ALMOST hidden by rubbish and weeds, a tombstone which was recently discovered in the Carisbrook cemetery recalls the story of a policeman who lost his life while gallantly pursuing an armed bushranger on the Havelock diggings in 1858.
The grave was found by Constable J. Casey, said residents of the district, who had been clearing the cemetery of weeds.
At the suggestion of police officials, it was decided to have the tombstone and grave renovated.
Half the cost was borne by the Chief Commissioner ( Brigadier-General Blarney ).
The Inscription on the stone had become almost unreadable, but it has been restored by recutting in a marble slab.
It reads as follows:
Sacred to the memory of
native of Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland,
Late Senior-constable of the Victoria police,
Who was shot dead whilst gallantly performing his duty to endeavouring to arrest an armed bushranger on the night of Jan. 31, 1858, on Havelock Diggings.
This tablet is erected by the Chief Commissioner of Police, the Officers and Constables of the district, as a mark of esteem and respect.
In the midst of Life we are in Death.
For official purposes, Senior-constable Brown, of Russell street, obtained the facts of Barnett’s death from newspaper files and police gazettes of 1858.
In those days Havelock went under the strange but pretty name of White Hills.
Thousands of adventurers flocked to the district when gold was discovered, and overnight, it seemed, every kind of crime was being freely committed. Life was cheaper than gold at White Hills.
The “hold-up” which resulted in the death of Senior-constable Barnett occurred early on the morning of February 1, 1858, according to records of the period, although the tombstones fixes the date as January 31.
Charles Lopez and his wife, who conducted the Gumtree Restaurant in a dimly lighted tent, were standing behind their improvised counter, checking the pile of money that had been received during the day.
Notes, silver, and gold-some of it won from the fields around them — had been sorted, and husband and wife were handling the money when three men suddenly rushed into the tent demanding liquor.
Lopez told them to “get out,” but they replied by dragging him into the street. What happened outside in the next few seconds is not known, but two shots were fired in quick succession. Mrs. Lopez ran after her husband, but could see nothing until she stumbled across the body of Senior-constable Barnett, who was then dying.
A graphic story of the shooting was told to the coroner at the time by Henry Bradley the cook employed at the Gumtree.
He rushed out of the tent to see Lopez chasing three men. As they raced past a store owned by a man named Thomas, one of the men turned and fired, but the shot did not take effect.
Lopez caught up to the armed robber, and in the struggle that followed another shot was fired. Lopez reeled, evidently badly hurt, but in almost his last breath he slashed and stabbed the murderer with a large knife, inflicting terrible injuries, Lopez then fell back dead. The robber turned and ran again, but this time Bradley and Senior-constable Barnett, who had heard the first shot, gained on him rapidly.
Weakened by loss of blood from his knife wounds, the fugitive evidently perceived that escape was impossible. He stopped suddenly in his tracks, and fired what proved to be his last bullet point blank at Barnett, who was then only two yards away. Crying “0 God, I’m shot!” Barnett stumbled forward and dropped dead. He had been shot through the heart.
His last bullet gone, the murderer again tried to escape, but Bradley and some miners eventually captured him. He was taken to the Carisbrook police camp, where he died from the wounds inflicted by Lopez. The murderer’s name was reported to be Joseph Brooks, aged 56 years, a native of America.
The murders had a remarkable sequel, according to facts mentioned in a recent issue of the “Police Journal ( Victoria ).
” Barnett‘s death was deplored by many miners on the Havelock diggings. He bad been a popular and respected officer, and evidently as their own form of vengeance more than 1,500 miners set out to clear the township of “undesirables.”
They were in the mood for lynching.
Their first act was to set alight to a notorious place known as ” The Manchester. ” When nothing but ashes remained of this shanty, the mob marched through the town, and attacked the ” Star and Garter. ” No hand was stayed until the place had been wrecked. Liquor flowed into the street from broken bottles, jars, and barrels; and bonfires were made of the bedding and furniture.
The position of many places in White Hills looked desperate until a rumour of the finding of a wounded man at Tuckwell‘s called the howling mob away on a man hunt.
Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Vic. : 1855 – 1918),
Tuesday 9 February 1858, page 2
MURDER AT HAVELOCK.
FUNERAL OF THE POLICEMAN.
On Tuesday the remains of Edward Barnett the unfortunate police constable, were interred in the New Cemetery, at Carisbrook.
The body was followed to the grave by Mr. S S Furnell, officer in charge of the district, and Mr. Inspector Hare, of Maryborough, and the whole body of the police stationed at Carisbrook, as well as by several friends of the deceased and gentlemen of the neighbourhood, amongst whom were F Call, Esq., P.M., R. Southee, Esq, Chairman of the Municipality of Carisbrook, and other members of that body.
The burial service was read by Mr. Furnell in a most impressive manner.
The deceased was much respected by the officers and men of the police force for his attention to his duties and general good conduct.
He was constable in charge at Chinaman’s Flat during the rush there, and performed his duties in a most satisfactory manner.
A tombstone, with a suitable inscription will be erected to the memory of the poor fellow.
FUNERAL OF LOPEZ
On Wednesday morning the remains of the unfortunate man Lopez were conveyed to their last resting place.
The melancholy cortege consisted of three vehicles, one or two horsemen, and a few of the diggers on foot.
The body was conveyed from Havelock to the old burying-ground on the Quartz Hill ( now Bristol Hill – 2019 ), Maryborough, where it was interred.
The grave was surrounded by many of the friends of the deceased during the ceremony.
The adjourned inquest on the bodies of Lopez and Constable Barnett, was held at the Charlie Napier Hotel, Havelock Flat, White Hills, on Monday last, when the following evidence was taken : —
Samuel Edwards sworn : Am a blacksmith, residing at the White Hills. On the morning of the 1st inst., about one o’clock, was awakened by a great noise in the street.
Got up and ran in the direction that the other people were running. Got as far as a large tree, when I saw a man running in a stooping position. He got up and ran about 200 yards. I followed him, and got within six feet of him, when he snapped a pistol at me. The pistol did not go off. A policeman named Barnett (now dead), was running after the man Brook, who snapped the pistol at me.
Brook fired and shot the policeman dead. When the policeman received the shot he exclaimed, ” I’m shot to the heart. ”
The spring that he gave when shot knocked the man Brook down. I fell over him. They both fell together. I then took the pistol now produced out of the man Brook’s hand. I identified the man Brook, lying dead at the police camp, as the man who shot Edward Barnett, the policeman.
I heard two shots fired before I came out of my tent, and two afterwards. After Barnett fell on Brook there were no more shots fired. I handed over the pistol to the police. When the man Brook was running he kept his hand on his stomach. Did not see any wound on him.
Constable John McCormick deposed to having seen the bodies brought in to the police camp, and receiving the prisoner and the pistol from the last witness.
Dr. Cooper sworn : Deposed to having made a post mortem examination of the bodies of Lopez and Barnett, assisted by Dr. Dunne.
On the body of Edward Barnett found a gunshot wound two or three inches below the right collar bone. There were no external marks of violence.
On tracing the course of the ball, found it running backwards and to the left side, passing in its course between the first and second ribs, near the junction of the cartilage, through the anterior edge of the superior portion of the right lung, superior portion of the pericardium, perforating the superior vena cava and windpipe, thence through the posterior portion of the superior lobe of the left lung, and passing out of the chest between the fourth and fifth ribs at their angles, perforating the left blade bone about half an inch from the posterior margin.
The bullet now produced I found just beneath the skin. All the other organs were healthy.
The cause of death was the gunshot wound. The bullet exactly fits the pistol produced.
When the deceased Edward Barnett was brought to the police camp he was apparently dead, but gasped twice. I saw the wound in his chest which caused his death.
I also made a post mortem examination of the body of Lopez.
He was brought to the police camp immediately after Edward Barnett, and was quite dead.
I found a gunshot wound about two inches below and to the left of the left nipple. There were no other external marks of violence.
The ball had passed in a direction backwards, through the fifth rib, about an inch and a half from its articulation with the cartilage, through the anterior edge of the left lung, through the left side of the pericardium, then entering the root of the left lung, wounding the left pulmonary artery, and the left bronchial tube, passing out of the chest through the ninth rib, and was found just beneath, the skin, below the inferior angle of the blade-bone.
The bullet is the same size as the one that was found in the body of Edward Barnett.
The cause of death was the gunshot wound.
The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Joseph Brook, now deceased.
The HAVELOCK MURDER.— Joseph Gibson, alias Laycock, alias Yorkey, was charged at the Police Court, on Friday, on suspicion of being concerned in the murder of the storekeeper Lopez and Senior Constable Barnett, at Havelock diggings, on the 1st February last. Detective Hyland proved the arrest of the prisoner at 5 o’clock on the same morning, and stated that he answered the description in the Gazette. Prisoner was remanded to Curisbrook. — Times
An offer of help and assistance by retired police officer Mick Horne has cost him his life.
The 54-year-old Merimbula resident died in hospital yesterday following Friday evening’s horrific attacks in Bega.
Mr Horne retired as a Senior Constable in 2009 after serving at Bega Traffic & Highway Patrol Command.
At about 3.30pm on Friday (June 1), 71-year-old Thomas Winner and his 69-year-old wife Gail were stabbed in their East Street home by a man alleged to be their grandson, 20-year-old Murray Deakin.
Tragically, Mrs Winner died at the South East Regional Hospital shortly after, while Mr Winner remains in Canberra Hospital in a critical condition.
In the hour that followed, officers from the South Coast Police District pursued a car belonging to the couple, which was allegedly being driven by Deakin.
At about 4.40pm, Mr Horne, who appears to have stopped to offer assistance to Deakin on Sapphire Coast Drive at Bournda, thinking he was a motorist in need, was allegedly struck in the head with a hammer.
Police allege Deakin then made off with the 54-year-old’s vehicle before crashing it and running into bushland.
A father to one son, Mr Horne was airlifted to St George Hospital where he died early yesterday afternoon (June 3).
Appearing in Batemans Bay Court earlier today via a video link, Deakin did not enter a plea but now faces two murder charges.
Fairfax Media reports the 2o-year-old told the court he was sorry, before speaking briefly of drug and mental health issues.
Police say Mr Horne’s family has asked for privacy and won’t be making any statement to the media.
Speaking to the RiotACT, Merimbula’s Jase Holly says the community has lost one of its pillars.
“I got to know him and his son Tom through the local AFL club,” he says. “He was a doting father and loving husband to Mel, who in recent years fought off serious health issues with the support of Mick at her side.
“Mick was an avid sport fisherman and he loved taking any opportunity for fishing banter! I will always remember one morning when I was towing the boat home and was surprised when the flashing lights of a police pursuit car were flashing behind me. What had I possibly done wrong? Then I saw Mick walking up to the window.
“Not realising it was me, he just wanted to have a good look over the boat as it had struck his eye as “a good bit of gear.” In typical Mick form, he spent about 30 minutes going over all the little bits of customisation taking away a few ideas for his own boat set-up.
“As a cop, Mick was fair without fault, a gentleman in the truest sense of the word and a loving family man. He was a friend to everyone that knew him and I think the last time I saw him summed Mick up perfectly.
“As we waited in the barbers for a haircut, he was ahead of me in the queue but when his time came he let me go first so I could get back to work, it also gave him some extra time to talk fishing with everyone in the room!
“R.I.P. Michael Horne, you died offering help and service to someone in distress. Your legacy will shine in all that knew you.”
Other friends have expressed their condolences and paid tribute via social media.
“Mick Horne you died attempting to protect and serve, being a former police officer. Stopping to assist someone you thought needed help only to be attacked in the process.” – Marie Hart on Facebook.
“He sure was a lovely chap and thought he was doing the right thing and paid the ultimate price. So so sad RIP Mick.” – Rick Stafford on Facebook.
“Thinking of Mick and family so very sad. Prayers of strength and love.” – Andy O’Donnell on Facebook.
“So sorry to hear the sad news thoughts and prayers for Mick Horne’s family he was a wonderful man.” – Evi Scott on Facebook.
Investigations into the incident continue, with detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad assisting local police.
Second victim of South Coast rampage named as former policeman
A man accused of murdering his grandmother and critically wounding his grandfather, then fatally wounding a former NSW police officer on the Far South Coast of NSW has told a court he is sorry.
Murray Deakin, 20, appeared briefly in Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday charged over the stabbing of his grandparents Gail and Thomas Winner at their home in East Street, Bega, on Friday.
Mrs Winner, 69, died at the South East Regional Hospital and Mr Winner, 71, remains in a critical condition in Canberra Hospital.
Mick Horne, a 54-year-old former senior constable with NSW Police, was allegedly attacked with a hammer during a carjacking in the neighbouring town of Bournda. He died as a result of his wounds in St Georges Hospital on Sunday afternoon.
Police said the rampage began about 3.30pm on Friday when Mr Deakin stabbed his grandparents at their home, before fleeing in their car.
It is alleged that, after abandoning the car in Bournda, he carjacked another vehicle, using a hammer to attack Mr Horne, the driver.
A female passenger in the car escaped without injury.
The incident sparked a five-hour manhunt involving specialist tactical police, negotiators and PolAir.
On Monday, Mr Deakin faced Batemans Bay Local Court via audio-visual link charged with two counts of murder and two counts of wounding with intent to murder. He is yet to enter pleas.
Defence solicitor Keely Boom did not apply for his release on Monday and bail was formally refused.
Mr Deakin told the court he was sorry for his actions and spoke of his history of mental health issues.
“I’m so sorry,” Mr Deakin said. “I have a family history of schizophrenia.”
Mr Deakin went on to tell the court of his history with “psychedelic drugs”, before magistrate Mark Douglass cut him off.
Prosecutor Sergeant Mark Chaplin submitted two forensic procedure applications to the court, which were approved.
Mr Horne was awarded a medal in 2004 for his 15 years’ service with the force.
He has been described by community members on social media as a “wonderful man” and a “lovely chap … who paid the ultimate price”.
Chief Inspector Susan Charman-Horton said on Saturday the rampage was “just a terrible event“.
“The local community would be quite upset by the incident. This is not something that is usual in the area,” she said.
“[Mr Deakin] was unwell [when he was arrested]; he needed to be taken to hospital to be looked at by an expert.”
Mr Deakin is due back in court in August.
Blood and hair samples will now be taken from Mr Deakin.
Mr Horne retired as a senior constable in 2009 after serving at Bega Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, NSW Police said in a statement on Monday.
“The family would appreciate privacy at this time,” the statement read.
Constable William Eiffe memorial unveiled by Oxley police at Bendemeer Cemetery
A PERMANENT memorial to recognise a fallen officer has been unveiled near Tamworth on the 150th anniversary of his death.
Constable William Eiffe died from a gunshot wound to the thigh on January 24, 1867, and is buried in an unmarked grave in the Bendemeer cemetery.
Oxley police together with Tamworth Regional Council – who helped to construct the memorial – commemorated his career in the force in a service on Tuesday morning.
”It’s a great part of the local history to have this recorded and I think it brings some interest in the local cemetery and the history of Bendemeer,” Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd said.
“And, hopefully for centuries to come, people will be able to come here and look at this and remember what has happened in our past.”
The Singleton-based officer was on a police escort on the night before his death when he was accidentally shot in the leg.
“On the evening of Wednesday the 23rd of January, 1867, there was a gold escort moving through the Moonbi Ranges, approximately seven miles from Bendemeer,” Oxley Sergeant Josh McKenzie said.
“A rain show had caused members of the escort to retreat into the carriage, another member of the escort had handed his rifle to Constable Eiffe, he rested the rifle across his thighs with the butt resting against the side of the coach.
“It is thought that the shaking and bouncing of the carriage has caused the rifle to accidentally discharge, shooting Constable Eiffe in the thigh.”
Constable Eiffe was left at Shepherds Hut nearby and the coach returned to Tamworth.
“Dr Scott of Tamworth was taken to the hut but unfortunately Constable William EIFFE died from the effects of the gunshot wound at noon on the 24th of January, 1867.”
Acting Superintendent Budd said the service was a reminder of how far the force had come in 150 years.
It is thought that the shaking and bouncing of the carriage has caused the rifle to accidentally discharge.
Sergeant Josh McKenzie
“One of the things that would be a tragedy today is for this to occur and his family to not be supported,” he said. “In the days of Constable William Eiffe, his wife and four children would have been destitute without the support we have today and we should be grateful for that.”
Of Note: Searching NSW State Archives & Records on 14 May 2018:
There are NO surnames of FYFFE
There are NO surnames of EFFE
There are NO surnames of EIFFE
There were no Williams born in 1834
There is no Registered number 1154 on that website. There is 1153 ( Beatty ) and 1155 ( Moloney ) but no 1154
A wildcard search on ‘FFE‘ didn’t reveal any similar names or anyone born in 1834 on THAT website.
Danny Webster notes on 24 January 2017:
He is sometimes referred to as “Fyffe” and “Effe”, however the Registers of Police Employment 1847–1885 provides the spelling as “Eiffe”, his registered number as 1154, the fact that he was married at the time of appointment and that he was a former soldier.
The New South Wales Police Gazettes of 5 March, 1862, 3 April, 1867 (£100 gratuity awarded to his wife), and 3 July, 1867 indicate “Eiffe”.
His death was registered at Armidale as “Eiffe”.
He is incorrectly listed in the official New South Wales Police Honour Roll as William “Effe”.
This was originally recorded as:
Constable William FYFFE
24 January, 1867
On 16 January, 1867 Constable Fyffe was performing gold escort duty on a coach travelling between Bendemeer and Tamworth. It is thought that the shaking of the coach caused a rifle to accidentally discharge, shooting the constable. The wounded constable was left in a shepherd’s hut while the coach continued to Tamworth to obtain medical assistance. Dr Scott of Tamworth provided assistance for the constable, however the wound was to prove fatal and he died the following Thursday. He is sometimes referred to as William Effe.
The Sydney Morning Herald dated 25 January, 1867 reported that news from Tamworth had been received that ” Last evening, Constable Fyffe, on gold escort duty, was accidentally shot in the thigh whilst riding in the coach on Moonby Ranges, seven miles from Bendemere. His rifle accidentally discharged, it is supposed, by the shaking of the coach. He was left at a shepherd’s hut. The escort proceeded to Tamworth, and on its arrival there Dr. Scott was immediately started off. Fyffe died from the effects of the wound at noon today. He has left a wife and large family at Singleton.
The constable was born in 1834 and joined the police force on 11 August, 1857. In 1862 he became a member of the newly-formed New South Wales Police Force. At the time of his death he was stationed at Singleton.
Graeme Andrew ADAMS
Graeme Andrew ADAMS
Late of Leichardt
New South Wales Police Force
[alert_yellow]Regd. # 21746[/alert_yellow]
Rank: Probationary Constable – appointed 7 December 1984
Constable – appointed 8 December 1985
Final Rank = ?
Stations: ?, Prosecutors – Resigned
Service: From? ? pre December 1984? to? ? 1991 = 7 years Service
Awards: No find on It’s An Honour
Born: 10 February 1963
Disappeared: 6 June 2000
Body recovered: 12 July 2000
Died on: 6 or 7 June 2000
Cause: Murdered – shot
Event location: Hawkesbury River near Dangar Island
Event date: ?
Funeral date: ? ? ?
Funeral location: ?
Funeral Parlour: ?
Buried at: ?
Memorial located at: ?
[alert_blue]GRAEME is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_blue] * NOT JOB RELATED
FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.
Strike Force Sari headed up the investigation into this murder.
AAP General News (Australia) 08-30-2000 NSW: Man charged with murder of former police officer.
A court’s been told a former Sydney policeman whose body was found dumped in a river was killed to stop him earning a share of a lucrative Olympic-related security contract.
GRAEME ADAMS’ business partner, 29-year-old SIMON CHRISTOPHER CROWTHER-WILKINSON, was charged with his murder this morning.
According to police facts tendered to Manly Court, Mr ADAMS was a silent stakeholder in CROWTHER-WILKINSON’S firm Excell Security Pty Ltd.
The company had recently won a $1.6 million contract to supply staff to security giant and Olympic sub-contractor Chubb Security Australia.
But police allege that rather than share the proceeds, CROWTHER-WILKINSON and another associate shot and killed Mr ADAMS, wrapped him in chains and dumped him in the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney, on June 6 or 7.
The accused man has been refused bail and will appear in Central Local Court on September 6.
08-30-2000 NSW: Ex policeman murdered over Oly security contract, court told
By John Kidman, Crime Reporter
SYDNEY, Aug 30 AAP – A former Sydney policeman whose chained body was found dumped in a river had been shot in cold blood over a lucrative Olympic-related security contract,
a court was told today.
Detectives allege the two men charged with the slaying stood to gain his share of a $1.6 million personnel deal struck with industry giant and Olympic sub-contractor Chubb Security Australia.
The killing had “all the hallmarks of an execution-style murder”, according to a statement of police facts tendered in Sydney’s Manly Local Court.
“There is evidence of premeditated and deliberate planning well prior to the event,” the document read.
Mr Adams’ business partner, Simon Crowther-Wilkinson and another of his associates, private security agent James Cowie, were arrested by strike force police early today following a high-profile investigation.
Mr Adams, a one-time police prosecutor who left the force to start his own companynine years ago, was pulled out of the Hawkesbury River off Dangar Island, to Sydney’s
north, by a local fisherman on July 12.
An autopsy revealed he ad been shot in the back of the head from close range.
He was also wrapped in a 135 kilogram length of chain.
It was initially believed Mr Adams had last been seen alive by Crowther-Wilkinson at 10pm on June 6 after they dined at Antos Pizzeria and Pasta in suburban Chatswood.
However, it is now alleged that the version of events was a smokescreen to divert suspicion.
According to receipt records, the accused man bought cigarettes and drinks at a Chatswood service station at 9.25pm the same night.
Neither the owner nor staff of the pizza parlour were able to place the men at the eatery, police allege.
According to the fact sheet, mobile phone checks also revealed both Crowther-Wilkinson and Cowie made or received calls near Dangar island on the night of the murder.
Crowther-Wilkinson denied ever having been to the area or having access to or owning a boat, it said.
Despite this, detectives alleged evidence would show he was in possession of an aluminium runabout at the time of the homicide.
It was also claimed Crowther-Wilkinson bought 15m of chain and a number of metal clamps like those found on Mr Adams’ body at a Brookvale hardware shop a week before the murder.
“Direct lies and inconsistencies exist in the versions of (both) Wilkinson and Cowie,”the facts stated.
Mr Adams had been a silent 51 per cent partner in Excell Security with Crowther-Wilkinson until his death but took little part in the company’s day-to-day business.
In the weeks before his death, he allegedly tried to gain financial records which showed he may not have been receiving his due profit share.
Police allege he expressed concerns over the matter to his accountant.
By contrast, Crowther-Wilkinson is said to have told an Excell employee that “he did not want to give up any profits made through his Olympic contract”.
Both accused men were today refused bail and will appear in Central Local Court next month.
A week before his disappearance in 2000, murder victim Graeme Adams told his accountant he was afraid of former associates in the security company Blue Falcon Agency and thought he was being followed, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.
Accountant Eric de Haarte said Mr Adams had formed another company, Excell Security, after leaving Blue Falcon and had told him he had ”sort of tricked” Blue Falcon by taking their database of contacts for security guards.
Mr Adams had expressed apprehension about two principals in Blue Falcon, Peter Murrant ( # 22195 ) and Andrew King.
Mr Murrant, who had been a serving police officer at the time he was a principal of Blue Falcon, had been investigated by the Police Integrity Commission and had later been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to periodic detention.
”He told me he thought his former partners [Mr Murrant and Mr King] considered him a snitch,” Mr de Haarte said.
Mr Adams disappeared on June 6, 2000. His body was recovered, weighed down by chains, in the Hawkesbury River near Dangar Island on July 12 that year.
A partner of Mr Adams in Excell Security, Simon Christopher Crowther-Wilkinson (referred to in court as Wilkinson), was later charged with Mr Adams‘s murder. Wilkinson is now on trial before Justice Virginia Bell.
Questioned by Paul Byrne, SC, for Wilkinson, Mr de Haarte said Mr Adams had indicated that he wanted his involvement in Excell Security to be kept ”more or less secret” so that he was ”essentially invisible”.
Mr Adams had a 51 per cent shareholding in Excell Security but Wilkinson, with 49 per cent, did the day-to-day work.
Janelle Johnson, a girlfriend of Mr Adams at the time of his disappearance, said in evidence that according to what Mr Adams had told her, Blue Falcon went broke in June 1999 and Mr Adams himself was in debt as a result. He had blamed Mr Murrant and Mr King for ”taking money on the side”.
Ms Johnson said that four or five weeks before he disappeared, Mr Adams had made no attempt to discover the financial position of Excell Security though he had concerns about it.
On 28 March 2003 the appellant, Simon Crowther-Wilkinson, was sentenced to imprisonment for 20 years with a non-parole period of 15 years for murder. His co-accused, James Cowie was found not guilty. He appeals against this conviction but not against the sentence.
The appellant had been a silent partner in a partnership with the deceased in a security company, Excell Security Pty Limited (“Excell”). The deceased’s body was found floating in the Hawkesbury River wrapped in plastic, metal 3/8 inch steel galvanised chains and 12 mm D-shackles. The Crown case was that he had been shot once in the back of the head, consistent with a .22 calibre bullet having been fired by either the appellant or James Cowie, with the other present and assisting or encouraging the killer. The deceased’s body had then been transported to the Hawkesbury River and dumped from a small aluminium boat.
On 30 September, 1971, Sergeant 2nd Class Riley and Senior Constable McDiarmid attended a dwelling in Mimosa Avenue, Toongabbie to investigate a report that a man had shot and killed his brother at that address. On arrival the police saw the offender RonaldClarke who quickly ran to the rear of the house. Senior Constable McDiarmid followed him while the sergeant entered through the front door. As the senior constable entered through the back door the offender opened fire with a shotgun, inflicting a fatal wound. It appears the offender then went back through the house where he also shot and killed Sergeant Riley. Although the senior constable was still alive when other police arrived he died a short time later in an ambulance on the way to hospital. The offender was shot and killed by police ( Cst 1/c Alf GREGORY ) the same day.
William Riley was born in 1921 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 3 December, 1945. At the time of his death he was stationed at Blacktown. He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant 1st Class.
Maurice McDiarmid was born in 1932 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 9 July, 1956. At the time of his death he was stationed at Blacktown. He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant 3rd Class.
George Lewis Memorial Trophy
This trophy for the year 1971, which is for the most courageous act performed by a member of the New South Wales Police Force, was awarded posthumously to the late Sergeant 1st Class W. W. Riley and the late Sergeant 3rd Class M. R. McDiarmid who were stationed at 27 Division.
The trophies were presented to Mrs Riley and Mrs McDiarmid at the Police Academy during 1972.
PETER MITCHELL TRUST AWARDS
The ten awards under this Trust for the year 1971 were made to the following police, the trophies being presented at the Police Academy during 1972:
Most Courageous Act Posthumously awarded to the late Sergeant 1st Class W. W. Riley and the late Sergeant 3rd Class M. R. McDiarmid in conjunction with the George Lewis Memorial Trophy.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Tuesday 21 March 1972, page 3
SYDNEY, Monday. — At the Pine Grove Memorial Park near Rooty Hill today, Bishop Hulme-Moir, chaplain of the NSW Police Force, dedicated a plaque in memory of Sergeant Maurice McDiarmid and Sergeant William Riley, who were shot when attempting to arrest an armed man at Toongabbie on September 30 last year.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Wednesday 6 October 1971, page 3
SYDNEY, Tuesday. -More than 400 policemen attended the funeral this morning of the two policemen shot by a man in Toongabbie last Thursday. Both men, Sergeant William Watson Riley and Senior Constable Maurice Raymond McDiarmid, were given full police honours at their funeral.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Thursday 13 January 1972, page 11
Payments to 3 police widows
SYDNEY, Wednesday. – The NSW Government agreed today to make, as “an act of grace”, lump-sum payments of $12,500 to each of three police officers’ widows.
“The Premier, Sir Robert Askin, said the payments would be in addition to the pensions and dependant’s allowances already paid out of the police superannuation and reward fund.
The three policemen involved in the payments are Senior Constable W. E. King, who was murdered at East Gresford police station on August 13 last year, and Sergeants W. Riley and M. McDiarmid, who were shot by a man at Toongabbie on September 30 last year.
Sir Robert said members of the police force had always been specifically excluded from the definition of “worker” under the Workers Compensation Act.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Allan, had brought to the notice of the Government that, in certain matters of workers’ compensation, police were in an anomalous position in relation to other Crown employees.
Sir Robert said a full examination would be made of overall benefits of workers’ compensation available to police.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Saturday 27 November 1971, page 9
Two policemen commended by coroner
SYDNEY, Friday. — A Sydney coroner has commended two policemen who chased and stopped “an armed and desperate man“.
The man, Mr Ronald Desmond Clarke, had earlier shot and killed two other policemen after having killed his own brother in Toongabbie on September 30.
The coroner, Mr J. Parnell, SM, found on Wednesday that Mr Clarke in turn died in a car of cerebral lacerations and gun shot wounds to the brain inflicted by a person defending himself.
Constable A. C. Gregory, giving evidence at the inquest into the deaths of the four men, said that he and Constable L. ( Les ) A. Crawford in a police truck had rammed Mr Clarke‘s car, causing him to lose control.
Constable Gregory had seen Mr Clarke transfer a gun from his left hand to his right. The gun had been pointing at the policeman’s face and the constable had fired “one shot towards his shoulder“.
“The impact of this bullet appeared to throw him towards the passenger side of his car, but he still had the revolver, which he now held in both hands, levelled at my face“, Constable Gregory said.
“He appeared to be endeavouring to discharge the gun and it was then that I fired two quick shots at him“.
The four men who were killed were Sergeant First Class William Watson Riley, 50, and Sergeant Maurice Raymond McDiarmid, 39, of Blacktown, and Ronald Desmond Clarke, 20, and Warren John Clarke, 22, both of Toongabbie.
( Both policemen were promoted posthumously. Sergeant Riley was raised from second-class to first class, and Sergeant McDiarmid from senior constable to sergeant third class. )
Mr Parnell found that Mr Warren John Clarke died from gunshot wounds inflicted by his brother, Mr Ronald Desmond Clarke.
He found also that Sergeant Riley died from a fractured skull and lacerations to the brain, and Sergeant McDiarmid died in an ambulance between Toongabbie and Blacktown Hospital.
Both died as a result of bullet wounds inflicted by Clarke.
He said Mr Ronald Clarke, a professional criminal, had shot his brother, Warren Clarke, after having raped his brother’s de facto wife.
POLICE KILLED OR WHO DIED FROM INJURIES RECEIVED IN THE EXECUTION OF THEIR DUTIES
On 13th August, 1971, Senior Constable William Edward King, who was then the officer-in-charge of police, East Gresford, was shot dead at East Gresford Police Station by a man who fired upon him with a rifle.
On 29th August, 1971, Constable 1st Class Patrick Mark Hackett died from injuries received in a motor accident at Polis, Cyprus, whilst performing duty with the New South Wales Police component of the Australian Police Contingent of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force.
On 30th September, 1971, Sergeant Second Class William Watson Riley and Senior Constable Maurice Raymond McDiarmid, both then attached to Blacktown Police Station, were shot dead in a house at Toongabbie which they had entered to arrest a man who a short time before had murdered his brother and raped a woman in the same house.
A police funeral with full ceremonial honours was accorded these deceased officers at which appropriate tributes were paid.
In recognition of their outstanding courage Sergeant Riley and Senior Constable McDiarmid were posthumously promoted by me to Sergeant 1st Class and Sergeant 3rd Class respectively. In addition, I submitted recommendations to the Premier for favour of consideration of Royal Awards being granted in both cases.
To assist the widows of the deceased police the Premier approved the payment to each of them of the sum of $12,500 as a gratuity. This payment did not in any way affect their entitlements to payments under the provisions of the Police Regulation (Superannuation) Act.
Plain Clothes Constable Handran was fatally shot by Tony Leif Dolerud at Wynnum, Brisbane on 29 June 1989 while attending a serious domestic dispute in company of his partner Plain Clothes Constable ( Stephen ) Clarey ( 24 ).
Dolerud had earlier stabbed his wife in an argument and, as a friend tried to take her to safety, armed himself with a high powered rifle and began firing indiscriminately into the street.
Plain Clothes Constable Handran was fatally shot as he alighted from the police vehicle outside the man’s unit. Constable Clarey was also shot as he took shelter behind the police vehicle.
Dolerud later took his own life ( suicide ) after killing his two-year-old daughter. Four others were wounded.
On Monday 3 July 1989 Brett Handran’s family were joined by a large contingent of his colleagues including senior officers of the New South Wales, Victorian and Australian Federal Police Forces.
The Service was conducted at the Queensland Police Academy Chapel with full police honours.
BRISBANE: On the day that all the headlines were about the Fitzgerald report and its recommendations for massive changes to the Queensland police force, not many would have been thinking of Constable Brett Timothy Handran, 23, who was gunned down last Thursday when he went to investigate a domestic dispute.
His funeral was held an hour after the first embargoed copies of the Fitzgerald inquiry report were handed to state Cabinet and journalists yesterday.
More than 300 police and mourners attended the 10am service.
Constable Handran was shot through the heart at a block of welfare flats in the bayside suburb of Wynnum.
The man who shot him also killed a little girl and then himself.
Four people were injured, including another officer, Constable Stephen Clarey, 24.
The Minister for Police, Russell Cooper, told the congregation, “I express deep regret at the loss of a loved one and a fellow officer.”
Among the mourners were police representatives from NSW, Victoria and the ACT. The Queensland police contingent was headed by Acting Commissioner Ron Redmond.
Some officers at yesterday’s service could not hide their frustration over Constable Handran‘s death, at a time when police morale had taken a battering.
“If only people could accept that we are proud of our job,” one officer said. “You get abused when you hand out a traffic ticket, but there are a lot a crazies running around and it’s the police who are expected to bring them in.”
Constable Handran, a single father, was attached to the Juvenile Aid Bureau. He and Constable Clarey were in Wynnum on another police matter and were the first to respond to the emergency call.
Last week, as police gathered up their equipment and prepared to leave the scene of the Wynnum shootings, one officer said, “Constable Handran will be buried on Monday, the same day the Fitzgerald report is released. Guess which story will get the biggest headlines?”
BRISBANE: The Queensland Government has been criticised for not providing police with bullet-proof vests following a shooting in suburban Wynnum yesterday in which three people were killed.
A two-year-old girl and an unarmed policeman were shot dead outside a flat in Carmichael Court by a man who later turned a rifle on himself and committed suicide.
Police said the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute.
The Opposition spokesman on police affairs, Terry MacKenroth, said every police car in the state should have at least two vests in it to protect officers called to emergency situations such as yesterday’s siege.
“Mr. Cooper, along with every other Ahern Government minister, including Deputy Premier Bill Gunn and the Premier himself, must take the blame for the death of a young police officer today,” he said.
Liberal leader Angus Innes said the Government had promised two years ago to provide police with bullet-proof vests.
He said that it was only in June this year that 1400 bullet-proof vests for police had been finally approved.
“Police know that they are more likely to be killed attending a domestic disturbance than in any other area of police work,” Mr Innes said. .
“The minister for Police, Russell Cooper, said last night that he had ordered a meeting today with Acting Police Commissioner Don Braithwaite to investigate the incident.
“Police said a man, a woman and two children had gone to the Wynnum flat, occupied by the woman’s former de-facto husband, to collect some of the woman’s property.
Police believe an argument started, which resulted in the woman being stabbed several times in the back, chest and arm.
As she fled with her male companion the man in the flat fired a rifle from an upstairs bedroom window, wounding the man in the back.
Police said as the couple drove to a nearby doctor’s surgery for help, a woman neighbour apparently attempted to carry the injured woman’s two-year-old daughter to safety.
The gunman fired another shot from the bedroom window, killing the girl and injuring the woman.
They said two plain-clothed officers from the Juvenile Aid Bureau who were in the area went to investigate.
The gunman then opened fire on the officers as they left their car and 23-year-old Constable Brett Timothy Handran was shot in the back and later died in hospital.
His partner, Constable Stephen Clarey, 24, suffered a bullet graze to the head and was not expected to be detained in hospital overnight.
The woman, her male companion and the female neighbour were also being treated in hospital.
A police spokesman said when the Tactical Response Unit arrived, they were told an eight month-old baby boy was still in the flat with the gunman.
They forced entry through the kitchen and rescued the baby, who was crawling on the floor.
About 45 minutes later police again entered the flat and found the gunman dead in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head.
14.8 metre Norman R Wright and Sons fast patrol launch, triple diagonal planked hull with a dynel sheath. Powered by twin 420 hp Detroit 6v 92 series motors.
BRETT T. HANDRAN II – 2009
The Brisbane based ‘BRETT T. HANDRAN II‘ was delivered to the Queensland Police Service in March 2009.
Built at a cost of over $1m, and one of three similar vessels (‘W.CONROY V’, ‘LYLE M. HOEY IV’ ), the ‘BRETT T. HANDRAN II‘ was built by Austral at their Margate shipyard just south of Hobart, Tasmania.
The ‘BRETT T. HANDRAN II‘ is a 22 metre aluminium catamaran powered by two MTU Series 60 diesel engines, each rated at 499kw, with Twin Disc Quickshift MGX-51355C gearboxes driving two Bruntons five-bladed fixed pitch propellers giving a maximum speed of 26 knots (cruise speed 20 knots) and a maximum range of approximately 900 nautical miles.
FROM THE VAULT – Star of Courage: Constable Robert Rodgers
Robert Rodgers joined the Queensland Police as Constable number 5904 on 10 October 1986. He served at the following stations: City; Mooroka; Brisbane Mobile Patrols; Inala, Brisbane CIB and Wynnum and retired on 7 February 1990.
On 29 June 1989Constable Robert Rodgers and Senior Constable Peter Edwards of the Wynnum Police, were told to attend an incident at Carmichael Court where a man was going berserk with a gun and where several persons had been shot, including Plain Clothes Constable Brett Handran. Rodgers and Edwards arrived at Carmichael Court, alighted from the vehicle and took cover. Constable Rogers ascertained from local residents the approximate location of the gunman and learned that a child and woman had been shot.
Constable Rogers found a position of safety close to the gunman’s location and communicated with the man to negotiate access to the wounded people. Without thought for his own safety, Constable Rogers successfully removed the child and woman from harm’s way. Constable Rodgers was awarded the Star of Courage on 18 April, 1991 for displayed conspicuous courage.
The Star of Courage is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril. It is the second highest Australian Bravery Decoration. Only four Queensland Police officers have been in receipt of the Star of Courage since the award was established in February 1975.
Australian Bravery Decorations date from the establishment of the Australian honours system in. The Group Bravery Citation was added in 1990. The decorations recognise acts of bravery by members of the community. There are four levels of decoration:
Cross of Valour (CV)
Star of Courage (SC)
Bravery Medal (BM)
Commendation for Brave Conduct
The book – BRAVE, written by Mark Whittaker and first published in 2011 by Pan MacMillan Australia P/L also goes into further detail about this event.
AKA – William MILLER ( Surname of his Step Father – John Miller )
Late of Berrima, NSW
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ????
( No find under RAYMOND, nor MILLER, in the Police Service Registers 1852 – 1913 )
Stations: ?, Sydney Metropolitan District – Death
Service: From 3 June 1862to 14 April 1866=3+years Service
At the time of his death Constable Raymond, Senior Sergeant John Healey ( # ‘P’20 ), and Constables Andrew Kilpatrick ( # ‘P’ 54 ) and Edward Mitchell ( # ‘P’1215 ) were escorting eleven prisoners to Darlinghurst Gaol where they were to help with building works. When the wagon in which they were travelling reached Bargo Brush (now Pheasant’s Nest) the prisoners attacked their escort in an escape bid. In the ensuing brawl one of the prisoners (James Crookwell) managed to seize a police revolver. He fired at Sergeant Healey however the bullet struck Constable Raymond in the face, killing him instantly. The constable’s first name is sometimes recorded as Edward.
On 20 April, 1866 an official inquiry into the “murderous assault by prisoners on the police under whose charge they were being brought from Berrima Gaol to Sydney” took place at Darlinghurst Gaol, before Captain Cloete, the Water Police Magistrate. In evidence, Senior Sergeant Healey gave an intimate account of the circumstances of the murder.
“We were proceeding towards Sydney, and about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, when within about ten miles from Picton I heard a shout in the coach, and at the same moment I was seized from behind by both shoulders by two men; I made a spring forward and fell off the coach; I jumped up and went round to the near side of the coach; I saw prisoners Weaver, Slattery, and Lee take hold of Constable Mitchell; they were trying to wrest his arms from him; they were all standing up in the coach; prisoners Berriman, Crookwell and Owens had hold of Constable Kilpatrick on the same side of the coach, but at the back seat; they were trying to wrest his carbine from him; Crookwell had hold of his throat; Berriman and Owens had hold of his carbine; the prisoner Forster, was standing up in the centre of the coach; I presented my rifle, and told the prisoners if they did not let go I would fire; they did not let go; I pulled the trigger, and the cap snapped; I then seized my rifle by the barrel and made a blow at Smith, who was still struggling with Mitchell ; I hit the coach, and broke the stock of the rifle; I then saw most of the prisoners rush to the off side of the coach; I was still on the near side; when I got round I saw that Constable Raymond had got out of the coach and was standing alongside it; when I got up to the coach, I looked in and saw Crookwell with a revolver in his right hand, and holding Kilpatrick’s throat with his left hand; I said to him, “Put down that revolver, or I’ll blow your brains out”; prisoner Lee was shouting out to the others, “Shoot the b-s’. Weaver cried out, “Shoot the b–sergeant;” Berriman was shouting out, “Fire, fire;”‘ directly I said to Crookwell I would blow his brains out, he turned round and said to me, “you b-,” at the same moment he fired; Raymond was standing in front of me, between me and the horses; and Crookwell was standing at the back part of the coach’; I heard something like a bullet pass me, and I immediately fired; I think I hit Slattery; as soon as the shot had been fired by Crookwell, I saw the blood gush from Raymond’s nose; Raymond turned half round and fell on his face.
At this time Constables Mitchell and Kilpatrick were both struggling with prisoners in the coach; I then saw Owens had got out of the coach and was running away; I followed him, and called upon him to stand; he refused; I fired; he immediately fell down and rolled over, and cried out, ” I’m shot, for God’s sake do not fire any more.”; I did not fire again; I went up to him and brought him back to the coach; when I got back to the coach, Mitchell and Kilpatrick had got out, and were standing by the side of the coach; Crookwell was holding up a revolver, and cried out twice, “I surrender”. Several of the prisoners also cried out that they would surrender; I did not hear any other shots fired; I made Owens get into the coach, and handcuffed himself; I noticed blood was coming from Slattery and Bland; two or three civilians then came up, one of whom was a clergyman, who assisted Mr. Whatmore to put the body of Raymond, in the boot of the coach; Raymond, up to this time, had not moved from the place where he had fallen”.
The constable was born in 1838 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 3 June, 1862. At the time of his death he was stationed in the Sydney Metropolitan District.
Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1875),
Tuesday 17 April 1866, page 1
RAYMOND — On the 14th April, on the Southern Road, near Picton, from a gun-shot wound, inflicted by a prisoner while under escort, William Raymond, aged 28 years, a constable of the New South Wales police force, a native of Bishops-gate, London, England.
EXAMINATION OF FIVE PRISONERS AS BEING ACCESSORY TO THE MURDER OF CONSTABLE RAYMOND.
Our readers will remember that eleven prisoners were concerned in the desperate ? ( fight ) at Bargo Brush on Saturday last.
One of those, James Crookwell, was committed, on Monday, by the Coroner, at Picton to take, his trial at the next assizes for the murder of Constable Raymond. Three of the prisoners were wounded, Smith in the elbow, when attempting to snatch the revolver from sergeant Zglenitski ; Slattery near the kidney, when in the act of biting constable Mitchell‘s nose, and attempting to deprive him of his firearms ; and Bland was shot in the side and arm while trying to seize constable Mitchell’s rifle. These three prisoners are in the gaol hospital, and were not in a condition to be removed, Bland being in a somewhat precarious state. Hindmarsh and Webster, who do not appear to have taken any conspicuous part in the assault, will most likely be called by the Crown for the prosecution.
The remaining five prisoners were placed under examination yesterday, in the upper room of the debtors’ prison, Darlinghurst gaol, before the Water Police Magistrate, Captain Cloete.
The names of the prisoners are John Foster, William Lee, Henry Weaver, Thomas Berriman, and John Owens. They were brought into the room in the order named, in prison dress, and leg-ironed.
Foster is a strong young man, of about 24 years of age, and has a determined look about him. Lee, who acted as spokesman, is about, an inch taller than Foster, being 5 feet 7, aged 38, and apparently very familiar with gaols, and the customary preliminaries to them. Weaver is young, sulky, tall, and such a man as can be easily persuaded to anything. Berriman is a little compact, swarthy young man about 28 years of age. Owens is something like Foster, but more intelligent. These five, of themselves, appear almost a match for the escort whom they assaulted.
They were formally charged by senior-sergeant Healey, of the Berrima police, with being accessories to the murder of the late constable Raymond, near Bargo Brush, on Saturday, the 14th April instant.
Prisoner Lee : Your Worship, may I address you before anything further is stated? will you order all the witnesses out of court ? and I should like a piece of paper and a pencil to take notes.
The Magistrate said he would comply with the request, and the prisoner was supplied with paper and pencil.
Mr Williams, Crown Solicitor, then conducted the examination, as follows:-
John Healy deposed: I am a senior sergeant of police, stationed at Berrima.
I left Berrima about 9 o’clock on Saturday morning last, having previously attended the gaol at Berrima, and received in custody eleven prisoners, to be escorted from Berrima to Darlinghurst gaol, Sydney.
The names of the prisoners were, William Lee, Thomas Berriman, John Foster, Henry Weaver, John Owens, Michael Slattery, Hindmarsh, Crookwell, Bland, Smith, and Webster.
The five prisoners now before the Court were among them.
I had with me constables Kilpatrick, Mitchell, and Raymond.
The prisoners were placed in one of Cobb’s coaches, outside the gaol door. The three constables, myself, the driver, and a Mr Whatmore accompanied the coach. I sat on the left of Mr Whatmore, who sat next to the coach driver on the box. Constable Mitchell was placed with his back towards the box, on the near side of the first seat, there being four seats inside the Coach, Constable Raymond was on one of the centre seats on the off side facing the box. Constable Kilpatrick was on the oft, or back seat, facing Mitchell, but two seats between them.
Constable Raymond, Mitchell and myself, were armed with breach loading rifles and revolvers. Constable Kilpatrick had a small carbine and revolver, all were loaded. In this way we proceeded towards Sydney.
When about ten miles from Picton, and at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I heard a cry like ” Hurrah ” in the conch. At the same moment I was seized from behind by both shoulders. The cry seemed to be a general cry. When I found hands forcibly upon me and an effort made to pull me back, I sprang forward, and jumped off the coach, and fell.
On recovering, I went round the near side of the coach. I then saw the prisoners Weaver, Smith, Lee, Slattery, and I think Bland surrounding and struggling with constable Mitchell. They were trying to wrest his firearms from him. They were all standing up in a cluster round him in the coach, Berriman, Crookwell and Owens, I saw had hold of constable Kilpatrick : he was on the back seat of the coach, on the same side. They were trying to wrest his carbine from him. Crookwell had hold of Kilpatrick‘s throat ; Berriman and Owens had hold of his carbine. Foster was standing up in the centre of the coach. I did not see him do anything. I did not then see constable Raymond. I was standing on the near side of the coach, with my back to the horses, and presented my revolver, and said to the prisoners Crookwell, Owens and Berriman, if they did not let go I would fire. I pulled the trigger of my rifle and the cap snapped. I then seized it by the barrel, and in striking at Smith, the stock caught the frame of the coach and broke the rifle. I saw the main body of the prisoners rush to the off-side of the coach. When I got round to face them, I then saw that constable Raymond had got out ; he had stumbled and was standing facing the coach near the hind wheel. When I came to Raymond I saw Crookwell with a revolver in his right hand. He had hold of constable Kilpatrick‘s throat with his left. I said to him ” Put down that revolver, or I’ll blow your brains out.” Prisoner Lee was hallowing out: ” Shoot the b—gers. ” Weaver cried out, ” Shoot the b—dy sergeant, ” Berriman cried out, ” Fire ! fire ! ” Directly I said to Crookwell, put down that revolver, or I’ll blow your brains out, ” he turned partly round presented the revolver towards me saying, ” You b–ger, ” at the same time firing.
At this time constable Raymond was on my right. I was between Crookwell and Raymond. I saw the explosion, and felt the lead ball whiz past my face. I returned the fire instantly with my revolver, and I believe I hit Slattery. As soon as Crookwell fired I saw the blood rushing from Raymond’s nose. He wheeled round, and tell forward, dead.
At this time the prisoners were still struggling with constables Mitchell and Kilpatrick, I observed Owens jump from the other side of the coach and run away. I followed, and told him to stand. He did not, and I fired. He immediately fell on his face on the road, and cried out ” I’m shot, for God’s sake don’t fire any more. ” I went up to him and brought him back to the coach. He was not shot.
When I got back to the coach constables Mitchell and Kilpatrick had got out of the coach. I noticed Crookwell holding up the revolver, and heard him crying out ” I surrender ! ” Several of the other prisoners were also calling out ” I surrender !” I could not tell whether any other shots were fired at this time.
I made Owens get into the coach and handcuff himself, and also the other prisoners we’re made to re-seat themselves. I then observed blood coming from Slattery and Bland. Two or three civilians came up then, one was a clergyman and they assisted Mr Whatmore and the driver to lift the body of constable Raymond on the Boot of the coach.
Raymond had never moved from the time he was shot.
After we had got Raymond on the boot of the coach, we three Constables, walked by the side of the coach until we came within about six miles of Picton, when we were met by the sergeant and a constable from the Picton police;
We proceeded on to Picton, secured the prisoners in the watch-house, and placed the body of constable William Raymond in the courthouse. He was quite dead.
When I jumped off the coach and recovered myself, I saw Hindmarsh holding up one hand and saying ” I have nothing to do with this. ” I saw Webster standing up in the coach; So far as I saw, Webster was quiet.
When we left Berrima the prisoners were handcuffed by one hand to a chain, and had leg-irons on. I produced the transmission warrant for the removal of the prisoners from Berrima to Darlinghurst. I handed this warrant over with the prisoners at Picton.
The shot that Crookwell fired was shot in the direction of Raymond.
The prisoners declined to ask any questions.
Andrew Kilpatrick deposed: I am a constable stationed at Berrima. On the 14th April I went to Berrima gaol, in company with senior-sergeant Healey and two other constables. The sergeant received charge of eleven prisoners. The five prisoners now before the Court were of that number. The sergeant was sitting on the box. I and the other constables were inside the coach. I sat on the back seat, Raymond in the centre, and Mitchell on the front seat.
When we came to within three miles of the Bargo River, On the Sydney side of Anderson’s public-house, a prisoner named Crookwell, sitting by my side, gave a shout, saying, ” Now, give it to the b–gers. ” Crookwell seized hold of my carbine, as did also prisoners Berriman and Owens, and endeavoured to wrest it from me. Crookwell then let go, and seized my revolver from the case at my waist belt.
Senior sergeant Healy came round to my side, and I shouted for him to shoot this fellow Crookwell. At this time Crookwell had just got the revolver. The other two had hold of my carbine. The sergeant presented his rifle at Crookwell, and it missed fire. He then clubbed the rifle, made a blow but struck an iron bar in the coach. He ( Healey ) then ran to the other side of the coach, at the same time drawing his revolver. Just as he got round, constable Raymond had just got a fall from a stumbling of the coach. As Raymond was straightening himself up, the sergeant came between him and Crookwell, and told Crookwell to put down the revolver. Crookwell made use of some savage expressions and fired. I saw Raymond fall and observed the blood gashing from his nose. It was with my revolver Crookwell shot him. The sergeant immediately fired in return. I cannot say which prisoner was struck, but one was. After Crookwell fired he turned to me and said ” If you don’t leave go of the carbine I’ll shoot you. ” I said, ” Shoot way. I’ll not let go. ”
He snapped the revolver at breast. As it did not explode he struck my right hand with the revolver. I then jumped out of the coach with my carbine, when I saw sergeant bringing Owens back. I could not see how constable Mitchell was getting on. When the sergeant brought Owens back, the prisoners all called ” Surrender ! we surrender ! ” and sat down in the coach, when the sergeant ordered them to put on the handcuffs. The sergeant and myself were in uniform at the time. I only observed Crookwell and Owens had been un-handcuffed. Could not say whether any of the others had been un-handcuffed.
Crookwell, Owens, Berriman and Weaver, were particularly active about me and and tried to disarm me. I heard Weaver call out ” Shoot the sergeant. “. This was when Crookwell had the revolver. Slattery also called out ” Shoot the b—dy sergeant. ”
The prisoners appeared to me to be acting in concert, and for the general purpose of effecting their escape.
When Slattery called out ” Shoot the b—dy sergeant, ” it was after Raymond had been shot by Crookwell.
I saw the body of Raymond afterwards. It was quite dead.
Prisoner Lee: Your Worship, I think it is stepping a little beyond the bounds of justice for the gentlemen prosecuting to be whispering to the sergeant who has given his evidence. I know that gentleman is conducting the case for the Crown, and he will take care to get out enough from the respective witnesses when under examination.
Mr Williams said he was asking no question but such as was proper, and taken no unfair advantage.
Mr Cloete: I will see that no injustice is done you. The prisoners declined to ask any questions.
Edward W. Mitchell; deposed: I am a mounted constable, stationed at Berrima, and formed one of an escort from Berrima to Sydney, in charge of senior sergeant Healey. The prisoners were Foster, Lee, Bland, Smith, Weaver, Slattery, Hindmarsh, Berriman, Webster, Crookwell and Owners. We were all in of Cobb and Co.’s coaches, the sergeant on the box. I, Raymond and Mitchell were inside the coach. I sat with my back to the box with two prisoners on my left. Raymond was on the third seat on my left front, with three prisoners on his left. Kilpatrick was on the fourth seat, facing me, with two prisoners on his right. Crookwell sat next to Kilpatrick.
When about 400 yards on the Sydney side of Anderson’s public-house; the prisoners made a sudden rush ; some stood up. I saw two of the prisoners jump up and put their hands above the cloth covering of the coach, and seized the sergeant and endeavoured to pull him backward into the coach. Slattery and Weaver were the two men.
The sergeant got away from them. Simultaneously with seizing the sergeant, three of the prisoners seized me. Foster, Lee and Smith seized me. Smith caught me by the throat. Foster endeavoured to force me back, as nears as I can recollect, by throwing his body on me. Lee took hold of the rifle and endeavoured to disarm me. While I was struggling with these prisoners, I saw sergeant Healey coming round the side of the coach. He covered Smith and Lee with his rifle. I heard the cap snap, and the butt of the rifle swing against the coach.
A minute or so after I said ” By G—, if you don’t let go, I’ll fire ! ” They did not let go, and I fired. The rifle was pointed towards the prisoner, Bland, who, at this time, had hold of the rifle, with the others. Bland was wounded on the side and arm by the contents of my rifle. Immediately after this I was seized by the prisoners Weaver and Slattery. Slattery seized me by the throat, and by the hair of my head, and got my nose to his mouth when at that moment, he received a ? and staggered back. Weaver caught me by the body ? ? maintained hold of the rifle. While I was struggling with the remaining three, Foster took hold of my left arm, and endeavoured to pull it away from the pouch which contained my revolver. I was holding and covering my revolver pouch. Lee and Smith made an effort to pull the revolver out of the pouch, but they did not succeed.
About half a minute after Slattery was shot, I heard a remark that some one was wounded. A number of them then called out ” We’ll surrender. ” I was so occupied with the prisoners near me that I could not see what constable Raymond was doing. I just caught a glimpse of Owen escaping from the hind wheel of the coach. I did not notice Hindmarsh, nor Webster; they were away from me. After they called out ” We’ll surrender, ” I got out of the coach, and ran round to the other side, when I there saw constable Raymond lying dead on his face. I observed a gunshot wound on the left side of his nose, just below the eye. I immediately re-loaded my rifle.
The body of constable Raymond was put on the footboard. The prisoners were secured in the coach. We proceeded to Picton and on the way met Senior sergeant Zglenitski, and another constable.
We placed the prisoners in the Picton watch house, and the body of constable Raymond in the Court house. The prisoners were secured at Berrima on a marching chain by handcuffs, and each was leg ironed. The only man I saw free from the chain was Owens. In this attempt to escape the prisoners to me appeared to act in concert, as if they were one man. The prisoners declined to ask questions.
Police sergeant Zglenitski and two other witnesses having to be examined, the further hearing of the case was adjourned until Monday, 30th Instant, at 2 o’clock. o’clock.
The official inquiry into the charge brought by sergeant Healey against Hugh M. Bland and Michael Slattery, of being accessories to the murder of constable William Raymond, near Bargo Brush, on the 11th of April last, was resumed before the Water Police Magistrate, Mr Cloete, in the debtors’ prison at Darlinghurst Gaol, yesterday afternoon.
The inquiry into the case against these two prisoners was commenced at the same place on Monday last, and the evidence taken on that occasion was reported in our issue of yesterday. The remainder of the evidence was taken yesterday and both prisoners were committed for trial. The evidence given was as follows:-
John Frederick Webster, alias Timothy Fuller, a prisoner under sentence, was called and said I was one of the eleven prisoners removed from Berrima gaol to Darlinghurst gaol, under charge of senior sergeant Healey, on the 14th April last , the names of the other prisoners were, James Crookwell, Thomas Berriman, William Lee, Peter Hindmarsh, John Owen, Henry Weaver, John Foster, Michael Slattery, James Smith, and Hugh Montgomery Bland ; I was an assistant warder in Berrima gaol, and on the 14th I was called out of the yard and ironed in the presence of the gaoler, thence I was taken back to my cell, and after breakfast brought out and searched , the other prisoners were then ironed and on the chain , I was also handcuffed to the chain , we were marched out and placed in Cobb’s coach ; there were three policemen beside the sergeant in charge of us, and another young man accompanied us, after going a few miles the coach stopped, and the young man took the fourth horse back to Berrima ; we then went on to Rush’s, and thence, after changing horses, to Bargo, where we again changed horses, we were there ordered out of the coach, and marched into a little yard to get our dinner ; while we were at dinner (which was brought to us by the police), I observed Crookwell, Owen, Berriman, and Smith, with two handcuff keys, and they were trying their handcuffs. Berriman produced one of the keys I don’t know who brought the other. I heard Crookwell and Owen say they could undo their handcuffs. Smith said they were going to rush the police, to choke them, and take their arms from them, and then to make their escape, both he and Crookwell asked me if I would take part in the rush ; I said ” no, I have only twenty months to do, but if I had twenty years to do I would not join you ” ; Smith then called me ” bl–dy dog ” and coward, and threatened to rip me open if I spoke one word, at this time he had a double bladed clasp knife in his hand cutting some bread and meat, I told him I would not have anything to do with it, and I never spoke one word afterwards ; Crookwell afterwards said, addressing Forster, Slattery, and Weaver, ” how is it going to be? ” they said they would be willing the first chance they got after they were in the coach again ; Crookwell, addressing Slattery, asked, ” Is Bland going to be in it ?” Slattery replied that it was no use to ask him, as he had only six weeks to serve, and therefore it was not likely he would join them ; I heard Lee ask Bland if he would be one to rush the police and take their arms from them, and he replied, ” No, he would not on any consideration,” and he should be a free man in six weeks’ time. Crookwell then asked Berriman and Owen, if they knew which of the police they were to assist in taking the arms from, and Owen said, ” I know the man I have to choke. ” Berriman said “You choke him and I’ll take his revolver, and Slattery added, ” I’ll take his rifle. The whole of the prisoners heard what was going on ; Foster said he would make one to pull the Sergeant in off the box of the coach. Lee said, “I will make another” Smith said he would choke the man sitting on the front seat of the coach and take his arms from him ; Hindmarsh said he would assist Crookwell all he could ; Weaver said he would assist in holding the Sergeant down in the coach ; we were about three quarters of an hour in the yard, the sergeant and one of the the police were about eight yards from us in a little shed ; another constable was behind us, the other side of a water hole, and the fourth in front of us near the fence, between four and five yards from us ; I heard Crookwell, Slattery, and Smith, ask the sergeant if he would be kind enough to allow them to take their coats off and he consenting they were taken off ; after this we got into the coach and started on our journey ; we were sitting in the coach the same as before, with the exception of Lee and Foster, who exchanged seats ; we proceeded for about three or four miles on the road, when on turning my head round I saw Crookwell and Owen ; Crookwell was pointing to the near side of the coach, and calling constable Kilpatrick’s attention to something while Owen was taking his handcuffs off with a handcuff key ; I then saw Owen try Crookwell’s handcuffs ; I turned my eye towards the front of the coach and felt the chain to which we were ironed fall quite slack ; I saw John Owen standing up in the coach ; all of a sudden he whipped his arms around the neck of the constable who was afterwards shot, and sang out ” Now then, Tommy and Jimmy ;” Berriman instantly made a snatch at the constable’s revolver, and I tried to stop him ; I struck him and tried to keep his hands off ; Slattery, who was sitting in front of the constable who was afterwards shot caught hold of him to pull him towards him, and tried to get hold of his rifle, but the constable held his rifle at arms length outside the coach, and Slattery could not got hold of it ; at this time I had hold of Berriman with my right hand, and received a blow under the ear – I don’t know who struck me – I was knocked down in the body of the coach ; the policeman got away from Berriman, Owen, and Slattery, and got out of the coach ; when he got on the ground he held his rifle, pointing it towards Crookwell, and said if they did not surrender he would fire at them ; the sergeant stood alongside of him some few feet apart ; the constable was nearer the hinder part of the coach and somewhat behind the sergeant ; I turned my head and saw Crookwell and Hindmarsh struggling with a constable who sat on the hinder part of the coach ; Crookwell had hold of the constable’s revolver, trying to pull it out of his hand ; Hindmarsh had hold of one of the constables legs ; I heard Lee and Smith sing out, ” Shoot the —– sergeant first ; I recognised their voices ; I looked round and saw the sergeant with a rifle in his hand, and he was pointing it towards Crookwell ; he ordered the men to surrender, or he would shoot them ; Hindmarsh, whose chain I had hold of, struck me on the head, and threatened to kill me ; I then let go his chain ; Crookwell, having got possession of the constable’s pistol, pointed it at the sergeant, and said, ” You b—– b——, I’ll shoot you ;” I saw Crookwell fire a shot in the direction of the sergeant, and I saw the policeman who had got out of the coach fall the moment the shot was fired. The sergeant snapped his carbine at Crookwell, and then he ( the sergeant ) rushed upon the side of the oath, but I, being crushed down by the prisoners, did not to what he did ; when I got up, I saw too sergeant away from the coach, and I heard him shout out, ” Stand, or I’ll fire ; ” at this time Owen was running away towards the Bargo River ; the sergeant fired, and Owen fell, saying he was shot ; I heard some other shots fired — one, I believe, inside the coach on the off side ; before Crookwell fired the shot, Smith, Slattery, and Weaver had hold of one of the police, and were trying to get his arms from him ; they were also trying to throw him over the side of the coach ; he sung out to them to let go, or he would shoot some of them ; one shot was fired, and I saw Bland fall, before he was shot he was sitting in the front of the coach, on the off side ; before he was shot, he said ” oh my God, sergeant, don’t shoot me ;” Bland was not interfering in any way in this matter ; shortly after Bland was that I heard the sergeant sing out ” surrender, ” I will shoot you ; when the sergeant caught Owen, be brought him back and put him into the coach, when Slattery, Smith, and Weavers were struggling with the constable I heard Slattery say ” I’ll bite your bl–dy nose off ;” just before Owen was put back into the coach, and immediately after Slattery had threatened to bite the constable’s nose off, a shot was fired which wounded Slattery ; Slattery sung out ” I am shot ;” sergeant Healey said ” then will you surrender ;” Slattery replied ” yes.” Crookwell said it was no use trying any more, it was better to surrender – he had done his best ; Smith said ” we may as well try again, they can do nothing but hang us. ”
Bland said, ” My God, men, keep quiet, ” and immediately he fell back in a faint ; I heard Smith and Lee sing out during the affray to shoot the sergeant ; I wish to mention that at the first commencement of the row Foster, Weaver, and Lee made a snatch at the sergeant, and tore his coat, but he just pod oil and ran round to the near side of the coach ; I held up my hand to him, and said, ” Sergeant, for God’s sake, don t shoot me, for I have nothing to do with it ; ” it was then that I received a blow on my head ; after the row I saw a clergyman and an elderly gentleman come and assist to put the body of the dead constable into the boot of the coach ; when we proceeded on our journey the sergeant and the two constables walked by the side of the coach ; when we were on our way Smith, Lee, and Weaver said, ” The sergeant shot the constable himself ;” shortly afterwards we were met by a sergeant and policemen from Picton, who joined our escort ; Bland was calling for water, and one of the constables brought some in my hat ; after being met by the other sergeant and constable, Lee and Smith called to them to bring some water for Bland, and the sergeant who came from Picton said, ” As soon as I can get water he shall have some. ” Smith said, ” I know you, you b—dy dog, if I could get hold of you I would give you water ;” Smith had one leg out of the coach, and he made a snatch at the sergeants revolver, and the sergeant jumped back ; the sergeant told him if he did not stop in the coach he would shoot him ; he came up again and Smith made a second attempt to got hold of the revolver, and immediately upon the attempt being made the sergeant fired and shot him in the arm ; at the same time Lee tried to get out of the coach on the other side, and the constable who came from Picton, cocked his gun, and told him to sit down ; Lee said he could not sit down, but he said, if he could got held of that gun he would make him sit down ; after getting to Picton and being placed in the lock-up, Owen, Berriman, Lee and Smith, wanted to choke me, saying that I would be an informer, but Hindmarsh, Weaver and Foster said they would not have time as the police would on top of them, and it would only make matters worse.
By the Water Police Magistrate ; It was after the policeman was shot that Bland was shot ; I could see Bland all the time the row was going on ; he remained sitting until a little before he was shot.
By the prisoner Bland ; I should think it was between two and three minutes after the constable was shot before you were shot. I did not hear you make use of an expression to the police, except this, ” For Gods sake, sergeant, don’t shoot me. ” I can swear you did not say ” Shoot the —- sergeant ;” you were shot after the struggle occurred between Kilpatrick, Lee, and Slattery ; it was impossible for Kilpatrick to see you while the struggle was going on.
By the prisoner Slattery ; I have travelled that road with a dray, and also under escort before ; I made my escape from the police on that road, and after being out of the way for three years I was arrested on another charge and sentenced to seven years hard labour on the roads.
The Water Police Magistrate cautioned the prisoners in the usual way as to anything that they might say, but both declined to say anything. Mr Cloete said he had not the slightest hesitation in regard to Slattery, but with reference to Bland, the only evidence against him was that by constable Kilpatrick, who stated that he heard this prisoner say ” Shoot the sergeant. ” Under all the circumstances, he was of opinion that the constable had made a mistake ; but that was a matter entirely for a jury. He should, therefore, commit both prisoners for trial Both prisoners were then committed for trial at the next sitting of the Central Criminal Court, and the proceedings terminated.
This poor bugger was exhumed to prove he was shot by the criminal and not by an offsider.
THE BARGO BRUSH MURDER. — EXHUMATION OF CONSTABLE RAYMOND’S BODY.
It may be remembered by most of our readers that Crookwell, and Slattery in particular, when sentence of death was being passed upon them, and four others, stoutly denied that a revolver bullet killed Raymond, but that it was a ball from senior-sergeant Healey’s rifle that killed him.
This was a point of material importance as regarded the death of Raymond, because several witnesses for the Crown swore he was shot by Crookwell with a revolver, while the prisoners in concert avowed that he was killed by Henley’s rifle.
Yesterday forenoon Dr. Aaron, and Dr. Scouler, of Picton, who first examined the body, were commissioned by the Attorney-General to exhume the body from the grave in the Newtown Cemetery, to examine the ball, and to give a written report whether that ball belonged to a rifle or to a revolver.
Drs. Scouler, and Aaron, accompanied by an inspector of police, and Mr. Fosberry, chief clerk to the Inspector-General, had the body taken up, and the examination conducted with much care.
They first examined the skull, but before any opening was effected, Dr. Scouler was permitted to again place his finger in the wound, at the end of which the bullet was expected to be lodged.
The fleshy integuments were found to be severed, and decomposed; but Dr. Scouler pulled out a large piece of flattened lead, altered from its assumed original shape by coming in contact with a bone of the skull near the right temple.
From the external wound nothing could be gathered, and it was therefore decided to open the skull. Beside the first piece of lead two other smaller pieces were now discovered, and the doctors had to resort to medical scales and weights to decide as to the size of the bullet.
They found that, judging from its weight, the bullet had been fired from a revolver; that a portion of the lead had a groove mark upon it; and that the barrel of the carbine used by senior-sergeant Healey had no groove, but that the revolver taken from constable Kilpatrick, and used by Crookwell, was grooved.
The lead taken from Raymond’s skull was weighed to half a grain in very nice scales, sealed up in an envelope, and handed to the Crown Solicitor.
So far as the medical testimony is concerned, it is against the prisoners and in favour of the police.
A transcript of his Death Certificate:
NSW DEATH REGISTRATION TRANSCRIPTION
REF NO -1866/6230
NAME:- WILLIAM RAYMOND
DATE OF DEATH:- 14/4/1866
PLACE:- BARGO NSW
PLACE OF BIRTH:- BISHOPS GATE, LONDON, ENGLAND
TIME IN AUSTRALIA COLONIES:- ABOUT 16 YEARS IN NSW
FATHER:- WILLIAM RAYMOND
MOTHER:- HARRIET BIRD
PLACE OF MARRIAGE:- UNMARRIED
AGE AT MARRIAGE:-
NAME OF SPOUSE:-
CHILDREN OF MARRIAGE:-
INFORMANT:- J W ANTILL, JP, CORONER:- JARVIS FIELD
CAUSE OF DEATH:- CORONER’S VERDICT:- WILFULLY MURDERED BY BEING SHOT IN THE HEAD
LENGTH OF ILLNESS:- SUDDEN DEATH
MEDICAL ATTENDANT:- NONE
DATE LAST SEEN:-
DATE OF BURIAL:- 16 Apr 1866
PLACE OF BURIAL:- CAMPERDOWN
MINISTER:- REV THOMAS SMITH, CHURCH OF ENGLAND
WITNESSES:- HENRY SYKES & JOSEPH NINESS
Presumed to have come out to Australia about 1850 with his mother, Harriet, who had married John Miller in London in 1850. He would then have been about 9 or 10 years old. However, no shipping record found. Date of arrival consistent with stated time in colony of NSW in death registration.
And a newspaper item that I don’t think you have that includes a notice from probably his mother. His step father, John Miller, was a Merchant Seaman and probably had died by then. But we’ve never found a record of his death. I assume that’s why he isn’t mentioned in the death notice. His natural father, also William Raymond, died in London a couple of months after he ( son ) was born and his mother then married John Miller in London in 1850. So until he was about 12 he grew up in London with a single mum. Must have been hard on them both.
Sydney Mail 21 Apr 1866
MILLER – April 14th, on the Southern Rd, near Picton, from a gunshot wound inflicted by a prisoner while under escort, William Raymond, aged 28 years, a constable of the New South Wales Police Force, and the beloved son of Mrs Miller, of Brisbane-street, Glebe, beloved and regretted by a large circle of friends.
RAYMOND – April 14th, on the Southern Rd, near Picton, from a gun-shot wound inflicted by a prisoner while under escort, William Raymond, aged 28 years, a constable of the New South Wales Police Force, a native of Bishopsgate, London, England. London papers please copy.
THE LATE CONSTABLE RAYMOND’S FUNERAL. —The remains of the late constable Raymond, who was shot by a prisoner at Bargo Brush on Saturday, were removed from the police depot, Sydney, to their last resting place, Newtown Cemetery, on Monday afternoon.
The relatives of deceased followed the hearse in mourning coaches, and coaches were also provided for intimate friends of the deceased’s parents.
About one hundred policemen, in full dress uniform, formed the procession, and the cortege moved slowly on to the place of interment.
The Rev. Thomas Smith, of St Barnabas’, officiated, and delivered an oration, over the grave of deceased.
The procession then returned to the police depot and separated.
14 Apr 1866
Spencer Henry WALKLATE
Spencer Henry WALKLATE
Late of Bondi Junction
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ????
Stations: Regent St – # 2 Division,
Service: From 3 July 1940to 16 December 1943 ( Resigned to join Army in WWII )=3+years Service
Concerning the murder of NSW Police Constable Spencer Henry Walklate and others – Muschu Island in the Japanese occupied Territory of Papua & New Guinea – April 1945.
by Detective Senior Sergeant Garry Nowlan
On the 150th anniversary of the NSW Police Force many former and retired Police Officers who have contributed so richly to our history have been remembered. However, we rarely mention the achievements of Police Officers in times of war. Many NSW Police Officers have served during many wars, deployments and peacekeeping operations over many years and some have paid the supreme sacrifice.
This is the story of one of them.
Spencer Henry Walklate was born at Brushgrove on the Clarence River near Maclean in northern NSW on the 11th January 1918. He was enrolled and educated at the nearby Wardell Public School in 1923. Spencer attended Church, Methodist Sunday School and was a fit and healthy country kid who excelled at sport. After leaving school he became a grocery salesman and purveyor of small- goods. He later met a Grenfell girl named Linda Maude O’Keefe who was to become the love of his life. They married at Gunnedah on the 31 January 1938 and settled down to start a family.
But, these were uncertain times and war clouds gathered over Europe. A fragile peace had existed with Germany since the end of WW1 but that was shattered when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. When Britain declared war on Germany and her allies Australia and all the other Commonwealth Nations also went to war. Many young Australian men went off to fight in Europe the Middle East and North Africa.
Life was good in quiet country NSW for a young man with a new wife and a bright future. However, due to events abroad, Spencer became unsettled and through a strong sense of duty to country, joined the 33rd Militia Battalion at Gunnedah, where he underwent basic military training.
Meanwhile, Japan watched events in Europe unfold with interest. Japan had until the 19th century been a very
isolationist society with little contact from the outside world.
Then, in 1860 Japan formed an unlikely but long standing cultural and intellectual association with Germany. But, due to conflicting political aspirations over China, Japan declared war on Germany and fought on the British side during WW1. An uneasy peace existed for the next decade or so but in 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria and fought a long and bloody war against China, committing many atrocities.
The conflict expanded Japanese military power in the region and it’s troops soon became battle hardened, experienced combat veterans. By the mid 1930’s a rising Japan had formed a strong military alliance with an increasingly aggressive Germany and became part of the Axis Alliance along with Mussolini’s Fascist Italy. The ultimate aim of this pact was world domination.
On observing Hitler’s early successes in Europe, Japan a small country with limited resources, cast it’s eyes south.
To the rich resources of land, agriculture, oil, rubber, iron ore and coal. And their aspirations turned to South East Asia, and beyond. The U.S. had remained neutral for the first 2 years of WW2 but they had a powerful naval presence in the pacific based at Pearl Harbour, which threatened Japanese ambitions. So, on 7 December 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Simultaneously and through a series of coordinated, vicious attacks Japan invaded the Philippines, and moved quickly south through Indo-China taking Burma,
Thailand, Vietnam and Malaya. Fortress Singapore fell on 15 February 1942 after one week of bitter fighting and 130,000 Commonwealth troops
entered the hell of Japanese captivity.
This included over 22,000 Australian troops mainly from the 8th Division.
Just 4 days later on 19 February 1942 Darwin was bombed by a massive Japanese force destroying much of the town and many Allied ships in Darwin Harbour. The attack was carried out by the same bomber group which attacked Pearl Harbour, however more bombs were dropped on Darwin than at Pearl Harbour. Australia would be attacked and bombed by the Japanese on 63 occasions. This was followed up with the raid in Sydney harbour on 31 May 1942 by 3 midget Japanese submarines. Sydney and Newcastle were shelled by Japanese submarines and Allied shipping was sunk off the eastern coast of Australia.
The Japanese invaded Rabaul massacring 130 Australian POW’s at Tol Plantation and began building an airfield on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands to provide a base from which to further isolate and attack Australia. By July 1942 the Japanese occupied the Mandated Territory of Papua & New Guinea, Timor, Nauru, and the Solomon Islands and also held many other islands just to our north.
These were the darkest days for Australia and the Japanese advance south seemed unstoppable. Due to the imminent threat to Australia, Prime Minister Curtin defied Winston Churchill and brought Australian troops home from the Middle East and North Africa to defend Australia. The battle on the Kokoda Track was still raging, when in September 1942 Japanese land forces were for the first time stopped and defeated by Australian troops at the battle of Milne Bay. The tide had turned. Then the slow and painful slog through mud, swamp and jungle began, to push the Japanese back. To borrow the words of Winston Churchill, “This was not the end. It was not even the beginning of the end. But it was the end of the beginning.” It looked for the first time like the Battle for Australia could be won.
Meanwhile, Spencer Walklate observed events from afar. He had decided to move closer to the action and he and Linda left the bush and moved to Sydney taking up residence at Bondi Junction. Again through a sense of duty he decided to join the NSW Police Force at the age of 22 years so he could do his bit to defend the homeland. He joined the NSW Police Force on 3rd July 1940 and after initial training at the Burke Street Police Academy Redfern, was posted as a Probationary Constable to No 2 Division Regent Street. He performed wartime General Duties and was no doubt disturbed by world events, particularly the Darwin air raids and Japanese Submarine attacks on Sydney Harbour.
Spencer had developed into a fine, solidly built, very large and physically fit young man.
In addition to his demanding role as Constable of Police pounding the beat around Central Railway Station, Broadway and Paddy’s Market, he had developed into a first class footballer. He joined St. George Football Club and in 1943 played 15 first grade games as a forward scoring 2 tries and 3 goals. He was also a strong swimmer and in his spare time was a Bondi Surf Life Saver. Spencer Walklate was a big man of many talents. Just the kind of man you might need when your country was fighting for it’s very existence In June 1942 the Australian Military formed a Special Forces unit for clandestine commando operations behind enemy lines. Their main role was reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, sabotage and supporting resistance efforts in occupied territories. It was a secret force named
simply ‘Z’ Special Unit. The unit was administered through Special Operations Executive (SOE) Australia and was made up entirely of volunteers. It’s recruits came from various army and naval units who volunteered for ‘Special’ service in extremely high risk and dangerous operation’s.
They trained in a variety of secret training camps including Camp Z in Broken Bay, Z Experimental Station in Cairns and there was a commando school on Fraser Island. In June 1943 a ‘Z’ Special Unit commando team based on Magnetic Island staged a mock raid in Townsville Harbour by placing dummy limpet mines on allied shipping. When the mines were discovered it caused a furore as the navy thought the mines were real. The commander of the unit was arrested and subject to disciplinary action. But, the lessons learned here were later used in the highly successful Operation Jaywick raid by ‘Z’ Special Unit in Singapore Harbour, where 39,000 tons of enemy shipping was destroyed by limpet mines.
By late 1943 Constable Walklate was in a state of personal crisis. He did not want to leave his young wife or his job, but could find no other option.
His country was at war and he had army training. He knew men who were going off to fight. Not to go was unthinkable.
At the time the Police Force was designated a reserved occupation. Police were not permitted to join the military forces as it was deemed just as important for them to remain at home to keep the peace, defend the homeland and protect critical infrastructure. But, as so many Police were resigning to enlist, the rule was later relaxed and Police were allowed to enlist and return to the Force at the end of their military deployment.
So, Spencer made the only decision he could. In order to enlist he resigned from the NSW Police Force on 16th December 1943 and joined the AIF at Paddington on 31 December. On 5 January 1944 Spencer Henry Walklate Serial No NX202843 marched into 3rd Australian Army Recruit Training Battalion. He was 25 years of age.
Private Walklate‘s Police Training and leadership abilities held him in good stead and 3 months later he was promoted to Lance Corporal on 16 April. On 16 July 1944 Lance Corporal Walklate attended and successfully completed the jungle warfare course at the Australian Jungle Warfare Training Centre, Canungra. But, as in peacetime Spencer Walklate excelled and wanted to be among the best. So, on 4 August he volunteered for, and was accepted into ‘Z’ Special Unit. As this was a highly specialised unit he had to accept reduction to the rank of Private. But, after gaining all his skills and proficiency levels on 29 October 1944 his rank was reinstated to Lance Corporal.
Due to the level of secrecy involved, not much is known of his service over the next four months however it is highly likely he attended one or more of the ‘Z’ Special Unit training camps for specialised training in espionage and battle survival techniques. He departed Australia in secrecy for war service in the occupied Territory of Papua & New Guinea on 21 February 1945. He did not know he would never see Australia or his beloved wife Linda again.
Lance Corporal Spencer Walklate was posted to Group ‘C’ – ‘Z’ Special Unit in Lae where he trained in secret with other members of the group. It is not known what Spencer Walklate did or where he went for the next several weeks.
But, what is known is that he was about to enter the history books as taking part in one of the boldest, most heroic and tragic commando raids behind enemy lines in the South West Pacific theatre of war. Operation Copper.
Of course the name is a mere co-incidence, but the irony is not lost on the astute reader.
By April 1945 the allies were well and truly winning the war. In Europe the Russians were advancing on Berlin and Hitler would commit suicide within weeks. The Japanese had lost the war but were in denial and were being pushed back to Japan or decimated island by island. General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Allied Commander in the South West Pacific, was island hopping eager to complete his self fulfilling prophesy of, “I shall return” to the Philippines. And he did not care how many Australians had to die in order for him to fulfil it. As the Japanese had already proved they would rather die than surrender, the Americans were by-passing Japanese held islands in their rush north. MacArthur, determined to have all the glory for America had relegated the Australian troops, who were
the first to ever stop the Japanese and who had done the lion’s share of the fighting in New Guinea, to clearing up the stranded Japanese remnants. But, this was no easy task as the Japanese had been on some of these islands for years. They had established strong defences and built food gardens to enable them to survive and were willing to fight to the death to hold their ground.
And so it was that plans were made for an Australian invasion of Wewak on the north coast of New Guinea where the Japanese were stranded in strength, with nowhere else to go. Many diggers after the war would say that many a good man was lost and most of these operations were unnecessary as the Japanese could have just been left to starve and ‘wither on the vine’.
Intelligence reports indicated that there were two big 140mm naval guns situated on Muschu Island which commanded the coastline where the invasion was to take place and could wreak havoc on Australian invasion troops and shipping. Muschu was a small nondescript tropical island, like thousands of other small tropical islands, situated just 4kms off the coast near Wewak. Surrounded by coral reefs it was flat around the fringes, with scattered rocky coves, spectacular lagoons and beaches. It was hilly in the middle with a couple of isolated native villages and covered in dense tropical jungle. It was also the home for 700 very hostile Japanese soldiers. ‘Z’ Special Unit and Lance Corporal Spencer Walklate, were given the task of locating and disabling the guns on Muschu Island.
The following members of the Group ‘C’ – ‘Z’ Special Unit raiding party were assembled and briefed at Aitape on 8 April 1945:
Lt. Thomas Barnes, Lt. Alan Gubbay, Sergeant Max Weber, Signalman Michael Hagger, Private John Chandler, Private Ron Eagleton, Sapper Edward ‘Mick’ Dennis and Lance Corporal Spencer Henry Walklate. ‘Mick’ Dennis and ‘Spence’ Walklate had already become best mates and both had close familial connections with the NSW Police Force. ‘Mick‘ had been an unarmed combat instructor with the NSW Police Force before the war. His sister, Clare Dennis, was a 1932 Olympic 200 metre breaststroke swimming Gold Medallist, who was married to George Golding, a NSW Police Detective and 1930 Empire Games track and field Bronze Medallist. His father Alexander Dennis was a Police Prosecutor in the NSW Police Force at Burwood.
During the Aitape briefing the team was provided with maps, prismatic compasses, aerial photographs, secret wireless codes and intelligence reports on their area of operations. They would be inserted into the area by Naval Patrol Boat and would then paddle to the island by folding canvas kyak-like boats called ‘folboats’. Each man carried a 9mm automatic Sten SMG backed up by a .38 calibre Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolver. The raiding party was also issued with three 9mm ‘Welrods’ which were a silenced bolt action repeating pistol also known as ‘The Assassins Gun’. Other equipment included the Fairbairn Sykes commando fighting knife, two radio transmitters, walkie talkies, Very lights (flares), signal mirrors and rations for 24 hours. The mission was simple. Get in, capture a
Japanese prisoner for interrogation, find the guns, disable them if possible, contact the naval patrol boat by wireless and get out.
The night of 11 April 1945 was selected as it was a dark, moonless night with favourable tides. That afternoon the raiding party boarded Harbour Defence Motor Launch (HDML) 1231 at Aitape and was conveyed under cover of darkness on the 8 hour, 150 kms journey to within 5 kms of Muschu Island. At 2130 hrs they disembarked the patrol boat in four folboats, two men paddling in each and set off into enemy held territory. And into the lion’s den.
As the men’s night vision kicked in all eyes strained on the dark brooding mass ahead. The only sight that pierced the darkness was the luminous trail left in the rippling wake of the boats as they carved their way through the calm tropical waters. The only sound that broke the silence was the dip of paddles as they sliced the still black water, the slap of the waves against the flimsy canvas hulls of the tiny boats, and the faintly suppressed groans of straining men as they pulled the fragile craft closer. The eerie blackness was occasionally violated by the phosphorescent flash made by some unseen creature lurking in the murky depths below
the sweating, determined men. On they went through the still, balmy, tropical night towards the dark foreboding shadow of the unseen enemy’s lair.
Then disaster struck. At 2230 hrs the folboats hit an uncharted reef and capsized. The party managed to recover the boats but much of the party’s weapons and
equipment was saturated or lost in the black churning water. Two hours later 8 tired, wet and bedraggled men dragged themselves to shore where the party slept fitfully 15 metres inland.
At 0500 hrs on 12 April they stood to. Weapons at the ready clutched in tense, sweating hands, eyes straining through the thick jungle foliage and ears fine-tuned to pick up the slightest hostile sound. When no enemy activity was detected they concealed the boats 50 metres inland in dense undergrowth and set up a base camp some 100 metres further inland where the wireless transmitter and equipment was concealed.
The team then moved east for 30 minutes where they located two well oiled Juki machine guns in firing positions covering the beach. They dismantled the guns and threw them into the sea. The party continued across the island and found strong enemy posts every 50 metres along the coast with a network of trenches and connecting tracks behind. A further four machine guns were located and dismantled. A food garden and some enemy occupied huts were located. There were some bomb craters in this area and here they obtained fresh rain water for the first time.
That afternoon they captured a Japanese soldier who was bound and gagged.
They then tried to find their way back to their base camp but got lost. Taking the wrong track they came upon a Japanese camp. They diverted around the camp and on some cliffs found several gun positions.
They made contact with two Japanese near some huts and both were shot dead with the silenced ‘Welrods’.
They then moved back east and finally found the naval gun positions they were looking for. Grid references were taken so the guns could be destroyed by allied aircraft and with the mission nearly accomplished they began to make their way back to base camp.
But, again disaster struck. As they passed near a Japanese patrol the prisoner slipped his gag and called out alerting the enemy. The prisoner was immediately shot and the party went to ground. There was a strong Japanese presence on the island and by now they were alerted to the presence of the raiders and several hundred Japanese were out in force searching for the Australians. That evening they moved back to the folboats but found they had been discovered by the Japanese and an ambush had been set nearby with a machine gun covering the boats. The party then withdrew, made a fresh base camp and now with no wireless transmitters had to plan their getaway.
They decided to try for the mainland so constructed a raft from logs and at 2000 hrs put to sea but the raft smashed to pieces on a coral reef. This time they lost the remainder of their weapons and equipment and the only man to retain his weapon and pack was Sapper Dennis. It would save his life and enable him to live to tell the story of what happened next.
They returned to the island and after much debate decided by democratic vote to break up into two groups. One group of four men being Sergeant Weber, Private Chandler, Signalman Hagger and Sapper Dennis, favoured remaining on the island and would try to recover a wireless transmitter to contact the rescue boat. The other group comprising Lt Barnes, Lt Gubbay, Private Eagleton and Lance Corporal Spencer Walklate, favoured putting to sea on separate logs to try to make it to nearby Kairiru Island and signal patrolling allied reconnaissance aircraft with mirrors. The men said their goodbyes, shook hands and wished each other luck.
Spencer Walklate and his party then set to sea and the last time he or his mates were seen alive by friendly eyes was as they paddled quietly off into the darkness. Four tiny, bedraggled figures bobbing along on coconut logs carried on the unpredictable currents of the Solomon Sea. Into the vast, enemy held, shark infested unknown.
The story of what happened to Spencer Walklate and his mates cannot be told without reference to the extraordinary tale of survival by Sapper Dennis. The Dennis party moved inland and rested. They spent the 13/14 April observing the movements of the Japanese and watching for signals.
At 0600 hrs on 15 April they moved back to their original base and recovered one of the wireless transmitters. While moving back to a safe position to set up the radio they were ambushed by a Japanese patrol. Sapper Dennis shot two Japanese with his sten gun and the party split up discarding the wireless set in the scrub. Dennis was unable to locate the rest of the party throughout the day. He returned to the bomb crater to get fresh water but found it sour and bitter to the taste. The Japanese were poisoning the water holes to deny the intruders water. Dennis then moved west and in an encounter near a hut shot one Japanese. He then surprised a Japanese Patrol of four and shot one wounding several others. He hid for the night in the scrub and heard Japanese patrols moving around and heard shots near the beach.
Having given up hope of finding the rest of the party he continued west and found a Japanese machine gun in position but unattended so he toppled it over a cliff. He slept in a sago forest and could hear and see the Japanese searching for him. As per mission objectives he continued to record the details and grid references of all Japanese positions, strengths and infrastructure in his note book.
On 16 April he reached the west coast of the island near Muschu Bay and decided to try for the mainland. He found a suitable plank on a wrecked Japanese barge and hid it.
He remained in the area until night and returning to the plank found it had been removed back to the barge. He retrieved the plank and then paddled for 10 hours through shark infested waters and battled strong ocean currents until making the mainland two hours before dawn. He rested, then on 17 April set off north west towards what he hoped were the Australian lines. He evaded Japanese patrols but was observed by two Japanese and shot one.
He later encountered another four man Japanese patrol and shot two. He then surprised two Japanese but his SMG misfired.
The Japanese were so frightened one lost his rifle and they both ran away.
He continued west for 20 kms through enemy territory until 1400 hrs on 20 April when he contacted a patrol of the 2/7th Australian Commando Company. His ordeal was over and the details of his intelligence debrief conducted at Aitape on 21 April 1945 form the basis for this narrative.
Sapper ‘Mick’ Dennis, former NSW Police unarmed combat instructor, was awarded the Military Medal for this extraordinary feat of courage and endurance.
But what of the other 7 men of Operation Copper?
The war ended just 4 months later with the dropping of the atomic bombs ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ at Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August 1945 respectively. After cessation of hostilities the Australian military commenced it’s War Crimes investigations and trials into Japanese atrocities. Muschu Island was converted to an internment camp for Japanese POW’s and Japanese officers and soldiers were interviewed to establish what happened to missing allied servicemen and women. But, the Japanese were often untruthful, uncooperative and sought to cover up the truth for fear of being tried and executed as war criminals. It had been a long and bloody war and most Allied Governments just wanted to forget about it. The Americans were even less enthusiastic to pursue high level war criminals as General MacArthur was given the task to re build post-war Japan and he used high ranking Japanese officers and officials, many of whom were war criminals, in the process. So, many war criminals escaped justice, as was to be the case for the missing men of Operation Copper.
In 1945/46 war crimes investigators interviewed senior Japanese officers on Muschu Island re the fate of the Operation Copper men. They were told that the three men from the Dennis party were ambushed and killed while trying to operate a radio set. However, natives had reported seeing the mutilated bodies of these men on Muschu in April 1945. While the Japanese claimed the bodies had been damaged by artillery shells, Sapper Dennis has always disagreed with this. He believes his three mates were captured, tortured and murdered by the Japanese.
The mutilated bodies could indicate they were cannibalised which was a common practice by the Japanese in New Guinea during WW2. After the war the remains of the bodies of Sergeant Weber, Private Chandler and Signalman Hagger were recovered from a shallow grave and re-buried at Wewak. They were later exhumed and moved to Lae war cemetery. At least one body appeared to have been decapitated and another was shot through the head.
But what of Spencer Walklate and his 3 mates, who set off into the unknown so long ago on coconut logs?
The Australian Army concluded in 1946 the party was drowned at sea or taken by sharks. But, many years after the war, with the declassification of military documents, new information became available and has shed fresh light on what happened.
It is now known that natives on nearby Kairiru Island told military investigators that up to three Australian’s came ashore on Kairiru in April 1945 and were executed by the Japanese. The Japanese denied this claim stating that two airmen did come ashore but they died of sickness and disease two days later. The native claims were ignored and never followed up at the time.
But, recently Australian Army documents have surfaced containing eye witness accounts of the murder of two Australian soldiers on Kairiru Island, including an account by the Japanese officer who carried out the executions.
According to these primary source documents between April-June (sic) 1945 a very large Australian ‘airman’, perfectly fitting the description of Spencer Walklate, was captured on Kairiru. ‘Z’ Special Unit operatives would have used a cover story if captured as espionage was punishable by summary execution, while ordinary servicemen were entitled to protection under the Japanese Code of Military Law. (Japan was not a signatory to the Geneva Convention). So, claiming to be an airman shot down or crash landing in the vicinity made perfect sense.
It is also known that checks of military war dairies indicate that no Australian airmen were lost in that location at that time. The Australian POW referred to in this document is almost certainly Spencer Henry Walklate.
Following is the disturbing firsthand account of his beheading murder, sourced from official Australian Department of Army War Crimes Archives and extracts taken from an interview with Ensign OAWAGA Waichi of the Japanese Imperial Navy, who was stationed on Muschu Island in 1945.
OAWAGA Waichi (states): During the first part of June 1945, an Australian airman was brought to headquarters from the north coast. At about 1300 Medical Officer MARUYAMA came to the sick bay and I received the order:
“Petty Officer OAGAWA, execute him.”
Thereupon I went to the scene of the action. At a spot about 100 yards away in the direction of headquarters a large Australian airman, blindfolded and wearing Japanese summer clothing, was being held with his arms behind his back by a guard detail of the sixth squad. He was kneeling on both knees in front of a hole in the ground. I approached Ensign FUMIYA, the chief of the guards, and reported:
“I have come upon orders from the medical officer.”
“Hurry and execute him.” (HYAKU Kire) I was ordered, so I borrowed the sword from the NCO who had come for liaison purposes and decapitated (the prisoner). With only a single stroke of the sword, he fell forward and died.
At this time there were present from headquarters the Staff Engineer Officer, Secretary KAWADA, Medical Ensign OMOTEZAKA, Supervisor Petty Officer (medical) SUZUKI and Leading Seaman MACHI.
Besides these there were fifteen to twenty officers and guards.
The corpse was buried on the spot under the direction of Ensign FUMIY A.
The same grim, barbaric ritual was repeated 10 days later with the capture and murder of a second member of the Operation Copper party. However, the precise identity of this soldier is not known and he was heavily drugged with Narcopon (Opium) prior to execution.
OAWAGA Waichi (states): “ About ten days had passed since the first incident when again an Australian airman was brought to headquarters from the north coast. At about 1500 I received the order from the medical officer:
‘Execute him with an injection of one CC of Narcopon.’
Thereupon I took one CC hypodermic needle and one CC of narcopon from the dispensary and went to the scene of the action. Lt (s.g) AMENOMORI and Secretary KAWADA were investigating in the finance room.
A fatigue detail was digging a hole. In about two hours the investigation was finished and an Australian of average stature, blindfolded and wearing Japanese summer clothes, was lead out by the guards. His hands were held behind his back and he was made to kneel in front of the hole.
The medical officer ordered me:
‘Give him the injection’ (CHUSHA SHIRO), so I injected one CC of Narcopon into the lower part of the left shoulder blade. Then I borrowed a sword from Superior Petty Officer KAWANO. About fifteen to twenty minutes after the injection the order:
‘Execute him’ (KIRE) was given, so I raised the sword over my head and brought it down, decapitating (the prisoner).
The Australian fell forward and died. Under the direction of Ensign FUMIYA, the corpse was buried on the spot.”
It appears that possibly one other member of the Walklate party met a similar fate with the fourth probably lost at sea.
Surprisingly, no Japanese solder was ever charged with war crimes regarding the murders of the Operation Copper men, in spite of this compelling evidence. The information provided by Sapper Dennis, the sole survivor of the Operation Copper raid, was used in the planning for the successful invasion of Wewak and the subsequent defeat of the Japanese which ended the Japanese occupation in New Guinea.
And so ends the heroic but tragic story of the men of Operation Copper and of the murder of Spencer Henry Walklate. Athlete, elite sportsman, football star, surf life saver, soldier, commando, POW, war hero, loving husband and NSW Constable of Police. Executed without trial by war criminals, he lies in an unmarked grave, in a lonely foreign place, on a tiny god forsaken island no one has ever heard of. Postscript:
Each ANZAC Day, Edward Thomas ‘Mick’ Dennis MM, rises early.
He polishes his shoes, dresses in his best suit and carefully pins the shining row of bronze and silver medals with their brightly coloured ribands on the left breast of his jacket just above the pocket. The RSL badge and Returned From Active Service badge complete the ritual. Then, arming himself with his walking cane, he shuffles off to the dawn service. Rain, hail or shine, he has done it dutifully for 69 years. At 96 it is getting harder, but he knows he has to go. As he stands for The Last Post, on weakened, shaky legs, he remembers. He remembers the happy, smiling, youthful faces of his mates. He remembers them just the way they were, then. As if frozen still in time. Their bodies not wasted by age or sickness or despair. They have become ageless. He remembers Muschu Island, his mate ‘Spence’ Walklate and what they did there so long ago. And for a brief moment he stiffens and somehow grows taller. A tear comes to his eye. He wipes it with his handkerchief and with head bowed, shuffles slowly off home.
Until next year.
In a final irony, the naval guns at Muschu Island were never fired in anger and remained silent during the campaign.
The Japanese commander was afraid if they were used the Allies would be alerted to their position and they would be destroyed by superior allied air power. They are still there today. Lest We Forget.
QUEENSLAND’S police union has labelled the torment of Brett Forte’s wife today as “nothing short of a disgrace”.
Widow and fellow senior constable Susan Forte built the courage to make a midday public appearance, after spending the morning surrounded by family, friends and colleagues inside the Toowoomba police station.
About 10.45am, Susan emerged from the station with tears streaming down her face and a large bouquet of flowers in her hand.
She walked slowly towards the makeshift memorial that had been made in her husband’s honour.
But as she laid the bouquet down — inconsolable and barely able to stand on her own accord — Rick Maddison’s supporters saw an opportunity to let their voice be heard.
One person in a full car yelled “What about Rick?” as the Forte family huddled together, hunched over Susan in the floral sea of colours.
A gasp could be heard, but the family did not retaliate as the station wagon continued down Neil St.
Union president Ian Leavers lambasted the culprit.
“It is nothing short of a disgrace that associates of a career criminal and murderer would dare heckle a grieving widow while she pays tribute to her husband,” he said.
“Police and their families deserve better than to be treated like this.”
Despite the shock, Brett’s father Stuart turned and smiled as the family walked away — Susan arm-in-arm with her daughter Emma Morris.
Stuart confirmed yesterday that Brett’s funeral would be held in Toowoomba next Wednesday at the University of Southern Queensland campus.
Stuart said the family was doing its best to cope with the tragedy and the subsequent attention it had received.
Early morning visits to the Brett’s shrine outside the station have formed part of the grieving process for the family over the last two days.
Via a lawyer yesterday, Maddison’s family also spoke of their pain.
A statement — read out by Alroe and Sullivan’s Solicitors practice manager Michele Alroe -claimed the murderer was more than just a career criminal.
“To us he was not the one-dimensional career criminal which the media are now portraying but rather a loved son, brother, nephew, uncle, grandson, friend and mate to many and as such will be sadly mourned,” the statement read.
The statement went on to say that Maddison’s actions may never be fully understood, but it expressed condolences to the police force and the Forte family.
The streets of Toowoomba are rife with anecdotes about Maddison’s self-destructive behaviour.
Friend Anthony Hogan said Maddison was “banned from more licenced venues than he was allowed into”, but said he would never hesitate to help out a mate.
“His name can strike fear into people. He was notorious … I’ve known Rick for many years and I’m not ashamed to say,” Mr Hogan said.
“I loved the guy and I will miss him.
“I’m not defending his actions or his criminal side, nor would he want me to defend him, but those who truly know him, well there was a caring and fiercely loyal side to the man too.”
Stuart acknowledged that the Forte’s were not the only family grieving and maintained that he felt no ill-will towards Maddison for his actions.
Brett Forte’s funeral is expected to be held in Toowoomba next Wednesday.
Constable Forte was shot by Maddison as he gave chase to the criminal in bushland on Monday.
It is understood Constable Forte and his partner were in one of three police cars that followed known criminal Maddison down a dirt road in a “low speed chase” around 2pm on Monday at Seventeen Mile, near Toowoomba.
His colleague used her bare hands to tear a hole in the windscreen of their upturned car so she and others could drag him to safety — all while under fire from a crazed gunman with an automatic weapon.
The Courier-Mail understands Constable Forte and his partner were in one of three police cars that followed known criminal Maddison down a dirt road in a “low speed chase” around 2pm on Monday at Seventeen Mile, near Toowoomba.
In bushland, Maddison stopped and opened fire with a high-powered automatic weapon, hitting Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad officer Constable Forte.
His vehicle and the other vehicles tried to reverse, but his rolled on the rough terrain, trapping him and his partner inside. With Maddison still firing, several officers from the second vehicle ran back to try to get their badly injured colleague out.
THE FAMILY of a gunman who shot dead Senior Constable Brett Forte have called his actions inexcusable but deny he was a “one dimensional career criminal”.
In a statement released through lawyers this morning, the family of Toowoomba man Rick Maddison expressed their condolences to the family and friends of Senior Constable Brett Forte.
“The Maddison family wishes to express our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late Senior Constable Brett Forte for their tragic loss,” the statement read.
Senior Constable Forte’s funeral is expected to be held in Toowoomba next Wednesday.
They said Rick’s actions could not be excused, “nor is it likely they will be ever fully understood”.
“To us he was not the one- dimensional career criminal which the media are now portraying but rather a loved son, brother, nephew, uncle, grandson, friend and mate to many and as such will be sadly mourned,” the statement read.
The family also expressed their support for QPS and thanked negotiators for their attempts to resolve the situation peacefully.
“We express our support for the Queensland Police Service and the often difficult and dangerous work its officers are required to undertake. We particularly wish to thank the police negotiators for their attempts to resolve a very difficult situation peacefully.
“The Maddison family thank the many people who have expressed to them their overwhelming support, sympathy, love and prayers,
“We ask both the press and public to accept the pain and remorse we are feeling and to respect our privacy at this very difficult time.”
Rick Maddison was shot dead by specialist police officers after a tense 20-hour standoff at his barricaded rural property in Adare, east of Toowoomba on Tuesday
Constable grew up to passionately follow in his father’s policing footsteps
Chris Clarke, The Courier
AN OLD police hat will be placed in Senior Constable Brett Forte’s hands when he is laid to rest in the coming days.
It was the hat his father Stuart wore during his more than 42 years with Queensland Police.
More than a decade ago – soon after Brett had married the love of his life and fellow officer Susan – the respected Toowoomba officer had found the hat sitting in the laundry of his father’s home.
He claimed it and wore it as his own until his final day on Monday when he was shot and killed by a cop-fearing gunman.
The hat is a symbol of the Forte family’s affinity for policing, Stuart told The Courier-Mail yesterday.
A treasured possession that will forever remind him of the boy who would sneak out of home to turn on his old man’s police radio.
The boy who would grow up to passionately follow in his father’s policing footsteps – like Stuart had done himself years earlier.
“He’s just a hero,” Stuart said. “He was a great bloke and he needs to be remembered,” he said.
Brett – known for his humour at home and at work – wasn’t afraid to do the hard yards and he rose through the ranks by doing his time in the regions around Brisbane.
His career had him sent to Cunnamulla, west of Brisbane, before going to Toowoomba, then Caboolture and settling down in Toowoomba again.
Brett leaves behind two sons, Brodie, 9, and Samuel, 3, and stepdaughter Emma, 16.
Similarly, Brett grew up in a family of three, but it wasn’t until early adulthood that he informed his father of his desire to join the force.
While Stuart’s father had some reservations about his own son joining the force around 1970, Stuart himself was never reluctant to see his son sign up.
“(Brett) was always that way (passionate about policing),” he said.
“I wouldn’t say he was gungho, but he wanted to get in there and do the job and do the job right.
“I’ve been told that he was the guy who had the knowledge of the guidelines and how you’re supposed to do things.
“If anyone wanted any advice, he’d tell them that you do it this way.
“He knew what he was doing and he was very smart in that area.”
Brett’s heartbroken stepdaughter Emma Morris yesterday laid flowers outside Toowoomba Police Station in memory of her father figure.
She echoed her grandfather’s sentiments, calling Brett a hero.
But Emma wept at the thought of her brothers growing up without the guidance she had received from him.
“Brett was just a true hero to everybody he knew … a true family man that would put his life on the line for anybody,” she said.
“Especially because I have younger siblings and they’re never going to remember him.”
Brett is expected to be laid to rest in coming days with his faded police hat.
But Stuart expects his son’s legacy to live forever within Queensland police ranks.
It remains to be seen whether Brodie and Samuel will follow in their father’s footsteps and continue the family tradition.
One thing Stuart will ensure is that they will grow up knowing their dad was a hero.
Arrangements for Brett’s funeral are still being discussed by his family, who gathered at the home he and Susan shared at Highlands, a suburb of Toowoomba, yesterday. The funeral will be held in Toowoomba next Wednesday in Toowoomba but the location of the ceremony is yet to be determined.
While some in the Forte family have expressed anger towards the slain officer’s killer, Stuart says he has no ill will.
“I don’t hate anybody,” he said. “Funnily enough I thought I would, but there’s no hatred there.”
Such a waste…………………both to Brett’s personal family and friends and his Police Family. Why such a good soul has to be taken from this world, is beyond comprehension!! Cherryl
You’re a hero of the thin blue line. May you now rest in peace brother. Fred
No words can be said other than THANK YOU and you will be missed. noel
EXCLUSIVE: Harrowing video shows the frantic moment police race to save the life of a fellow officer and married father-of-two ‘shot dead by a wanted man armed with a machine gun’
Video has emerged of the moment police tried to save an injured officer’s life
Snr Const Brett Forte was shot and killed in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane
Mr Forte was shot by a wanted man during the incident west of Brisbane
Harrowing footage shows police frantically performing CPR on Snr Const Forte
Local residents have reported hearing ‘non-stop automatic machine gunfire’
The gunman is believed to currently be holed up in a rural farmhouse nearby
Published: 22:00 +10:00, 29 May 2017 | Updated: 01:50 +10:00, 30 May 2017
Harrowing video has emerged of the frantic moment police officers bravely tried to save the life of a hero Queensland senior constable who was shot dead allegedly by a wanted man on Monday.
Daily Mail Australia has obtained video from a Lockyer Valley resident who watched with her heart in her mouth as cops worked frantically to save the life of a married father-of-two.
A known offender, Rick Charles Maddison, 41, allegedly shot Senior Constable Brett Forte at about 1.40pm during a police chase in the regional area near Toowoomba, an hour west of Brisbane.
‘A hero lost his life today,’ state police minister Mark Ryan said in a statement.
In the video, filmed on a mobile phone from the window of a nearby home, officers sprint up the road, sirens wail and police can be seen performing CPR on Snr Const Forte.
WARNING *******UPSETTING AUDIO IN THIS CLIP ***** PTSD TRIGGERS
‘Jesus Christ!’ the woman could be heard exclaiming.
Police later bellowed for her to step away from the windows due to the active shooter, sources said.
Maddison, who was believed to be armed with a machine gun, abruptly stopped and got out of his car during the chase involving two police vehicles and four officers and allegedly shot Snr Const Forte.
Maddison, from Toowoomba, then drove down a dirt road at Seventeen Mile, just northwest of Gatton.
It was understood the police vehicle Snr Const Forte had been travelling in rolled over after the chase resumed and Maddison also allegedly fired at a police helicopter while fleeing into bushland before entering a farm house.
The husband of the woman who filmed the video told Daily Mail Australia she was frightened and ‘freaking out a bit’ after gunfire rang out through the area.
Police officers would later carry the wounded officer off the paddy wagon onto her front lawn and ‘keep him alive’, he said.
Several locals were forced to watch helplessly behind a barricade for hours while their wives were stuck in their homes behind police lines.
Truck driver Peter Hills had been stuck outside on Adare Road for six hours when he spoke to Daily Mail Australia.
Mr Hills, who drives fresh produce for a living, said his wife called him on Monday afternoon asked: ‘Do you know if they’re shooting a movie or something?’
His partner witnessed streams of police cars, including black specialist vehicles and detective vehicles zooming down her street and then changing direction.
‘There’s a black paddy wagon, there’s another police car, now there’s an unmarked D-car… and then there was a little bit more – and then more went!’ he recounted her telling him.
‘And then all of a sudden they’ve all gone back the other way.’
Fatally wounded as he pursued the offender through the Lockyer Valley Region, Snr Const Forte was remembered as a hero by the Queensland police minister.
‘My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the Queensland Police Service officer who was tragically killed this afternoon while doing his job selflessly serving the people of Queensland,’ Mr Ryan said.
‘Along with millions of Queenslanders, I pay tribute to his service. He will never be forgotten. With honour, he served.’
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
– Tactical response officers travelling in two police cars tried to pull over a vehicle on Wellers Road, Seventeen Mile, in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley about 1.40pm on Monday
– Rick Charles Maddison, who was believed to be armed with a machine gun, got out of his car and allegedly opened fire on the police vehicles
– Senior Constable Brett Forte was shot
– Maddison then drove down a dirt road and it was understood one of the police vehicles rolled over after the chase resumed
– Maddison also allegedly fired at a police helicopter while fleeing into a farm house
– Snr Constable Forte was airlifted to Brisbane Hospital but was confirmed to have died by 4pm
– Police announce an emergency declaration has been declared under the provisions of the Public Safety Preservation Act and an exclusion zone has been put in place
– A manhunt begins for Maddison who is believed to be holed up in the farm house
Police are now negotiating with Maddison who is holed up in a farm house inside a locked-down area.
‘We have a person contained and at my last advice we were negotiating with that person,’ Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said at a press conference on Monday night.
Police had warned locals to stay indoors while negotiations were underway.
Local resident Kyal Pennell, 23, who was trapped in his home due to the exclusion zone, said he could hear ‘non-stop bursts of automatic gunfire’ and police sirens.
‘Every five minutes there’s gunfire. There’s been handgun shots, machine gun shots, and shotgun shots from what I can tell,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday afternoon.
At 4.30pm, Mr Pennell said police holding semi-machine guns arrived at the front gate of his home to evacuate him and his neighbours from the area. Gunshot bursts were still echoing through the valley.
‘As far as I know, a couple of guys broke out of a jail and they’ve shot a police officer on the front lawn,’ one man told 9 News.
I had to go pick up the kids because the wife couldn’t get out, I was at work.’
Snr Const Forte was airlifted to Brisbane Hospital but was confirmed to have died by 4pm.
He had served in the force for 15 years and was a member of Toowoomba’s Tactical Crime Squad.
His wife, Susan, is also a police officer.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement her thoughts and prayers were with Snr Const Forte’s family and friends.
‘Every day, the brave officers of the Queensland Police Service put their lives on the line when they go to work,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
‘Each of us should be immensely grateful for the work they do.’
In a tragic coincidence, Snr Const Forte’s death comes on the anniversary of slain Gold Coast detective Damian Leeding‘s shooting after he responded to an armed robbery at the Pacific Pines Tavern in 2011.
Heartbreaking attempt to save ‘hero’ cop caught on camera
May 30, 2017 1:51am
A DESPERATE attempt to save a dying policeman shot by a gunman in Queensland has been caught on camera.
Senior Constable Brett Forte, a father of two, was shot in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley on Monday afternoon when a man got out of his vehicle and opened fire on a number of police cars with an automatic weapon.
Bravery awards for police who tried to save fellow officer’s life
Brisbane Times on 28 March 2018, 6:30pm
When thousands of mourners had filed away, as slain Queensland policeman Brett Forte’s family stood by his grave for a private service, a woman approached them.
“Brett saved my life,” she said.
It’s one of many memories that make Stuart Forte proud as he struggles to come to terms with the killing that tore his family apart 10 months ago to the day.
When Senior Constable Brett Forte is posthumously awarded a Commendation for Brave Conduct on Thursday, it will be “lovely”, a fitting recognition of his sacrifice.
But it won’t stop Stuart Forte breaking down when he tries to pick out a photo to go up on the wall from his son’s wedding to still-distraught fellow officer Susan, a tribute that’s been a work-in-progress for months.
When Brett’s policing partner Senior Constable Cath Nielsen, along with Senior Constable Stephen Barlow, Acting Sergeant Scott Hill and Constable Brittany Poulton, are bestowed with Bravery Medals for trying to save his life, the 67-year-old won’t find it easy to express his thanks for what they did.
Those four officers risked their lives deep in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, on the afternoon of May 29, as a cop killer sprayed them with bullets from an automatic rifle.
On Thursday, they will be among 34 Bravery Medal recipients to be honoured in this year’s Australian Bravery Awards, a federal tradition dating back to 1975.
“It’s hard to answer because we still feel the tragedy of it,” former cop Stuart Forte said.
“It’s had a huge impact on the family and everything and it’s lovely to hear when these things are going to happen and everything.
“Because it’s a recognition of the sacrifice that he made and what sort of person he was and the heroic things that went on by the other officers there trying to save him.”
The repeat offender had been convicted of assault and charged with torture at one point and had a “grievance” with the Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad, according to police.
By the time Maddison had driven down the hill from Toowoomba, the crew from Gatton and another from Helidon had joined in.
He avoided road spikes before driving off the edge of the highway, eventually ending up on Wallers Road, where he seemed to lie in wait for the first car to come over the hill.
Senior Constable Barlow heard the shots first, before the Helidon crew started reversing back over the rise and Senior Constable Nielsen shouted for help over the radio.
Confronted with such a heavily armed offender, Senior Constables Hill and Barlow and Constable Poulton knew their cars would be too large a target, so ran along a driveway up to the scrub and down the hill to rescue their colleagues.
“It was daunting,” Senior Constable Barlow said.
“At first when we got out of the car, our training kicked in.
“ … When we got to the actual scene, the police vehicle was on its side. The siren was blaring out.
“It was quite overwhelming but, as I say, we knew what we had to do.”
All the while Senior Constable Nielsen was firing back at Maddison with nothing but her police service handgun.
When the other three arrived, Constable Poulton laid down cover fire as officers Nielsen and Barlow kicked in the window to rescue their dying colleague.
Despite the gunfire, Senior Constable Barlow started first aid, before Constable Poulton raced away from the area in a squad car with Senior Constable Forte on board, according to the bravery citation.
“We didn’t know where he was but we could certainly hear machinegun fire,” Senior Constable Barlow said.
“We didn’t know whether he had us in his sights or what he was doing.”
Realising they were outgunned, officers Barlow, Nielsen and Hill retreated once the car was safely away.
Ten months on, the extended Forte family will gather in Narangba for Easter, where Stuart promises there will be a massive Easter egg hunt as Brett loved it last year.
The 2018 awards will also recognise with the Star of Courage slain Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson for his role in calming the gunman in the December 2014 Sydney siege, and NSW man Antonio Rokov, who died saving the life of a 14-year-old boy in a skydiving accident.
Also in Queensland, 65-year-old Norman Olsen will be posthumously awarded a Bravery Medal for freeing a woman from her partner’s assault in Toowoomba, on February 22, 2016.
The woman was able to run from the scene, but Mr Olsen was punched in the head and fell backwards, fatally striking his head on the footpath.
Several other Queenslanders, both in and out of the emergency services, will be recognised with a Commendation for Brave Conduct.
Senior Constable Lindsay Forsythe was lured to a late night ambush at a secluded location in country Victoria in response to a false burglary report. When he arrived at the unoccupied residence he was fatally shot, but returned fire striking his assailant four times before he died.
The investigation resulted in the arrest of Constable Forsythe’s wife and a fellow police officer, Senior Constable Leigh Michael Lawson ( 27 ), who were having an affair.
Both were convicted and Lawson was sentenced to life imprisonment, while Gayle Forsythe received five years imprisonment on the lesser charge of manslaughter.