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Mounted on police horse "Gellibrand"
Mounted Police were drafted to various parts of the colony under the command of Inspectors, who resided in their Divisions. Outstations were formed in the larger centres of population and the Constables were supplied with one or more horses or camels, depending upon the location of the outpost. When any crime or offence was reported, the Officer in Charge of the outstation immediately communicated by telegram or post with the Detective Office in Adelaide, the Inspector of his Division, any other stations deemed necessary, and undertook immediate action for the arrest of the offender. Supplementary reports were sent until the case was completed.

Twenty five books for recording purposes and six books for reference were kept at each outstation. The reference books included ‘The House Surgeon’ and ‘Myle’s Treatise on the Shoeing of Horses’.

The Mounted Police were considered to be the elite branch of the Force, and its members were officially designated ‘Police Troopers’. This distinction led to friction with the Foot Police so in June 1880, the title was discontinued and members were known as "Mounted Constable" or "Foot Constable" depending on whether they were posted to the Country or City Divisions. Mounted Police were drilled in the simplest cavalry movements to enable them to work together in emergencies, and on such occasions discarded the sword and carried batons and revolvers. Handcuffs were carried in a saddle pouch.

When on bush patrol, the uniform was sometimes replaced by more practical bush dress, and broad brimmed hats were worn. Each man was expected to shoe his own horse whilst on patrol, and severe disciplinary action was taken against men who did not pay strict attention to the well-being of their mount. During long, arduous patrols through remote areas, the Mounted Police traversed territory never before seen by Europeans, and were the unsung explorers of much of South Australia and the Northern Territory.


1.  Mounted Police Troopers, by Chas Hopkins

2.    MOUNTED CONSTABLE - wearing cape and shako cap.


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