgot the incident.
Later that afternoon an acquaintance called at the Station in a very irate mood claiming that some “B” had shot his dog. He had a speech impediment and stuttered badly probably due to his agitation. It was difficult to comprehend what he was relating to, except that his complaint was highlighted with epithets he considered appropriate to describe the person who had shot his dog. I was very sympathetic to his claim and asked him questions to prepare a report. I asked him where he lived and he told me Hambridge Terrace and at the same time said, “The “B” covered the dog with a bag”.
At that stage my eyes nearly popped out in surprise, as it was only then that I realised his complaint was associated with the earlier incident.
I advised him what had occurred and that I had presumed the dog had been injured. He told me that it had suffered with arthritis for several years which had affected it to the extent that the only way it could get around was by dragging its hind legs.
He calmed down after a while and accepted that an understandable error had been made. He also advised that he had been thinking about having the dog put down because of the arthritis.
In hindsight, it was presumed a member of the public had witnessed the dog’s movements and believed it had injured itself. They therefore requested the police involvement.
The “HUE & CRY” is Published by the
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539