INSIDE THIS ISSUE
SAPOL RECOGNITON OF SOCIETY’S 30 YEARS SERVICE.
The special history day at Thebarton Barracks on 29th, which involved our volunteers catering for about 120 people. The Commissioner Mr Mal Hyde presented the Society with a framed certificate of appreciation for the 30years of service provided by the Society to SAPOL in assistance and preservation of our police history.
My thanks to the many volunteers on the day who assisted with the immense task of catering, providing a huge supply of scones for the Devonshire tea. Holger Kruse, ably assisted by Alan Peters, Dave Aylett and Tony Kaukas managed to sell $356.00 from the memorabilia display.
Visits to the musuem by the Largs Bay Probus Club, Bruce Scotland and his band of retired troopers, Gawler Veteran and Vintage classic car club, Police Anzac Day at Fort Largs, the Chrysler Royal used on 20th to raise money for motor neuron disease and the escort of Max Arthur for his 80th Birthday party. Max was an early speed cop well known to many traffic members and he was in tears when he saw the old BSA motor cycles escorting his vehicle to his luncheon. The Society received a generous donation for their assistance.
We will open our museum to the public for History Week on Sunday May 18th and would appreciate the assistance of some volunteers to assist. This Open Day will be a much simpler affair with all galleries of the museum and vehicle museum open and videos with tea and coffee in the meeting room. If you are interested in being involved please notify the secretary Owen Bevan or myself.
Copies of the History Trust’s Programme booklet, giving details of all events planned for the week 16th to 25th May, are available from the Society.
On Friday the 2nd of May our Monthly Meeting was attended by 41 members, as per the visitors’ book,. There were many apologies as a result of Tattoo duties but we enjoyed an interesting talk by Trevor Peart who spoke about the West Terrace cemetery and many of it’s notable residents. I thanked Trevor for his talk and presented him with a copy of Tale of the Troopers and a Certificate of Appreciation.
The raffle raised $86.00.
Tony Woodcock in his Treasurer’s report revealed a healthy balance of $40,579.86 and we are now in a position to spend some of that money.
Jim Sykes presented a brand new Samsung 19” TV to the Society for the museum to replace the existing unreliable television VCR combo. Jim was thanked for his generosity.
The meeting closed with members enjoying supper and fellowship.
Our next meeting June 6th will feature Supt Terry Harbour who will give an illustrated talk on the tragic aircraft crash which occurred in the Spencer Gulf near Whyalla in which all occupants perished. Hope to see you there.
On Sunday 13th April, 2008 a large number of our members attended a very moving ceremony, held in the Police Anzac Memorial Garden, in memory of serving South Australian Police Officers who died on active service for Australia during World Wars 1 & 11 and U.N. peace-keeping duties.
President Geoff Rawson laid the wreath on behalf of the Society and Life Member Dorothy Pyatt OAM presented the commemorative address., honouring M.C. Louis T. Parsons, who was killed in action in World War 1. Dorothy has kindly provided a copy of this address as follows:-
Today as we both mourn and honour our fallen Police Officers let us pause to reflect on the life of one of them.
Louis Thomas Parsons was born in 1888 at Booleroo Centre into a farming family. He was the fifth of six children. He grew up in a loving environment.
He came to manhood taking his place in the affairs of his town, joining the local Rifle Club, where in 1912 he was awarded a Gold Medal for being “The Most Gentlemanly And Unselfish Player”.
Lou learnt the trade of blacksmith and spent some time in the mines at Broken Hill. In 1914 he joined the South Australian Police and became a Mounted Constable, serving at Adelaide and country districts, but in that year Australia became a country at war. Like many other young men Lou felt the call of duty.
He was granted leave and joined the A.I.F. on the 1st of December 1915. He soon found himself in that special comradeship which bonded together the new recruits at the old Exhibition Camp. In March 1916 they left by troopship for overseas. En route they called at other countries. These were new and exotic experiences for Lou.
Soon they were in France with their Battalion, the 27th and Lou was made a Lance Corporal.
By July 1916 Lou was at the Battle of the Somme where men fought in the most horrendous conditions.
In the early hours of the 5th of November the Battalion was ordered to attack near a small place called Flers. It was cold and raining. Mud was knee deep. The ground to be crossed was ploughed by shell-fire, with craters half-filled with water. It was during this action that Lou was posted “Missing”.
His family was advised of the dreadful news. Eight months later the Army convened a Court of Enquiry and he was officially listed “Killed in Action”.
His anxious mother wrote a sad letter to the Army, requesting that her son’s belongings be sent to her, saying, “I have heard of other mothers getting things from their sons and why not. It is so hard not to get what belongs to a mother. I have waited patiently but nothing comes yet.”
His effects were forwarded to her. The pathetic list reads; “Scarf. Belt. Pack of cards. Match Box Cover. Pocket Knife. Military Book.”
Despite this his mother could never accept that her son had been killed. She clung to the hope that he was somewhere and would one day return to her.
Lou has no known grave. His name is inscribed on the Monument in the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, in the War Memorial of Australia and his own District Council.
Lou’s mortal remains lie forever in the soil of France. He will be forever remembered by South Australian Police.
I quote some words written by a man who was there and who also sadly lost his life.
“To you from failing hands we throw the torch;
Be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though Poppies grow in Flanders fields.”
For some time Chas Hopkins, assisted by Jim Sykes, has been recording his reminiscences as a retired member of the Homicide Squad.
These stories give us an insight into the life of a Homicide Detective and Chas. has kindly given us permission to
print these in the Hue & Cry.
A Murder at Largs Bay and the Essential Clue:
In 1955, a married couple decided to sleep outside on the front lawn because it was an oppressively hot night, and they lived near the cooling sea. While sleeping, the man was violently attacked and stabbed in the throat. He grappled with the attacker, but fell to the ground fatally wounded. His assailant fled, but left behind a battered kitbag which contained a towel and a cork. These kitbags were in common use at the time.
No motive could be found for this crime, and the wife of the deceased could not assist in identification of the offender, because it was quite dark at the time. Through media publicity about the kitbag and towel, we asked anyone who could provide potentially useful information to contact us. However, no such information came to light.
As time passed and no further information was forthcoming, it was decided to concentrate on the cork, which had a number of stars printed on one side.
No positive outcome was expected from this, but enquiries were made of cork distributors, who disclosed that most corks came from Portugal, and that there were several grades. The one found in the kitbag was tested and it was discovered that it was of high quality, indicating that it was used in a high quality product. Further enquiries relative to the shape, grade and markings on the cork suggested that it was possibly from a bottle of liqueur manufactured in Europe, but not generally known here.
We thought it likely that the offender lived in one of the western or north-western suburbs, probably within reach of Largs Bay, and that it was possible that he had used public transport to get there. We also believed that the offender must have been mentally disturbed, and knowing that many migrants lived in the western suburbs, we wondered whether he was in fact one who had been affected psychologically as a result of the terrifying experiences of World War II.
We decided to contact hotels, wine shops and other outlets for liqueurs, and to do this systematically, starting near Outer Harbour and working south along the peninsula and then eastward if necessary. Eventually the proprietor of a wine shop in Cheltenham informed police that a young man called every fortnight, possible on his pay-day, to buy a bottle of liqueur, made and bottled in Eastern Europe. This man was the only person to buy such a product, but the proprietor did not know his name or address.
Following this a close watch was kept on the premises, and eventually the young man was apprehended.
It turned out that he was indeed a migrant, that he was of Eastern European nationality, and that he had suffered considerably during the war. He was employed at Simpson Industries at Dudley Park. His job was to test new washing machines, and corks were used in testing the machines. They were put into the ends of hoses to prevent water spillage. These matched the cork found at the scene of the crime.
His landlady was contacted, and she identified the towel and kitbag as those of the young man.
The man was arrested and charged but, before the case went to court, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the insane.
As a result of a conversation with a Jessica Male at our Display at the Mount Barker Agricultural Show on Saturday 24th March; Jessica brought her grandfather John Gordon and grandmother Jackie to our Thebarton Museum on Thursday 3rd April. They were given a special tour of the whole complex, including the Museum, Motor Vehicle display, the Stables and our Administration & Meeting Building.
As a result John not only made a donation to the Society, bought a copy of “Blue on Grey” he also paid his $15.00 to the treasurer to become a member of our Society.
John was particularly taken with our Photo Gallery recognizing quite a large number of officers with whom he served. Of special interest were those taken by late Sub. Inspector Paul Foelsche of NT fame, with the highlight being a large photo of the 1940 Police Band in which he served, immediately recognizing himself & other members.
JG now resides in Western Australia and has vivid memories of his police service both in SA & NT. John Gordon is aged 89. He joined the SA Police on the 16th March 1936 and was sworn in on the 13th September 1940.
He remembers residing in tents by the Parade Ground about where the Dormitory Block is now situated.
He saw uniform service in the Mounted, Police Band,
Glenelg, Port Augusta, Naracoorte, Penola, Frances, Gawler, Riverton, Morgan & Blackwood. Joined the NT Police in 1947 and served there until his retirement.
From the Achives.
From "The News" 23rd October 1962.
LIGHT SHED ON OUTER SPACE INVASION.
“Quick, a craft has just landed from out space”.
These words awake Constable Robert Rice, of Mannahill, South Australia, from his sleep at 2 am today.
Mannahill is 221 miles from Adelaide and 95 miles from Broken Hill. It is 250 miles east of Woomera.
The words spoken to Constable Rice were from a NSW station owner, Mr. F. Fotheringham, who was returning home along the Broken Hill road. Mr. Fotheringham, who, according to Constable Rice, was quite frightened, said that he had just seen an object with flashing lights land on a hill not far from the Broken Hill road.
Soon reports of the lights from farmers and railwaymen were flowing into Constable Rice and the Adelaide police. Before long the story had snowballed.
The Supply Minister Mr. Fairhall, was wakened in Canberra and asked whether a Woomera rocket had gone off course and exploded.
Newspapers, radio stations, and Government officials throughout Australia received dramatic reports that there had been a tremendous explosion at the Woomera Rocket Range. But, at 6-30 am the mystery was solved.
Constable Rice, who had been up looking at the flashing light since 2 am, with Mr Fotheringham and other townspeople, decided to investigate. He drove 12 miles south-west of the town, walked 1 ½ miles across paddocks to the hill.
The object was a PMG beacon. It stood about 8 ft high and had a red and white revolving light.
Constable Rice said today, “I don’t know what it’s doing there but I wish to heck someone would have told us they were going to switch it on. “It was serious business at first, but I’m beginning to see the funny side of it now.
“It looks as though I’m the laughing stock of the country.
The State Director of Posts and Telegraphs, Mr. J.R. O’Sullivan, commenting on the light, said: “This is a red flashing light being used by department officers engaged in surveying the route for the program channel between Adelaide and the National TV station to be erected at Broken Hill.
Great accuracy is essential, and pin-spotting for survey purposes can better be achieved by using the light at night”
We Welcome you …….
Friday 6th June, 2008 at 8.00 pm.
SPEAKER: Retired Superintendent Terry Harbour.
Terry will give an illustrated talk on the tragic aircraft crash, which occurred in Spencer Gulf near Whyalla, several years ago, in which all the occupants perished.
Terry was the Officer in Charge of the Whyalla area at the time & directed the police operations & search associated with the event.
LARGS BAY PROBUS —2nd April, 2008.
20 members from this club enjoyed a morning video session and museum tour with Society Volunteers.
RETIRED TROOPERS—4th April, 2008.
30 troopers, partners & friends, joined volunteers for morning tea, videos & barracks tour. We were fortunate to be able to take the group through the Stables & they also met Police Dog Diesel & his partner Andy. This visit was arranged by Bruce Scotland. It was great for society members to catch up with some old friends & make several new ones.
Life member Dorothy Pyatt with 2 descendants of Louis Parsons, Yvonne Nicholson from Port Augusta & her sister who made a special trip from Brisbane.
POLICE ANZAC—13th April, 2008.
See article on Page 5 of this edition.
CLAYTON’S CRUISE FOR MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE—20th April, 2008.
Historical Society members Kevin Johnson & Mark Dollman, riding BSA motor cycles, followed by Ernie McLeod in the Chrysler Royal led a motor cavalcade of some 200 classic motor vehicles from various car clubs from Colonnades Shopping Centre, Noarlunga to the Police Academy at Fort Largs.
The event, organised by Port Adelaide Police, was held to raise money for Motor Neurone disease research, as Snr. Sergeant Clayton LeClereq of Port Adelaide is currently suffering from the disease.
The event through donations and the process of a BBQ & drink sales raised $4,130.00
BLACKWOOD LEGACY CLUB—22nd April, 2008
Vice President Kevin Beare, spoke to 40 very appreciative members of this Club at the RSL Hall, Blackwood.
GAWLER VETERAN VINTAGE CLASSIC VEHICLE CLUB.
MODBURY NATIONAL SENIORS GROUP - 23rd April, 2008.
60 adultS & children from these groups joined volunteers for videos, Devonshire tea & a tour of the barracks.
80th Birthday Celebrations—27th April, 2008.
80th Birthday celebration (Max Arthur) —Sunday 27th April.
Kevin Johnson & Mark Dollman led a limousine conveying retired Sergeant Max Arthur from his home to the Buckingham Arms Hotel at Gilberton.
POLICE FOUNDATION DAY—28th April, 2008.
Refer to President’s Report (Page 3).
SPECIAL POLICE HISTORICAL DAY—Tuesday 29th April, 2008.
See President’s Report Page 3.
It has been a tremendous task for our volunteers to bring the Museum up to a standard where we were happy to return to group visits. On History Day, politicians, former & serving members of SAPOL, members of the public as well as our own volunteers, were invited to view the restoration of the historic buildings at the barracks. Many extra hours had to be put in to ensure everything was in order. Everyone did a great job & we thank all those who assisted.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE?
When Grandma Goes to Court:
Lawyers should never have asked a Mississippi grandma a question if they weren’t prepared for the answer.
In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked “Mrs. Jones, do you know me? She responded “Why yes, I do know you Mr. Williams, I’ve known you since you were a boy, and frankly you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a big shot when you haven’t the brains to realise you’ll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes I know you.”
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?” She again replied, “Why yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can’t build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.” The defense attorney nearly died.
The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said “If either of you idiots ask her if she knows me, I’ll sent you both to the electric chair.”.
The “HUE & CRY” is Published by the
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539