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Police Foundation Day 1993.

Serving & former Police personnel, together with Society volunteers & the horse drawn
Black Maria marching to Victor Harbor Heritage site at Warland Reserve for
unveiling of commemorative plaque.


   President Geoff Rawson.


On Friday the 1st May our 28th monthly meeting featured “Flight Angels” and the speaker John Hardy assisted by his wife Heather.  John showed a short video to introduce his subject and spoke of the wonderful work done by “Ground Angels” who transport people to hospital from various airports.  Flight Angels is an organization which assists people in remote areas by flying them major centers for medical treatment when the only other option would be lengthy road trips and is funded by donations.  The fuel bill alone for one year can amount to nearly 1 million dollars. 

John was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a book and the 34 members kept him busy with questions during supper.  A number of Angel Bears were sold to members as a form of fundraising.  If members would like any more information about Flight Angels, please contact our office and I will arrange for a pamphlet to be forwarded to you.

Police Anzac Day was held at the Academy on 19th April and focused on Brendon John Davis who tragically lost his life whilst landing at Milne Bay.  Dorothy Pyatt’s excellent address is published in this issue.  Wreaths were laid in a simple but moving ceremony which was followed by morning tea. 

Foundation Day was also held at the Academy on Tuesday 28th April with the focus on the loss of Acting Sergeant, Richard Ward, Constables William Freebody and Robert Hill on the Lady Dennison which left Port Adelaide on April the 18th 1850 with 9 prisoners bound for Tasmania.  A full report on the Lady Dennison is included in this issue.  A plaque was unveiled to the memory of this event and it is likely that this will be later placed in the new Police Building in Angas Street, due for completion in late 2011.  Deputy Commissioner Gary Burns then presented the band with an appreciation certificate to commemorate their 125th anniversary.  This was followed by morning tea. 

There were a number of tours of the museum and outgoing tours by the transport group who have been especially busy this year.

Our next meeting will be held on Friday the 5th June and will feature



   Geoff Rawson.




A robber who entered a liquor store in Ashland, Kentucky, US., may have thought he’d be hard to spot in a crowd but then, he wasn’t too bright. To hide his identity, he’d wrapped his head in duct tape. Only his eyes, nose & mouth were uncovered “I knew something was about to go down”, says store manager Bill Steele.

Sure enough the duct taped robber demanded money & said he had a weapon. That’s when Steele got out his truncheon & the robber fled. He wasn’t hard to find in the parking lot & was quickly apprehended.

Following the tremendous response that we had to Life Member Jim Sykes story
“Was there Cannibalism in the Outback?” Jim has kindly provided another very
interesting article for publication.

The Adelaide Chronicle.


Rites and Ceremonies of Aborigines

by Redgum.

The pioneers and the explorers at times found the services of the blacks useful, even  indispensable.  At other times they suffered terribly from the treacherous and barbarous traits of their character. Always, however, they marveled at the acuteness of the native senses. The gradual decay of the South Australia tribes due to what settlement cannot be justly regarded as an eternal stigma on the memory of our forefathers.  In this article I outline the scheme put forward in the early days by philanthropic and religious men for the welfare of the blacks, and give a few facts about the various tribes and their customs.

Most people are aware that the Australian aborigine, untouched by civilization, approaches very nearly to the primitive man in many respects.  He is a nomad, having no settled place of abode.  He erects no permanent habitations, does not cultivate the ground, weave cloth, or make iron, has no literature, and his picture writing is of the crudest description and extremely rare. He possesses only the most rudimentary of ideas of art yet, despite all this, there is tribal organization, some kind of family life, and a social structure, superstitions, and traditions without number, established habits, strange customs, numerous rites and ceremonies which, although crude, are exceedingly elaborate.

No Australian, Babylon, or Thebes will ever invite or reward the explorations of the archaeologist. No remains of an ancient civilization belonging to the time of Athens or Rome will ever be unearthed in Australia.  When the great overland telegraph was strung through the heart of the continent it progressed through wild bush that had never known the erection of a stone dwelling before.  From the stations which sprang up along its course far-reaching influences radiated.  The story of the overland telegraph constitutes a romance which I will tell in a subsequent article.  What I want to stress here is the fact that progress of the white civilization in this and other ways the disturbance of native conditions which had remained unchanged for centuries.  The traditions, customs, and habits of the aborigines began to feel the impact and to show the results.

Census of 1881

When the census of 1881 was taken the aborigines in Australia were said to number about 31,700, and to be distributed as follows; New South Wales, 1643; Victoria, 780; and Western Australia, 2346.  It is very important that no account was taken in South Australian figures of the tribes of the Northern Territory, and it was thought possible that in the entire area there were probably as many as in Queensland.

The tern "tribe" is one which has been very elastic in meaning when applied to our blacks.  Thus the Narrinyeri, or people who occupied the region bordering on the Lower Murray and the lakes Alexandrina and Albert, were regarded by most settlers as forming a tribe; but the Reverend G. Taplin, an early missionary, described them as "a nation of confederacy of 18 tribes, each of which has a distinct appellation."

Each of these sub-tribes he spoke of as a family, all members of which were blood relations, and between whom no marriage could take place.  Though these families might quarrel among themselves, they always presented a united front to the neighbouring tribe when necessary.  Taplin recorded that he saw 500 warriors sent into battle array against a mutual powerful enemy.  In the main, the tribal relations in other parts of South Australia corresponded to this description.  Each group, or family, had its own tribal genius, or totem, and was held together by that bond.

Tribal Government.

Such government as prevailed among the tribes of this State was neither patriarchal nor feudal, neither aristocratic nor monarchical.  It could, perhaps, have been called democratic, for it contains an elective element, and there was no ruling caste.  Properly speaking, the tribe had neither a chief nor a king.  Such popular designations as "King Billy" in the early days owed their origin to the white man's humour.  The old men have always been the natural leaders of the Australian blacks.

White man's role was, of course, very often an insoluble riddle to the aborigines.  Their own administration of justice, in cases of suspected criminals, was sometimes, at least, orderly and methodical. Mr. Taplin, speaking of Narrinyeri, said, "and they actually have an institution which is extremely like a trial by jury, and have had it from time immemorial."  This they call the Tendi.  The number of the Tendi is not fixed; it appears to be regulated by the size of the clan, but always consists of experienced and elderly men.  All offenders are brought to the Tendi for trial.  In the case of the slaying of a person of one clan, the fellow clansmen of the murdered man would send to the friends of the murderer, and invite them to bring him to trial before the united Tendies.  If, after full inquiry, he is found to have committed the crime, he will be punished according to the degree of guilt."

If an accused person were found guilty of murder he would be put to death.  If the verdict coincided with what we call manslaughter, he would receive a good thrashing, or be banished from the clan, or be compelled to go to his mother's relations.  This last sentence was considered exceedingly ignominious.

A common sentence for any public crime was so many blows on the head.  A man was compelled to hold his head down to receive the strokes, and would be felled like a bullock; then he would have to get up and take another and yet another, until, as Taplin said, “it was a wonder that the skull was not fractured.”

Avenging Parties.

Sometimes, however, the Tendi failed entirely.  In the Dieri tribe, a council used to be called for the purpose of appointing an avenging party.  The Australian aborigine does not believe that death can be due to natural causes, and holds that some enemy is responsible for it.  The avenging party of the Dieri was called the Pinya and upon its appointment a number of ceremonies would take place.  A victim would be decided upon in a curious manner.

One of the old men would ask who caused the death of their friends or relatives.  In reply the warriors named several natives of their or neighbouring tribes, each attaching a crime to his bitterest enemy.  Thereupon the leader, perceiving whom the majority would like to have killed, would call out that man's name in a loud voice, and the avenging party would grab its spears.

Our aborigines had a social organization of a very definite character, which profoundly affected both the individuals and the race.  The unit of civilized life is the family, formed on a monogamous basis, and with it is associated all that is best in human character at its highest developments.  Each aboriginal tribe was divided into several intermarrying groups.  These groups were very often still further broken up, and the whole system appears to have been further complicated by its relation to the totemic system in a number of ways.

Only fragmentary information regarding the rites and ceremonies of the South Australian natives seems to be available.  Taplin gave some account of them in his description of the Narrinyeri.  Other early information gathered about the Dieri tribe shows that, although this tribe occupied country nearly 700 miles distance (in the north) from that occupied by the Narrinyeri, yet in both the totemic systems the initiatory rites show a remarkable degree of correspondence with each other.

The aborigines of this State were never, it seems, numerous in proportion to the vast area they roamed over, and after white settlement they gradually dwindled away until most of the tribes became wholly extinct, while the rest were reduced to mere handfuls.

They were never remarkable for warlike characteristics, though cunning and treacherous, and their savage intelligence was not of a high order.  They were swiftly decimated by internal squabbles, barbarous customs, disease, and the irresistible march of civilization.

Some of the aboriginal inhabitants of South Australia have been charged with cannibalism and infanticide, and conclusive  proofs that those horrible customs were followed has been recorded.

The best known tribes were the Narrinyeri's and the Dieri's already mentioned, and the Port Lincoln’s, the Encounter Bay’s, the Adelaide’s, and the Woolnah’s (Northern Territory), all speaking different dialects.  The language was musical, abounding in vowels, and liquids, and several vocabularies of the best known dialects were published in the early days.

With the remarkable exception of the boomerang, the blacks displayed very little intelligence in the construction on their weapons of defence, which were otherwise limited to throwing sticks, spears and shields of bark.  They showed some cleverness, however, in making nets, or baskets of grass fibre.  But their accomplishments were  few as compared with those of other races of savages.

The aboriginal men had, as a rule, well formed shoulders and chests, broad foreheads and noses, large mouths, and magnificent teeth; but their lower limbs were generally weak and small in proportion to the rest of their frames.  The physical development of the women was poor, and the life of complete drudgery that they underwent in the hands of their lords and masters quickly aged them.  Although persistent attempts were made on the part of benevolent colonists to arrest the  decay of the natives tribes of the province, it became evident quite early that there was little hope of their eventually escaping the almost inevitable fate of inferior races when opposed to the progress of civilization.  It was merely a question of time.

Next month:  The influence of the Missionaries.


As a 125th Birthday present the S.A. Police Band received a fabulous new air conditioned bus to replace the old worn out model.



FRIDAY 5th JUNE, 2009 AT 8.00 PM



 Tony Rogers is the leader of the Adelaide Bureau of Meteorology’s Volunteer Group and he will speak at our June meeting about the work and activities which these people undertake for the    Bureau in a manner which would appear to be very similar to the work our members do for SAPOL. 

Tony worked on the 2008 book publication, Tales of the People, which marked the centenary of the Federal Bureau of Meteorology.  The book featured significant meteorological people and the events in which they were involved.  He is also a specialist in oral history and has experience in digitising old records and members of his group are writing another book on Extreme Weather.  This promises to be a very interesting evening from both meteorological & historical  perspectives

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On Sunday 19th April approximately 65 people attended the Police Anzac Remembrance Service at the Academy.  President Geoff Rawson laid the wreath on behalf of the Society & as follows is a copy of the Commemorative address presented by Life Member Dorothy Pyatt OAM.



      Let us pause for a few moments to reflect on the life of one those men we honour today.  You have his picture on your program.

      Brendon John Davis was born at Victor Harbor in 1920.  His father was then Officer in Charge of the Port Elliot Police Station.  Brendon grew up, the only boy with three sisters, and much cherished.

      In 1926 at 16 years of age he followed his father and joined the South Australian Police, training at that rather infamous Port Adelaide Depot.  He took to the active life with enthusiasm, excelling in horse-riding, swimming and boxing.  He was   renowned among his mates for being a very heavy sleeper.  The 5.45 a.m. bugle call caused his colleagues to hop out of bed very smartly, but not Brendon who had to be dragged awake.  On one occasion they carried him out on his bed, still sleeping, and left him on the Parade Ground.  Sgt. Sparkes, taking the roll call and having twice roared out the name without success, was not amused to hear a helpful voice from the ranks say, “He’s here on the Parade Ground, Sarge.  Over there.”

      Brendon served in the Pistol Licence Branch and Fingerprints, but by 1940 Australia was a country at War and, like many other young men, he could not resist the call.    In August 1940 he was granted Indefinite leave and joined the R.A.A.F.  He was 19.

     Brendon took to his flying training with gusto.  By April 1941 he was flying Wirraways and on Active Service in New Guinea.  He loved flying and on occasions was seen to turn his plane and fly upside down.

      On the 28th August 1942 he left Port Moresby to ferry a Kittyhawk to Milne Bay.  He arrived there safely.  On the following day a Japanese    convoy was reported to be approaching Milne Bay.  All available aircraft were ordered to attack. Flying Officer Davis took part in the operation.  On his return to base he approached the landing strip.  It was night.  The strip was lit by a single flare path.  His approach was low.  On landing the plane slewed around and struck  the jungle trees beside the airstrip.  Brendon was mortally wounded.  He died shortly afterwards and was buried there.        He was 21.

      On learning of the tragic loss of his beloved son, the father wept for two days.  At that time he was employed as the Coroner’s Constable, but his work in dealing with the deceased and sorrowing relatives was more than he could bear and he resigned from the Police.

      Brendon’s remains were later transferred to the Bomona War Cemetery at Port Moresby, where he rests today.

 To us he will be forever remembered as a young man in the prime of his life.

 Age shall not weary him, nor the years condemn.


   Dorothy Pyatt


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Help from an Informer.

In the investigation of crime, it is a tremendous advantage for a detective top have a continuing relationship of trust with an informer.  In Australia & elsewhere it is common for informers to be despised; they are often   referred to as ‘dobbers’ & to dob in a mate is considered to be particularly reprehensible.  However, information coming from an informer is often invaluable, & many cases of serious crime would not have been solved without it.  Informing could be considered a duty when it comes to keeping the crime rate down &, in fact, a person concealing knowledge of an offence could be charged with being ‘an accessory after the fact’.

  When considering the protection given to  citizens in a law abiding community from the unscrupulous behaviour of the average criminal, it is very evident that a regular informer is often a very courageous person, who is willing to expose himself to physical danger in order to contribute to the protection of the community.

  During my police service, I was able to establish a close liaison with two men who kept me informed regularly about criminal activity.  Both took it upon themselves to associate with  criminals so as to gain their trust, and they     derived much personal satisfaction in being able to assist in bringing to an end a criminal’s way of life, even though they gained no financial reward or special privileges for themselves.

  As has been well documented, it is necessary to keep in mind the possibility that some informers or potential   informers might be seeking to report others in order to enhance their own opportunities to expand their illegal activities, or to protect themselves from rivals.  This has frequently occurred in cases involving drugs, including   alcohol & gambling.

  Both of my informers had become known to me because I had apprehended them for breaches of the law.  When they first approached me offering to provide information, I naturally asked them why they had made the offers, since I had been responsible for preferring charges against them.  Both said that it was because of my forthright approach to my duty, and were satisfied that I would pursue any information provided until it was presented for jurisdiction in a court of law.

My first informant approached me early in my career when I was stationed at Whyalla.    Although the Homicide Squad had not been established at that time, I was responsible for conducting criminal investigations & was therefore engaged in detective work.  At the same time I had the responsibility for policing misdemeanours, for example breaches of the laws relating to gambling.

   The man who became my informer, and his father & two brothers, were often at loggerheads with each other & excessive use of alcohol fuelled argument between them.  As a result, I was often called to their home because of family disturbances.   In the course of time a bond ship developed, and this eventually reached the stage where the informer contacted me regularly offering information on criminal activity in the town, including illegal gambling.

  He visited hotels daily because of his liking for alcohol, & this enabled him to keep me informed on all criminal activity occurring in hotels, such a circulation of stolen property, & larceny of tools from the B.H.P.  Company, the main employer in the town.

  One report from my informer led to the identification of a B.H.P. employee who was stealing valuable tools.  He threw the stolen goods over a fence when on night duty, & returned on his bicycle, again at night, to  retrieve them, thus bypassing the security checks made at the exits.

  This informant would also keep me posted on the activities of illegal bookmakers, who more often than not operated ion hotels.  He was able to observe    betting transactions in a barroom, & let me know the identity of any illegal bookmaker.  Arrangements would then be made for me to visit the bar & he would signal by drinking his glass of beer when he was satisfied that the bookmaker had betting material on his person.  It was then that I could apprehend the offender, search him & recover the evidence.

This even applied to the informant’s brother in law, who was acting as and illegal bookmaker.  The   informant had resented his brother in law’s boasting that he was able to buy a pram for his infant son from the proceeds of his illegal activity. 

My second informant, who assisted me for a number of years when I was in the C.I.B. was a big strongly built man, 6’2” (188 cm) tall & weighing about 16 stone(102 kg).  He was good looking, something of a larrikin & completely without fear.  When I first met him he had just returned from the Korean War, in which he had served with distinction & had been awarded a Military Cross & Medal.  I first met him after he had punched a seventeen year old youth on the jaw in a delicatessen at Northfield after the lad had abused him.  The force of the blow fractured the jaw in two places.

  I found out that the offender was employed by a painter who was renovating the Kings Head Hotel in King William Street South.  On arrival there I was informed that he was painting the roof of the two storey building.  I located him  to come down so that I could speak to him, at the same time identifying myself.  He replied “If you want to speak to me, come up here”.  I then said “if I come up, you will come down faster than it took you to get up there”.  He replied, “Try me” and I started to climb the   ladder.  He then realised that I was not bluffing & agreed to come down.


I questioned him at length about the assault on the youth, & then charged him with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, the more serious charge which could be preferred.  At the trial I showed him no mercy in the presentation of evidence & he was   indicted to the Supreme Court, where he was  sentenced to four months of imprisonment at the Yatala Labour Prison.





 Several months after completing his sentence he range me & told me that he wished to give me some vital information about the activities of a well known criminal.  I queried his motive, because I was the one who was responsible for his recent imprisonment.  He replied the he knew that if he gave me the information, I would do something about it.

  I arranged to meet him & he gave me details about a criminal who, over a period of time, had broken into about a hundred beach side shacks between Outer Harbour &    Victor Harbor.  He had stolen thousands of pounds worth of property, including electric stoves & refrigerators.  The offender was located, arrested & charged.  Unfortunately, not all of the stolen property could be recovered.

  It became clear that my informant’s imprisonment had enabled him to gain much more knowledge of criminal & their offences. 

It was also discerned that the criminal element was attracted to him because of his forceful personality & his larrikinism.  He often went to places where criminals congregated & to most of the night clubs then operating.  Shortly after his release from prison he became the manager of a used car business at Cheltenham, & usually possessed the latest American sedan available.  He was also a ladies man and was often sighted in company with Adelaide’s  female socialites at night clubs and race meetings, taking them in his  limousines.

  I always insisted that he was not to get involved in any criminal activity, and that he would be strongly  castigated if he did.

  On one occasion new Holden utilities, specially   designed for the Army were being systematically stolen from an army establishment at Penfield. One difference from the standard model was that the army cars were fitted with a small drainage system to carry water from the windscreens.  The informant gave me the names of those responsible and also that two culprits planned to steal more vehicles on a night when was specified.  I arranged for a colleague and two military police officers to accompany me to the site.  We hid in a drain and waited for the thieves.  Eventually three vehicles were sighted coming toward us.  We were able to stop and arrest the drivers of the first two vehicles, but the other driver eluded us.  This vehicle was later found abandoned nearby.

  I made no attempt to locate the third driver, who was in fact my informant.  He arrived at my office several hours later to tell me that he had just walked fifteen miles.  As a result of our arrests, other vehicles stolen from the Penfield depot were located at a vehicle repair shop in the city.    Although they had been repainted, they were readily identified by the drainage system on the windscreens.  The proprietor of the business was also arrested in connection with the theft of the vehicles.


  Next month: 

A cigarette butt, a haystack & an abortionist.

Approximately 40 Society members attended the Celebrations held at the Police Academy, commemorating the April 1850 disappearance of the “Lady Dennison” and honouring the three Police Guards Sergeant  Richard Ward, & Constables William Freebody & Robert Hill.  President Geoff Rawson delivered the historical address & assisted the Deputy Commissioner Gary Burns  in the unveiling of the Commemorative plaque.  The Deputy Commissioner also presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the Band of the South   Australian Police in recognition of their 125 years of outstanding service and dedication. 




Following the expressed interest in Geoff’s address  we now include a copy of the complete story by  Allan  Peters documenting events on the “Lady  Dennison”  & the loss of the three Police Guards.  


               The disappearance of the Lady Dennison


 Mutiny aboard the Punch



Although South Australia was never a convict  settlement, as were the other Australian States in their early days, but she suffered through being invaded from time to time by escaped prisoners from her sister settlements, who were often desperate criminals.  After these convicts had been recaptured they were sent back to their colonies by the South Australian Government, which often had to charter a vessel for the purpose. In 1937, and for some time afterwards, convicts sentenced to imprisonment in South Australia were sent to either Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) or New South Wales to serve their sentences.

  In April 1850 a brig, the Lady Dennison , was charted by the South Australian Government to transport nine prisoners, Isaac Car, William Clark, William Gibbons, Gottlieb Keirnall, John Smith, James Coyle, William   Stewart, William Tindall and Thomas Francis Cooper, to Tasmania to serve their various sentences. Accompanying the prisoners were three police guards, Sergeant Richard Ward, and Constables William Freebody and Robert Hill.  Captain Hammond and his crew had made the voyage to Tasmania aboard the Lady Dennison  on several previous occasions.  There were also sixteen passengers on board the ship which, after leaving Port Adelaide, was not heard of again.  Following rumours that a number of passengers were friends of the convicts, it widely believed that the prisoners, aided by their friends, had revolted, murdered the captain and those who stood by him, and seized the ship.  Colour was lent to the story later, soon after gold had been discovered in Victoria, when it was reported that one of the convicts on the Lady Dennison had been seen.  This statement, however, was not given official credence.

  The next brig to be charted after the ill-fated Lady  Dennison was the Punch. She was to carry twelve long  sentence prisoners—including several “lifters” and a few escaped convicts—to Hobart.

Again there were only three guards to look after these men but in view of the supposed fate of the Lady Dennison the captain had taken the precaution to strengthen the convicts’ quarters and to install a chain cable to which the prisoners could be shackled in the event of a disturbance.

  There were as well three cabin and four steerage passengers.  The road to Port Adelaide at this time was apparently in a shocking condition, for one of the          passengers describes the journey to the ship in one of the “Port passenger carts” as “an introduction to an anticipated passage in a small brig.”   Not having been informed that convicts would be traveling on the same  vessel, he was surprised to see two sentries, full armed, pacing the deck.  Finding the captain’s cabin           exceptionally well stocked with arms made him feel no easier until the position was explained.  Being eager to travel to Tasmania as quickly as possible, he decided, rather hesitatingly, in view of the Lady Dennison incident, to share a cabin.  He found too, that another cabin passenger—a woman was the wife of one the convicts.

  All went well until, passing Kangaroo Island, the sea became rough and the captain took the precaution of shackling the most unruly of the prisoners.                  

 Presently the cook came to him in a very troubled state.  “I don’t like your lady passenger, Mrs. Elizabeth Beddome, the wife of one of the prisoners”.  He said, “I noticed that one of her trunks is very heavy, and there is something suspicious about it.  I am engaged to marry a young woman in Adelaide, and she was quite upset when I parted with her.  I told her that we were only making a short trip, but she kept on crying, and at last said—”You will never come back, nor will the brig ever reach Hobart Town, as I overhead a conversation  between a passenger and one of her friends to that effect”.

  Following this unexpected warning, the captain kept an even stricter watch, and on hearing an unusual noise between decks found a number of the convicts half  intoxicated.  He shackled the worst of them to the chain cable, and went to bed very uneasy in his mind, as he knew that to obtain the liquor the prisoners must have had confederates on board.

  Shortly before midnight, while the sea was still running high, the captain heard the cry of a guard, and rushed out to find the warders beating back the prisoners as they attempted to escape up the main hatch, which had been left half open.  The captain, a burly man of six feet or more in height, used his weight with  effect, and the convicts were beaten back and  chained to the cable, with the threat that if any further disturbance occurred they would be thrown over the side attached to the chain.

Remembering his woman passenger and how she had told him not to trouble to investigate the noise he had heard   earlier in the evening, he demanded the keys to her trunks.  At first she was abusive, but when the  captain threatened to have them forced open she produced the keys.  Loaded    pistols, cutlasses, charts and other essentials for the voyage were found in the heavier one.  She was ordered to her cabin for the rest of the voyage and the daily visit from her  husband, which had been allowed, was stopped.

  The captain ordered his crew to arm themselves and to be always in readiness, and he took the precaution of adding a member of the crew to the guards.

  The rest of the voyage was made in rough and foggy weather.  The Derwent was eventually reached, however, and the prisoners brought on deck and their names called.  A file of soldiers was waiting with fixed bayonets to escort them to prison. Before they were taken away, however, the prisoner William Beddome, spoke to the captain.  “Captain, I want to ask you if you will accept a small token from me as a memento of the voyage.” he said coolly.  “Among my wife’s luggage there is a trunk I wish you to accept with its contents.  In it you will find charts and other articles, we were intending to use if the opportunity occurred.  It is    useless to deny that it was our intention4ntion to seize the ship and compel the crew to steer for California.  We were foiled in our purpose, and must now submit as patiently as we can to our destiny”.

  No action was taken against Elizabeth Beddome, who subsequently opened a small business in Hobart and, after a time, applied for her husband and succeeded in obtaining him as an assigned servant under the convict regulations of the day.

  With the above facts becoming known, and with reported sighting of one of the prisoners from the Lady Dennison, and another person claiming to have received correspondence from a friend [Gottlieb Keirnall] who was also one of the prisoners, combined with the fact that no wreckage of the vessel was ever located, it was deemed that similar uprising of the convicts aboard the Lady Dennison had met with success.  With the convicts then in control, the captain of the vessel was thrown overboard along with the police guards, and the passengers and crew who refused to co-operate.



Fewer Museum Tours allowed volunteers more time this month to catch up on in house duties, while  the vehicle team, did a country run to Murray Bridge .

On Sunday 5th April 2009. Ernie McLeod. Dennis Irrgang, Max Griffiths, Rod and Mavis Stokes, Martin and Mark Dollman. Mounted a static vehicle display at the National History  Machinery Show at Murray Bridge.  Max sold over $200.00 in merchandise and  the display created huge amount of public  relation benefit with great interest in our society from many interstate visitors and fellow exhibitors.



On Monday 6th April  President Geoff Rawson, assisted by Kevin Beare &  Max Griffiths,  played host to a group from the Brooklyn Park Probus Club. The Devonshire morning tea was great hit with scone cook Geoffrey in charge!!

Wednesday 15th April Geoff Rawson, Kevin Beare, Glen Mattingly & Ian Radford guided  members of the Armstrong  Sidley Car Club  on a tour of the Museum & Garage. 




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  Police Historical Society Inc.,
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