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A Royal Marine, deserter, wanted man, Australian Soldier, Gallipoli veteran, injured Prisoner of War and then South Australian
Police expert and a gentleman! 

 ...story further on ....


   Bill Prior

On Wednesday 29th September I represented the Police Historical Society at the Annual National Police Remembrance Day Memorial Service at the Police Academy. Many members of the Historical Society also attended and we supported the Service by providing a display which included the Chrysler Royal and motor cycles.  Thank you to all members who attended and particular thanks to the members who assisted by preparing and driving the vehicles to and from the display.

 This year’s Memorial Service was hosted by the Deputy Commissioner, Gary Burns and the ceremony was led by Police Chaplain and former police officer Brenton Daulby.  It was a very fitting service to remember and reflect on the lives of those officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities.  We also remember their families and friends.

 While a particular emphasis is placed on the 61 South Australian police officers who have died in the execution of their duties, it was also a time to reflect on the lives of all Australasian police officers killed.  The last occasion a South Australian police officer was killed in the line of duty was in May 2002.  However, as Deputy Commissioner Burns stated, this by no means indicates that officers do not face serious and potentially life-threatening situations every day.

 Deputy President Kevin Beare has been working on a project to develop a ‘Wall of Remembrance’ in the Dorothy Pyatt Room within our Museum.  It is intended that the display will feature a photograph of each member killed in the execution of their duty. The photograph will then be supported with a short outline of the circumstances in which the member lost his life.   Kevin has made significant progress and most photographs have been printed, framed and placed in the display.  We do not have photographs of a number of officers, particularly several of those killed during the 1800’s.  Where a photograph or portrait is not available, we intend to use a suitable alternative such as a photograph of a memorial or grave headstone.  May I suggest that when you are next at the Museum, take a moment to have a look at Kevin’s project.

   Bill Prior.



Kev Beare

Our last meeting held on Friday 1st October was kept in order very ably by Vice President Kevin Beare.  We were also lucky to have a presentation from Senior Constable  Neil Percy of the Band of the South  Australia
Police who provided us with a really interesting presentation about how the band  prepared and attended the Basel 2010 Tattoo in    Switzerland and then we saw a short video of their performance at the Tattoo.

Thank you very much Neil.

Neil Percy

Thursday Volunteer Group.   Our Volunteers meet at Thebarton Police Barracks every    Thursday from about 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.    Tasks include Vehicle restoration and maintenance;  Newsletter preparation; Research; Uniform maintenance, Photographic restoration; Archive data base maintenance; Museum and building upkeep, Finance and many other tasks.    There is always much to be done and any members with a few hours to donate will be very welcome.   Or just drop in and have a cuppa and say hello.




By Michael Sherrington, Jimmy’s Great Nephew in the U.K.

My great uncle had by any standards a remarkable life.  Jimmy Durham was born Patrick James on December 23rd 1889 in Warrington, an industrial town in the north west of England.  He was the eldest son of a brewery labourer.  The family was a large one; Jimmy had four brothers and four sisters.  An intelligent and strong-willed individual, he was educated at Saint Benedict’s Catholic school and worked in the office as a clerk at Walker’s brewery.

However, the tedium of office work must have been too much to bear and in November 1907 he enlisted for a 12 year stint in the Royal Marine Light Infantry.  In July 1909 he left Portsmouth to join the Royal Marine detachment of the cruiser HMS ‘Cambrian’ which served in the Australian Station, a squadron of 8 Royal Navy warships providing maritime protection for Australia and New Zealand from its base in Sydney.  A cruiser like ‘Cambrian’ would have carried around 50 marines, whose duties included manning armaments, providing guards of honour and acting as sentries and wardroom attendants.

Pat’s service record revealed that his character and ability had always been rated as “very good,” yet he deserted on February 5th 1911, while HMS ‘Cambrian’ was at anchor in Wellington harbour.  What might have persuaded him to jump ship in New Zealand is puzzling, but the incidence of desertion was quite frequent, with over 400 Royal Marines deserting in Australia and New Zealand between 1871 and 1900.  It was a serious offence which carried a penalty of 3 months’ imprisonment and therefore not something to be undertaken lightly.  The “Police Gazette” (London) was a weekly publication which listed details of those on the run from His Majesty’s forces.  The chief constable of the fugitive’s hometown was informed in case he  tried to return to his family, and a reward of up to £3 was payable to anyone responsible for making an arrest.  Jimmy’s name and description duly appeared in the April 4th issue of the “Police Gazette” (an unusual distinction for a future policeman) and unsurprisingly, as a “wanted man,” he disappeared from view for the next couple of years, turning up next in Adelaide in 1913. 

Jimmy Durham’s Enlistment Form.

When war was declared Pat was one of the first to enlist in the 10th Battalion AIF, at Morphettville Race-course, as his service number 19 indicates.  On his attestation form, he declared his previous service with the Royal Marines, but unsurprisingly omitted to include the reason for his discharge.  After training in Egypt, he took part in the amphibious landing at Gallipoli on April 25th 1915 and was one the first group of 1500 to come ashore.  The Turks opened fire with rifles and machine guns when the boats were about 30 yards from the shore hitting several of Pat’s comrades others drowned, weighed down by their equipment (about 90lbs), but he was more fortunate, surviving the landing unscathed.  The total strength of the 10th Battalion on landing was 29 officers and 921 other ranks.  When they were finally relieved after four days of continuous fighting, only 13 officers and 380 other ranks answered the roll call.  The Anzacs dug in, but appalling living conditions meant that sickness inevitably took its toll and Pat was invalided out in August suffering from fever.

He rejoined his unit in France in time to take part in the Battle of the Somme.  On August 21st 1916 the 10th Battalion was ordered to attack German trenches near Mouquet Farm.  Of the 20 in his  platoon who set out on the daylight bayonet charge only 3 remained when they were forced to take shelter in a shell crater in no-man’s-land.  Realising the attack had failed, Pat tried to make his way back and it was then that he was wounded, a bullet striking his water bottle, passing through his hip and fracturing his pelvis.  His right leg was paralysed, and bleeding heavily he collapsed.  After a hellish night, rain soaked and drifting in and out of consciousness, he awoke to find him self surrounded by Bavarians, one of whom was threatening him with a bayonet.  However, the timely intervention of a German officer saved his life. 

Outdoor group portrait of exchanged Australian Prisoners of War (POW) from Germany with Miss Martin who taught mat making to the POW s. Two of the POW s are wearing eye patches and several are holding walking sticks.  Identified second from the left is 19 Corporal (Cpl) Patrick James Durham, 10th Battalion, who was captured at Mouquet Farm on 21st August 1916. Seriously wounded in the right leg and pelvis, Cpl Durham spent time at a Lazarette at Grafenwhor and at Nuremberg (Nurnberg), Germany. He was passed for repatriation to Switzerland in November 1917 and returned to Australia in November 1918. One of a series of over 400 photographs sent by Australian POW s in German camps to Miss M. E. Chomley, Secretary, Prisoners Department, Australian-British Red Cross Society, London. Original album housed in AWM Research Centre at RC00864.

He was sent to Lager Grafenwohr, the largest POW camp in Bavaria.  At its peak it held 12,000 French, 11,000 Russian and 1,800 civilian prisoners.  It was here that he suffered at the hands of the sadistic Dr Meyer, a man who seemed to delight in mistreating British prisoners.  On arrival they were ordered to shower, but Pat was unable to move because of his paralysed leg.  Meyer lost patience with him and rushed at Pat throwing him onto the floor.  When he still didn’t moved he was seized by the shoulders and thrown towards the showers.  Pat’s wound was often left unattended for 3 or 4 days and as a result was frequently in a very unpleasant state.  When Meyer did examine it for splinters of bone, he probed around never appearing to remove anything, oblivious to the acute pain he was causing, in fact he seemed to rather enjoy it, flourishing his instruments in front of the patient, grinning and remarking, “This is English steel made in Germany and Englishmen can bear pain.”  Often while he was probing he would sing “It’s a long way to Tipperary,” looking round at his staff for appreciation of his joke.  Throughout his captivity Pat was resolute in resisting all attempts to persuade him to have his injured leg operated upon, fearing possible amputation.  “It would have been the end of me,” he wrote.  This may in part explain Meyer’s hostile attitude towards him, but it was not his only problem.
Prisoners’ rations were dreadful, consisting of ersatz coffee made from burnt barley or acorns, black bread made from rye and potato flour adulterated with sawdust, and a thin soup made from turnip or potato water.  Pat wrote to his father that he was “starving” and it was only thanks to Red Cross food parcels, together with items sent by his parents that he survived.  The diary he kept during his captivity provides a detailed record of his ordeal.  Owing to the severity of his wound, he was eventually repatriated via Switzerland and returned to Australia in November 1918 [photo]. 

Astonishingly, he felt no bitterness about his injury, which left his leg crippled, or his treatment as a prisoner of war.
After the war, he took to calling himself Jimmy rather than Pat.  He worked for a time on the records of Sir Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic expedition, then as a photographer.  In May 1925 he made a successful application to the South Australian Police for a non-uniform post as assistant photographer with the rank of special constable and was to spend the next 25 years with the Department, becoming one of Australia’s best known fingerprint experts.  He had an almost photographic memory and pioneered a number of new techniques in what was then a developing field of investigation.  A scrapbook of press cuttings reveals his involvement in many of South Australia’s most celebrated cases.
In 1929 “J Entwhistle,” held up the Bank of Adelaide with a sawn off shotgun, escaping with £250.10s on a getaway bicycle.  When arrested by a plain clothes constable, he was identified from his prints by Pat as Sydney Day, a fugitive from the New South Wales police who had escaped from custody in 1914 whilst awaiting trial on 6 charges.  Another miscreant similarly identified had first been sent to the Reformatory for joyriding as a 16-year old.  Already the despair of his respectable parents, he rapidly reduced the Superintendent of his place of detention to the same condition, polluting the minds of the other inmates with his warped ideas and writing obscenities in the institution’s reading materials including their Bibles.  It must have come as a relief when he finally absconded, only to be arrested for vagrancy using a false name a few weeks later.  When Pat rang to say they had him in custody, the Superintendent pleaded with genuine feeling “Please don’t bring him back here.”  However, the story has a tragic end as in 1946 the convict’s father murdered his son and wife with an axe and then took his own life.

In 1932 Australia’s first ever conviction on the basis of a palm print was secured in a robbery case, Jimmy was described in the Adelaide press as being regarded as the most capable finger print expert in the country.  His powers of observation were considered exceptional.  He also pioneered a technique of identifying badly decomposed corpses recovered from rivers by taking impressions to form a “skin glove.”

He was involved in a notorious murder investigation at Monash in the summer of 1938.  The victim who had been sexually assaulted was a 12 yr old girl, a member of the Nielsen family.  With the assistance of Jimmy James, the legendary aboriginal tracker, the police eventually got their man, a neighbour who was listening to a radio report about the manhunt when he was arrested.  A crucial piece of  evidence was a footprint found at the crime scene.  The accused was found guilty in less than an hour and later hanged.
In the post-war years he took part in the puzzling case of Somerton Man, whose body was discovered on the beach and whose identity still remains a mystery today.  Not everyone appreciated Jimmy’s expertise.  On one occasion in a pub in Whyalla, he came across an ex-criminal he’d once helped to put away.  Recognising him from his limp, he called out “No hard feelings Mr Durham, but I hope the termites get into your wooden leg!”
After leaving the force in 1950 he enjoyed a long and active retirement. 

Although reluctant to talk about his wartime experiences, he always marched with his old 10th Battalion comrades in the annual Anzac day parade [photo extreme left].  He died on January 9th 1982 aged 92 and is commemorated in the Anzac cemetery in Adelaide and on the Australian POW memorial at Ballarat.

Jimmy Durham was involved in some of Adelaide’s high profile cases and was also popular with the Adelaide press and featured in newspaper articles from the 1920’s until his retirement.

The Brisbane Courier, Wednesday 6 April 1932, page 11.

First in Australia.

ADELAIDE, April 5 1932.
Finger prints have figured in criminal trials for many years, but to-day for the first time in the criminal history of Australia the print of a man's palm, found on broken class at the scene of a shop-breaking crime, was produced in evidence in the Adelaide Police Court.  The finger print expert, Patrick James Durham, staled in evidence, that this was only the second occasion on which palm prints had ever been used. The first was in London last year, when officials from Scotland Yard produced a palm print in court.

The case heard to-day was one in which William Johnstone, Frank Williams, and James Gray, alias Kelly, labourers, were charged with having, on March 29, broken into the shop of W. E. Ekins and Son, gun merchants, of Currie-street, Adelaide, and stolen pistols and other goods valued at £90. Finger prints and a palm print, which Durham stated corresponded to those of Gray, were found on a plate glass window which had been broken- Gray, who pleaded guilty, was remanded for sentence.

The other two accused denied the charge, but were committed for trial.  Both reserved their defence. Gray was refused bail, but it was granted to Johnstone and Williams on their own recognisance of £100, and two sureties of £100 each.

National Library of Australia

Out Among The People.

YESTERDAY, I spent a delightful half-hour with two Englishmen who hail from the same town – Warrington between Liverpool and Manchester. They were George Duckworth, famous ex-international cricketer and now a press cricket writer, and Jimmy Durham, Adelaide's official finger-print expert.

Greatest thrill Jimmy got was to learn that every time George goes four miles from his farm into Warrington he meets Jimmy's father. The two men had a pleasant experience the other night when they casually met a stranger at Glenelg RSL clubrooms. They were talking about Blackpool and other places, and when the digger noted that George Duckworth knew Warrington, he surprised by saying that his father grew the orchids for the local brewer. Mr. William Bolton. "My mother was born on the brewery premises." George told me.

Report of Police Search.

Yesterday morning FRIDAY 13TH FEBRUARY 1846, Lance-Corporal Powe of the Mounted Police arrived from Mount Brown, having ridden two hundred miles in three days, with information to the Police Commissioner of a flock of 900 sheep belonging to Mr Tennent. having been seized by the natives, who, there is much reason to fear, have murdered the two sheperds.  We understand that a party of six, under the command of Sergeant-Major Alford, will be despatched to the spot this day.  The following are the particulars of this lamentable affair:—On the 22nd ultimo (last month), at about an hour and a half before sundown, the two men left Depot Creek with the flock, intending to encamp for the night at some springs about two miles distant, on their way to Mount Brown.  Next day two other flacks left for Mount Arden, at which a new station was to be formed.  The bullock-driver who accompanied the latter left Mount Arden on the 2nd or 3rd instant for Mount Brown, where not finding the flock or the shepherds, he went over to Mount Remarkable, and informed Mr Campbell, who sent information to the Mounted Police stationed at Mr White's, on White's Creek, near the Flinders range.  This was on the 4th, and next day Lance-Corporal Powe and Kenney went to Mount Brown, and the two next days were employed in a careful search through the surrounding country.   They found a few straggling sheep, and four or five native lubras and children, from whom no information could be obtained; and their guide, the bullock-driver, being taken ill, they were unable either to bring them in or follow them, and returned with him, examining the spring; at which the missing men were to have encamped on their way. They found no traces of them, and the heavy rains had made it almost impossible to find the track of sheep, particularly as a fortnight had elapsed.

On the 8th they encamped on the Mount Brown range and continued searching for the bodies of the men during that and the nest day, when they returned (having made on discovery) to the place where they had met the native women.  There they found from thirty to forty sheep, and were induced to follow the course of a creek leading to the Gulf, and shorty came upon what appeared to be the track of the main body of the sheep.

Having encamped for the night, they followed this through the ranges towards the head of the Gulf, till the fatigue of themselves and their horses (having been without water for two days) forced them to return to Mount Brown, whence Corporal Powe deemed it his best course to hasten into Adelaide, leaving Kenney to protect the shepherds, who, being much alarmed, were moving the flocks to Mount Arden.

Flinders Rangers, where Mt. Brown and Mt. Remarkable and Mt. Arden can be found.

Mt Remarkable is east of Melrose.
Mt. Brown is further north and east of Port Augusta.
Mt. Arden is further north and near Yarrah, or north west of Wilochra.

(South Australian Register , Saturday 14 February 1846, page 3, National Library of Australia )



New member this month is Dawn Cleaver,


                  We Welcome you …….

Our next monthly meeting will be held on Friday the 5th  November 2010 at 7-30pm at Thebarton Police barracks meeting room and will feature Dianna Bartlett who was recently appointed Senior Police Chaplain succeeding David Marr who has retired. She will talk about her background in Ministry and Welfare.

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Road Accidents 1846 style.

By Charlie Tredrea.

Road Accidents in the early days of South Australia in 1846 were a problem, often serious and even fatal.   There were reports in the South Australian Register of the day - 14th February 1846, of heavy congestion in Hindley Street.  The press of the time even called for traffic police and voiced great concern about the dangers of young drivers being headstrong and being in charge of  'too powerful vehicles'.   Sound familiar?

On Tuesday evening, a small farmer named George Barton, of the Pinery, North Road, was returning from town with a load of dung;  he mounted his load and fell asleep, but later suddenly rolling off, the wheel of the dray went over his leg fracturing it in a most dreadful manner. He was taken up, conveyed to his home, and Dr. Davis being sent for, he is now in a fair way of recovering.
On Wednesday afternoon as Scott was returning from the Port through Hindley-street, he met with some obstruction from the various vehicles congregated in the road, and coming into contact with the cart of Mr Matthews, the baker, which was in charge of a boy.  The collision was so sharp that the shafts of the baker's cart were broken, and the boy thrown out with some violence, but he fortunately escaped without injury.  The released horse set off at high speed along Hindley and Rundle Streets, with the broken shafts attached to the harness, to the imminent risk of the lives and limbs of the lieges.  Perhaps when a few legs, arms, or necks have been broken through the negligent and wilful: stoppages constantly occurring in our public thorough fares, the police will bethink themselves of removing these obstructions by putting the provisions of the Police Act, which relate to these nuisances into force.  We think, too, that Timor ponies should not be entrusted to the care of young boys, as they are apt to be a little headstrong, and soon get beyond the power of their drivers.
An inquest was holden [sic] on Thursday, at the house of Mr Robert Christie, at Islington, on the body of his son Alexander Christie, who was accidentally killed the previous evening on his return home with his father from Adelaide It appeared that the boy had accompanied has father into town, and coming back in the evening was riding on a mare belonging to his father, who followed on foot.  As they approached Islington the mare became unmanageable, and at length threw the lad, who falling with great violence to the ground upon his head, died almost instantaneously from the extensive injuries he had received. The parties appeared to be quite sober at the time of the accident.
The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," with a nominal deodand.

Light Horse sergeant with an Australian horse, bred from the Timor Pony,
which served throughout the campaign in

  Sinai and Palestine, 1916-1918.


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ADELAIDE Thursday – The Neuchâtel Asphalt Company which has had a peremptory demand from the United Labourers Union in connection with the wages paid for the asphalting of Rundle street made a start with the paving of the blockaided thoroughfare at an early hour this morning with their own labourers.   Overnight a posse of police had proceeded to the spot and   before the first streaks, of dawn were visible work was begun.  About half a dozen men were engaged at first and seven or eight were working at the Pulteney street depot preparing the asphalt.       Before 8 o’clock a large crowd was gathered at the corner of King William Street and Rundle-street.   Some union officials spoke to some of the asphalters at work in the hope of persuading them to “pull-out”.   Offensive names were called out as the men considered the requests of the officials and eventually three asphalters stepped over the barrier to the accompaniment of cheers from the unionists.

Mr A. B. Woolf manager for the company checkmated this move by bringing on two men from the yard, and the sympathy of the crowd was at once manifested.  The man who, single handed was successfully fighting a large and powerful union, was cheered.   The cartage contractor appeared on he scene with the first load of hot asphalt from the depot and the irons were drawn out of the coppers for pounding.  A huge crowd pressed heavily again the barriers and some amongst them jeered at the workers.   One prominent union official approached as close as possible to the asphalters and yelled out “All the way from London to do this.”    No attempt was, made to interfere with the     workers personally and the police and detectives allowed no one to enter within the lines.  After the third load of gravel had arrived a union delegate interviewed the contracting carter and induced him not to bring any more asphalt to the works.  An hour went by and then the clerks in the company’s office brought up two loads.    The working driver who brought in the fifth load of gravel had delivered the load, and was half-way down Rundle Street when a man jumped into the dray and felled him.

A wild rush was made for the new scene of attack and the offender escaped.   An arrest was made later.
Shortly before noon a long column of tramway men marched slowly past the strikers.  The tramway employees were burying a comrade who had been killed two days before.   After the procession had gone by the crowd renewed its attention upon the loyalists.   “Do you see that procession”, yelled one idler “It will be your turn next”.   When the five workers were ready to knock off for luncheon they were escorted by the company’s officers and several policemen to the King William street intersection.  Two troopers were in readiness and a cordon of police was formed to protect the loyalists.   Immediately the men appeared the crowd made a wild rush towards King William Street and a violent scene occurred.   The crowd bore down on the five men and in a few seconds a general melee was in progress.   The police drew their batons and hit out at the crowd.   A dozen officers surrounded one man and, after a stiff struggle managed to handcuff him.

As no more hot asphalt was available no attempt was made to continue paving in the afternoon.  When asked if there was any truth in the statement that 50 more men were coming to do the work left by the unionist, Mr. Woolf said, “ It may be true, and it may not.”
The mayor (Alderman Cohen) hopes to bring the dispute to a termination and he has already conferred with the union officials with that view.

ADELAIDE Thursday—In the Legislative Council this evening Mr. T. Pascoe asked if the attention of the Chief Secretary had been called to the brutal   assault on the driver in Rundle-street and whether it was the intention of the Government to provide greater protection for Rundle- street.
(Loud cheers) The Chief Secretary (Mr F. S. Wallis) said that he had heard that a driver was assaulted by three men that morning but he thought that the Hon.. member would recognise that only three curs would assault one man who was at a disadvantage.

Immediately after the House of Assembly met Mr R. Butler asked the Premier if the Government were doing everything necessary to maintain “Law and order in connection with the Rundle-street strike and so allow law abiding citizens to carry out their lawful avocation.   (Hear hear) The Premier (Mr. Verran), “Yes. The police will carry out their duties in regard to the protection of persons and property and anyone rendering himself liable to arrest by committing a breach of the peace or inciting there-to will have to abide by the consequences, of his actions as if in  ordinary circumstances (Cheer ).   If people who had no business in Rundle-street would keep away from the place and leave it open for the two parties there would be no trouble because there would be a clear-cut issue.  Some of the general public who were inciting others, were the cause of the trouble (Hear, hear)”.

(The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1954), Friday 14 October 1910, page 8.)


RUNDLE STREET about 1910.

Service Remembers 61 Police Deaths.

The Police Remembrance Service was held at Fort Largs Police Academy, in Adelaide to honour 61 police officers who have died in the line of duty in South Australia over the past 170 years.

Police Minister Michael Wright said it was important to remember the many South Australians who were willing to risk their lives and safety to protect the community.

"Today is not a day for mourning but rather an opportunity to reflect on those courageous members of our police force who have made the ultimate sacrifice," he said.

"We cannot bring our fallen officers back but we can ensure their sacrifice is never forgotten by honouring their memory."

Photographs by Kate Woodcock and Elees Pick.


Congratulations to Alan and Betty Heyson who celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on the 9th of September



  The Police Historical Society was represented again in this year’s Bay to Birdwood run.   The Chrysler Royal and two BSA motor cycles were on public display at Birdwood and attracted an appreciative crowd. Thank you to the volunteers for their efforts and valuable time.



Photographs by Dianne Lugg.

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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

Geoff Rawson

Charlie Tredrea

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