Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

1955ArticlesBoatCauseCurrently ServingDeceased PoliceElectrocutionFuneralGenderMaleNSWOf eventOn Dutyother accidentPhotosStateUnknownVehicle accidentWall of RemembranceYearYes

Bernard Alfred ORROCK


Bernard Alfred ORROCK

( late of Alpha Rd, Willoughby )

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ????

Rank:  Constable

Stations?, Sydney Water Police – Death

Service:   From  22 January 1951  to  26 February 1955 = 4+ years Service

Awards:  Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry

Bronze Medal from the Royal Shipwreck and Humane Society for his actions in the floods

Born? ? 1930 in Hornsby

Died on:  26 February 1955


Event location:  Maitland

Age:  24

Funeral date?

Funeral location? “possibly”  Macquarie Park Cemetery, Plassey Rd, Macquarie Pk

Buried at?”possibly”  Roman Catholic Portion, Row U11, Plot 0041

Memorial at

Bernard Alfred ORROCK

BERNARD IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance


On 26 February, 1955 Constable Orrock of the Sydney Water Police was performing flood rescue duties in the Maitland area during the horrendous 1955 floods. While travelling with Army and Air Force personnel in an Army Duck toward the Louth Park area, the wireless aerial on the Duck struck live high tension power lines. As a result, Constable Orrock and two Army Signallers, Sergeant William McGrath and Signaller Eric Chard, were killed. The cause of death was asphyxiation caused by electrocution.


He was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry and a Bronze Medal from the Royal Shipwreck and Humane Society for his actions in the floods that ultimately led to his death.


The constable was born in 1930 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 22 January, 1951. At the time of his death he was attached to the Sydney Water Police.


Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995),

Tuesday 22 November 1955, page 5


SYDNEY, Monday.

The Queen has conferred awards for services during the floods of last February and March.

The awards were announced by the Governor, Sir John Northcott, and the Prime Minister, Mr.Menzies, yesterday.

……….The Superintendent of Newcastle Police, Peter F. McLouglin or McLachlan, and Mr Ian Stuart Black, of Denman, receive the British Empire Medal.

The Queen’s Police Medal for gallantry was awarded posthumously to Constable Bernard Alfred Orrock, of the Sydney Water Police who was killed during rescue operations.

The Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct was awarded to four policemen and four civilians.

They are Senior Const. William Elsner STEVENS of Gilgandra. Const. 1st Class Marius Joseph William John BOURKE, Const. 1st Class Rudolph Luvaine MUNNS, Const. Svend Aage IVARSSON, of the Sydney Water Police, and Messrs. Claude Reynolds of Bundarra, Gordon Ernest Davis, of Moree, Robert Edward Montgomery, of Moree, and Keith Arthur Bennett, of Moree.



They Sydney Morning Herald

22 November 1955      p3

Inspector Peter McLachlan, of Newcastle, who was awarded the British Empire Medal, personally took part in more than 100 rescues in the Singleton district.

He was without sleep for four days and nights directing dozens of other rescue operations, including the organisation of an aerial flood lift into Singleton, and emergency accommodation for hundreds of homeless people.

Constable Bernard Alfred Orrock, 24, of Alpha Rd, Willoughby, who was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry ( posthumous award ) was attached to the Water Police when he was electrocuted on an Army duck at Maitland on February 26.

The duck on which Orrock was travelling hit a 66,000 volt high tension wire near the Maitland railway bridge while trying to reach 100 people who were stranded there.

Before he was killed he assisted in the rescue and evacuation of about 70 people.

Constable Marius Joseph William John Bourke, Rudolph Luvaine Munns and Svend Aage Ivarsson, awarded the Queen’s Commendation for brave conduct, are all of the Sydney Water Police.


Washed Over Dam In Boats

There were in two police flood boats, which were washed over a dam, near Singleton, while trying to get Inspector McLachlan into Singleton at night.

Constables Bourke and Ivarsson later in Singleton, took part in scored of rescues under Inspector McLachlan.

Constable Munns worked with Constable Orrock at Maitland and took part in more than 100 rescues.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Saturday 14 August 1954, page 6

Ship’s Wash Sweeps Workman To Death

Wash from a ship’s propeller swept a man to death beneath a wharf at Walsh Bay yesterday.

A wharf foreman, who plunged fully clothed into the water to rescue him, received cuts and bruises when he was buffeted against the wharf.

Drowned was John Allan Mitchell, 57, of Nicholson Street, Balmain.

Mitchell, a welder, was working on the stern of the motor vessel Braeside, moored at No. 7 wharf.

He was standing on scaffolding on a raft floating between the ship’s stern and the wharf, when wash from another ship, Muliama, rocked the raft, overturned the scaffolding, and sent him tumbling into the water.

A wharf foreman, James Curry, of Cascade Street, Paddington, dived into the water and supported Mitchell until Maritime Services Board employees Stewart Dutton, of Herne Bay, and Leslie Lindwall, of Seaview Street, Dulwich Hill, reached them in a launch.

Mitchell was given artificial respiration before the arrival of the police launch Typhon, with Constables B. Orrock and W. Atkins aboard.

Central District Ambulance took Mitchell to Sydney Hospital, but he was dead on arrival.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Monday 24 May 1954, page 4

Man Rescued From Harbour

Water Police yesterday rescued a man clinging to a pylon in three feet of water under a wharf at Walsh Bay.

The man, William McCormack, 60, of Victoria, told police he did not know how he got into the water, but must have been there for hours.

He was blue with cold, and on the point of collapse when rescued by Constable B. Orrock, assisted by Sergeant D. Lechleitner and Constable J. Nicholson.

McCormack was admitted to Sydney Hospital suffering from immersion.


Possibly” lived in:

1954 – North Sydney

1977 – Barton, NSW


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