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Sergeant Lenthall & Mounted Constable Smith with first internees taken from Loxton during
World war 1 - 1914.


Members attending our monthly meeting on Friday the 3rd of June would have noticed some changes in the meeting room. A new audio visual system has been installed which provides a much better & hopefully more reliable sound system. A new & very powerful video projector, mounted in the ceiling, & large new screen which is complemented by a video camera, enabling us able to record our speakers, & then save the recording to DVD. 

 At the same time, the computer network has been totally rewired & should dramatically speed up our computer response times.  A new security system has been installed in the photo gallery, which was the only gallery in the museum not protected by fire or movement detectors.

 Our open day was very successful and a full report is included in this issue.  A sub-committee has been formed to fully evaluate the day and begin planning for a similar event next year. For all those who attended either as volunteers or visitors we welcome any comments about the day.  Please forward any suggestions to the society.

Our speaker at our monthly meeting was to be John McArdle, however, he was called away to Sydney on business and will be re-scheduled.  The Deputy Commissioner Mr John White was able to step in at short notice and gave a very entertaining talk on his early experiences in SAPOL demonstrating the changes in technology that have taken place in the last 30 to 40 years.

 Next month’s meeting will feature Sergeant Cheryl Brown  -  SAPOL Forensic Services Branch who was involved in victim identification in the Tsunami disaster earlier this year.  I hope to see you there.


Geoff Rawson

new members

John & Gwendolyn  COOK Eric & Erica DAGGER

Claude JONES

David & Cynthia RICHARDSON

we welcome you

The Way We Were

Women police in South Australia

Celebrating 90 years

Compiled by Editor Elees Pick


During preparation for this year’s Foundation Day a great deal of fascinating information has come to light regarding Women Policing in South Australia.


Women police had ordered women bathers wearing singlet style costumes to either enter the water or to dress; this apparently resulted from a misunderstanding of a meeting between the Commissioner of Police, Raymond Leane & the Mayor of Glenelg Mr. J.W. Sutherland.

 An Obsolete By-Law was invoked requiring women to wear “neck to knee” bathers whilst at the beach. Women wearing the more modern bathers, which showed their legs and back, were ordered by women police to either enter the water or get dressed much to the astonishment of the Glenelg Council and others great deal of ‘coverage’, pardon the pun, was given in the local press at the time; questioning the action of the women police. Some showed photos of women in bathers with comments from the women police as to what they considered to be offensive & which were attractive.


Commissioner Leane sent the following report to Miss Kate Cocks, Principal of Women Police on 28.1.31

I informed you that the Mayor & councillors of Glenelg Municipality had an interview with me on Friday last & complained about the want of more adequate Police protection.  It was stated by the Deputation that persons residing on the Sea Wall, Broadway, complained of indecent acts committed on the beach in daylight; also that women in abbreviated bathers paraded the sea front in an indecent manner.  It was stated that the Police neglected to enforce the By-laws.

Probably as a result of my statement to you, Women Police were instructed to check such conduct where deemed advisable.  If the Press reports be true, the Mayor has disclaimed all responsibility in the matter.  For the information of the Hon. Chief Secretary, please let me have a full report.  State the number of parents seen re young girls, & a general statement re the apparent lack of decency exhibited by persons on the Glenelg Beach. 

Daisy Curtis submitted a report on the Conduct of bathers at Glenelg, which Kate Cocks subsequently forwarded on to the Commissioner.


Daisy had been in charge of patrolling work at Glenelg since 1929 & from 21st December 1929, until the first week in March, a room was rented by the Police Department, for the convenience of the Women Police, to facilitate the work during the holiday season. 

From the 28th December to the 15th January we had occasion to take the names of 104 children whose ages ranged from 12 years to 16 years.  The average age being 15 years.  These children were lying in indecent attitudes with older boys or men.  Almost 75% of these children did not know the men or boys accompanying them.98 parents were visited & advised re the welfare of their children.  Out of these 96 of the parents expressed their gratitude to the women police for what had been done.  The majority of these parents were amazed at their children deceiving them.  Frequently they allowed the children to join a party of girl friends, who, after nightfall separated into couples with boys they had met during the day.  To ascertain the ages of these children lying about in couples it was necessary to approach tactfully all couples lying about the beaches.

These costumes I consider become offensive when wearers are found lolling about the beach with their legs entwined in that of their male companions.  Especially when the male friend is wearing a skin tight one piece cotton bather which is cut-away & mainly has straps for support.  Especially are they offensive when at night fall the wearers are found in indecent attitudes love making in the sands or in dugouts.   


  The women police admire these costumes & consider them most attractive.  I have no recollection of complaints about any bather wearing pyjamas, I have concluded that the party concerned who is alleged to have been spoken to by us was either in the group who were wearing backless bathers or she herself had on a backless top.


Extract from the Advertiser 28.1.31






Astonishment was expressed by members of some seaside councils yesterday, when they heard that the police had ordered women bathers at Glenelg on Monday to enter the water or to dress.  The enforcement of obsolete by-laws governing bathing apparel was to them an unexpected move

Most of the councils concerned have by-laws frames 20 or 30 years ago, which declare that persons desirous of bathing in the sea must be covered by non-transparent material from neck to knee. The regulation varies only slightly at the various watering places.  Port Adelaide’s by- law declares that he costume should be neck to knee; Henley & Grange is, in effect, the same; and Glenelg gives bathers the option of wearing a neck- to-knee covering or a single piece costume with a V piece.  Although one clause of the Glenelg by law decrees that the dress shall be of the Canadian type & cover the bather from neck to knee, the one referring to the single piece costume is delightfully vague.

 No neck to knee costumes

 If the seaside councils or the police decided to enforce the letter of the by laws, the beaches would be practically deserted, for a neck to knee bathing dress is not procurable here.  None of the Adelaide shopping establishments have in stock anything like a costume of that type. 

Action taken by Police

So far as can be ascertained, the interference by policewomen at Glenelg was not at the instigation of the council & was launched by the police authorities.  It is considered possible that the move may have been made as a result of a deputation from the Glenelg council which recently discussed with the Commissioner of Police (Brigadier-General R.L. Leane) the question of police supervision at Glenelg.  It was stated at the deputation that by laws could not be enforced because of insufficient police.

The Commissioner, when approached yesterday, declined to comment on the matter, or to state whether the action taken by the policewomen was at his direction.

 Regulation cannot be enforced.

 The Mayor of Glenelg (Mr. J.W. Sutherland) said he certainly had a great admiration for the work of the women police along the foreshores of the seaside resorts more particularly that of preventing the offensive behaviour which rules at one period.  However, so far as Monday’s incident was concerned, he thought the officers could have used a little more discretion. 

 Lolling Bathers

There was one objectionable practice among bathers, however, to which Mr. Sutherland thought attention should be given.  That was the custom adopted by some men & women of lolling about the sands too close together.   If that practice could be checked - & the women police were endeavouring to do that – beach difficulties would be overcome. 

 Pyjama Girl Picturesque

 With regard to the pyjama girl, the mayor thought the women police exceeded their duty there.  He held the opinion that the beach pyjama was a most suitable garb for promenaders & there was nothing indecent or suggestive about it. The pyjama suits worn were rather picturesque in decoration & make & created an artistic blending of colour on the beach.  As to the costumes worn by bathers today he could see nothing to which objection could be taken.  They were neat in design & made for general comfort.  The council he said was more concerned about galloping horses on the beach & the playing of cricket on the sands, than enforcing of the by law dealing with costumes, unless of course, there was a tendency to be indecent.

Revising By-laws


Mr. Sutherland stated that the women police did not come to Glenelg at the invitation of the council or himself, but the visit was paid as an outcome of instructions by the Commissioner of Police to deal with infringements of beach by laws.

 Mr. Sutherland proposes to ask the council to modernise the beach by laws.




                  WHAT’S IN A NAME.

by Allan Peters

The name McGee has, in very recent times, featured quite prominently in South Australian newspapers, for reasons, which I am sure our readers will need no reminder. 

 History, that great universal enlightener, however tells us of other interesting specimens of humanity who have borne the name McGee (sometimes spelt Magee).

 First there was Michael Magee. Michael, believed to have been a former convict from Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), was found guilty on the clearest of evidence, of forcibly entering the sitting room of Mr Samuel Smart, the sheriff of South Australia, and shooting at him with intent to kill. Though Michael failed in his bid to kill the sheriff, he was executed in Adelaide on May 2, 1838 at the age of twenty-four.

 The second so named person to enter our history books, David Magee, a sixty-six year old former sailor, who was said to have served with Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. He was transported to Australia in 1821 for smuggling offences, and in 1854 was convicted at Castlemaine, Victoria for the murder of a man named McCarthy, he was executed at the Melbourne Gaol on April 25, 1854.

Last but by no means least, was Irish born Thomas McGee, Thomas was thought to have been twenty-eight years old when he was hanged in the Melbourne Gaol on February 19, 1863 for the murder of Alexander Brown at Bendigo on October 17, 1862.


Allan Peters.   


The Poisoning at Avenue Range.


Compiled by member Allen Cliff

There is no mention of this in the Police records at the Adelaide Archives, but the story is recorded here as told by old residents of the south east who knew the chief participant.

It is not known just when the tragedy took place but it may have been anytime between 1860 & 1870.  Avenue Range or Kalyra, as it is called now, was, at this time owned by a man named James Brown, better known as Jimmy Brown. A man with fiery red hair & an equally fiery temper.  In those days many of the natives were still semi civilised & caused much trouble & annoyance to stock owners by killing their sheep & cattle.  It often happened that they were not actually killed but the unfortunate animals were left with broken legs or otherwise maimed.

In the case of the cattle, the tongue, which was regarded as a right royal dish to the natives – fit for the gods – was sometimes removed, with the poor beast being left to die a lingering death.  It is easy to imagine the feelings of the stock owners when they saw the condition of the poor creatures after the blacks had made their raids.  No doubt there were times when the owners driven to the limits of desperation, took the law into their own hands & dealt out summary justice in a mild form where they could get away without the law catching up with them.

Jimmy Brown was no exception to the general run of stock owners but perhaps more decided in his method of administering punishment.  It so happened on one occasion, after a raid on his flocks, that he decided to end the trouble once & for all time by striking at the fountain head.  It was well known that the aboriginals in those days had a particular liking for the white man’s flour & would run considerable risks to obtain it.  Jimmy, who was aware of their little weakness, decided to turn it into a profitable account, which eventually brought about his desired result.  Having adulterated a large quantity of flour with arsenic he contrived to have it placed within their reach & then acted in accordance with a pre-arranged plan to make himself scarce before the poison had done it’s work & the results became known to the Police.

He owned a fine horse, noted for it’s great power of endurance.  He immediately saddled & mounted, steering a course for the coast without delay. He followed the beach for about ninety miles to the Murray mouth.  After swimming across he steered straight for Adelaide & arrived there sometime on the second or third day.

In the meantime, the flour had done its work, & the news spread abroad.  A large number of natives of both sexes, young & old alike, were found dead along the shore of the swamp.

The affair caused considerable consternation & very soon the Police were on Jimmy’s trail.  In due course, he was brought in & called to give an account of his movements within the given period.  It was then that his horse’s great performance stood him in good stead &n Jimmy, with the aid of his lawyer was, no doubt, able to give a convincing account of his movements & he was acquitted without penalty.

At the trial it was claimed that it was utterly impossible for Brown to do the deed & then ride to Adelaide, where he appeared almost immediately afterwards.

On returning to Avenue Range, out of gratitude to his good old horse, he turned him loose in the best feed paddock allowing him to live out his life without ever being ridden again.

 Long after the affair blew over, & he felt free to speak with some degree of safety, Jimmy used to say with pride “That old horse saved my life once”.   

next meeting


8.00 pm Friday 1st July, 2005

 Speaker : Sergeant Cheryl Brown  -  SAPOL Forensic Services Branch

Sergeant Brown was the Site Commander of the Disaster Identification Group for the Boxing Day Tsunami Investigation.  This promises to be a most interesting evening and we look forward to seeing you there.


Sergeant Michael Newbury        Early Adelaide History

September                  Mr Dean Solomon                     44 years of Tip Top Baking

October                       Mr. Errol Chinner                      Port Adelaide & Semaphore History

November                   Mr. Peter Stephenson                Contemporary events in Iraq

December                   Christmas Social Function.


John Francis ‘Jack’ Cawley

28.2.1922 – 25.5.05

          Esteemed member of the Historical Society.

Mounted Police escort for the opening of Parliament – May 1973 –    Inspector Jack Cawley’s last day with the Mounted Cadre.


Unfortunately, because of a printing glitch this story was not told in full in our last edition.  We repeat it here with our sincere apologies to Allen Cliff.      Elees.


There has been, for many years, the discussion as to how Policeman’s Point in the Southeast was named.  After a lot of searching, the following has been put forward :-

 There are four schools of thought as to how the name was derived.


Firstly:  It is supposed to have originated from meetings by Police & coach drivers back in the very early days, when coaches travelled through from Adelaide to Mount Gambier & the only town or coach stop was at or near Salt Creek, which was about half way between Wellington & Kingston

 Secondly: It was believed to be the place where Corporal Rollison of the Wellington Police & other policemen stayed the night in 1862 before the arrest of Malachi Martin the notorious Salt Creek Murder.

 Thirdly Corporal Rollison took up sections 32 & 33 in the Hundreds of Santo in 1863

 Last being that there was supposed to have been a Policeman stationed there to keep the aborigines in order. (There is no record of a policeman stationed there or of a Police Station ever having been there, but as you can see whatever it was Police were involved in it somewhere.




We were recently contacted by Mrs. Eileen Ryan, mother of the late Senior Sergeant Joseph Ryan, asking if we would be interested in a ceremonial sword.


Senior Sergeant Ryan passed away on the 10th August, 2004 & left the sword, which he apparently purchased some years ago, to his mother.   Mrs. Ryan decided that the best place for such an outstanding artefact would be in our Museum.

As a consequence we visited Mrs. Ryan at her home where she presented us with the sword still encased in its original packaging. Volunteer David Richardson is currently preparing a case in which to display this historical item, which will then take pride of place in the Museum.


Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Ryan for her greatly appreciated donation.







On Sunday the 22nd of May 2005 we held our first “Open Day”, with 3 galleries of the Museum open,  & a display of our historic vehicles with Rex Greig & his band of helpers, on the parade ground. Alan Hyson provided Video presentations in the meeting room with tea & coffee served to the public by Rob Thomson & “his ladies”; Tony Woodcock & his wife Kate manned the canteen. A memorabilia stall with the super salesman Alan Peters & a number of assistants sold books, horseshoes, and many other items.

 The Dog patrols attended with “bomb” & “drug” sniffer dogs & another handler introduced a “people friendly” German shepherd.  The large crowds around the handlers were testament to their ability to demonstrate just what these dogs are capable of.  The mounted operations unit supplied two horses, which mixed their patrols with parade ground activities & there were two tours of the stables, which were very well attended. The S.A. Pipes & Drums provided entertainment, during the morning.

 More than 1,000 people attended, & about 30 volunteers, along with a group of police rangers, assisted the public during the day & by 5pm we were tired but very pleased with our first attempt.  We are already looking forward to hold this event next year with more entertainment.  It is anticipated that the event will be held on the 29th October 2006, & the Police Band has already been booked for the day.

Thank you to all the volunteers, Police personnel & Rangers who worked so hard to make the day such a great success.















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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