John Thomas O’BRIEN

John Thomas O’BRIEN

Late of  ?

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  2815

( this Regd # pre-dates the current numbering system which commenced on 25 February 1915 )

Rank:  Mounted Constable – appointed 4 October 1876

Constable 1st Class – appointed 1 June 1878

Stations: ?, Muswellbrook ( 1877 – Sept 1880 ), Cessnock ( 1880 ), Cooranbong ( 1884 ), Coonamble ( 1886 ), Lochinvar ( 1888 ), possibly stationed at Greta ( 1891 ), Lockup Keeper at Paterson, Mulbring and Forster. At the time of his death he was stationed at Raymond Terrace.

ServiceFrom  4 October 1876  to  31 May 1906 = 29+ years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born:  13 October 1845 @ Menangle, NSW

Died on:  Thursday 31 May 1906

Age:  60

Cause:  Heart attack

Event location:  Outside Raymond Terrace Court

Event date:  Thursday 31 May 1906

Funeral date? ? ?

Funeral location:  Pioneer Hill, Raymond Terrace Historic Cemetery, Elizabeth Ave

Buried at?

 Memorial located at?



[alert_red]JOHN is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_red] *BUT SHOULD BE


 Funeral location TBA





May they forever Rest In Peace


Dear people. This is a VERY long post about Mounted Constable John Thomas O’BRIEN and his time line. Born 1845, died 1906.

I put it up because of the entry in 1883. This was not just a normal sitting on the last day of the Court at Cooranbong for the time being. After all proceedings had been dealt with, it would appear that it was a ‘set up’ by a number of Magistrates, JP’s and persons of note who were present at the end of Court proceedings at which Constable O’Brien was giving evidence. These other Magistrates etc would not normally have been in the one place at the same time.

At the time of his death he had a wife and 6 children ( his second wife ) to which she was paid a ‘gratuity‘ of 240 pounds to pay for funeral expenses. His second wife died September 1906 at Picton 4 months after John. He had about 8 children with his first wife whom had died then married his second wife.

I have NEVER seen/found a testimonial given to a serving Constable under such circumstances as a transfer.

His stations included Muswellbrook, Cessnock, Coonamble, Cooranbong, Lockup Keeper at Preston, Lochinvar, Mulbring and possibly Forster. At the time of his death he was stationed at Raymond Terrace.

John Thomas O’Brien, born 13/10/1845, Menangle, New South Wales to Irish born parents both of whom were born County Limerick, Ireland.
John Thomas O’Brien – Appointment to Mounted Police NSW 4 Oct, 1876. Registered No. 2815. Height: 5ft 7inches. Eyes: Hazel. Hair: Dark. Complexion: Dark. A Native of: N S Wales Married or Single: M. Calling: Timber Dealer. Religion: R C. Appearance: Good. District: North East. Date of Apptmt: 4 Oct, 1876 Rank: Constable. Remarks: 1st Class 1/6/78
Stationed at Muswellbrook, NSW. (Trove court notices)
1/6/1878. Promoted to Constable 1st Class
Stationed at Cessnock, NSW. (Trove court notices)
An extract from Maitland Times 1883 regarding Const John Thomas O’Brien on the final day of the 2 week sitting of the CPS Cooranbong, who gave evidence on a couple of matters.
Before the court adjourned, and whilst the magistrates were still on the bench, between four and five p.m., the Police Magistrate presented to Constable John Thomas O’Brien a very handsome gold watch and chain (Burton make and Indian turned), which had been sent after Mr.O’Brien by the people at Cessnock, where he had lately been stationed, in recognition of had lately been stationed, in recognition of his services there. The watch and chain, valued at £34 sterling, were accompanied by a suitable address.-

The Police Magistrate (Mr. Beeve), in presenting the watch and chain to Constable O’Brien, said:
“Mr. O’Brien, the Cooranbong Bench are very happy indeed to see that your services have been so cordially recognised, and so handsomely acknowledged by those amongst whom, at Cessnock, for some considerable time, you discharged your duties as a peace officer. Speaking for myself personally, and feeling sure that I am only expressing the sentiments of my brother magistrates, Mr. Andrew S. Browne and Mr. Thomas Bussell, J.P, I am bound to state that I esteem this portion of Brisbane Water, and the country adjacent thereto, extremely fortunate in having a police officer stationed here, who is at once courteous, fearless, intelligent, and independent-animated (as we think) by a sincere desire to do all his duty, without any wish whatever to go beyond it, We are then more pleased to be the persons chosen to hand you this very beautiful watch and chain, because their value has been, in our opinion, very greatly enhanced through an official permission, given to us by your superiors publicly to make this presentation to you on behalf of your friends at Cessnock. The neatly engrossed address (above referred to) signed on behalf of the inhabitants of Cessnock, by Messrs. Martin Bouffier, Walter C. Green J.P., J, A. Jones, William Stafford, L, C. Kelman, John Gouldsbury, John Doyle, and Michael Carroll, was also handed over to Constable O’Brien, with the watch and chain.
It was as follows: To Constable J. T, O’Brien, Cessnock.
Dear Sir. Hearing that you are about to be promoted to another station we desire to express our regret at your departure. During the period of two years’ and a-half residence amongst us, you have discharged important and frequently very difficult duties, with benefit to the public and much credit to yourself. The representatives of every interest acknowledge that your activity and vigilance have given security and protection. Your exemplary propriety of demeanour has justly gained for yourself and family our respect and esteem. With this intimation of our appreciation of your meritorious conduct, we solicit your acceptance of the accompanying gold watch and chain. Wishing that you, together with Mrs. O’Brien and family, may be prosperous and happy in your new sphere of action. We remain, dear sir, yours sincerely,.
The two assisting magistrates, Mr. Andrew S. Browne, J.P., and Mr. Thomas Bussell, J.P., intimated their hearty concurrence in all that had been said by their chairman, Mr, E. Beeta-
Mr. J. T. O’Brien, in returning thanks to his good friends at Cessnock for the very handsome testimonial just presented to him in their name and in so complimentary a manner by the Bench, desired to say that he could only hope he might long continue to have a just claim to such terms of approval. It would always be his study to do his utmost to gain and to retain the support of the bench at the place at which he might be stationed; and, at the same time, to do his duty, fearlessly and conscientiously, towards the public at large. Whether he could always expect to please everybody by such a course was, of course, another matter. He begged their Worships to have the goodness to convey to the people of Cessnock his very strong sense of the kind feeling which they had been pleased thus liberally to manifest towards him, and to assure them of the very great pleasure it had given him to receive not only that beautiful watch and chain, but the kind address with which that testimonial was accompanied. He confessed he could hardly understand how he could have merited such a distinguished mark of approval from the people of Cessnock during the comparatively short time that he was amongst them, but during that short time he had, he felt bound to say, always driven to discharge his duty. It might have been that in so doing he might have sometimes have given offence to somebody; but if so, he could not help that.
Every policeman had his duty to do, and that duty he was at all times bound to hold himself ready to discharge, without laying himself out to please any person whatever, outside of it. He had made that, at the outset of his service in the force, a rule of duty, and he would always stick to it, he would never let any secondary consideration come between him and what he thought he ought to do. He begged the Bench to transmit to those who had sent him this watch and chain his heartfelt thanks. He would like also, in the same way to send his heartfelt thanks to Messrs. Carroll, Stafford, and Doyle for their friendly aid in assisting him to shift his things to Cooranbong, at his rather hasty removal from his old station, where, it seemed he had still, he was proud to think, so many friends. A similar acknowledgement was also due from him to those ladies at Cessnock, whose kindness and attention to Mrs. O’Brien and their young family on their leaving Cessnock was something it would be quite impossible for him ever to forget. The Court then adjourned until Monday, the 12th November.
Stationed at Coonamble, NSW. Appointed as Clerk of the Petty Sessions.
Possibly stationed at Greeta
Constable John Thomas O’Brien died 31/5/1906.
Constable John Thomas O’Brien, of Raymond Terrace, dropped dead outside the courthouse there on Thursday, from heart failure. Deceased was a well-known member of the police force of the State, in which he had served for 29 years and four months, and would have been entitled to retire upon his pension in eight months’ time. He had been in failing health for some time, and was just upon 6O years of age. Deceased, who was a smart, efficient constable, leaves a large family. For many years he occupied the position of lockup keeper at Paterson, and had also been stationed at Cessnock, Cooranbong, Mulbring, Lochinvar, and Foster.

From a public member family tree. – Buried at the “Pioneer Hill” Raymond Terrace Historic Cemetery. Burial service by Father Bernard McKierman.

I have sent off an inquiry to the Raymond Terrace Historical Society regarding our above friend and a possible burial site/headstone. Being the weekend, I may not hear for a while.

( Kevin Banister )






New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # ?

Rank:  Senior Constable

Stations?, Condobolin, Orange ( 12 years ), Perth ( Perthville )( 12 months )

ServiceFrom  to  Thursday  27 December 1906 =  24 years Service


Born? ? ? in Ireland

Died on:  Thursday  27 December 1906 @ 8.30pm

Cause:  accidentally swallowing poison

Age:  58

Funeral date:  Saturday  29 December 1906 @ 11am

Funeral location?

Buried at:  Catholic portion of the Bathurst general cemetery

 Memorial at?



[alert_blue]Thomas is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_blue] * NOT JOB RELATED






National Advocate ( Bathurst NSW )        Friday  28 December 1906      p2 of 4



Senior-constable Leonard, officer in charge of the Police Station at Perth, died in the Bathurst District Hospital at half past eight last night from poisoning. Deceased, in the pursuance of his duty, visited Georges Plains on Wednesday afternoon, doing the trip on a bicycle, as was his custom, and returning home dusty and tired decided to have a drink of wine.

Going to a number of bottles in the corner of his room, he picked up one that had been opened and poured some of its contents into a glass and swallowed it. Feeling a bitter taste in his mouth, however Mr Leonard examined the bottle from which he had poured the liquid and found that it contained battery solution, a mixture of mercury, Sulphuric acid, etc.   The solution was the same colour as the wine and Mr Leonard was unable to detect his mistake until he had drunk the poison.

He immediately applied emetics and went over to the Bridge Hotel, whence he was driven to Dr Brooke Moore‘s surgery. Here further remedies were administered and the patient’s removal to an adjacent hotel, ordered. Subsequently he was taken to the hospital, where he passed away last night.

The late senior-constable, who was about 55 years of age, is survived by a widow and a large family.

His connection with the police force extended to within two or three years of the quarter of a century.

He was formerly stationed at Condobolin, and Orange, and 12 months ago he was transferred from the latter station to Perth.



Barrier Miner ( Broken Hill NSW )      Thursday  10 January 1907      p2 of 4


Death of Senior-constable Leonard.

Constable Styles, of the South Broken Hill division of the Barrier police force, who has been transferred to the Perth station, near Bathurst, takes the place of a constable who met his death on December 27 under exceptionally sad, circumstances.

His name was Senior-constable Leonard, and he was in charge of the police station at Perth.

In pursuance of his duties Senior-constable Leonard, had visited George’s Plains (a few miles from Perth) on Boxing Day, doing the trip on a bicycle,  as was his custom. Returning home dusty and tired, he decided to have a glass of wine, and, going to a number of bottles in a corner of the room, picked up one that had been opened, poured some of the contents into a glass, and drank it. Feeling a bitter taste in his mouth, Leonard examined the bottle from which he had poured the liquid, and found that it contained battery solution, a mixture of mercury, sulphuric acid, etc. The solution was the same color as the wine and the constable was unable to detect his mistake until he had drunk the poison.   He immediately applied emetics, and went to the hotel and from there he was taken subsequently to the Bathurst hospital, where he died.

The late senior-constable was 55 years of age, and leaves a widow and 10 children.

His connection with the police force extended to within two or three years of a quarter of a century. Formerly he was stationed at Condobolin, and was for 12 years at Orange, whither he was transferred to Perth 12 months ago.

Constable Styles will commence his duties at Perth on the first of next month.



National Advocate ( Bathurst NSW )      Saturday  29 December 1906      p3 of 6

Constable’s Fatal Mistake


Mr T C K McKell, District Coroner, yesterday inquired into the circumstances surrounding the death of Senior-Constable Thomas Leonard, which took place at the Bathurst District Hospital at half-past eight on Thursday night. Senior Constable Meagher said that he was on duty in William-street at 7 o’clock on the evening of Boxing Day, when Dr Brooke Moore called him to where the deceased was standing in Keppel Street, and said:   ” Senior Constable Leonard is, after drinking battery solution in mistake for wine, and I have pumped his stomach, and done all I can do for him. You had better take him to Fitzpatrick’s Hotel, which is close by, and where I can attend to him.

Witness took him to the hotel, and put him to bed. The deceased complained of feeling very cold, and was vomiting and purging badly. Witness gave him three doses of medicine, which was prescribed by the doctor to be taken every hour.

Asked by witness how the accident occurred, deceased said :   ” I went to Georges Plains on my bicycle after dinner to-day on duty, and returned home at about 5 . 30 p m ; I was tired and thirsty and went into the bedroom, where there was a bottle of wine on the floor. There was another bottle by the side of it. I picked up the bottle and poured out what would be ‘a good nip of whisky’ into a glass. It was the odour of the wine, and I drank it . It was terribly bitter. I looked at the bottle, It was marked ‘poison.’ I then saw that I had taken battery solution in mistake for the wine. I immediately drank some mustard and water which made me sick, and I was then brought into Dr Brooke Moore, who pumped my stomach out.

At 10 o’clock deceased was removed to the hospital, where he died on the following night.

Deceased was 58 years of age, a native of Ireland, and had been in the police force for 24 years.

Flora Mary Leonard, wife of the deceased, said that her late husband used the battery for rheumatism. On returning from George’s Plains on the day in question he went into his bedroom and shortly afterwards came in saying ” Oh, I have taken the poison instead of the wine

Some mustard and water was mixed up and he drank it.

Deceased was survived by eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. He had freehold property at Orange.

Dr Brooke Moore said that when he examined deceased he found that he was suffering from intense abdomin pains.

The cause of death was heart failure, due to an irritant poison, Deceased was perfectly sober.

The Coroner found that death was due to heart failure from an irritant poison, self-administered by mistake.



National Advocate ( Bathurst NSW )      Saturday  29 December 1906      p2 of 6


The funeral of the late Senior Constable Leonard will leave the Bathurst District Hospital at 11 o’clock this morning for the Catholic portion of the Bathurst general cemetery.





New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # ?

Rank:  Sergeant

Stations: Parramatta 1873 – 1880, Hill End, Tambaroora,

Bathurst, Mundooran, Denison Town 1885, Girilambone,

Rylstone, Wollar, Carcoar, Peak Hill  March 1901 – 5 November 1906


Service:  From  1873   to  5 November 1906

Born:  1850? – 1851?, Brighton, England

Died:  Monday  5 November 1906

Age:  56

Cause: Pneumonia

Funeral date:  Tuesday  6 November 1906

Funeral location?

Grave location:  Peak Hill Cemetery,  Anglican Section, Row N, Lot 17


[alert_yellow]George is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_yellow]


George Brayne grave

George Brayne grave
George Brayne grave


Sergeant George Brayne.

The Peak Hill Express ( NSW )                 Friday  9 November 1906                          page 10 of 20

It is with feelings of the very deepest regret that we are called upon to announce the death of Sergeant George Brayne, which sad event took place shortly after midnight on Sunday. The deceased gentleman had long been a sufferer from asthma and heart trouble, but no one to see his stalwart and robust figure — Sergeant Brayne was a man of fine physique — a month or so ago would have thought that he was ever troubled with ill health, or that his hours had been numbered —

” In the midst of life we are in death. ”

A few weeks ago Sergeant Brayne received notice of his removal to the charge of Sunny Corner police station, and in consequence he disposed of his household furniture, &c., but while waiting to hand over his papers to his successor contracted pneumonia and was obliged to take to his bed. Mrs. Brayne was also taken seriously ill about the same time, but subsequently recovered. A private nurse ( Mrs. Thos. Golding ) tenderly nursed the sick officer, and Dr. Corfe was in attendance night and day, but it soon became apparent that there was little hope of a recovery. Sergeant Brayne lingered for a couple of weeks and passed away as stated, the immediate cause of death being heart failure.

Sergeant Brayne was a native of Brighton, England, and was 56 years of age at the time of his death. He was a son of the late Charles G. J. Brayne, at one time head gaoler at Dubbo, and who died some twenty years ago. When seven years of age young George Brayne came to New South Wales with his parents, and 33 years ago entered the police force, his first station being Parramatta. Seven years later he was appointed to the charge of a station, and proving himself a zealous and capable officer rose to the rank of Sergeant. During his career he was stationed at Hill End, Tambaroora, Bathurst, Mundooran, Denison Town, Girilambone, Rylstone, Wollar, Carcoar, and five years ago last March was appointed to succeed Sergeant O’Brien at Peak Hill. About a year ago Sergeant Brayne was offered the charge of Parkes police station, but preferred to remain at Peak Hill. Had the Sergeant lived another few years he would have been eligible to retire on a well-earned pension. In 1874 Sergeant Brayne married Miss Amelia Gallagher at Parramatta, daughter of the late Constable Gallagher of that city, and together they reared a family of two sons and six daughters — Messrs. George and Ernest, Mrs. Barton, and Misses Edith, Clara, Muriel, Victoria and Minnie. Deceased was a brother to Inspector C. W. Brayne of Braidwood, Constable W. H. Brayne, of Double Bay, and a brother of Mrs. S. Howlett, Parramatta.

Telegrams and letters sympathising with the bereaved widow and family were received from Mrs. Howlett and Miss L. Laver (Parramatta), Mrs. Wilson (Sydney), Mrs. Egan (Carcoar), Mrs. Coleman (The Oaks), Mrs. F. R. C. Hopkins (Carcoar), Mr. P. Mikkleson (Blayney), Mr. G. M. Links (Carcoar), Mr. J. W. Lees (Tomingley), Mr. A. W. Page (Carcoar), Mr. P. Gallagher (Sydney), Mr. C. Higgs (Carcoar), Mr. J. Bouchier (Narromine), Mr. H. Barton (Wollar), Mr. A. Davey (Parramatta), Mr. W. H. Brayne (Edgecliffe), Mr. C. W. Brayne (Braidwood), Mr. G. Fletcher (Canowindra), Mr. R. Gallagher (Woollahra), Mr. J. J. Pettingell (Kiama), Mrs. R. Long (Albion Park), Miss C. Barton (Randwick), Mrs. Brady (Carcoar), Mr. and Mrs. Petersen (Carcoar), Mrs. Hawkins (Carcoar), Mr. and Mrs. Tucker (Carcoar), Members Myalls-Peak Hill Band, Mr. and Mrs. Thos Ring, Mr. E. H. Allan, Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Christophers, Dr. Hansard, Mrs. Wynne, Mr. and Mrs. E. Wooden, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Upton (Penrith), Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Clements and family.

The funeral took place on Monday afternoon, and was very largely attended, the sad cortege being considerably over a quarter of a mile in length.

Sergeant McLeay, Constables Williams (Tomingley), Dixon (Alectown), Hill and Pope (Peak Hill) acted as pall-bearers, and in trooper’s uniform, and on horseback, preceded the hearse to the cemetery where the remains of their late comrade were laid to rest in the Church of England portion, the burial service being conducted by the Rev. H. G. Wiltson.

The lovely cedar casket was literally smothered with wreaths sent by Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Wynne, Mrs. McAtamney and family, Mr. and Mrs. H. N. Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. M. P. Hartas, Mr. and Mrs. Franks and family, Mr. and Mrs. P. D. Fraser and Misses Jenner, Mrs. Williamson and family, Mrs. W. Oxley and family, Sisters of St. Joseph, Mrs. Brooks, Miss E. Golding, Misses Cavanagh, Miss T. Barrett, Mr. and Mrs. A. N. Davey, Mrs. H. and Miss Stanford, Mr. and Mrs. A. Dow, Mrs G. Carrington, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. H. Williams and family, Mrs. H. Pears and Mrs. S. Hartin, Mr. J. Marks and family, Mr. and Mrs. G. Stanford and family, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. J. Barrett, Mrs. J. Matthews and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. Whiting, Mr. and Mrs. McLean and family, Mr. and Mrs. D. McAuliffe, Mr. and Mrs. DeLacy, Mr. and Mrs. W. Norris, Peak Hill Police, Mr. and Mrs. S. Wildie, Mr. J. Harvey, and Mrs. Veitch and family.

The Express tenders its deepest sympathy with the bereaved widow and family in this, one of the greatest of earthly trials that they could be called upon to bear.


Brother of Inspector Charles. William BRAYNE – deceased 22 December 1922, aged 75

Brother of Constable William Henry BRAYNE – deceased 8 August 1940, aged 66



The Maitland Daily Mercury ( NSW )       Wednesday  7 November 1906      page 4 of 8

Sergeant George Brayne, who has been over 30 years in the police service of New South Wales, died at Peak Hill on Monday, after a month’s illness. The deceased officer, who was known to many of the old diggers of Araluen now resident in the Newcastle district, had just been transferred to Sunny Corner, but was unable to go to his new station, having contracted pneumonia. With his brother*, Sub-inspector C. W. Brayne, of Braidwood, he was previously a miner working in the claims at Araluen in the palmy days.

* This article states that George & Charles were brothers, whilst other articles have them as father & son.



The Braidwood Dispatch & Mining Journal ( NSW )        Saturday  17 November 1906    page 2 of 6

The Death of Sergeant Brayne – The Peak Hill Express says that the death of Sergeant George Brayne has been greatly lamented by all in that district. After lingering for a couple of weeks he passed away on Sunday week at the age of 56. He was a brother* of Sub Inspector Brayne, of Braidwood. He was a native of Brighton, England. He has been in the police force 33 years. A few weeks before his death he received notice of his removal to Sunny Corner, and in consequence had disposed of his personal effects, and was only waiting to hand over his papers to his successor when he was laid low with pneumonia, which rapidly took him off. His funeral was very largely attended, the cortege being considerably over a quarter of a mile long.




Molong Express and Western District Advertiser ( NSW )        Saturday  4 May 1901         page 1 of 12

Sergeant George Brayne has been appointed an Inspector, at Peak Hill, under the Liquor Act, 1898.




George PAYNE - Memorial post 1907
George PAYNE – Memorial post 1907 Peak Hill Express Friday 8 November 1907 page 10 of 20



Location of cemetery


the Cumberland Argus & Fruitgrowers Advocate ( Parramatta )     Wednesday  30 August 1939      page 11 of 12

The Widow

After a brief illness, Mrs. Amelia Brayne, of 108 Wigram-street, Harris Park, died at Parramatta District Hospital on Monday. She was aged 85 years. She was the widow of the late Police-Sergeant Geo. Brayne, of Peak Hill, and had resided at Harris Park for 32 years. She is survived by Mr. George Brayne (Harris Park) and Mr. Ernest Brayne (Punchbowl), sons, and Mrs. H. Barton (Westmead), Mrs. A. R. Warren (Rosehill), and Mrs. O. Rock (Concord), daughters.

The funeral left the parlors of Charles Innes and Son, Parramatta, on Tuesday afternoon for the Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood. Rev. G. F. B. Manning officiated. Numerous floral tributes were forwarded.




New South Wales Police Force


Regd. # ?

Stationed:  Darlinghurst District ( No. 3 Division )

Suicide – firearm

Died:  24 December 1906

27 old

Funeral:  ?

Buried: ?





Peter Hynes, a young constable attached to the Darlinghurst district, has committed suicide. He said goodby to his landlady, and added ” You are the best friend I ever had. ” She asked him where he was going. Hynes replied, ” To eternity, ” and walked off. In a few minutes those in the house were startled by revolver shots, and Hynes was found in the yard with a bullet wound in his head. He died in a few hours.

The Register ( Adelaide )  Tuesday  25 December 1906  page 7 of 12


At the time of his death the constable was stationed at Darlinghurst.





Constable Peter Hynes, connected with the Darlinghurst Station, was found in the back yard of his residence, Bourke-street, at an early hour this morning with a bullet wound in his head. He was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital and admitted in a very serious condition. Peters, it was stated, had been out all the evening and returned home about   midnight. It was shortly afterwards that he was found in the yard. For the past few days he had been unwell, and was away from duty, but having recovered, he was to have ” reported on ” this morning.

The Sydney Morning Herald                             Monday  24 December 1906                          page 6 of 10





A magisterial inquiry was held this afternoon into the circumstances connected with the death of Peter Hynes, a constable lately attached to No. 3 Station, which took place at St. Vincent’s Hospital on Monday last from bullet wounds in the head, self inflicted, in the yard of his lodgings, Bourke-street, Darlinghurst, a few hours before.

John Healy, a barman, stated that he had occupied the same room as Hynes. About 11.45 on Sunday night last Hynes came home, and, going over to witness, who was in bed, said, ‘Goodbye, Jack ; you are the best friend I ever had, ” and kissed him on the forehead.   Hynes then left the room, and went through the dining-room into the yard. He called out, ” Good-bye, missus, ” and almost immediately, two shots were heard. Healy rushed out to the back and saw Hynes lying in the yard with blood issuing from a wound in the head, and unconscious, a police revolver being a few feet away. Hynes was of a jovial disposition, and although his conduct was peculiar, witness could not believe that he intended taking his life. Healy did not know what caused him to commit the act.

Bridget Coughlan, the keeper of the house in which Hynes resided, stated that he had confided to her that he had an idea he would be mixed up in a divorce case. This preyed upon his mind, and he took too much drink. When he returned home on Sunday nighty she gave him a message that he would have to report himself for duty at once. He had been drinking. He was upset at receiving the message, and when asked if he had any trouble, or been dismissed, replied, ” It is all right, I am going to eternity. ” He then went upstairs, and afterwards witness heard him call out, ” Good bye, missus, ” the words being quickly followed by two revolver shots.

A finding of suicide was recorded.

Evening News ( Sydney )                                        Friday  28 December 1906                               page 5 of 8




The inquest was held by the City Coroner concerning the death of Peter Hynes, 27, a constable of police. Hynes was found in the yard of his residence, Bourke-street, Surry Hills, early on Monday morning, with a bullet wound in the head, and died in St. Vincent’s Hospital the same day.

The evidence of John Healy showed that Hynes was in good health, and attended St. Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday morning, last. That night he went into Healy’s room, and said, ” Good-bye, Jack, you’re the best friend I ever had, ” and just afterwards made some reverential sign to a crucifix on the wall. Hynes went out, and 30 seconds later he called out, ” Good-bye, missus. ” Then two revolver shots were heard, and on going out witness found Hyne’s lying in the yard with the revolver near by.

Bridget Coghlan said that Hynes had been a boarder at her place for three years. He had told her he was afraid of being, mixed up in a divorce matter. On the night of his death a message came from No. 3 station for Hynes to report himself there, as he had been on sick leave, and was supposed to go back to duty that night. Witness delivered this message to Hynes, who exclaimed, ” It’s all right, I’m going to eternity. ”

A finding of suicide was recorded.

Sunday Times ( Sydney )                                              Sunday  30 December 1906                            page 12 of 20




John James WALLACE

John James WALLACE

New South Wales Police Force

Metropolitan Police Force ( NSW )

Regd. #  ?

Uniform #  64?

Rank:  Constable 1st Class

Stations?, Newtown Police Station

ServiceFrom  12 July 1894  to 11 February 1806 = 11+ years


Born? ? 1860

Died on:  Sunday  11 February 1906

Cause:  Shot – Murdered

Event location:  King St, Newtown

Age:   41

Funeral date:  Sunday  18 February 1906

Funeral location:  St Enoch’s Presbyterian Church, Newtown

Buried at:   Rookwood Cemetery

GPS of Grave:


JThis momument was erected by the Government of New South Wales to John Wallace a Constable of the Metropolitan Police force who was shot dead while in the execution of his duty on the 11th day of February 1906 aged 41 Rest beloved.


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

The constable was shot at a dwelling in King Street, Newtown by the offender Tanna, who had been involved in a domestic dispute. Constable Wallace and Senior Constable Maunsell had attended the dispute and had climbed into the home through a window. Constable Wallace attempted to talk to the offender, who was armed with a rifle and a revolver, in the hallway. The offender suddenly raised the rifle and shot Constable Wallace twice. Tanna was later wounded by police, and committed suicide in the siege that followed.


The Australian Town and Country Journal of 21 February, 1906 carried details of the inquest into the constable’s murder, and the performance of the police involved.



The inquest on the bodies of Constable John Wallace and Willie Yass, or Tanna, the victims of Sunday morning’s double tragedy at Newtown, was concluded at the Coroner’s Court, Sydney, on Wednesday. The Coroner said that from the evidence it seemed that the deceased Tanna was fired at by the police some ten, perhaps twelve, times in the course of the affray, but that he was only hit twice by the police, and that both wounds were superficial. The evidence also disclosed the fact that the cartridges were defective. Inspection had shown that. The Coroner said he mentioned that so that the authorities might, if they thought necessary, take action. He found that Constable John Wallace was wilfully murdered by Tanna, and that Tanna had committed suicide. “I think I may be permitted to add”, said the Coroner, “that the deceased, John Wallace, was a brave man and that he died while and because he was doing his duty. As to his comrades, without making any invidious distinction, I think I may also say that those of them who tried to rescue him, and to dislodge the man who murdered him, earned what most men prize very highly, and that is a reputation for physical bravery.”


The constable was born in 1860 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 12 July, 1894. At the time of his death he was stationed at Newtown.





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Ms CARMEL TEBBUTT (Marrickville) [7.07 p.m.  8 May 2013]:

Recently at Rookwood Cemetery I attended a memorial service to commemorate police officers from the Newtown local area command killed in the line of duty. The moving service was attended by Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldis, Superintendent Simon Hardman, the commander of the Newtown Area Local Command, many other police representatives, and relatives and descendants of the police officers. Those attendees included Ms Avona Wallace, Mr and Mrs Norman Stephenson, Mrs Lynette Everton and Ms Edna Stevenson. Representatives from the emergency services and community members were also in attendance. The member for Campbelltown, Bryan Doyle, attended representing the Premier.

The five officers being remembered at the ceremony gave their lives to protect the community. They were Constable First Class John Wallace, Constable First Class Ruston Stephenson, Constable Lionel Guise, Detective Inspector Reginald Stevenson and Constable Pashalis Katsivelas. The ceremony to mark the sacrifice of these officers reflected on the enormity of their contribution to the community, as well as the impact of their death on their families. It is often said, and it is true, that police officers leave their homes for each shift uncertain of what any day may bring and whether they will return at the end of the day. We owe these men and women our deepest gratitude for the risks they face and take every day in their job. At Rookwood Cemetery we visited each of the graves of those officers who lost their lives in the line of duty and behind each individual was an illuminating life story.

We began at the grave of Constable First Class Ruston Stephenson, who died 80 years almost to the day of the commemoration. Constable Stephenson joined the Police Force in 1912, and four years later enlisted in the army, later joining the fight in France during the First World War. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry in rescuing injured soldiers while under fire. Remarkably, when he returned he rejoined the Police Force and continued to serve until his death on 9 April 1933 after a tragic accident involving a motorcycle at the then Newtown Stadium while performing general duties policing.

We were also told the story of Detective Inspector Reginald Hugh Stevenson — I was honoured on the day to meet his widow, Ms Edna Stevenson, who still had strong memories of the incident that led to Inspector Stevenson’s death. Detective Inspector Stevenson joined the NSW Police Force as a cadet in 1943 at the age of 17. In an act of extraordinary selflessness, Detective Inspector Stevenson was on annual leave on 9 December 1974 when he decided to go to work to assist in the planned arrest of a dangerous offender in Newtown, at the time telling his wife, “I don’t want my boys doing this on their own.” During the operation he was shot in the chest after leading his team in pursuit of the offender.

Detective Inspector Stevenson partially recovered and was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service. However, he died in 1980 of a heart attack, deemed to be the result of the injuries he sustained on duty in 1974. These officers are just a few of many across New South Wales whose lives have been cut short as they have gone about performing their duty. I pay tribute to them all. They will not be forgotten and local events such as this are a powerful reminder of their sacrifice.

I also take this opportunity to acknowledge two Marrickville police officers, Sergeant Stewart and Constable Steele, who on Monday of this week rescued an intellectually disabled person from a house fire in Marrickville. Thankfully, those two officers who took huge risks survived and are quite rightly being hailed as heroes by their colleagues and the community. It is yet another example of the risk our police men and women take every day in order to keep the community safe. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to them.