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           line 2010    



From South Australia Police 1838-2003 by Chas Hopkins (2nd Edition)

In 1928 a temporary police base was established at the Port Adelaide wharves, located on a triangular police of land south of the Adelaide Chemical Works on Ocean Steamers Road as a result of  Industrial action by waterside workers.  There was stabling for 25 horses.   Continued Later >>>


We are about to embark on one of our largest and perhaps most important periods of change.  Because of an asbestos problem with the flooring in our major document storage area at Thebarton Barracks, we have been required to clean all of our documents and exhibits out from the old Kitchen area.  This will allow the asbestos backed floor tiles in that area to be removed and replaced.

Thanks to a wonderful group of volunteers including Audrey Wallace, Audrey Walker, Isabel Brooks, Bethany Boettcher, Di Lug, Kate Woodcock, Elees Pick, Alf Jarvis, Geoff Rawson, Tony Woodcock, Tony Kaukas and Max Griffiths, we were able to ‘break the back’ of the mammoth task on Saturday 29th May 2010.  Over a period of 7 hours we were able to unpack, then re-pack in special archive boxes, record and label over 250 boxes containing some very important and valuable documents, dis-assemble several meters of steel shelving and move a large proportion of it to a storage area in the motor vehicle area.

This was my first volunteer work effort for quite some time and I was extremely impressed with the        willingness of all volunteers firstly at very short notice to make their time available and secondly for the   extremely efficient way in which they managed to complete so much work without one grumble.  I know a couple of other volunteers would have willingly helped had it not been a Saturday or had it not been at such short notice.  The work is not yet complete and there will be other working-bees before this task is completed.
Our major task now is to plan for a more efficient storage and work area once we are able to return to the Mess Building.  It is hoped that once started, the re-flooring will take no more than a couple of weeks to complete.  In the mean time, we are searching for a compactus in which we can store a large amount of documents in a much smaller floor area.  Obviously there will be some cost involved, but the Executive will endeavour to achieve a quality product for an acceptable price and one which will allow us to provide a much more appropriate area for our volunteers to undertake their work.

Late last year we appointed Di Lugg to the position of Welfare Officer.  The major role to be undertaken was to identify members, their family or friends of the Society who were facing personal difficulties such as sickness, recent deaths in their family or other personal hardships.  Di has undertaken this role with enthusiasm and sent many messages, cards and made a number of telephone calls to a range of people.  It has been very gratifying to have recently received feedback messages from many of those people about how the contact made by Di has been so well received.  They have told us that the contact from Di has significantly assisted them during their period of hardship and that the contact was really appreciated.  Well done Di. 

If you are aware of any member of our Society or of any person who is important to them that is on the sick list or for any reason having a few difficulties, please advise Di and she will make contact on behalf of the Society.

Owen Bevan was the speaker at our monthly meeting on Friday the 4th June gave an audio visual          presentation relating to the amazing work of one man to save more than 669 children from Jewish families just prior to the outbreak of the war.  These children were sent to England to be adopted by English families.  Most did not see their parents again as they had been sent to the death camps.  It was a moving experience bringing many of us to tears as those survivors met their saviour for the first time in British television. 

The raffle was conducted by Pauline Follett with many worthy winners.  Many thanks to Pauline.

   Bill Prior.



Commissioner Leane implemented a Junior Constable training scheme in 1934 and 1934 the Port Adelaide Depot was chosen as a suitable site for their training.  The trainees were to be 15-18years of age, medically sound and not colour blind, a  minimum of 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall and with  Intermediate standard of education and were to graduate at 21years of age although this was later reduced to 20years of age.  There were 60-70 continually in the area for 12 months before being transferred to Thebarton Barracks.
The accommodation provided consisted of 10 wood and iron huts   accommodating 10 members with 2 to a  cubicle. There were no floor coverings with beds laced with hoop iron made by the police farrier and a flock     mattress. 

Hygiene and accommodation was very poor and not up to recognised standards with pools of water draining from the kitchen forming at the boundary fence and a large pit where refuse from the kitchen was dumped adjacent to the kitchen door.   Fumigation was frequently necessary to destroy bed bugs and large amounts of horse manure were stacked adjacent to the messroom attracting flies. There were no fly screens or tablecloths and seating was on wooden forms.
The parade ground was full of potholes and covered in gravel.  If the water in the ablution block failed which it   frequently did it was the practice of the instructor to hose down the trainees after they had soaped themselves.

On the western side of the area was a busy wharf where ships were berthed to unload timber 24hours a day and on the Northern side was the Chemical works  continually discharging sulphur fumes. 
All fatigue duties were done by the trainees including cooking, messing and cleaning on a roster basis. The     ablution block was located at the western end of the large shed and adjacent to the boundary fence.  There were no doors to the  toilets or showers to provide privacy and only one shower was fitted with a “chip” heater to heat water.  There was no provision for washing of clothes.

Working conditions were very regimented and recruits were summoned by the trumpeter to the parades and were disciplined on and off parades for deportment and general conduct.  The slightest infringement (hand in pocket, smiling or  chewing on parade, lateness) drew swift  punishment. 

The majority of the working day consisted of washing and grooming horses, mucking out stables, equitation, physical training, drill with Martini Henry rifles, bayonet and sword drill, swimming, St John ambulance lessons and general fatigue  duties.   Trainees were also required to attend typing and shorthand lessons at Stott’s Business College in Grenfell Street.

Each member was issued with a locker to store personal gear and was required to roll up his mattress every morning and place it on the top of his bed, and the blankets and sheets were folded in a required    manner and placed on top of the rolled mattress with the pillow.  The member’s towel was placed over the bottom of the wire mattress and his  bayonet and pouch was placed over the centre of the wire  mattress.  His Martini Henry rifle which was issued to him for drill purposes was stored on brackets attached to the partition wall adjacent to this bed.  There were inspections at 9-00am each day and the trainee stood beside his bed while the inspection was carried out.

During summer trainees were to rise by 6-00am and were required to pass the Bronze Medal for swimming which involved a 1 ½ mile march to the Port Canal swimming club close to the Commercial Road Railway station for 2 hours each day regardless of weather conditions.  Sometimes the water had manure floating on the surface from horse traffic washed from the street, or froth caused by sap exuding from large quantities of logs jettisoned in the Port River near the Canal, with the result that several trainees suffered with ear and nose infections.

There were improvements made to the area over time, but thankfully at the end of the 2nd world war, training was centred at Thebarton Police Barracks. 




Wednesday, March 31, 1915.

(Before Messes T. Gepp. S.M., W. B. Crapp. and B. Morphett.)

Charles Henry Snow was fined £5 16/ for having ridden a motor cycle at an excessive speed in King William-street on March 22. He   exceeded the speed limit of 13 miles an hour by nine miles an hour.

(Before Mr. T. Gepp. S.M.)

Hurtle James Halliday was charged by James Booth, divisional returning-officer for Boothby, with having on March 1 failed to have his name placed on the Commonwealth electoral roll for the subdivision of Unley. A fine of 1/-, with costs, was imposed.

E. Coombe admitted having sold goods to Percy Lowter at 81 Carrington-street without being licenced to do so. A fine of 5/-, with 1 costs. Mr. W. H. Wader prosecuted.

Horace Hobbs was fined 15/- for having ridden a bicycle in Gawler-place on March 34 without having a proper bell attached to it.

Richard Ware was charged with having expectorated on the footpath in King William street on March 17. G. H. Billson gave evidence. A fine of 15/ was imposed.

William McDonald was fined £1 for having on March '23 failed to have his name and address and the weight of his cart painted upon 'the side of the vehicle.

Dora Lee was charged with having on March 24, being the holder of a certificate granted by Unley City Council, unlawfully stored a  quantity of fire works in excess of that authorised by the certificate. Mr. W. H. Waverly prosecuted," and Mr. T. S. Poole appeared for the defendant, who pleaded not guilty. Evidence was given by Inspectors Ingerson and Lewis. The information was dismissed.

South  Australian   Advertiser.


DECEMBER 24, 1861.




[Before Mr. a Beddome, P. and Dr. Ward.]

IMPORTANT TO PUBLICANS. - Johannes Schirmer was charged by Inspector Pettinger with having on December l8 permitted gambling to take place in his house, the Tivoli Hotel, by allowing dice to be thrown for geese. Police constable Featherstone stated he went into the defendant's house on the evening of the day named in the information.

He paid the defendant a shilling, and threw with dice for a goose. He lost. The defendant was a publican. Saw several other persons pay money and throw for geese.

"Police constable O'Callaghan corroborated the last witness's statement.

Mr. Ingleby, who appeared for the defendant, submitted that raffling for geese was not   gambling. His Worship said the information came within the 15th clause of the Police Act, which stated that no publican should allow "any games whatsoever" in his house, He would not impose a high penalty, but would fine the defendant 6s. and costs, in all £1 5s.


MAINTENANCE.-James Reid and Terence Reid were charged by T. W. Bee with refusing to contribute towards the maintenance of their mother, Rose Reid. It appeared the two Defendants were farmers and occupiers of their own freeholds, and apparently well able to contribute to the maintenance of their mother. The Court ordered each of the defendants to pay 5s. per Week towards their mother's support.


STABBING CASE.-After the conclusion of the German procession on Monday night, a young man named Timothy Ryan, a cab-driver,  contrived to get into the Hotel Europe, where he commenced insulting the Germans, and attempting to fight. He was, however, soon expelled, when he immediately got up a row in the street, and stabbed a German farmer from Hope Valley in the arm with a penknife. The German's name was Knolwes, and he had come in to take part in the procession. We understand he is not seriously hurt Ryan was at once arrested, and consigned to the lock up.

From the Scrapbook of the late William Francis Johns, CBE, OStJ,
former Commissioner of Police. 
(appointed Commissioner of Police in 1944.)

Nairne Police Station.
January 14, 1916.
I have the honour to report that in making the inquiries respecting the sudden death of Elizabeth Maud May Stevens, who died suddenly at Callington, I considered it inadvisable to ride Police Horse “Garb”. When taking into consideration the amount of work in patrols of late and in view of statistical duty which I am engaged in at present, I did not feel justified in patrolling the 24 miles today by horse.
Mr Day of this town kindly lent me his bicycle by which I rode to Callington and returned by train, Order No. 2117 given for single ticket from Callington to Nairne.
I have etc.
W.F. Johns

Insp. Bushell,
Police Barracks,
Returned to MC. Johns. In this case you must pay the amount of fare for the second class ticket, as had you been in uniform Vide General Orders there would have been no necessity to procure the ticket.
Remit the cash herewith.
H. Bushell

Respectfully returned to Insp. Bushell with remittance and report under separate cover.
W.F. Johns,
Nairne Police Station.
With reference to endorsed report attached hereto re my action in issuing an order for a second class railway ticket from Callington to Nairne on the 14th inst. I have the    honour to respectfully point out that my only reason for using the bicycle was purely out of consideration for Police Horse “Garb”. January 4th was one of the hottest days experienced here for this summer and riding against a head wind and a great part of the way having to push the bicycle up hill, I was  completely exhausted on reaching Callington. I did not wear uniform as I intended to return by bicycle when leaving here which I found I was quite  unable to do.
However, when orders arrive from headquarters I simply obey and I am forwarding Postal Note for ½ herewith.
At the same time I cannot help feeling the injustice in having to provide the railway fare when purely out of kindness to my horse I completely exhausted myself with a bicycle.
I have the honour to be sir,
Your obedient servant,
William F. Johns.





Hearing that a “crown and anchor” school was in progress, the police yesterday made a raid on a yard at the rear of Surrey Chambers, Franklin Street,    Adelaide, and 30 men were arrested.

During the afternoon a “two-up school” was in     progress during the two year old trials at Victoria Park Racecourse. Police   Recruit L.W. Lippert,       acting under instructions from Constables Allchurch and Haynes went to Victoria Park Racecourse and there saw about 40 men playing two-up in the centre of the course.

He watched the game for about 15 minutes, after which he saw Police Recruit Slinger coming from another direction. Lippert heard a man say, “Here’s a jack coming,’ and the men broke up the ring and stood about talking. A man named Conlan said, “He is a jack. I saw him at the Imperial on Saturday.” Another said, “I wouldn’t toss them up in front of him.”     Police recruit Slinger walked right up to the ring. A few seconds later some one said, “There is the patrol wagon,” and they all started to run. A number were arrested. Constable Cowling apprehended Cecil B. Jaggard running from the direction of the ring.

Jaggard said he had been to Parkside on business, and denied he had been at the ring. He was fined 15/ with 17/ costs. Two other defendants who was under the age of 18 years were charged in the  Children’s Court. They were fined 27/ in all.  Conlan was remanded until August 23.

Mr. H. J. Coombe, S.M., criticised Inspector Duthie for the handling of an alleged offence at the Cairo Club on August 4. The magistrate    dismissed a charge against a young man for    having used insulting words.  The defendant, Haig Hurst, of Myall avenue, Kensington       Gardens, was charged with having used insulting words to a police constable at the Cairo Club on August 4.  Assistant Police Prosecutor Barrington said that the police alleged that the defendant had directed the words, “I don’t know why they didn’t go to the war instead of coming here and making a nuisance of themselves” to PCC Berge, a member of Inspector Duthie’s licensing squad.  The defendant, on oath, claimed that the words were not directed to the constable, but at some persons who had been making a nuisance of themselves during the evening.  The magistrate said that it was quite likely that the matter would have been settled there and then had not          Inspector Duthie appeared on the scene, and when told of the trouble said that he,  “would  report the matter.”  “It seems to me that it was a hasty way of dealing with the matter,” said the magistrate, “and I would have thought that the inspector would have known that the defendant should have been entitled to the benefit of the doubt. The magistrate added that as Inspector Duthie took a material part in the case he should have been called to give evidence. Mr. C.T. Gun for the defence.

A younger Bull Duthie in 1933.


On Thursday the 13th May 2010, Deputy Commissioner Gary Burns BM,APM (Vice Patron), provided lunch to the Thursday Volunteer Group to commemorate Volunteers Week.  He was unable to attend due to other commitments, but Assistant Commissioner Bronwyn Killmier was able to attend in his place. Also present with the volunteers was President Bill Prior, Robin Cremeni (SAPOL Volunteer Co-ordinator)


A/C Bronwyn Killmier addressing the volunteers & young police dog.


         Mr Lindsay SAUL &
     Mr Andrew McEVOY



                  We Welcome you …….

Friday 2nd July 2010 at 7-30pm.

Chief Inspector Paul Barr.  He was the 2008 champion on ABC Television’s Einstein Factor Show  with his subject The  Constitutional Crisis of 1975. He will be talking about his experiences on the show and history of the  Crisis. For further information go to  http://www.abc.net.au/einsteinfactor/txt/s235667.htm

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The recent practice of importing into South Australia fully trained police from Great Britain has very old parallels. Indeed, the first man to occupy the position of Deputy Commissioner of Police, though he did not actually bear that title, was James Stuart in 1838, brought here under similar circumstances to those  applying today. Stuart very nearly became a major figure in South Australian history, but due to several cruel twists of fate he is relegated to a mere footnote.

It is believed that James Stuart was born at Greenwich, near London, about 1800. Based on his report writing skills, he was evidently well educated. His surname was frequently misspelt as Stewart, though his   signature confirms Stuart to be correct. As a young man he married Sarah Matilda Hendon, born about 1804 at Greenwich, and began raising a family.

He joined the London Metropolitan Police on 21 September 1829, aged about 29, and was posted to Division M (Southwark). With thick dark hair and standing 172cm (5’8”) tall, his Warrant Number 2489 places him as one of the earliest members of that force. His leadership talents being soon recognised, on 5 November 1832 he was promoted from sergeant to inspector. Stuart served nine years in London, until he became aware in June 1838 of plans to form the first police force in the new British colony of South Australia. The Colonisation Commissioners were seeking three experienced London police to set up and run the new force, from among which the first commander would be chosen.

In the event, only two applicants were selected and appointed. Both had extensive experience in policing the lively and crime-ridden streets of London. Both also came highly recommended by Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Charles Rowan (Ca. 1782-1852), one of the two joint Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police, as being two of his best officers.

The senior in rank of the appointees was the highly regarded Inspector James Stuart, who had recommended that the other officer be a colleague, William Baker Ashton (1800-1854). Despite Stuart’s seniority, both men were appointed under the same terms and salary, and were promised the rank and pay of inspector upon successful completion of the task of forming a police force similar to the London police. Both men then resigned from the Metropolitan Police Stuart on 10 July 1838.
Wasting no time, within weeks both men and their families had settled their affairs and packed. They sailed from St Katherine’s Dock on 26 July 1838 on the Rajasthan (700t), being on full police pay for the entire voyage. Ironically, on the same ship was an ambitious prospective settler, Thomas Shuldham  O’Halloran (1797-1870), later to upstage Stuart, serving as Commissioner of Police 1840-43. The Stuart amily comprised parents James and Sarah, with Sons William, Henry, and James.

Unfortunately for Stuart and Ashton, they suffered from the communication time lag of the sailing ship era, so did not arrive in South Australia until 16 November 1838. By that time, in response to local law and order pressures, the Adelaide authorities had already formed a police force — seven months earlier on 28 April 1838 — and 21- year-old Superintendent Henry Inman (1816-1895) firmly occupied the commander’s position.

The surprise and disappointment of Stuart and Ashton is not recorded.
A fortnight later, effective 1 December 1838, Stuart and Ashton, both aged 38, were both appointed Deputy Inspector of Police, a title that within weeks was altered to Sub-Inspector. Ashton was then offered the lesser, but semi-autonomous, new position of Governor of the Gaol, effective 1 January 1839, while Stuart became Inman’s immediate deputy. For the next two years Stuart was in overall command of the entire force (including Ashton’s gaol) whenever Inman was absent, which was often, as Inman tended to lead from the saddle, not the desk.

Inman’s lack of attention to administrative matters led to the appointment of a four- man Board of Police Commissioners in late 1839, one being former army major O’Halloran. In mid-1840 Inman was dismissed, the Superintendent title and the Board were both abolished, and O’Halloran was appointed first Commissioner of Police. Had Stuart been holding Inman’s position from the outset, and at that time, it is highly probable O’Halloran would never have been on the scene and Stuart would have been the first Commissioner.

Ever since foundation the police had been divided roughly equally into foot and mounted police divisions. With the reorganisation of mid-1840, a separate inspector was placed in command of each division, Stuart having the foot police covering metropolitan Adelaide, while the newly arrived Alexander Tolmer (1815-1890) took charge of the mounted men, most being at country stations. There was immediate rivalry between these two, certainly on the part of Tolmer, who fancied Stuart was jealous of his claimed investigative successes.
Despite that, O’Halloran regarded Stuart the more highly, he being the only man mentioned by name in O’Halloran’s report for the period ending 31 December 1841:  ‘The Commissioner receives much valuable assistance from Inspector Stuart, an old and very efficient police officer, who is thoroughly acquainted with his duties.’ Stuart still efficiently ran the entire force whenever O’Halloran, and then subsequent Commissioner Finniss, were either absent in the bush on investigations or explorations, or engaged in politics. In some ways, his situation of never attaining command in his own right must have been a bitter disappointment to him.
However, with his mature and proficient manner, over the next few years Stuart became just as highly regarded in South Australia as he had been in London. While other senior police (most having no prior  police experience) joined and left, or sought excitement at the expanding frontiers of settlement, as did O’Halloran and Tolmer, Stuart was content to quietly serve in Adelaide, at the core of metropolitan policing, taking on an ever-wider range of leadership and administrative duties, which contributed much to the early professionalism of the force.
For example, on 11 August 1842, when alcohol distillation was first regulated, the following notice appeared in the Government Gazette: ‘His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint Mr. James Stuart, Inspector of Metropolitan Police, to be Inspector of Distilleries under the Act of Council, No.19, 5th Victoria, entitled, An Act to Regulate Internal Distillation in the Province of South Australia.’

As the ambitious and pretentious Tolmer gained more experience and influence, he tended to overshadow the modest Stuart, but Stuart consistently served on. Then, in the mid 1840’s, Stuart developed a heart condition. Forced to retire through ill health, he was much esteemed. At that time he and his family were living in Gray Street, Adelaide, near North Terrace, and it seems that he never worked again.

The Register, newspaper for Monday 8 December 1856 records: ‘DEATH OF AN OLD POLICE OFFICER — Mr. Stuart, one of the oldest Inspectors of South Australian Police, who had not for many years been connected with the service, died suddenly on Saturday night [6 December 1856] at his residence near North and West Terrace. We understand he had for some time been suffering a disease in the heart, and had been attended by Dr. Mayo.’

Stuart was only 56 at the time of his death. Sarah Matilda Stuart later resided at suburban Kensington with her married daughter. She died there on 7 December 1892, aged 88, after 36 years of widow-hood. Both James and Sarah are interred at West Terrace Cemetery. The couple have many descendants, particularly in Victoria.
Although the two are sometimes confused, Stuart has no known kinship to Inspector Charles William Stuart (1811-1891) who served in the force 1850-53, during the gold escort era, and had bitter altercations with Alexander Tolmer, leading to the latter’s demotion from Commissioner.

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On Monday the 3rd May the 11  Students from Samaritan College Whyalla attended to tour the museum.  The students were in town for 2 days for legal studies visiting courts, the police academy and parliament house.

On Thursday the 6th May the Bay Village Retirement Estate  (Victor Harbour) visited for a tour of the museum.

The Neighbourhood Watch Expo was held at the Torrens Parade Ground, Adelaide on Saturday 8 May 2010.

Diana Lugg and Kev Johnson attended with the Chrysler Royal which attracted the usual attention and remarks of  admiration.



On Sunday the 16th May the 20 members of the Goodwood Boys Old Scholars visited the museum and enjoyed Devonshire tea thanks to the scone making efforts of Helen Ward.,Vice President Kevin Beare was host with Di Lugg,  Max Griffiths, Kevin Johnson, Ray Freak, Glen Mattingly, Bob Ward, Dave and Gaye Aylett.  They were a very generous group purchasing memorabilia and books


Tony Woodcock addressed the Kensington Park RSL club on Tuesday the 11th May 2010.  A group of 50-60 members enjoyed a talk about the Historical Society, who were thoroughly entertained.  The group were keen to tour the museum in the near future. 

Geoff Rawson addressed the Old Troopers lunch at which Treasurer Tony Woodcock with his wife Kate and Dorothy Pyatt also attended, on Sunday the 16th May 2010.  Geoff spoke about the early establishment of the colony of South Australia and the History of the Society.

Dorothy comes to the rescue...

A recent request by Vice President Kevin Beare for a vacuum cleaner for the museum was  answered by Dorothy Pyatt recently.  Kevin reports that the cleaner was in new condition and  perfect for the job.  There was previously one cleaner between two buildings  and the generous donation by Dorothy will be of great assistance to the museum  committee.
Thank you Dorothy !


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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

Geogg Rawson


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