Inspector Jack Cawley – with Vice Regal Escort.  See Story (Police Greys)

I was not able to attend the October monthly meeting as I have been absent from Australia from 24th September to the 9th October.

It is pleasing to note that Charlie Tredrea, our Web site manager and assistant to the editor for the Hue and Cry has agreed to be our speaker for the 5th November meeting.
Charlie will be speaking about the new government radio network, and is very well equipped given that he is the Communications Training Officer.  I will be looking forward with interest to the November meeting.

The museum project is proceeding slowly but smoothly and our first gallery is taking shape.  The other gallery on the ground floor will be an exhibition area and it should not take very long to set up.  The new upstairs gallery will be next to be examined and completed.  The initial gallery on the ground floor, will be subject to continual refinement and change over the next 12 months.

Rex and his band of helpers are making progress on the FJ Holden. 

Our Editor Elees Pick is currently on the sick list as is Shirley Hayward who has been out of sorts for several weeks.  We hope for their speedy recovery.  Owen Bevan has recovered and is back in action at Thebarton.

Our congratulations to Isabel Brooks (volunteer) whose son Noel won six gold medals for swimming at the recent Transplant Games,

Hope to see you in November.


Geoff Rawson

new members

Ron Howie
George & Patricia Fox

Kevin Beare

we welcome you

The following article comes to us from member Pat Roberts, widow of the late Sgt. Tom Roberts, presented in “Hoofs & Horns” March 1954, under Tom’s Nom de Plume “Weedon”
With photographs from SAPHS archives

Unlike London, where special regiments of Guards are kept for the purpose, in Australia the responsibility of providing escorts during the Royal Progresses will fall upon the various State Police.

  All States, with the exception of Tasmania, maintain a mounted branch of their police and it is these and the ”New Mounties”- on motor cycles – that the public will see escorting the Sovereign through the capital cities of Australia.
  In all States, motor transport has almost entirely replaced the camel & the horse, for many years the only reliable means of movement in the outback. The South Australian Police, which in 1941 had 245 horses distributed all over the State, now has only 48, all of which are kept in the city for patrol & ceremonial work.

Police Horse Quarter, ridden by Sgt. Frank Patterson.  Quarter was bought by the Police Department from a Rodeo at Kensington Gardens (S.A.)  The following year he won the Open Hurdle without wings at Royal Adelaide Show & competed successfully in jumping events since then.

 The Mounted Police of S.A. are regularly used for city duty & are probably the only police so used

today in Australia.  The men on their grey horses can be so easily seen for quite a distance, & have proved to have a considerable preventative effect on the motorist who contemplates double ranking etc.

Educating the Police Horse

A great deal of skill & care is necessary in the preparation of a young horse for the nerve-racking trial of a ceremonial escort through cheering, excited crowds.  Many of the horses come from remote parts of the State & a city street is at first a place of terror to them.  Most come from the more settled parts of the State, quite a few of them being gifts to the State by horse enthusiasts. Both for uniformity & for better visibility on the roads, particularly after dark, the Department will only accept greys.

After passing the veterinary examination, & after a few days to become accustomed to the new surroundings in the case of country horses, training starts at the Mounted Headquarters at Thebarton under the experienced eye of Sergeant Instructor Jack Cawley.  Jack is a son of the well-known judge and committeeman & former renowned horseman, Col. M.F. Cawley; but what is not so well known, is that son, Jack, also bore the rank of Colonel during the war years.

“Sights and Sounds”

Most of the famous greys are now well advanced in their preparation & are entering the final stages of their “Sights & Sounds” education.  Street work for the youngsters, at first in the company of staid older horses, & working more & more on their own as they make progress, is now part of their daily routine.  They have become a regular feature of city street life.
In barracks they are being accustomed to drums, bagpipes, cheering & shouting.  Balloons, flags, streamers and buntings are draped where the horses have to pass regularly on their way to & from water as well as where they work in the manege.  Amplified recordings of bands & cheering of the Coronation procession, are played to them while they work & everything is done to prepare them for the unexpected.

Normandy, One of the remaining greys
bred by the Police Department.


All this is done to a progressive system & under the supervision of Sgt. Cawley & his two assistants, Sgts. Wagner & Knight, who say that the most important factor is the presence & example of the older, steady, horses.

Accustomed to Arms

Both horses & men have to be thoroughly at home with both sword and lance, for, of the 32 riders that form a Sovereign’s Escort, thirty carry both sword & lance.
While the officer in charge, Superintendent J.R. Ridgeley & Sgt. Inst. J. Cawley, riding one on each side of Her Majesty’s carriage, carry swords only.  So troop drill with sword & lance has its essential place in the training program for both man & horse.

Royal Visit 1954

HRH Queen Elizabeth & Prince Phillip leaving Government House with Mounted Escort.
Superintendent Ridgeley - Trumpeter & Police Horse Sergeant Jack Cawley & Police Horse Warooka both behind royal car.

Prior to Mr. I.B. Green becoming Police Commissioner for South Australia, all S.A. country police served two years with the City Mounted Section & were required to become proficient horsemen.  Today, motor driving courses have replaced horse riding as being more realistic.  “Time Marches on.”

Today the horses are in the hands of a permanent Mounted Cadre of 35 men and three N.C.O’s, especially selected for their horsemanship.  For the days of full escorts during the Royal Progresses, & to the race meeting at Morphettville, every available horse will be on duty. This will require that many men from the country, not normally used for mounted work in these days, will again don their top boots, spiked helmets with chains, white gauntlets. Etc., & once again look down at the crowd & admonish them – “Back a little, please.” “Ease off at the back & back a little please.”  “Stand back, please; this horse kicks.”
The horse, alas, is fast disappearing from all but the field of sport but there is yet to be found a satisfactory substitute for the Police Horse for the handling of big crowds.  The public love their Police Horses.  The horses keep a crowd good tempered & amuse or entertain the people while waiting, for they never seem to tire of watching them.



The following article appeared in the “Venture” dated 27.2.74

By the late Jean Schmaal

It’s a strange fact that seldom, when local histories are being compiled, does a town’s police station and the early police officers rate a mention.
For all that, the pioneer police of any district played a decidedly important part in the foundation of townships.
They brought law and order in with them, and South Australia is fortunate to have escaped the rule of the bushranger as experienced in other States, and the dread law of the gun which shadows so much of the early history of America’s west.

A tragedy of pre settlement days in the Yankalilla district concerns George Meredith, the adventurous son of a prominent Hobart town businessman, who came to Kangaroo Island, seeking his fortune among the sealers.

He had with him, on landing on the Island, a Tasmanian native woman, named Sal. Later he “acquired” two young men from the Encounter Bay area, and these he trained to help him in his hunting expeditions.
Meredith, much against the advice of his fellow sealers, decided to come across to the then unsettled mainland.

Some time later, his companions found the reason for his non return, and discovering Sal, were told that Meredith had been despatched by a blow  by one of his native offsiders, who had then returned to his tribe.

Meredith’s father asked for inquires to be made into the murder, but there being no European settlement at that time, and thus no police to make investigations, nothing could be done.
Years later police inquiries were made into the case.
Sal was found, but, by that time, the man suspected of the murder of Meredith was himself dead.

For years afterwards stories persisted that Meredith’s store of gold coins was hidden somewhere near Western River where he had set up his residence.

The deep valleys and the hills in their time presented an almost unsurmountable obstacle to southern development, and, until Sellicks Hill was climbed by a highway, the area remained comparatively isolate and remote.

Once the road came through settlement was more definite.

Over the years there was a marked change in the activities of the settlers.
Originally most people were occupied with growing wheat of keeping flocks of sheep in the rougher areas.
Yankalilla was regarded as a big wheat district, keeping three mills, going day and night, grinding flour which was sent to Melbourne.

With the construction of a jetty in 1855 and the laying of a tramway through the sandhills it seemed as if things were set for Normanville to become an important shipping place.

  Ships called in frequently, and apart from jetty loadings, took on their cargo direct from drays on the beach.


A large migration of people from the district changed all that.

An act of parliament reduced the purchase price of land on Yorke Peninsula to 15/- an acre and many men tooth opportunity to expand and left the district.
In 1854 Commissioner of Police Warburton referred to his expectation of being able to place some police at Rapid Bay ‘where cattle stealing is going on with impunity’.

He was also desirous of placing police at Normanville and land was bought for the erection of the police station.

At that time the police stationed at Willunga ranged down to Cape Jervis, and the Commissioner felt that the distance was far too great and the country far too difficult for effective police aid being given to the numerous settlers.

When it became known that plans were in hand for placing police either at Rapid Bay or Normanville petitions from the settlers sought to have the site of the police station placed at Yankalilla.

It was pointed out that this was the main centre of business, and as was stated “Your memorialists cannot illustrate their position more forcibly in case the Court House and Police Barracks are erected at Normanville than by supposing the Supreme Court and Police Barracks for the use of Adelaide had been erected at Glenelg instead of the present central position.”

The memorialists were promptly informed that it was then too late to reconsider the sale.

Eventually, in 1855, a police station was built at Normanville, but before it could be occupied the Public Works office reported “..the violent gale of wind on Friday night has done considerable damage to the police station recently erected at Normanville.

The stable and the back of the building was open on one side and from its very exposed situation this was considered unsafe and, consequently, a carpenter has been sent down to close it up with weather boarding; but before this had been done the violence of the late storm tore off the roof of the stable and forage store and carried it over the roof of the main building, knocking down a chimney and damaging the slates of the main roof.”

Early in 1856 the single storeyed part of the old building was occupied when Troopers Berrill and Toole apparently came down from Willunga to establish the station.

The strength of the station is shown as two constables and two horses until 1858, when Berrill was promoted to corporal; then it became one corporal, one constable and two horses.
It was thus until the decrease to one constable and one horse in the early 1860’s; pay at that time was 9/- per day for the corporal and 7/6d for the constable.

Thomas Berrill was to make history in more ways than being the first police officer to be stationed in the area.

On April 11, 1857, at Normanville, Mrs. Berrill present him with William, John and Thomas junior – triplet sons.

In 1863 additions & alterations were made to the existing police station building at Normanville, which then became a two storeyed complex to accommodate post office and court house, customs house, telegraph station and police station.

For some years a rocket station was in existence at Normanville, apparently under the control of the police officer.

When fired, this rocket could take a small line aboard a stricken vessel, then a large one, and finally an endless rope with a cradle.
At the time of the wreck of the “Star of Greece” off Port Willunga in 1888, a telegraph message was sent to Normanville for this equipment.
Tragically, the help arrived too late and 17 lives were lost.

ABOVE: Mounted Constable Trounson who was stationed at Normanville in the early 1870’s.  This uniform was adapted from that worn by the 6th Dragoons who fought at Waterloo.  Each chevron on the sleeve indicated seven years’ service.

One of the early policemen was Trooper A Lawrence, who first came to the district in 1864.
He was a man who was universally respected, both in his official and private life.
During his term he made a sensational capture of a murderer beneath Blackfellow’s Creek Bridge.
The man had committed murder in Victoria about 18 months before, and although there was a large reward for his arrest, he had been loose ever since.

Lawrence caught sight of the suspect when he dived under the bridge, and, at great personal danger, was able to take him.

This man later told Lawrence “Three seconds more and I’d have drilled a hole in you.  I smelled danger as soon as you followed me under the bridge.”
Later Lawrence escorted his prisoner to Melbourne where he was subsequently executed.
Lawrence was highly commended for his action, but refused to accept any portion of the reward money which was offered by the Victorian Government, feeling that he was paid by the S.A. Government and the affair was only a part of his ordinary patrol duty.

Another constable, at a much later date, had to make enquiries into a death following a violent assault.

On that occasion he had to take evidence to town for a post mortem, and the local doctor obliged by handing him the head of the deceased in a sealed container.   Goulish thought!
The old police station at Normanville has seen many changes in its day from the single storeyed building, thence, with additions, to what was described as “the largest and finest edifice in the district”.

Later in its history the original portion was quit and for a while it became a maternity hospital in the early 1900’s.

Today the complex structure houses two private families.
It was finally quit for police use in 1961 when the present station at Yankalilla was built and opened on the 22nd May of that year.

The former police station at Normanville is still a commanding structure, and is possibly the oldest surviving pioneer building in the district.





Since hearing of this incident, I have reflected on the reasons why this major crime has faded from the memories of the general public and of the police involved. Perhaps it can be explained by the fact that, at this time, Japan had entered the war with their surprise attack on Pearl Harbour on the 7th. November 1941; the Malayan Campaign was going badly for the Australian troops, who were forced to withdraw to Singapore Island at the end of January, fighting a fierce battle until they were forced to surrender to the Japanese on the 15th February, having experienced heavy casualties and with 20,000 taken prisoner of war during the campaign. Port Moresby, Derby, Broome, and Darwin were bombed within the same month, with serious casualties.

There was a definite perception by the public that Australia was likely to be invaded; thirteen were killed when the Japanese shot down a Qantas Empire Airways flying boat flying from Darwin to Timor, with Mr. D.W.McCulloch, 28 years, of Nedlands, being one of the casualties.

Even as the inquest was being held in March, 20,000 troops were killed in Russia in just one of the many battles then taking place.

Although newspapers of the times gave details of Raecivich's crime they were unable to shed any light on the reasons behind his actions, other than to publish the Coroner's rather cryptic  comments. Although the victims were from an area of Europe known for its ethnic unrest, it cannot be said that ethnicity was the motive for the attack. Gambling was a popular pastime in the mining community, and especially among the migrants.

Obviously, Raecivich was disturbed by the war news coming from his homeland, and possibly this was enough to cause his breakdown. It added a poignant note to the whole incident when it was revealed that three of the victims had enlisted in the Australian armed forces, and were due to leave Kalgoorlie within a few days.


These were very serious times both within and without the country, and, as well, Kalgoorlie had been the focus of earlier bombings. The papers of the day attempted to draw a connection between the Boulder bombings and similar, though less damaging, incidents which had occurred earlier.


The incidents in question began on a hot evening in November 1941. At about 9.30 pm the Resident Magistrate, Mr. Les Stotter, retired to his bed on the verandah of his quarters, to have a quiet night's sleep before another busy day presiding over the Kalgoorlie Police Court. At this time, the Resident Magistrate's quarters were located at the top of the hill in Hannan's Street, overlooking the railway crossing.

Mr. Stotter was suddenly awakened at 10.43pm by a loud explosion.  He immediately jumped out of his bed and saw a glare in his yard, which he took to be an incendiary bomb. (Bear in mind that this was during the 2nd World War, and lectures on ”High explosives and Incendiary Bombs" were that week being delivered by the local air raid co-ordinator.) He moved towards the illumination in his yard but then realised it was a burning fuse. Suddenly, a further explosion took place, and in his flight from the detonation point, the Magistrate was fortunate to receive only minor injuries.

The explosion shattered eight windows in the house, and blew out three doors along with internal fanlights. Other damage was caused in the yard of the premises.

Mr. Stotter's wife and their two daughters were inside the house at the time, as was his father. Fortunately they were not injured.
Detective Sergeant Lewis and Detective Pat Hagan lived nearby, and were soon at the scene, as were other police, but could find no clue as to the identity of the offender.
This was not to be the last of the Magistrate's problems, for on the 12th. January 1942, at 12.35am, the Magistrate's acute hearing probably prevented the loss of his own and his family's lives.
At this time he heard his front gate close, and being aware that he had secured it, went immediately to the front of the house to investigate. With the aid of a torch he saw a man, on his knees, attempting to place something under the house. On being disturbed this man ran off towards the gate, which had closed, forcing the offender to clamber over it. He then quickly jumped on a bicycle and rode off. In this process he lost one of his shoes, and dropped a bag which was found to contain 27 sticks of gelignite. formed together as a single unit. The gelignite had a detonator attached, which was primed with two and a half feet of fuse.
Had this charge been detonated under the house, there is little likelihood that the Magistrate and his family would have survived.

(Editors note: During my discussions with Graham Lee, who was a Constable at Kalgoorlie at the time, he mentioned that, although strong suspicion was attached to a Kalgoorlie resident, no charges were ever laid, and that these events had no connection with the Boulder tragedy. Mr. Les Stotter moved to Bunbury, and later he transferred to Perth, where be was a well-known and respected Magistrate for many years. Officers who appeared before him in giving evidence, always found him to be very fair and balanced in his judgements. Little did we appreciate the suffering he had endured during these harrowing incidents.        Newspaper files were used to verify the details in this article.

Another little gem from the Barossa “Leader” Thursday July 5, 1951
courtesy member Val Harvey

₤1 a push

Local youths profited by the flood when cars stuck in the water on the side of the bridge.  They offered to push them through for fees ranging from 5/- for small cars to ₤1 for sedans.  After a while they found the going hard & offered to only guide them through.  One youngster grinned & called to a driver “Push you through for 5/-“.  The grin vanished as he murmured “Struth, the cop from Angaston!”  They did their push & found M.C. Symons a real sport with more than “award” rates too.



Alf Jarvis joined the Society and our volunteer workforce in about 1990 and has been involved in many projects, including the Roy Harvey Collection, the library and the current Map and Plan project which is moving along extremely well.

Alf is an old salt of the sea and many will be surprised that he will be celebrating his 90th birthday next year. 

He started his early working life as a baker and then went to sea in a square-rigger becoming a Cape Horner in the process.  He was a police officer in Victoria for 9 years and then moved to Adelaide where he was a police officer for about 5 years. 

He was a cook at the Barracks, worked various suburban stations.

After leaving the police force, he became a teacher for about 30years, at Challa Gardens Primary, Jamestown and Hindmarsh special school.  He has led a long and full lifestyle, which is far from over and has lots of stories to tell about his experiences.



Well done Alf, thanks and keep up the good work.

Friday 5th November 2004 meeting.
Charlie Tredrea will be speaking about the new Government Radio Network, and is very well equipped given that he is the Communications Training Officer.  I will be looking forward with interest to the November meeting.

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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