Benjamin RATTY

Benjamin RATTY

the 3rd longest surviving NSW Police Grave in the state

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ?

Rank:  Constable

Stations?, Parramatta

Service:  From ? ? ?  to  7 October 1826



Event date23 September, 1826

Event location:  Parramatta

Died on:  7 October 1826

Cause:  Shot – Murdered

Age: 30

Funeral date: ? October, 1826

Funeral location: ?

Grave location:  old St Johns Cemetery, Parramatta   Portion 3





Benjamin RATTY the 3rd oldest known 'surviving' Police grave
Benjamin RATTY
the 3rd oldest known ‘surviving’ Police grave in NSW

[alert_green]BENJAMIN IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_green]


About 11pm on the night of 23 September, 1826 Parramatta Police received information to the effect that a party of bushrangers were in the area of the Western Tollgate near Parramatta. Chief Constable John Thorn, Constables Ratty and Wells and a Mr John Piesley immediately proceeded to the area.

It was decided that Constable Ratty would walk down the road carrying a large bundle while pretending to be drunk, in an effort to entice the bushrangers to attempt to rob him. The other police would then surprise the bushrangers and arrest them.

Constable Ratty carried out his role and as he approached the toll-house four men accosted him and took his bundle of belongings. As the police party rode up to arrest the offenders Ratty drew his pistol and several shots were exchanged between the police and the bushrangers.

During this exchange Chief Constable Thorn sustained a slight head wound, one of the bushrangers was killed and Constable Ratty was shot in the back.

He passed away two weeks later.

Benjamin Ratty was a former convict who had been tried at Horsemonger Lane, Surrey in January 1814, and was sentenced to transportation for seven years. He arrived in Australia on the Somersetshire on 16 October, 1814. He was married with no children.

A public subscription provided funds for the funeral, coffin and headstone at the old St Johns Cemetery, Parramatta.

The inscription on his headstone reads:

To the Memory of Benjamin Ratty who departed this life 7th Oct 1826. Aged 30 years. The deceased was a Constable in the Town of Parramatta during seven years and this stone was erected by its inhabitants as a mark of their esteem for his services on various occasions in apprehending Bushrangers & particularly for his intrepid behaviour which will be remembered in the night of the 23rd of September when he received the wound which caused his death from a pistol shot & and which conduct led to the immediate apprehension of a Part of the Banditti.

At the time of his death the constable was aged about 30 years and was stationed at Parramatta. He had been a constable at that location for about seven years.

Most probable GPS Location of this grave, by using the background images and Google Earth is:   -33.81730882659942, 150.9981140491085


Benjamin Ratty's grave





Constable William GREEN

Constable William GREEN



20 August, 1826


Constable William GREEN - NSWPF - Murdered - 20 Aug 1826 - front of headstone
Constable William GREEN – NSWPF – Murdered – 20 Aug 1826 – front of headstone.  St. Matthews Anglican Cemetery, 1 Moses St, Windsor, NSW.  Left Section, Row 22, Plot 10

Constable William GREEN - NSWPF - Murdered - 20 Aug 1826 - rear of headstone
Constable William GREEN – NSWPF – Murdered – 20 Aug 1826 – rear of headstone  It is believed that these words are the illegible wording at the lower half of the headstone on the front.


The Government and General Orders from the Colonial Secretary’s Office dated 14 March, 1822 carried the following direction: “William Green, to be Constable in the Town of Windsor, vice William Ramsay”  Appointment to be dated 2nd Instant. He then appears to have carried out his policing duties over the following four years or so until he is mentioned in the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser of 30 August, 1826 which carried the following slightly cryptic story:


MURDER   On Sunday 20th Instant Captain Brabyn J.P. of Clifton Cottage, on his return from Church, beheld rather an unseemly contrast in the order of things; the female servant was absent from the house, and within view of her master, on the estate, being pulled about by some man, as if in the act of stealing her shawl. A constable was dispatched to bring the stranger to account; the female returned home in a state of intoxication, and the man murdered the constable, William Green, in the most horrid and deliberate manner, returning to the attack of brutality upon the object of his fury, while having a symptom of life. The murderer, Isaac Smith, has confessed his guilt, and related expressions of hideous thought.  Smith, after the Inquest, proceeded with some constables, and gave up a pistol which he had secreted.


The newspaper went on to describe the constable as “remarkable for his inoffensive manners, and esteemed in that point, by even the haters and fearers of police discipline; he would not pervert the expressions of his tongue by designing animadversion towards a prisoner in his charge, nor would he give a man a blow when handcuffed; he was plain in the duty he performed, and conducted himself with sobriety and integrity”


At the offender Smith’s trial,  Thomas Finch, who was employment of Captain John Brabyn at the time, gave evidence to the effect that he “heard, at about half-past four o’clock on the day before stated, cries of “murder” – they were distant about one hundred yards, or perhaps more – he hastened in the direction from whence the cry seemed to proceed, and found the prisoner (Smith) employed in encouraging a bull-dog to attack the deceased – witness requested Smith to call the dog off, when the latter threatened to “serve” witness the same way if he dared to interfere – witness left the spot for a few moments – spread an alarm – returned with assistance, and found the deceased stretched on the grass nearly lifeless – he was conveyed to the general Hospital. The prisoner with his dog was standing a few yards off. A Windsor constable who took him into custody, deposed to several unfeeling expressions having been subsequently uttered by the prisoner within his victim’s hearing, such as upon his hearing a groan from Green, who lay in an adjoining room, – “Ah, you’d be settled before morning, and stiff.’ The constable further deposed, that upon prisoner being brought near to deceased’s bed, the latter accused him of being his murderer. Prisoner not only confessed the crime, but avowed that he had broken a pistol over the deceased’s head. A waistcoat stained with blood was found on the person of the other prisoner (Moore.) He was the opinion of Mr. Thomas Allen, the examining surgeon, that the severe distinct and fatal wounds on the superior part of the head, had been produced by blows. ( Smith was executed at Windsor on 11 September, 1826. An alleged accomplice named Moore was acquitted.)


At the time of his death the constable had been stationed at Windsor for over four years.