He was born at sea while his parents were en route to Australia. He resided at Kapunda, Burra and Wallaroo Mines and worked as a miner. He studied at night school at Kadina. In October 1875, he joined the Police Force as a Constable, but resigned in April 1876. He rejoined the Force in 1877. He later left the Force again and entered the service of the General Post Office as a detective. After four years he again rejoined the Police Force. He rose through the ranks and was appointed Commissioner of Police in 1917.
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