From the President

It is with much sadness that in opening my report I advise of the passing of one of our devoted and highly respected members, Sergeant (Rtd) Joe Linnane. Joe as he was affectionately known, died suddenly at his home on Friday 10 August. Right up until his death Joe had been an active member of the Society, serving as a current member of the Executive Committee, coordinator of the Society’s canteen activities, a regular member of the Thursday Group, attended at all Society meetings and he was the flagship of the Society’s PR team. Joe was working at the Society on the Thursday before his death and his passing was a shock to us all. With a large number of Society members I was privileged to have attended his funeral, and with Geoff Rawson, on behalf of the Society, acted as a pallbearer. Our deepest sympathy to Kate and family. Joe, who can only described as a ‘true gentleman’ will be sadly missed and long remembered by all for his commitment to the Society and his role in representing the Society at the numerous public activities dressed in a 1860’s SAPOL mounted troopers uniform. Thanks for all that you have done for the Society Joe - Rest in Peace.

On a brighter note I thank Owen Bevan for deputising for me on the recent tour of the former police headquarters building at Angas Street. I am aware that a large number of members and friends attended with many memories and stories being recalled during the evening. The night was a great success with the last group not leaving until after 10.30 PM. Following the tour the demolishers have moved in and work on dismantling the former headquarters has already begun.

I would also like to express my thanks to Bob Potts and Ray Killmier for their continued their efforts in cataloguing and indexing during the past 6 months the PCO files up to 1956. This is an outstanding effort and with their previous efforts, including the involvement of other Society members, a catalogue and index of the archived files are now available. Also well done to the “Transport Team” headed by Rex Greig and Ernie McLeod, who during the past months have performed mechanical miracles and through persistence and hard work now have all of our police motor cycle exhibits in running order. The motorcycles will participate in the forthcoming Sensational Adelaide International Tattoo. Well done to all those involved.

I am also aware that many of our members have been working hard behind the scenes in readiness for the forthcoming Tattoo. Rob Thomson has fitted out some 60 volunteers who will be addressed in early police uniforms and Geoff Rawson has taken on the role of Tattoo Coordinator for the Society. The event is rapidly drawing upon us and as previously reported will involve a significant commitment and man­hour contribution by the Society’s members.

In closing I am pleased to report that Allan Cliff is making good progress following his operation and we look forward to Allan and Eunice joining up again in the near future.

The Society’s next meeting will be Friday 7 September, when our guest speaker will talk on the early history of gaols in this State. Unfortunately I will be out of the State on leave, however I know that our Vice President Owen Bevan will as usual ensure that the night is an enjoyable one. In the meantime I will see you all at the Tattoo.

Kind regards

John White


SlR: The article “Motoring Down Memory Lane” (Autumn 1998) reminded me of something I read some years ago. It was an extract from draft regulations for road users in Canada in 1909 and was proposed by an organization calling itself the  “Farmers Anti-Protective Society” and was, believe it or not, intended seriously. Every time I read it I get a laugh and I hope your readers will it too. — SYLVIA G MAY, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA.

*In our last issue (Post Box, Winter 1998), a reader was writing about the dangers of riding horses on the road. Ninety years ago the horse obviously had the main right to the road, but the suggestions contained in the following extract would not go down too well with the motorists, of today! — Ed.

‘Automobiles must be seasonally painted — that is, so they will merge with the pastoral ensemble and not be startling. On discovering an approaching team of horses, the automobilist must stop off-side and cover his machine with a tarpaulin, painted with scenery. in case a horse will not pass an automobile, notwith-
standing the scenic tarpaulin, the automobilist will take the machine apart as rapidly as possible and conceal the parts in the grass.  On approaching a corner where he
cannot command a view of the road ahead, the automobilist must stop not less than 100 yards from the turn.  The automobilist must then toot his horn, ring a bell, fire a revolver, shout “Ha lb” and send up three bombs at intervals of five mm utes. Automobiles the country roads at night  running on must send up a red rocket every mile and wait ten minutes for the road to clear. They then may proceed carefully blowing their horns and shooting rockets. The speed limit on country roads this year will be secret and the penalty for violation will be $10 for every mile an offender is going in excess of it"

Magazine This Britain.



On Wednesday evening Foot constable Shinnick had a rough time with an obstreperous prisoner. He arrested the offender near the brewery and anticipated no difficulty at first, but all at once the prisoner refused to budge and attempted to throw the constable.  The latter fell heavily, but in doing so managed to take his assailant with him and keep him underneath until assistance arrived.   Meanwhile he kicked viciously, evenafter he was hand-cuffed, and the constable was rather badly bruised in several places. The accused, however, presented a very damaged appearance when he arrived at the police station. The sergeant and constable had to act as amateur surgeons, and next day the delinquent was sent to gaol for two months.


From The Leader ”-Thursday, February 25, 1932

Galloped home on footpath

"I don’t care whether you go ors with it or not, I’m not drunk and the horse is hard to hold,” said Hetbert Edwaid Feuerherdt when asked by M. c. Lewis why he on Saturday galloped a horse down Murray Street, Angaston and on the footpath, 
continuously hitting the animal with a bridle. The constable's  rejoinder was that the youth's father managed the horse all right. Appearing at Angaston
Court on Monday.   Feuerherdt was by Messrs D. 5. Keightlcy and I.E. Swann, J’s.P. fined  lO/--with 1 costs, in default,  l4days in Magill Reformatory.

PAGE 6 —”TheLeader”, Angaston, Wednesday

 by R. E. Kilimier AM., Q.P.M., JR
Deputy Commissioner (Rtd.).

Officer in Charge, Special Constabulary


For most long serving police officers, there will be certain individuals whom they recognize above others, as making an exceptional contribution to the progression of the Police Service. This is sometimes realized in retrospect, rather than at the time. For me, Inspector William James Delderfield was one such person.

My first contact with him was as a Junior Constable at Thebarton Barracks in 1943. His son Peter was a fellow Cadet. It was wartime, and the recently appointed Inspector at age 42 years was the youngest Commissioned Officer; his rank at that age being exceptional for the time. Despite his comparative youth, his uniform proudly displayed ribbons reflecting at age 17 years, his service in World War One, in the British Royal Flying Corps. His mustering (role) in that Service is not known. It is conjectured it was technical in nature, possibly in the embryonic wireless area, which might account for his later interest in this aspect. His bearing and turnout, together with a clipped moustache always suggested military service.

My first memory of him is a series of superb concerts during the World War 2, mounted in the gymnasium of the Thebarton Barracks. These reflected both his organizational and theatrical abilities as well as his persuasive skills, as he enlisted leading artists to give their free voluntary services to raise money for the Forces Comfort Fund. The Junior Constables of the day were ‘enlisted’ to shift props, as well as participating in some of the humorous skits. They were enjoyable occasions, which helped to offset the gloom of the war years. The professional nature of these entertainments culminated in the United Police services Revue held in the Tivoli Theatre on 21-1-1943, co-produced by Delderfield and a civilian, George Greig. One of the male singing leads was Allan Leane, son of the then Commissioner As usual Junior Constables were co-opted and Peter Delderfield, Roy Bone, George Prosser, Peter Carroll, Cohn Kain, Lawrie Johnson and Des Smith appeared as the G.P.O. Girls Ballet to afford some comic relief

William James Delderfield was born in London on the 6th February, 1901 His father, a printer, later became the proprietor and editor of a provincial newspaper in Devon. The shared family literary ability was a marked characteristic of William. His brother Ronald Frederick Delderfield (1912-1 973) became a renowned author, as well as a successful playwright. His long novels are long panoramic, socio-historical studies of life in the English West Country. Amongst others, they include ‘A Horseman Riding By,” and “Diana’ Many of us will remember the superb BBC television productions based on his novels. His autobiography, “For My Own Amusement” (1972) gives much information about the events and environment that shaped the personalities and characters of the young Delderfield.

Our subject enlisted in the South Australia Police on 1 April 1922 at the age of 21 years. His former occupation is given as ‘salesman” and his height is recorded as 5 ft. 9¼ inches, that he was married and a Congregationalist.

Following duty in Adelaide during which he was given an annual allowance of two pounds for the use of his private bicycle on police duty, he was posted to Mount
Gambier. In 1925 he received an Honourable Mention and in 1929 he was appointed a Temporary Plain Clothes Constable at Mount Gambier. His Divisional Inspector was M. D O’Connell with Sgt. Frank Deane as Officer in Charge of the Mount Gambier Police Station.

On 29-1-1930, he transferred to the Adelaide C.I.B. as a Plain Clothes Constable where he remained until 27-2-1934. Then, (despite having passed the examination for Detective Second Class in 1928), he reverted to uniform duty as Officer in Charge of the Lower North Adelaide Police Station. This was a one man station and this seeming reversion was probably motivated by the availability of cheap accommodation for his family. Following this he held postings in the rank of Constable at Payneham, Goodwood and Glenelg In 1938 he passed a Gas Instructors Course.

He had passed the examination for Sergeant Third Grade in 1 928 and for Sergeant First Grade on 10 October, 1935. On 1~ January, 1943, he was appointed a Second Grade Sergeant at Glenelg but a few short months later (1 -4-1943) was appointed First Grade Sergeant in charge of the Motor Traffic Police. Again he held this rank for a short period, being commissioned on 1 July 1943, and being appointed Officer in Charge, Motor Traffic Police in the rank of Inspector Third Class. He is possibly the first commissioned Officer solely dedicated to the operations of the Traffic Police. I would be interested to learn from other S.A.P.H S. members to the contrary.

This was an important posting, for the Motor Traffic Branch members were the only mobile motorized uniform police of the period. Although their vehicles only comprised motorcycle outfits (mostly Ariel Square Fours) and they lacked any form of wireless communication, they covered the whole of the metropolitan area and were regarded as the elite of the then metropolitan uniformed police. Progression into the Traffic Police was eagerly sought. The role of the Traffic Police was particularly important in the context of wartime conditions and the black out, after nightfall.

In 1942 faced with the rapid expansion of the Japanese Forces southwards, Australia was faced with unprecedented circumstances. Demands upon the Police were extraordinary, particularly with the departure of so many members into the Armed Forces This led to the establishment of a volunteer part time auxiliary force of Special Constables. The direction of this group was given to Inspector Delderfield in addition to his normal duties, He had previously formed and pioneered a small group of this kind whilst Officer in Charge of the Goodwood Police Station,

Carrying out his duties and giving leadership in a vigorous and positive way, it was obvious he was destined for greater things. His ability was recognized and he was often given special tasks. The Editor of the Advertiser paid a tribute to his abilities and his skills on one occasion. Sent by Commissioner Johns to negotiate a particularly delicate matter with that newspaper, he accomplished his task so successfully that the Editor sent a letter to the Commissioner commenting on his (Delderfield’s) outstanding advocacy of the police cause

However, even competent people do not always escape difficulties. There was the occasion when the Governor-General, (1 945-1947) Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester came to Adelaide. On his disembarking at the Adelaide Railway Station a railway employee made insulting remarks to the royal personage, which resulted in his immediate arrest by the Inspector, As a result, all the metropolitan railway employees threatened to go out on strike. Although at the closing stages of the war, this could have resulted in devastating consequences, as Adelaide was very much the rail transport hub of the nation. Negotiations duly averted the strike,

At the end of the war, a long serving police officer would have recognized little change over the period since he joined. The introduction of the mobile traffic police was one exception, but in the main, the metropolitan area was dependent upon police operating from small suburban stations using bicycles or public transport. A startling change in urban geography was soon to occur. The return of considerable numbers of servicemen requiring housing, and the arrival of large numbers of displaced persons and other immigrants in the immediate post war years, made it evident that the existing policing system and methods for the metropolitan area, would not meet needs.

It was Inspector Delderfield during the regime of Commissioner W.F. Johns who was the initiator and architect of the infant wireless patrol system. As Officer in Charge of the Communications Branch he was responsible for much of the concept, preparatory planning and its establishment. This led to the first South Australian all night police wireless patrol on the night of June 4,1948. The crew (See photograph accompanying this article) was (L-R), Detective Ray Whitrod, Gray (an observer from Western Australia) Constable Allan Eland (Driver) and Inspector W. J. Delderfield. Initially C.I.B. personnel using only a few vehicles manned the system following the Victorian practice. However need and events soon resulted in a widespread system manned by general uniformed police.

It is interesting to note that both Whitrod and Delderfield went on to become interstate Commissioners. Delderfield had been appointed a First Class Inspector on 1 July, 1948, but South Australia was not to retain his services for long. On 1 December 1949, he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Tasmania Police. It is of interest to note that at that time there was no equivalent rank in the South Australia Police. With the retirement of Malcolm Dowling the Tasmanian Commissioner, Delderfield was appointed Commissioner of that Service on 1 January 1953, a position in which he served until his retirement on 25 September, 1965. He died on 3 October 1990 at the age of 89 years.

Not unexpectedly, he made a considerable impact upon the Tasmanian Service. At the time of his death he was paid the following tribute.

“He was an outstanding commissioner who was renowned for his articulateness and great command of the language. He had presence and commanded great respect. He was an effective leader who provided direction. He was a disciplinarian, but was always fair.

He initiated improved communications and training. The first two-way radios were installed. Improvements to police transport and housing were among his numerous achievements. He was an exceptional man who had made a major contribution to the Tasmania Police.”

He also saw the need and fought for the establishment of a Police Academy in Tasmania. Although he was not to see its fruition during his term of office, the present splendid institution at Rokeby is a testament to his early initiative and endeavour.

But perhaps his greatest strength was his vision for policing and his willingness and ability to communicate this. Unusually for his day, he realized the importance of the media to this end. His radio talks and speeches reflect his wisdom and insight into the future affecting police. Much of which he envisaged has become reality, particularly in the field of communications.


I acknowledge the ready assistance of Bob Potts and Dorothy Pyatt in providing details of his Service history and photographs.



Friday 5th October, 2001

Our ‘Anniversary’ Dinner will be held on Friday the 5th of October, 2001 in the Fenwick Room at the Police Club, 27 Carrington Street, Adelaide. The ‘subsidised cost’ to all members will be $ 20.00 per head.

Please note that the dinner is in lieu of our regular Friday meeting.

A guest speaker is being arranged and will be advised in the September ~Hue & Cry’.

Attached to this ‘Hue & Cry’, is the Dinner Menu and an attendance slip. To enable us to make the appropriate booking, would you please detach and return the ‘attendance slip’ with your ‘full’ payment to:

S.A. Police Historical Society
G.P.O. Box 1539,

no later than Monday, 24th September, 2001.


If you have any questions in regard to the dinner, please telephone Tony Woodcock at the Society’s office, Thebarton Barracks on any Thursday between 10.30a,m. and 3.30p.m. on 82074098.




Circa 1980's International 510 series four wheel drive truck with purpose built communications van body.  Known by its radio callsign 'VKA-2' was an Emergency Communications Van.  This vehicle was specially built to enable Police radio communications to be provided in operational field situations including bush fires, search and rescue operations, and to supplement existing communication facilities etc.  The last big operation that this vehicle participated in was the Roxby Downs demonstrations where it provided a communications network and base for the Communications Centre Radio Operators.   This vehicle was equipped with all police radios from High Frequency (HF), Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), Marine HF & VHF, Aircraft Band, SES radio, CB radio and a radar used for locating small craft out to sea or on a river.   Unfortunately the vehicle was very heavy and very slow but played a major role in many serious police incidents.   It was also used in many training exercises including the training of may cadets at the Academy in their simulated exercises during the eighties.

This vehicle was replaced in the early nineties by a four wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser with cab and a second lazy rear axle, which is still in use today


As Abraham Lincoln sat in Ford's Theatre in Washington on the night of April 14, 1865. a 26-year-old actor named John Wilkes Booth walked into Lincoln’s box and shot him behind the left ear with a single barrel Derringer pistol. Then, shouting “Sic semper tyrannis” (“Ever thus to tyrants”’) he leapt to the stage. In doing so his spur caught in the curtain and he fell, fracturing his left shinbone. The injury slowed his escape, and twelve days later, he and fellow conspirator, David Herold, were surrounded by Union soldiers in a barn in Virginia. When Booth refused to surrender, the barn was set on fire. Shortly afterwards a shot rang out, and Booth fell dead — whether he shot himself or was shot by one of the soldiers, was never discovered with any degree of certainly.






Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Site map | Tell a Friend
© 2001  South Australian Police Historical
Society Incorporated.  All Rights Reserved.
This web site first established on November 23rd 2000.
Web development by Charlie Tredrea