Share the HOPE
that is


From the President

It is that time of the year when we stop and ask the question “Where has the year gone? As we get older time seems to pass us by even more quickly. That certainly has the case of the Historical Society with so much that has happened and achieved during 2001. I xviii not dwell on that in this report as I will leave that to my Annual Report, which is only a short time away.

As we approach the festive and New Year season I would like to take this opportunity to wish all members and friends a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I know that this Christmas will bring good cheer to you all and that 2002 will continue to be a rewarding year to you and the Society.

As this is the time for members to “put your feet up” and enjoy a short break from Society duties I will keep this report short. I would like however to say that I look forward to working with you all in the coming year.

A very special Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Kind regards

John White

Members who attended the event to commemorate 150 years of policing at Kapunda which was held on 27 October. 2001 will recall the re-enactment of the arrest of an offender for the murder of the Rainbird family.
This re-enactment was performed on horseback by the present Officer in charge, Kapunda police station, Senior Constable Paul Kearney together with a number of members of the Kapunda State Emergency Service (S.E.S.), who form the S.E.S. mounted team used for rural search and rescue operations.

The following material was compiled by Senior Constable Kearney as a background commentary for the re-enactment ceremony, and delivered by Lutheran Pastor, Reverend Voigt who is police chaplain to a number of police stations in the Barossa-Yorke Local Service Area (Police Division), including Kapunda.

The article is reproduced in it original form as used for the re-enactment commentary.

- ooOoo-



What fearful sounds disturb the lonely glade and drive the wild-dog startled from his lair? Unlike all sounds by earthly creatures made The demons yell! The shriek of wild despair! Oh! God what can it mean? What dreadful deed. In adding to the lists of mans foul crimes? Oh! Speed thee homeward, helpless husband speed. Or stay and soon thoul’t hear the death bell chimes.

Such was the community's reaction to this foul crime, that it provoked many to put pen to paper. Composing poems and verse like you just heard, and have published in the local newspaper of the time the Northern Times, dedicated to the murder of Mrs RAINBIRD and her children.

The Rainbird family lived in an isolated area between Hamilton which is some 12 miles north of Kapunda and the township of Riverton. At 7.00 a.m. on Monday 11th March 1861, Robert RAINBIRD left his home with his bullocks and dray to work on neighbouring properties. Nothing could prepare him for the ghastly find that would unfold. He returned at 6.30 pm that day to find his wife and children missing. After making enquiries with his neighbours, his concerns started to manifest. Along with his neighbour, Charles FARROW, they searched through the night. The next day they were joined by 20 —30 men and the grizzly find was made. The bodies of Mary Ann RAINBOW and her two children were discovered in a wombat hole.

At this time, two troopers staffed Kapunda Police. Trooper LENAHAN, being absent as he was escorting a prisoner to Adelaide. This left Trooper AYLIFFE on his own. He was advised at 4.00 p.m. on Tuesday l2~ March and mounted his horse “Anlaby” and set out immediately. At 9.00 p.m. he was advised of the discovery of the bodies when he called in at a local farm. From there he continued to the Rainbird’s farm. Collecting another local resident along the way, a Mr HARTLAND, they rode from RAINBOW'S residence to Macaw Creek, arriving at 3.00 a.m. Here they located a group of aboriginals so a guard was placed on the group. Once again the guard consisted of members of the community. Trooper AYLIFFE then left this group and went after Jack PYKE who he was told had left the group the previous morning. AYLIFFE located Jack PYKE asleep at Bakers Springs and returned him to the main group who was still under guard. AYLIFFE arrested five of the persons in this group on the admissions of PYKE. AYLIFFE then borrowed a cart from Mr HARTLAND and bought the five prisoners to Kapunda.

The re-enactment you are viewing today is symbolic of the co-operation between the police and members of the community of Kapunda and surrounding districts to apprehend the offenders of this crime. The use of the Kapunda S.E.S. Mounted team symbolises the cooperation between police and the community. Both working together to achieve a common goal. During the times of Trooper AYLI FFE, he would be assisted by other officers from neighbouring stations of the period, like Sgt REID from the Auburn police station who removed the deceased from the wombat hole in this particular instance. Today the small stations of Kapunda, Freeling, Riverton and Eudunda work together, utilising intelligence and offering support to each other to provide a better service to the community.
During the incidence of the RAINBIRD murder, members of the community voluntarily gave up their time to assist in searching, despite on a going heat wave (103 Fahrenheit) at the time. Members in the rural sector would offer any assistance they could to the troopers.
Today the local police still enjoy the support of members of the local community, all being volunteers. The interaction between the police and community of Kapunda is shown in many aspects today. This includes local police involvement in school programmes dealing with anti-drug strategies and road safety, involvement in the local skate board park and also involvement with the community emergency services, with one member being involved in the training of the State Emergency Service mounted team

In the 1860s during the time of this incident and immediately afterwards, the community promoted and supported its police in a praiseworthy manner, either by word of mouth or letter. Today, this admiration and support for the local police is still highly displayed by word of mouth and letters by the community of Kapunda.

Clearly, it has not just been 150 years of policing in Kapunda, but rather 150 years of the police and the community working together.

- ooOoo-

Allan welcomes a ghost into the family

ELIZABETH Woolcock, the only woman hanged in SA, has become part of Allan Peters’ family.   Allan, of Christies Beach, stumbled across Woolcock in the early 1980s, while researching his own family history which turned out to be “absolutely boring”.   Instead, Allan 67, turned his attention to Woolcock and the story of how she became the only woman hanged in SA, at Adelaide Jail in 1873.
~ Allan's grandmother had lived a few houses away from Woolcock, in the Copper Triangle town of Moonta.
He now was “pretty sure” Woolcock  ~‘ was wrongly hanged at age 25, for ~ poisoning her husband with mercury.  ~ Allan said information he had uncovered such as Woolcock’s family dog also dying from poison, while her confession said she poisoned husband only, cast doubt on her guilt, he believed.   His biography of Woolcock, No Monument of Stone, was published in  1992 “It took me 10 years to get the book to a stage where I was happy with it He and his daughter, artist Leeza Peters, have since performed two plays based on the book “We insist that Elizabeth is now Part of the family. She is always coming up in conversations and always haunting us,” Allan said.

 Author Allan Peters with his historical account of the only woman hanged in SA, No
   Monument of Stone. “I have always been interested in history ... and not just the
 , dull boring stuff,” he says. Picture: Roy Van Der Vegt.
Feeling that Woolcock, as a convicted poisoner, deserved her own cookbook, Allan penned the Olde Time Cookbook and Household Lore,  published in 1995, with genuine old time genuine old time   “Everyone seems to think he is a will visit.

He recently finished his latest manuscript Bizarre and Historic, Australia and New Zealand Crimes which detailed about 50 crimes with a twist.

 “I have always been interested history.. . and not just the dull boring stuff.”  Allan said the manuscript included the “true” story of Ned Kelly.   of controversy.”
Allan will sign copies of his books at the Willunga Courthouse and Police Station, in High St, Willunga, on Sunday, November 11, 11.3Oam-4.3Opm, as part of the inaugural SA Writers

During the afternoon, SA Police Historical Society volunteers driving a 1961 Chrysler Royal Highway Patrol car will visit.    “Everyone seems to think he is a hero, but I decided to write the facts              — RACHEL BROWN


Continuing in the series of





River Intermittent stream
flowing into Macumba and
then into Lake Eyre.
All believed to have been named
after George Hamilton, member of
S.A. Police, 1847—1867 and
Commissioner of Police 1867—1882.

Mount  Minor geographical
feature, south of
old Oodnadatta rail line
between Coward Springs
and Curdimurka.

Lake  Large salt lake
between Mount Hope
and Sheringa. Eyre


188                                                                THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN POLICE GAZETTE.              [Dec. 3, 1873..

During the night of the 22nd ultimo, a telegraph pole was maliciously broken down, at Strathalbyn, by some person or persons unknown.—(C.1145,)

Edward Wade, aged 18 years, 5ft. 4in. high, dark complexion, thin build, brown eyes, is charged, on warrant issued at Port Adelaide on the 26th ultimo, with disobeying a summons to answer a charge of deserting the service of Henry C. Ford, at Port Adelaide. Wade’s parents reside at Macclesfield.

From the South Australian Government Gazetted, Nov. 27th, 1873, page 2013. 
 Chief Secretary's Office, Adelaide, November 26, 1873.   His Excellency the Governor in Council has been pleased to appoint the under mentioned gentleman to be a Commissioner for taking affidavits in the Supreme Court, ViZ.  Mr. 1). Moffat, Clerk of the Local Courts of Gumeracha.   Mount Pleasant, and Tea Tree Gully. 
                             By command, 
                          ARTHUR BLYTH, Chief Secretary

Chief Secretary's Office, Adelaide, November 26, 1873
His Excellency the Governor in Executive Council has
been pleased to appoint Brian C. Besley, Sergeant of Mounted Police, to be Inspector of Public houses for the Licensing District of Mount Gambier, under the provisions of the Licensed Victuallers Act of 1869.
                                      By command, 
                                   ARTHUR BLYTH, Chief Secretary

Chief Secretary's Office, Adelaide, November 21, 1873
His Excellency the Governor has been pleased. to appoint
Corporal John Field to be Inspector of Slaughter-houses and of  Brands, and of Skins of Slaughtered Cattle, for the
under mentioned District, under the provisions of an Act in- 
tituled “An Act to Regulate the Slaughtering and Prevent
the Stealing of Cattle,” being No. 5 of 1840.
District—The whole of County Robe east of Reedy Creek.
                                      By command,
                                  ARTHUR BLYTH, Chief Secretary. 

Our Past?

with Mr Dates

From "The Leader" - Thursday, November 24, 1938
Gets years jail for Angaston theft
 Walking into Messrs Johnson & McLeod’s Unattended Angaston garage on Friday, a young man took £26 from an inside pocket of Mr F. Johnsons coat. He had previously visited the garage seeking
12 pennies for two sixpences, but on the second call was just leaving when seen by Mr G. Heggie, whose suspicions resulted in prompt discover of the theft and smart arrest of the man in Adelaide next day.  He was Latimer L. Thomas, 28 year old Adelaide labourer with numerous previous convictions and when he appeared at Angaston Court on Monday,  Mr W. V. Ray, S.M. ordered a year’s imprisonment.  The charge concerned £14/10/- in cash and two cheques bringing the total to £26/19/8.  Lawrence C. Janson, 21 year hawker of Adelaide, and husband of Thomas’ 19 year sister, was charged conjointly with Thomas, but Mr Ray acquitted him as, he said, there was some doubt of his guilt. Assistant Police
Prosecutor Bond prosecuted and Mr Christie appeared for defendants, who were in custody.  After Mr Ray gave judgement and before sentence was imposed, Mr Bond said Thomas had been fined again for stealing when he was 13, fined again for larceny a year later, got six months in a reformatory for larceny in l93l and had subsequent convictions for common assault, being unlawfully on
premises and six further larceny convictions, the last in April this year, when he got seven months for a garage larceny similar to this one.
PAGE 6 - "The Leader", Angaston, Wednesday,


 Police Gazette.

This publication is issued for the information of the Police only, who are directed to obey all orders
hereby conveyed, and to use their) utmost exertions /br the apprehension of the parties and the
recovery of the property herein and before described.

Acting Commissioner of Police.

 No. 38.]                     ADELAIDE, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1883.

Police Commissioner’s Office, Adelaide, September 17th, 1883
At Inspector Sullivan’s request I have much pleasure noticing the courageous conduct of Foot Constable Richmond in rescuing Mary ‘White from drowning in the Torrens Lake on the 31st ultimo. He is awarded the sum of   £5 (vide P.C.O. 672/83). Also, at Inspector Besley’s request, the good services rendered by Mounted Constables Bannigan, Mathews, and Detective Hampton, re recent horse stealing . cases in district of Mount Lyndhurst. Mounted Constable  Bannigan has, with my approval, been presented by Mr. Kingsmill with £20, £5 of which, I am glad to learn, he has handed to Mounted Constable Mathews.—(P.C.O., 653/83)
              WM. J. PETERSWALD, Commissioner of Police

Police Commissioner’s Office, Adelaide, September 15th, 1883
MEMO.—In future mounted constables will only wear their swords when doing duty on horseback. On nil occasions, when escorting prisoners by rail or coach, loaded revolvers must be carried.
                         WM. J. PETERSWALD, Commissioner of Police

The half yearly Felony Return,! viz., to December 31st next, need not be sent in to this office, as the next return will include from July 1st, 1883, to June 30th, 1884. ­
                        WM. J. PETERSWALD, Commissioner of Police

MEMO—Permits to publicans to keep open. after hours, and certificates to sell liquor in booths, &c., are frequently

forwarded in a very imperfect state. The dates and the occasions for which they are granted, the number of days for which certificates are granted, and the hours to which permits are granted being often omitted. Police officers visiting public houses or booths on such occasions are directed to ask to see these documents, and have any omissions or errors corrected.

MEMO.—A Police Station has been opened at Hergott Springs.

COUNTERFEIT COIN.— For some weeks past spurious shillings have been uttered in Adelaide, at shops and on tram cars, by a woman of the following description—Age about 40 years, average height, stout build, dark complexion, full face, short neck, wearing red and black striped shawl and bluish earrings (probably mother of pearl) shaped like a cross, speaks with Scotch accent. Exertion to be used for the detection of this offender; name unknown, and no warrant.—(O.1868/9, &c.)

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of the undermentioned offenders --
John Thomson, age about 20 years, height 5ft. 7in. or 8in, dark complexion, dark eyes, no hair on face, larrikin appearanee, grey tweed clothes, and light soft felt hat, for disobeying a summons of the Stirling Bench for breach of the Licensed Victuallers Act on the 12th instant.— 


In 1803. Henry Hacking was found guilty of shooting and wounding a woman and was sentenced to death. He received a reprieve, but within a year was once again sentenced to death for theft. But fate stepped in and he was again reprieved and banished to Van Diemen’s Land, here he later took to heavy drinking and died of alcohol related liver damage at the age of eighty-three.


MANY THANKS to all those who contributed letters and articles to the HUE & CRY. These are what make the HUE & CRY interesting and enjoyable for members to read.

I am looking forward to receiving more of the same to include in future issues of the HUE & CRY in the NEW YEAR.

With Best Wishes for Christmas,

and the year 2002.

Janice Hutchin



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