It is very pleasing to announce that the draft new constitution, which will replace the old constitution in its entirety is now available and will be presented for approval at the
A.G.M. in February 2004. “See story this issue. “
Work is currently proceeding on draft policy documents which are required for accreditation of our museum in the future. A Museum committee has been formed which will include Tony Kaukas as our adviser. Tony has had a lot of experience in setting up museums and his advice will be of great assistance. Other members of the sub-committee will be myself, Dorothy Pyatt, a representative from the SAPD probably Insp. Bill Prior and Holger Kruse.
At our monthly meeting on Friday the 7th November about 40 members attended. I was the speaker for the night and presented a talk with photos and video of a trip my wife and I made to Alaska. It was nice to have a captive audience and I hope the entertainment was enjoyed by all.
During the past month members have been very busy with several outings at which the Chrysler Royal and the Bedford were used. including Adelaide Gaol and Sunybrae Farm both of which were very successful. Many thanks to Rex Greig Ernie McLeod, Holger Kruse and Allan Peters at the Adelaide Gaol and Alan Hyson and Holger Kruse at Sunnybrae Farm.
Kapunda Show with Holger Kruse, Frank O'Connor and Geoff Rawson
On Saturday the 1st November a group of about 25 attended at the Kapunda Show. It was a generally fine day for an outing and enjoyed by all. Alan Hyson and Rod Stokes drove the Chrysler which as usual attracted a lot of attention at the show.
Don’t forget next month’s meeting, the Xmas chicken dinner at the Police Historical Headquarters, Port Road, Adelaide. (most of us still call it Thebarton!) on Friday the 5th December 2003, at 7.00 PM This will be an excellent night out.
Bicycle Police on Parade at North Terrace Police Barracks for Presentation of Kings Police Medal to Const. Hedley John Rowney (K.P.M.) on 6th May 1915.
The following article in taken from Nathaniel Hailes” witty and affectionate Recollections which appeared in the South Australian Register Newspaper in 1878, and now available in book form edited by our Historian Allan Peters. It would appear that water was causing concern way back then & is still a problem today & Graffiti also reared it’s ugly head.
Water & The Want of it.
South Australian Register 27th March 1878
In a new country, the only thing more important than obtaining wholesome food is the necessity of obtaining supplies of pure, fresh water. I must devote a whole chapter to the history of our much abused River Torrens and, therefore, need only to remark here that household supplies of the indispensable fluid were brought to our houses & tents from the river in carts, except in the few incidents where wells had been sunk at great expense & with greatly varied results.
Nothing in Adelaide proved more whimsical than underground water at that time. A well could sometimes be sunk to a level that produced drinkable water; yet often, by extending the depth of the well by just a few feet the liquid became salt or brackish.
Throughout the city, and the colony in general, salt water and fresh water could be found at alternating depths, quite often very close together. I once travelled with a party in the extreme western portion of this colony along a gully extending several miles. A series of waterholes were situated in this gully. Some were fresh, while an equal number, sometimes as close as several feet apart, were salt.
Many were the lives lost in various parts of the colony in those days, chiefly from want of water while travelling the bush, & many were the hairbreadth escapes from that horrible form of death. Those who have been without water in a hot climate for twenty four hours will tell you that no other suffering they have ever endured equalled the intense anguish, both mental & physical, which attended protracted thirst.
The country between Adelaide & Encounter Bay was particularly liable to such casualties. In 1838 the police captured a man named Morgan, a companion of the recently executed Michael Magee, at Encounter Bay, & attempted to convey him to Adelaide for trial. A large portion of the territory between the two places was a desert of scrub & sand, thickly interspersed with boulders of stone. The practice of the Police at the time, when conveying a prisoner, was to fasten him to a tree at every halt. During their journey with Morgan they several times lost their way & regained it with difficulty. The weather was excessively hot, locations of fresh water springs were unknown, & the supply of water with which they had started was nearly exhausted. The food also had nearly all been consumed. Under these circumstances Morgan, who showed advanced symptoms of exhaustion – a condition which was exaggerated by the restrictions imposed by the handcuffs he was forced to wear – laid himself down on the ground & refused to move another step onward. Neither threats of being shot by the policemen, or of being left there to die of thirst could encourage the prisoner to move.
(courtesy of his descendants)
The constables were almost exhausted too, & perhaps were as much encumbered by their weapons as the prisoner was by his manacles. Death from starvation, heat & thirst was staring them in the face, so they made Morgan fast to a tree in a secluded spot by passing his arms around it & securing his wrists with handcuffs. The policemen then pushed on for Adelaide without him. For four days the prisoner remained in this predicament, his frantic struggles to free himself from his shackles only succeeded in having them cut deeper into the flesh of his wrists. He was exposed to the scorching heat during the day, piercing chills at night, & suffering privation of both water & food. Ravenous birds screamed around him during daylight & wild dog prowled near him at night, venturing every hour closer & closer to him, waiting for exhaustion to overcome him. By day, flies perched upon his raw wrists & when they retired at sunset, mosquitoes continued the assault. After four days he was found alive by a police party who had been despatched to search for him. When discovered, he was covered by thousands of bush flies that had settled on him, some of them having deposited their hideous living spawn upon his face and hands. A few hours more would have terminated the career of the untried felon by a death too horrible to contemplate.
Morgan was successfully conveyed to Adelaide where, on 19th April, 1838 he was sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal settlements of Van Diemen’s Land.
A few months later another remarkable escape from death occurred in the same neighbourhood. A murder had been or was supposed to have been committed by one of the whalers at Encounter Bay. Mr. Nicholls, then Coroner, started from Adelaide on horseback for the purpose of holding an inquest at the Whale fishery there. Beyond Willunga he lost his way & then his horse. Eight days later he made his appearance at the Police Station at Encounter Bay crawling on his hands & knees. Great indeed was his exhaustion, for during the long period he had tasted no ordinary food nor drunk water; the little sustenance he obtained consisted of roots & other vegetable substances & he somewhat alleviated his thirst by chewing tendrils of the she-oak. The poor fellow’s boots adhered so tightly to his feet that it was necessary to cut them away piecemeal & with great care. The last time I talked with Mr. Nicholls we discussed his past deeds & fearing that my memory might mislead me as to the duration of his lonely misadventure in the wilderness, I enquired of him as to the fact, and the term of eight days was made apparent by reference to dates.
Immediately after Mr. Nicholls’ notable incident I had occasion to visit Encounter Bay & I made more minute enquiries in regard to the route than I might otherwise have done. Major O’Halloran, who was then Commissioner of Police, kindly furnished me with full direction for my journey, & with letters to officers in charge at the Police tents at Willunga & Encounter Bat requesting that accommodation be offered to me wherever it was within their power to do so. The Major especially cautioned me regarding the distant water of Lake Victoria, which would become visible to me a few miles beyond Willunga & which I might mistake for the shores of Encounter Bay.
Soon after daybreak next morning I presented myself at Chambers’ Stables to be introduced to my four legged travelling companion. Mr. Chambers’ assistant brought forth a powerful looking animal, well suited for the journey, but with legs so long and back so high in the air that I
Almost felt the need of a ladder to mount the beast. I succeeded, however, in reaching the top without one. “Does he know the Southern Districts” I enquired, “Oh yes” replied the stable hand; “he took Mr. Nicholls down south two or three weeks ago”. At these words I felt and uncomfortable sensation beneath my waistcoat, & if the distance to the ground had not been so great I think I should have got down again immediately. The information, however, was useful to me.
About three miles beyond Willunga I saw the blue lake, and the mountainous horse beneath me showed great determination to travel in that direction, caring little whether he took me along or parted company with me on the road, as he had done with Mr. Nicholls. The determination of the horse to reach the lake was later explained to me. Very simply, the horse had spent several months of his infancy at the lake, the sight of which rekindled fond memories of other days & a desire to renew old friendships.
In spite of his protests to the contrary, I succeeded eventually in guiding his four excessively long legs to Encounter Bay. I spent a very pleasant night at Encounter Bay in bush fashion in the police tent. Captain Hart came ashore from his vessel, which was moored in the harbour, & offered to take me on board & show me about. Having very little time at my disposal I had to reluctantly decline his hospitality. That night I was treated to a delicious feast of freshly cooked crayfish, which had been brought to the camp by some of the local natives; and as these most sought after crustaceans were rarely procurable in Adelaide, I was desirous of taking a couple back with me. Accordingly, I agreed with a native to supply me with two as soon after sunrise next morning as possible for a specific sum. I arose at sunrise, & on looking from the tent saw a spear driven into the ground opposite the entrance, by which sign I knew that the enterprising aborigine was engaged in fulfilling his contract. I could, however, not await his arrival with the delicacy, but of course left the amount which we had agreed upon with the police, to compensate him for his effort.
Although my horse did not succeed in getting to his favourite feeding ground, he succeeded in losing me on the journey back. At noon I became convinced that I was proceeding on the wrong track in that horrible desert of sand, stumps & granite blocks. There was a blazing sun above me, & my water bottle had been empty three hours; all vegetation around me was scorched to the point where it seemed ready to ignite. These things together with the thought of subsisting for a week or two on berries, roots & she-oak tendrils, were by no means appealing to me. I had just made up my mind to let the stalking monster carry me to Lake Victoria or anywhere else when I saw something white among the bushes. This welcome apparition proved to be a friend who was in charge of a party of surveyors who were mapping out the future road. He pointed the way to his tent, where he said I should find pure, cold water. On seeing how hot I was he decided to join me & from a small cupboard within the tent produced a bottle of that amber fluid that only the natives of Scotland seem capable of producing
successfully. To each of two tumblers he added a small measure of the fluid, he then added a larger quantity of water. No drink I have ever had, whether prior to that time or since, has ever tasted better.
Expressing my sincere gratitude I took leave of his most welcome company & following his directions continued on my amended, homeward course. I reach Adelaide soon after nightfall & very gratefully descended from my mountainous beast of burden without spraining either of my ankles.
Not long after the date of the foregoing occurrence, Major O’Halloran paid for a well to be sunk as a convenience to passing travellers. It was positioned on the roadside not far from his residence, on the hill which bears his name. As some people still passed without discovering the well, a board was placed in a conspicuous position bearing the inscription in large letters – “O’Halloran’s Well”. I am sorry to say that shortly after the sign was installed an ungrateful vandal, who had taken advantage of the Major’s benevolence to refresh himself & his horse, had the impertinence to deface the lower part of the board with bold chalked letters, which defied obliteration by the showers of the ensuing winter. Beneath the words “O’Halloran’s Well” the vandal had audaciously inscribed “Very glad to hear it! Hope Mrs. O’Halloran is well also!”
On or about November 7, 1883, Mounted Constable John Charles Shirley perished from thirst in the Northern Territory, near Attack Creek. Shirley, who was at that time stationed at Barrow Creek, had set out with teamster and bushman, John Rees, two native trackers, two unrelated men named George and Arthur Phillips, Alan Giles the chief telegraph operator of Tennant Creek and a man named Jim Hussey. The men went in search of a party of cattle drovers whom it was falsely reported, had been attacked by wild aboriginals.
All members of the search party with the exception of Alan Giles and one of the native trackers perished.Mounted Constable W H Willshire, who at the time of the above mentioned events, was stationed at Alice Springs and was called upon to investigate, and report on the tragic occurrence, later penned the following poem in honour of his fallen comrade and the other members of the ill fated party.
DIED OF THIRST.
[BY MOUNTED CONSTABLE W. H. WILLSHIRE.]
The cry of murder in the far, far North!
And straight six stout and gallant hearts go forth;
Have comrades fallen by wild natives’ spears?
They must dispel or verify their fears.
Search plain and scrub to see doth murder speak
To prove the news that comes from Tennant’s Creek.
O, God! The hardships of that dire campaign!
Oh, God! The arid, blasted, burning plain!
Oh, God! The sweltering scrub all waterless!
Oh, God wilt Thou not aid them in distress?
The fierce blue sky relentless overhead,
The baked earth cracking to their giddy tread,
No little cloud is seen to give them hope,
All nature one gigantic pyroscope.
Back on their tracks appalled they baffled push,
With fevered blood retrace the trackless bush,
With cracked and swollen tongues, and throats ablaze,
And voices that a whisper scarce can raise,
With brains delirious and all infantile,
Their horses dropping lifeless every mile,
Down goes a steed, and there’s a frenzied rush
To cut its throat, and drink the gory rush.
At length the last beast out of misery put,
Leaves them to die, or tramp it out on foot.
The baked earth cracking to their giddy tread,
The only tracks they leave are horses dead.
Oh, God! The arid, blasted, burning plain!
Oh, God of mercy, wilt Thou not send rain?
With staggering steps they search for mocking trail,
Their heads grow lighter as their bodies fail.
First Rees and Arthur Phillips left behind
In desert lone, uncoffined burial find.
Next ’neath a bush George Phillips’ feeble sigh
Responds to Shirley’s; both lie down to die.
Then Hussey feels his mortal vigor done,
And falls down gasping ’neath the broiling sun;
Now Giles, the sole survivor, save a black,
In dismal loneliness crawls on the track;
He soon droops down delirious, in distress,
Till mercy sends a kind unconsciousness.
The brave black boy toils on with painful breath,
Finds water, saves his white-skinned mate from death.
How eagerly the famished traveller quaffed
That precious, priceless, life-preserving draught.
But, oh! how sad and futile was his quest
For his lost comrades; all had gone to rest.
No more he’ll hear their welcome, cheery tones;
The arid desert holds their bleaching bones.
With vigor fresh, and hope once more imbrued,
The weary, sickening journey is renewed,
Till telegraphic lines are reached and broken,
And with the sundered wire a station spoken.
So Giles is saved, by faithful black boy nursed.
To tell how comrades died from heat and thirst.
Oh, mourning mothers, sorrowing sisters true,
The heart of all Australia bleeds for you.
But Giles disdains to rest, his heart is warm,
He swears he has a duty to perform;
His comrades’ bodies undefended lay,
Exposed to dangers and to birds of prey.
He cannot rest ’neath such a heavy pall,
He swears he’ll give them Christian burial.
Once more doth he retrace those weary miles
To sepulchre his mates – God bless you Giles
Chris & Christine Veling
..... we welcome you
The South Australian Police Historical Society Executive Committee has been examining the current constitution over the last 6-8 months and although the old document has served us well in the last 25 years, it is out of date and needed so many modifications that it was decided to replace it in its entirety.
The revised draft new constitution will be presented to the Annual General Meeting on Friday the 6th February 2004 for approval by members. It will be available for perusal at Historical section Police Barracks Port Road Adelaide or can be made available upon request. If you would like to view a copy please feel free to contact the Society either by telephone, facsimile or e-mail and a copy will be provided.
This year give a gift that is special
Give a genuine piece of Australian history
TALES OF THE TROOPERS
Genuine stories of policing in South Australia
from the pen of the late
Special Xmas gift prices for members
$9 ea. When you purchase two books or more
Were originally $22.95
See Adelaide and South Australia from its
Read how the S.A. Police Force was first
As told in a witty and affectionate style by a genuine early pioneer.
Special Xmas gift prices for members
$9 ea. When you purchase two books or more
Were originally $20.95
FIGHT AGAINST THE SCOURGE OF BUSHRANGING
“Wild Colonial Boys”
A THREAT TO SOCIETY
Australian Chronicle – Sydney, June 25th, 1867
With the execution at Darlinghurst today of Thomas & John Clarke, the notorious outlaws, we believe that the scourge of bushranging has at last been stemmed.
The Clarke brothers have terrorised the south-eastern corner of our Colony since Thomas Clarke escaped from Braidwood gaol early in October 1856.
Clarke was serving a sentence for robbery.
After his escape Thomas Clarke was joined by his brother and committed every kind of felony from robbing lonely travellers to holding up the settlements of Nerigundah and Michelago.
Murder was in their activities. Four Police disguised themselves as surveyors & penetrated wild Jindera country to try and find the outlaws. These four were murdered by their campfire and on the breast of one the outlaws impudently pinned a ?1 note.
Their audacious career was ended on April 27th, when they were captured, after much shooting by police who had surrounded the hut.
In recent years, after a long and discouraging period of failure, the police have gained a number of such victories.
Today the notorious Frank Gardiner is safely in a cell in the gaol where the Clarkes were hanged.
Ben Hall was hunted down and killed by police and other members of his gang have since shared his fate, gone to prison or, in the case of John Dunn, hanged for murder.
One of the few notorious bandits yet unaccounted for is Frederick Ward (alias Thunderbolt) who, after his escape from Cockatoo Island prison, Sydney, has succeeded in holding the roads between Newcastle and the Queensland border and has so far evaded capture.
Should these notes come to Mr. Ward’s attention he may yet repent his ways, for in no case we know of has a bushranger benefited from or enjoyed the results of lawlessness.
Police Education Programme 17.12.1985
Police and Teachers.
Back Row L>R: David Hilterband, Paul Guerin, Don Pudney, Allan Herbst, Gerry Mangan,
John Ellis, Ken Smith, Bill Skoyles.
3rd Row L>R: Robyn Ellis, Robyn Christensen, Russell Gehling, Terry Mends, Bill Prior,
Russell Knight, Bruce Hartley, John Wallace.
2nd Row L>R: Jim Bentley Ed Chrismani, John Burgess, Kym Hebenstreitt.
Front Row L>R: Trevor Brown, Ian Dix, Supt. Sampson, Dennis Carlsonn, Eddie Moore,
Max Merckenschlager, Kevin Starks.
It was an historic occasion indeed on Tuesday the 17th December, 1985 when thirty teachers and police officers attended at the Police Auditorium for the launch of the Police Education Programme. It was the first time that operational police and working teachers have met in significant numbers for a common cause.
In introducing the programme Superintendent Sampson commented that for many years individual police officers both suburban and country had been performing an excellent school liaison function by providing lectures on a range of subjects. However, this activity has, of necessity, been fragmented. Running counter to this, some police had an Image of their role as stern and tough, quick acting etc., and that whilst this was a product of the circumstances in which they worked there was also a need for the police officer to
be seen as concerned about youth and the community in general. He said that the time had come for a more positive structured approach which was offered by this new schools initiative.
The difference between this programme and past police activities in the schools area was that now specific police officers all of whom are volunteers, would spend a full 12 month period working in the same school on a structured basis. Equally significant is the fact that individual police officers will work in partnership with a specific teacher at each school. He believed that in this way the presence of a uniformed police officer would become an accepted fact within the school environment and that this would be healthy for the children and also enhance the police image.
The programme will be commenced in eight High schools in the first month of the new school year. The schools involved are Morialta, Craigmore, Christies Beach, Le Fevre, Elizabeth West, Murray Bridge. Underdale and Warriappendi Alternative School.
Police will provide weekly lectures on Criminal Justice subjects on a basic level and will supervise outside visits to police installations and other places.
A pilot study of this project was carried out during 1985 with a group of 3rd year boys at the Underdale High School and received glowing praise from the principal. staff and students at the school.
Superintendent Sampson concluded his address by saying that initial response to the programme had exceeded expectations and augered well for the future expansion of this and other community policing initiatives.
1962 Solo 650 a B.S.A.
At this year’s Royal Adelaide Show the Police Historical Society was displaying the 1962 Chrysler Royal Highway Patrol car, along with the 1962 Solo B.S.A. Motor cycle, donated by the late Chief Superintendent Bob Potts and a Suzuki Outfit.
The newest addition to the
S.A. Police Historical Society’s Vehicle Museum
Left to Right - Rex Greig - Noel Coulthard - Ernie McLeod with 1962 Solo 650 a B.S.A.
Rex Greig presenting Noel Coulthard with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of
The S.A. Police Historical Society
On a number of days volunteer Ernie McLeod, retired Senior Constable, past Highway Patrol Member and active Police Historical member, represented the Society at the S.A. Police display, promoting both the Police Historical Society and the S.A. Police Department by speaking to many members of the public about past activities of the vehicles on display.
On Monday 29th September, 2003, Ernie McLeod and Rex Greig travelled to Coffin Bay where Noel Coulthard handed over possession of his B.S.A. to the Police Historical Society. The motor cycle was transferred back to the Historical Society’s Museum at Thebarton Police Barracks, where it has pride of place with the other past Police Museum Vehicles.
Ernie had the good fortune of speaking to a Mr. Noel Coulthard of Coffin Bay, who was the owner of an original 1962 Solo 650A B.S.A. To Ernie’s delight Noel Coulthard offered his B.S.A. to the Police Historical Society to be kept for posterity.
We, The S.A. Police Historical Society sincerely thank Noel Coulthard for his generosity and foresight to preserve this very prestigious part of Police History.
Senior Sergeant (Retired)
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
C/- Box 1539
Web Site :
email > email@example.com