Francis Joseph BELL

Francis Joseph BELL

aka  FRANK

Late of George St, Singleton

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ‘ Q7173

( pre NSW Police Force current Registered numbering system )

Rank:  Mounted Constable

Constable 1st Class

Senior Constable – Retirement – Medically Unfit

Stations: ?, Broken Hill ( Aug 1899 ), Milparinka ( July 1901 ), Gunbar ( Feb 1906 ), Tamworth, Singleton ( Oct 1916 ), Booligal – Waradgery Shire – ( 16 March 1908 as Cst 1/c ) – Retired – Medically Unfit

ServiceFrom  7 March 1898  to  31 July 1917 = 19+ years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born? ? 1871 near the Lime Kilns near Bathurst, NSW

Died on:  Wednesday  8 August 1917

Age:  46

Cause:  Asthma

Event location:  George St, Singleton, NSW

Event date:   Wednesday  8 August 1917

Funeral date:  Friday  10 August 1917 during p.m.

Funeral location:  Roman Catholic Cemetery, Singleton

Buried at:  Roman Catholic Cemetery, Singleton ( unable to find grave on-line )

 Memorial located at?


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


 Grave location TBA





May they forever Rest In Peace


INITIAL ENQUIRY:  12 November 2017
My name is Jim Betts my mother is Leone Betts , nee Connelly her mother’s father was a mounted policeman shot at booligal nsw approx August 1917 he died 9 th of August 1917 I was wondering if police records show that my great grandfather did exhaust as he is not mentioned on the police honour role my mother is 81 and I have just spent time with her trying to discover some information , anything that police archives does have regarding constable Francis Joseph bell would be appreciated my mum would be very appreciative.
Thanks in advance
Regards Jim Betts

National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW : 1889 – 1954), Friday 10 August 1917, page 2


BELL.— At Singleton, Wednesday, 8th August, Francis Joseph Bell, aged 42 years, brother of Mr. Denis Bell, Bathurst.



Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 – 1954), Saturday 11 August 1917, page 4


It is with regret we have to chronicle the death of Senior-Constable Francis Joseph Bell, which sad event occurred early on Thursday morning at his residence, George-street.

Only last week we reported that the deceased officer had been retired as, medically unfit as from July 31, and previous to that he had been off duty through illness for some time.

Sen.-Constable Bell, who was 46 years of age, was born at the Limekilns, near Bathurst, and had served in the police at Broken Hill and other parts of this State. He was last quartered at Booligal, out west, and came here thinking the change would benefit his health. The cause of death was asthma, attended with serious complications, which made his case a hopeless one.

He leaves a widow and three Children, two boys of 15 years and 3 years, and one daughter aged 6 years, to mourn their very sad loss.

The late senior-constable was an able and efficient officer, with a large experience of country and during his time of service here made many friends, by reason of his courtesy and his obliging and genial disposition.

Much sympathy is extended to the widow and family.

The funeral took place yesterday afternoon at the R.C. cemetery, all available police officers attending to pay the last tribute of respect to their departed comrade.



Daily Observer (Tamworth, NSW : 1917 – 1920), Friday 17 August 1917, page 4



The death has occurred of Senior constable Francis Joseph Bell. He was recently retired as medically unfit, and previous to that he had been off duty through illness for some time.

Senior constable Bell who was 46 years of age was born at The Lime Kilns, near Bathurst, and had served in the police at Broken Hill and other parts of this State.

He was last quartered at Booligal, and came here thinking the change would benefit his health. The cause of death was asthma, attended with serious complications.

He leaves a widow and three children.

The late senior constable was an able and efficient officer, and during his term of service here made many friends. Much sympathy is felt for the widow and family.


Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 – 2001), Wednesday 27 May 1908 (No.61), page 2876

THE Bench of Magistrates assembled in Petty Sessions at Booligal have this day appointed First Class Constable Francis Joseph Bell to be Bailiff of the Small Debts Court Booligal.


For Bench of Magistrates. Court-house, Booligal,

21st May, 1908.






Late of  ?

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ????

Rank:  Constable

Stations: ?, Newcastle, Cobar – Resigned

ServiceFrom  ? ? ?  to  ? ? ? = ? years Service


Born? ? around 1891? in Scotland

Died on:  Thursday  17 May 1917

Age:  26

Cause:  Tuberculosis

Event location:   Waterfall Sanatorium ( Garrawarra Hospital ), Old Illawarra Hwy, Waterfall

Event date:   Thursday  17 May 1917

Funeral date? ? ?

Funeral location?

Buried at:  Waterfall General ( Garrawarra TB Hospital ) Cemetery, Old Illawarra Hwy, Waterfall

about 1 km south of Garrawarra Hospital and on the Eastern side of the road – about 10 mts off the road.

This Cemetery is TOTALLY derelict.

Grave location34°10’29.05″S   150°58’17.97″E

 Memorial located at?



[alert_yellow]JAMES is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_yellow]  *NEED MORE INFO






May they forever Rest In Peace


Further information is required on this man, his working life and death.


19 May 2017


Leader (Orange, NSW : 1912 – 1922), Wednesday 23 May 1917, page 1

Constable James Forsythe, for the last twelve months attached to the Cobar police station, died at the Waterfall sanitorium last week. The late Constable Forsythe took ill in January, and was for a time an in-mate of the district hospital suffering from lung trouble, but on the advice of Dr. Connolly he went to Waterfall for special treatment, dying there as stated. He had been in the N.S.W. police force for three years, and was 26 years of age. We understand he was a native of Harwich, Scotland, where his mother and relatives reside.



Newcastle Morning Herald & Miner’s Advocate    Monday  21 May 1917   p4

Word has been received in Newcastle to the death of ex-Constable James Forsyth, who for some months had been an inmate of the Waterfall Sanatorium for Consumptives.  Mr. Forsyth, who was a native of Roseland, had been in the force about three years, and was for some time stationed in Newcastle, where he was held in much esteem by the officers and rank and file of the force.  he contracted a chill, and consumption, developed, and about twelve months ago he was transferred to Cobar in the hope that the drier atmosphere would assist him.  That was not the case, however, and he found it necessary to resign and enter the sanatorium where his death occurred on Thursday.



Western Age  ( Dubbo )   Friday  18 May 1917     p2

Constable James FORSYTHE

Constable James Forsythe, for the last twelve months attached to the Cobar police station, died at the Waterfall sanatorium on the 9th inst.

The late Constable Forsythe took ill early in January and was for a time an inmate of the district hospital suffering with lung trouble, but on the advise of Dr. Connolly he went to Waterfall for special treatment, dying there as stated.  He had been in the N.S.W. police force for three years, and was 26 years of age.  We understand he was a native of Harwick, Scotland, where his mother and relatives reside.



There are 5 James Forsythe’s recorded on NSWBDM database has having been born between 1869 – 1898
There are NO James FORSYTHE recorded on NSWBDM database as having died in NSW in 1917.
There is a John H. Forsythe  12815/1919 ( from Paddington )  &  John Forsythe  4357/1916 ( from Ulmarra ) but nothing for 1917.




Forgotten graves of TB victims uncovered

  • Julie Power


THE 2000 tuberculosis victims buried in Waterfall Cemetery south of Sydney were ”forgotten in life and forgotten in death”, said Wollongong’s lord mayor, Gordon Bradbery.

In life, these consumptives were cared for in NSW’s only purpose-built facility for TB victims, the Garrawarra Hospital for Consumptives.

A beautiful building with open-air wards on wide verandahs looking out to sea, the hospital opened in 1909 when the bacterial disease was the leading killer of Australian women, and very near that for men.

When patients were in the active phase of TB, they were isolated in fibro chalets, about the size of a garden shed. They either recovered or ended up in the cemetery a bit less than a kilometre away.

Today the cemetery looks like it has endured the battle of the eucalypts. Dead branches and foliage downed by wind and fire hide dangerous holes caused by subsidence under graves.

The cemetery ”dropped off the radar” after the last TB victim was buried in 1949, said Councillor Bradbery. For more than 60 years, the cemetery was neglected and apart from one highly polished grave site tended by Veterans Affairs, most of the remaining wooden and stone headstones have disappeared into the bush.

The council is now developing a conservation management plan for the cemetery, which Cr Bradbery said ”highlights the medical history of the 20th century, especially from 1909 when tuberculosis was for many a fatal illness”.

Explaining its neglect, he said, ”We thought Garrawarra people [NSW Department of Health] were responsible. And vice versa. As a result it was forgotten,” he said.

A Health Department spokeswoman, Cath Whitehurst, confirmed the cemetery is still on health department land, but the trusteeship and management were transferred to Wollongong in 1967.

It’s unclear what will happen to it. To restore the graves to their former glory would be expensive. There’s also the issue of access. Getting into the site requires permission from the NSW Ministry of Health to enter the Garrawarra Centre for the Aged, where 120 patients with Alzheimer’s live.

After visiting the cemetery for the first time, the mayor, a former chaplain with the Uniting Church, was reflective. ”People might think it is a sad thing that it [the cemetery] has been forgotten. But at the same time there is something quite powerful about the march of time and how nature will claim back those areas that have been cleared by human beings.

”They talk about resting in peace. Well, I tell you what, from my perspective they certainly are. It’s very peaceful.”

Ms Whitehurst said the Garrawarra Hospital buildings were boarded up for safety reasons, and there were no plans to restore or demolish the buildings. Visitors are discouraged from the hospital and cemetery.





William Albert BLEECHMORE

William Albert BLEECHMORE 

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # ?????

Rank:   Constable 1st Class – 1902

Sergeant 2/C – appointed   June 1912

Stations?, Byerock ( Constable 1892 ), Mt Drysdale ( Constable in 1896 – Bourke District ), Burraga ( Cst 1/C – 1902 ), Carcoar ( SenCon around 1905 ), Gulgong ( SenCon 1913 – Sgt ) – O.I.C.

ServiceFrom  14 April 1891  to  16 May 1917 = 26+ years Service


Born:  27 May 1868, Auburn S.A.

Died on:  Wednesday  16 May 1917

Cause:  Paralytic Stroke

Age:  48

Funeral date:  Friday  18 May 1917

Funeral location:  C of E section, Gulgong cemetery

Buried at:  Gulgong Cemetery, Castlereagh Hwy, Gulgong, NSW

Portion:  Anglican   Row:  BA

 Memorial at?

William Albert BLEECHMORE - NSWPF - Died 16 May 1917

[alert_yellow]WILLIAM is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_yellow]  *NEED MORE INFO







About 9am on 16 May, 1917 the sergeant was speaking with two men in the street in Gulgong when he suddenly became ill and had to be assisted to his home. He sadly passed away later that afternoon. He had apparently been ill with neuritis for about two years prior to his death.

The Mudgee Guardian and North-West Representative of 17 May, 1917 reported on the sergeant’s sudden death.

A painful sensation was caused at Gulgong on Wednesday afternoon, when it became known that Sergeant Bleechmore, officer in charge of the local police, had died suddenly. About nine o’clock on Wednesday morning the sergeant, as he was standing in Mayne-street opposite the Centennial Hotel, talking to Mr. W. G. Ashford MLA, Minister for Lands, and a representative of the Sun, who were both on their way to Coonabarabran to attend the Show there, was taken suddenly and seriously ill. He was taken to his home, where he lingered until two o’clock in the afternoon, about which time he breathed his last. Sergeant Bleechmore had been in ill health for some time, suffering from neuritis, but none of his friends (nor, it may be believed, he himself) anticipated that matters were so serious with him as it has transpired they were. The sergeant was held in high esteem in Gulgong and the news of his tragically sudden death gave the townspeople a painful shock. Sergeant Bleechmore was 49 years of age, and had been 27 years in the police force, and six years in charge the police at Gulgong. He leaves a wife and five children — four sons and one daughter. The eldest son, who is 20 years of age, is employed at the Railway Station at Dunedoo. A second son is a school teacher, whilst the daughter is the youngest of the family. The three younger children – (as was also Mrs. Bleechmore) with their father when, he died.

The Leader of 25 May, 1917 provided a few more details of the incident and death of the sergeant.

“Referring to the death of Sergeant Bleechmore, at Gulgong, the town’s “Advertiser” says: About two years ago deceased developed an attack of neuritis, and had sometimes suffered very much from the complaint. He lately had a recurrence of the attacks, but not to that extent to provoke uneasiness amongst his family and friends. He finished his work at the stable, and then went and had breakfast. At this time he appeared to be in the best of health and spirits. The Hon. W. G. Ashford was passing through Gulgong on Wednesday morning, and he sent a message to Sergeant Bleechmore that he would be pleased to see him. Shortly after 9 o’clock Sergeant Bleechmore went out and met the Minister, who had with him a representative of the “Sun” newspaper. The trio were talking near the Centennial Hotel, when Sergeant Bleechmore remarked that he had suddenly become unwell, and said to the Minister, “May I put my hand on your shoulder?” Almost immediately he collapsed, and would have fallen only for Mr. Ashford’s promptitude in catching him. It was seen that Sergeant Bleechmore’s condition necessitated his removal to his home, where he was taken by Messrs. A. E. Souter and B. J. Naughton. Dr. Lees was immediately summoned.”

The sergeant was born in 1868 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 14 April, 1890. He was the officer-in-charge of police at Gulgong and was survived by his wife Maria and five children. Sergeant Watts succeeded him at Gulgong Police Station in July, 1917. He is not listed in the official New South Wales Police.




Leader (Orange, NSW : 1912 – 1922), Wednesday 23 May 1917, page 1

 The interment of the late Sergeant W. A. Bleechmore, who died from a paralytic stroke on Wednesday, took place in the C.E. portion of the Gulgong cemetery on Friday. Members of the police force were the pall-bearers, and brethren of the Mundooran, Mudgee and Gulgong Masonic Lodges preceded the hearse in the funeral procession, while deceased’s horse was led in the rear of the corpse. The mortal remains were first taken to the Church of England before being consigned with Masonic honors to their last resting place.



William Albert BLEECHMORE, husband of Maria May Bleechmore ( nee Robinson ) – married 9 April 1895 in Dubbo, NSW.



Government Gazette of NSW     Tuesday  15 March 1892     p2106

THE Bench of Magistrates at Byerock have this day appointed Constable William Albert Bleechmore to be Small Debts Bailiff for the said Court, vice Hogan, resigned.

Police Court, Byerock,

3rd March, 1892.

C. McA, KING, P.M. F. H. PERRY, J.P.






Government Gazette of NSW     Friday  5 September 1902    p6332

THE Bench of Magistrates in Petty Sessions assembled have this day appointed First Class Constable William Albert Bleechmore to the position of Bailiff of the Small Debts Court at Burraga,—from this date




Dated at Burraga, this 1st day of September, 1902. [2332]





Lithgow Mercury ( NSW )     Friday  2 February 1906   p4


The undermentioned police officers have been appointed inspectors to carry out the provisions of the Shearers’ Accommodation Act in the specified districts: — Sen. Const. William Albert Bleechmore, Carcoar; First class Constable John Edwin Williams, Burraga; Constable J. Valins, Trunkey.




Government Gazette of NSW     Wednesday 1 March 1911    p1265

THE Police Magistrate and Justices of the Peace in Petty Sessions assembled at the Court-house, Carcoar, have this 21st day of February, 1911, appointed Arthur Henry Higgs to be Bailiff of the Small Debts Court at Carcoar, vice Senior-Constable William Albert Bleechmore, transferred.


[ 54191 ] Police Magistrate;




Government Gazette of NSW     Wednesday 29 March 1911    p1866


NOTICE is hereby given that Senior-constable William Albert Bleechmore has been duly appointed as Inspector of Slaughter-houses, and of cattle intended for slaughter, under the ” Cattle-slaughtering and Diseased Animals and Meat Act, 1902,” for the Municipality of Gulgong.


Town Hall, Gulgong, Town Clerk.

24th March, 1911.





Lithgow Mercury ( NSW )     Wednesday  19 June 1912   p2

In the list of recent police promotions appears the name of William Albert Bleechmore, formerly of Hartley Vale, but now of Gulgong, who has been made a second-class sergeant.





Mudgee Guardian & North West Representative ( NSW )   Thursday 19 March 1914  p7

Leo Smith’s Death.

Coronial Inquiry.

An inquest touching the death of Leo Alexander Smith, who was recently found dead at Cumbandry, was held at the Court House, Gulgong, before the District Coroner, Mr. W. Arnott, P.M. on the 9th instant.

William Albert Bleechmore deposed that at about 7 p.m. on Friday night he was coming from Home Rule, and met a lady and two children in a sulky half-way down Caffrey’s Hill, which is 1 mile from the Post Office. About 160 yards behind the sulky he met deceased, who was riding horseback. Spoke to him and passed on. About 9 p.m. on the same night saw Mrs. Smith drive to Judge’s shop. Went down and saw the dead body of deceased whom he had spoken to on the hill, and which he identified as Leo Smith, son of Michael Smith, of Cumbandry. Carefully examined the body. Found a large abrasion on the right knee and a small scratch on the top of the right ear. There were no other external marks of violence. At 6 o’clock this ( Saturday ) morning went to a place on the Home Rule road just across where the railway line crosses the road, saw tracks where a horse had suddenly turned off the road and a great number of horse tracks where it had evidently been bucking. There was a mark where something had lain on the ground, and a small damp patch about the size of the palm of his hand. Two yards further on from the mark found the hat ( produced ), which is similar to that worn by deceased. Went to Smith’s residence at Cumbandry, and examined the pony that deceased was riding. It did not show any marks of having fallen, but on the saddle the right knee pad and right flap had marks of where it had grazed the ground. Was of opinion that the horse had bucked on to its side without falling and had thrown deceased who was an exceptionaly good rider for a boy.

William Richard Wall deposed that he was a Butcher, residing at Gulgong. He identified the boy as Leo Alexander Smith, who was his nephew, and was 13 years and 10 months old. He was born near Mudgee and was a schoolboy. Saw him about quarter past 6 yesterday ( Friday ), in Gulgong. He was just going to get his horse to start home. At about 8 p.m. his sister, Mrs. Smith, came to his place and saw that Leo had not come home, and she had found his pony, near Avery’s gate. Went with her in the sulky and found deceased lying not far from the road. Picked him up and handed him into the sulky to his mother. He was then quite warm. Brought him to Mr Judge’s and sent for a doctor.

Henry Joseph Harris, a duly qualified medical officer, residing at Gulgong. deposed that at about 9 a.m. last night ( Saturday ) he was summoned to the house of Mr. J. Judge. On arrival he saw the body of Leo Alexander Smith. He was fully clothed, with the exception of his boots and stockings. The only mark visible was an abrasion on the right knee. Was of opinion his neck was broken. He appeared to have been dead at least one hour.

His Worship found that the deceased died from the effects of injuries accidentally received by falling from his horse.





Mudgee Guardian & North West Representative ( NSW )   Monday  22 February 1915  p1



A coronal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mrs. Gray was held by Mr. Arnott, P.M., at the Gulgong Police Court on Thursday morning last.

William Albert Bleechmore, Sergeant of Police, deposed ” About 12 o’clock midnight on the 17th instant Mr. Gray, husband of deceased, came to the police station and informed me that his wife was dead. I immediately went round for Dr. Harris, the Government Medical Officer, and in his company went to Gray’s residence at Lagoon Paddock, about two miles from Gulgong. I saw the deceased lying on the bed. In company with Dr. Harris I took the body inside the house and the doctor carefully examined the body.

Edmund Gray, manager for Geo. Rouse‘s farm and residing at Lagoon Paddock, Gulgong, deposed: Only my late wife and myself were living at the house. My family were away in Sydney and Portland. We retired to bed about 10 p.m. We were sleeping on the front verandah. Deceased was in her usual state of health just before she went to bed. She did not complain. During the last few days, which were very hot, she complained of a smothering feeling about her chest. During the last two years she complained about shortness of breath if she had much exercise. As far as I know she was never treated for heart trouble, but, about two years ago, she underwent an operation for the removal of veins from one of the legs. About a quarter to eleven on Wednesday got her a drink. She started coughing. I was half asleep and was slow in getting up. The deceased got up and went to the water near by. I overtook her and gave her a drink from the water bag. She then came back to the verandah and sat on a sofa. She started spitting up phlegm and said, “I’m going to die, Ted.” I made no reply as I did not take her seriously. She asked me to strike a light and see what she was spitting up. I struck a match and she again said “I am going to die, Ted.” She jumped up off the couch and went to the bed and lay down. She was still coughing. I lifted her upon one knee as she seemed to be smothering. She then gave one long breath and died.

The deceased was 51 years old, and was born at Gulgong. He and his wife attended a funeral the day before, and at the graveside his wife was overcome by the heat and fell on to her knees.

Dr. H. Harris, residing at Gulgong, deposed: About 12 midnight, accompanied by Sergeant Bleechmore, I visited the house of Mr. Gray, about two miles from Gulgong, and there saw deceased lying on a bed in her night dress. I could see no marks of violence on the body. About two years ago I gave deceased a course of treatment, and found that she had a somewhat enlarged fatty heart. I should say from indications, after listening to Mr. Gray’s evidence, and from my own knowledge, that deceased died from a disease of the muscle of the heart.

The P.M. found that death was due to natural causes.





Mudgee Guardian & North West Representative ( NSW )   Thursday  3 June 1915  p8

Horse Trainer Killed

Death of John Hartley.

Members of the racing fraternity were greatly shocked when they learned that John Hartley had been killed as the result of an accident on the Tallewang road on May 25th. He was about 50 years of age and was well known as a horse trainer. He had been for some time residing at Mundooran. He was well known in Mudgee and Gulgong.

A magisterial inquiry was opened at the Gulgong Police Court on Thursday morning last by Mr. George Rouse, deputy coroner.

William Albert Bleechmore, Sergeant of Police, stationed at Gulgong deposed: At 12 midnight on the 25th May, I received a telephone message from the Rev. H. Woodger, at Tallewang, to the effect that he had found a man lying on the road near the Tallewang school, with his face covered with blood. I immediately proceeded to the place, accompanied by Dr. Payne. I there saw a man lying on the left-hand side of the traffic part of the road. I turned the body over and saw that it was that of a man about 50 years of age. I knew the man by sight, but did not know his name. The body was fully clothed, including an overcoat ( produced ). About six yards from where the body was lying I was shown this piece of an overcoat ( produced ) which corresponds to the portion of an overcoat missing from that found on deceased. The body was lying with the face downwards, and the left arm straight out from the body. There was a mark five yards back along the road, as if the body had been dragged. There was a number of abrasions on the face, particularly a large one over the right eye, and on the right side of the nose. The left ear was black or bruised, and had blood about it, and the bottom lip of the mouth had teeth marks buried in it. Both knees had a little skin off, and on the left shin there was an abrasion about three inches long. I saw no other marks of violence on the body. I found the sum of £1/3/ on deceased, also a metal watch and chain. About 100 yards further along the road from which the body was found, I found a bottle full of spirits, which I believed to be rum, and for over two miles further along the road at intervals I found a rug, a blanket, and an enamel plate. Late in the morning I went along the road in the direction of Stringy Bark, and six miles from where the body was found. I came across deceased’s horse and sulky. The sulky contained blankets, tent, and general cooking utensils, and rabbit traps. It looked as if deceased had been shifting his camp. I had the body brought to Gulgong. I know nothing of deceased’s antecedents. The soles of deceased’s boots were torn off from the front part. In my opinion deceased fell out of the sulky, and was dragged for five yards along the road, and probably by his over coat catching in some part of the vehicle. The lost piece of the coat, including the pocket, was caused to be torn from the overcoat.

Harold Woodger, Rector of Gulgong deposed On the 25th instant I was at Tallewang, and left the public school at 11.30 p.m. About 100 yards from the house I noticed the body of a man. Standing over the body was a yellow dog. I was accompanied by Clarence Bleechmore, and I sent him back to the public school to ask Mr. Kinder, the teacher, to come, and he came and looked at the body, and said the man was apparently dead. I drove to Tallewang Hotel and rang up the Sergeant of Police in Gulgong, informing him that there was a dead man on the road near Tallewang School. I then returned to the scene of the accident, and awaited the arrival of the Sergeant and doctor.

Kenneth Campbell, hotelkeeper, residing at Tallewang Hotel, deposed that he saw the body and knew the deceased. He was at my place on the 25th instant, arriving about 12 o’clock. He left about 2 o’clock, and returned about 6 p.m. Whilst at my place he had drinks during the day. He left my place about a quarter or half-past ten at night. He was travelling alone in a sulky. When he left he was a little under the influence of liquor. He took a bottle of rum with him. He said he was going to Stringy Bark. Another old man named Kelly was going to the same place, but I am not sure whether he was riding or driving. They had been drinking together that day. I believe deceased was going to Kelly’s camp to stay. Kelly had a bottle and a flask of whisky. I considered deceased was capable of managing his horse when he left my place.

Percy Herbert Payne deposed: I am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Gulgong. On the morning of the 26th May about 12.30 a.m. I was awakened by Sergeant Bleechmore, who informed me that he had received word from Tallewang that a man had been injured, and asked me if I would accompany him. Sergeant Bleechmore and I set off and after proceeding about 17 miles along the road to Tallewang we were stopped by a party who informed us where the body of the man was lying. I examined the body and found the man was dead. There was a contused wound over the right eyebrow, and blood over the side of the face, and clotted blood was issuing from both nostrils and mouth. There was also an abrasion on the left knee cap, and one about four inches long on the shin-bone of the left leg. Death, in my opinion, was instantaneous, and due to a fractured skull. This could have been caused by deceased falling from his sulky directly on to his head.

John Andrew Lynch, hotelkeeper, residing at Gulgong, deposed to having identified the body as that of John Hartley, who by occupation was a horse-trainer; and a native of Grenfell (N.S.W.). Witness thought he was about 52 years of age. Deceased generally lived at Stringy Bark with James Kelly.

The Coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.

THE FUNERAL The remains were interred in the Gulgong general cemetery on Thursday day afternoon last, the Rev. Mr. H. Woodger officiating. The mortuary arrangements were carried out by Mr. S. J. L. Turner.





The Sydney Morning Herald     Wednesday  23 May 1917   p14

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES – Probate Jurisdiction. -In the Estate of WILLIAM ALBERT BLEECHMORE, late of Gulgong, In the State of New South Wales, Sergeant of Police, deceased, intestate. – Application will be made after fourteen days from the publication hereof that Administration of the Estate of the abovenamed deceased may be granted to MARIA MAY BLEECHMORE, the Wife of the said deceased And all creditors in the said Estate are requested to send in particulars of their claim to the undersigned, upon whom all notices may be served.


Solicitor for the Applicant, Gulgong.

By his Agent, R A. MONRO KING,

3 Castlereagh-street, Sydney.




Government Gazette of NSW     Friday  20 July 1917    p3735


NOTICE is hereby given that Police Sergeant Charles James Watts has been appointed as Inspector under the Cattle Slaughtering and Diseased Animals and Meat Act for the abovenamed Municipality in place of Sergeant William Albert Bleechmore, deceased.


Town Hall, Gulgong, Town Clerk.

16th July, 1917.





Francis Andrew MURRAY

Francis Andrew MURRAY

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # ?

Rank:  Mounted Constable / Corporal 2 ALH

Stations?, Tamworth

Service:  From  to  ?

Enlisted with A. I. F:  25 August 1914 at Lismore.


Born? ? 1892 at Tamworth, NSW

Died on:  28 April 1917

Cause:  Cancer

Location of Death:  Randwick Medical Hospital, NSW

Age:  24

Funeral date:  1 May 1917

Funeral location?

Buried at:  Kootingal-Moonbi cemetery, 20 k’s north of Tamworth upon George St, Moonbi

Portion:  Pbn

Latitude/longitude -31.022341,151.077637 of cemetery


Francis Andrew MURRAY
Francis Andrew MURRAY

Grave of F. A. Murray
Grave of F. A. Murray

Grave of F. A. Murray
Grave of F. A. Murray

Francis Andrew MURRAY 2 - NSWPF - AIF - Died 28 April 1917

War record of F. A. Murray
War record of F. A. Murray


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


Cemetery location:  


In Egypt in late 1916 sought medical treatment for a very painful left shoulder. Could not raise his arm above shoulder height. His condition worsened and was sent back to Australia arriving 21/2/1917 for treatment at the Randwick Medical Hospital. X-rays reveal that he had in-operable bone cancer of the left humerus ball joint and stem which had also affected his lungs.

Died 28/4/1917 at the Randwick Hospital. Funeral occurred on 01/05/1917 and is buried in the Moonbi cemetery, 20 k’s north of Tamworth.



New South Wales Police Force


Stations:  Balmain

Born about 1869

48 old

Suicide – firearm

Died 15 June 1917

Funeral  18 June 1917  Buried in Rookwood Cemetery

Buried in Presbyterian Section 5C, Grave # 0007686


Evening News ( Sydney )  Thursday  21 June 1917  page 4 of 8


At the City Coroner’s Court, an inquest was held by Mr. Hawkins, City Coroner, ? the death of Dan Travers, 48, a police sergeant, who lived in Catherine-street, Leichhardt.

Evidence was given that Travers ? over some trouble in the Police ?   and was also suffering from the ?       received while arresting a man ?       was stationed at Balmain, was ?       paddock off Austenham-road, Leichhardt ?       Friday last, with a bullet wound in ?         and a revolver by his side.

A verdict of suicide was returned.


The above article was faded and hard to read – resulting in the question marks in relation to words now being readable.



Daily Advertiser ( Wagga Wagga )   Friday  22 June 1917  page 3 of 4


SYDNEY. Thursday.

At the inquest concerning the death of Police Sergeant Dan Travers, who was found shot with a rifle in the right temple, his widow stated that up to the time of his death he had been off duty over trouble in the Police Department. He was worried over the inquiry   connected with it. He also suffered from an injury received through a man he was arresting some time ago kicking   him.

A verdict of suicide was returned




Evening News ( Sydney )  Wednesday  20 April 1904  page 3 of 8




On the evening of March 15, Alfred Grosvenor Boswood visited the residence of Thomas Joseph Hargraves, a carpenter, residing in Lodge   street, Forest Lodge, and asked for his wife, who was staying there. Mrs. Hargraves opened the door, and Boswood attempted to strike her.

She screamed, and Mr. Hargraves ran to his wife’s assistance, and Boswood attacked him with a knife. A struggle ensued, during which Hargraves was stabbed in several places. Boswood then went upstairs to his wife’s room, but   on hearing him coming she leaped over the balcony, and sustained severe injuries. Boswood   then proceeded to the kitchen, and cut his own throat. He was removed to Prince Alfred Hospital, and was an inmate till 12th instant.

At the Glebe Court yesterday, before Mr. C. N. Payten, S.M., Boswood appeared to answer a charge of maliciously wounding Thomas Joseph Hargraves, on March 15.

Mr. J. W. Abigail appeared for accused. Senior-constable Grice deposed that at 6.45 p.m. on 15th of last month he was summoned to No. 15 Lodge-street, Forest Lodge. He entered the back yard, accompanied by Constable   Travers, and saw accused with a wound in his throat, and a quantity of blood on his clothing. Travers took Boswood to the hospital. Witness then entered the premises and found in the kitchen the table-knife (produced). There were   blood stains on the floor of the kitchen and the passage. Accused remained in the hospital till   the 12th instant.

Dr. Vivian Bengafield stated that he examined Hargraves on the evening of the 12th ultimo, at Prince Alfred Hospital, and found an incised wound under his chin about 2½in long, and about half an inch deep. There was also a small wound on the right side of his neck, half an inch in length, and one inch deep. There was a scratch on his breastbone, a superficial wound on his left arm about 3in long, and a small cut on each hand. Accused was suffering from two deep wounds in his throat, one of   them going almost to his backbone, just above the windpipe, and the other wound was just above that, and was running along below the   jaw. He did not think accused was quite sane at the time he was admitted. It was impossible for him to say if it was due to insanity or intemperance, as Boswood was breathing through the wound. From subsequent observations he would say that accused was insane —   even at present.

Mrs. Janet Hargraves stated she was the wife of Thos. Joseph Hargraves, and resided in Lodge street. At about 6.15 p.m. on March 15 there was a knock at the front door. She opened it, and saw Boswood there. He pushed the door, and tried to strike her with a knife. Witness screamed, and ran into the back, and thence to the corner hotel, and sent for the police. She returned, and in her bedroom she saw the accused, who again tried to strike her. She again ran out. When accused came to the door, he said, ‘You have my wife here,’ and before she could reply he tried to strike her.

The story told by Thomas Hargraves was to the effect that on hearing his wife scream he rushed to see what was the matter. Accused was standing in the hall, and when asked what he wanted he made no reply. Witness ordered him out of the house, and Boswood stabbed him on the arm. A long struggle then ensued, during which witness was stabbed in the neck and on the breast. He tried to pull the knife from accused, and finding he could not do so, he endeavoured to break it, but did not   succeed. He afterwards called for assistance, as he was bleeding freely, and was beginning to feel faint. He got off the accused, and left him lying on the floor. Witness was afterwards taken to the hospital.

Constable Dan Travers deposed that it was well known to him as a policeman that accused needed watching. He did so, and complaints were made to him about Boswood. He advised Mrs. Boswood to get a warrant out for her   husband, and to have him bound over to keep the peace. Witness stated that, in his opinion, accused was what is vulgarly known as ‘ratty‘.” He had heard that the fact that Boswood’s wife had left him preyed on his mind, and he had himself seen him crying about his children. Accused always had a wild lock, and on the night of his arrest he was very peculiar, and was shouting out, and talking in a wild way, until he fainted. On coming to, Boswood’s first words were: “Where is   my wife”

This concluded the evidence, and accused was committed for trial. Bail was not applied for. Mr C. N. Payten, S.M., recommended that accused should be placed under medical observation.




The Sydney Morning Herald   Monday  18 June 1917  page 5 of 12

TRAVERS – The Funeral of the late Sergeant DAN TRAVERS, of 37 Catherine-street, Leichhardt, will   leave our Mortuary Chapel, 810 George-street, city, THIS   DAY, at 9.30am, for Rookwood Cemetery.



TRAVERS. – The Friends of Mrs. TRAVERS and FAMILY, of Catherine-street, Leichhardt, are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of their late HUSBAND and FATHER, Sergeant Dan Travers ; to leave Wood, Coffill’s Funeral Parlours, 810 George-street, THIS   DAY, MONDAY, at 9.30, for Rookwood Cemetery.




Leader ( Orange, NSW )  Wednesday  20 June 1917  page 5 of 6

Police Sergeant Dan Travers, 48, formerly of Leichhardt police district was found dead with a bullet wound to his head, in a paddock off Austenham road, Leichhardt, on Friday afternoon.

The discovery was made by David Miller, of Leichhardt. who also found a six chambered revolver, containing five cartridges and one empty shell near the body.




Home of Sgt Travers



Late of  Ulmarra

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ‘ Q ‘6811

For the purposes of this website ‘Q‘ represents those Police joining between 1862 ( commencement of NSWPF ) – 23 February 1915 ( Commencement of NSWPF current numbering system )

Rank: Mounted

Probationary Constable – appointed 4 February 1895

Constable – appointed 4 February 1896

Constable at Thackaringa ( Broken Hill District ) in December 1898. Still there Feb 1899

Constable 1st Class – appointed 1 February 1899

Constable 1st Class at Alstonville in October 1903

Senior Constable – appointed 1 May 1906

Was a Senior Constable in 1906 at Hillgrove.  Still there in Oct 1912

( there was no such Rank as Sgt 3/c prior to 24 February 1915 )

Sergeant 2nd Class – appointed 1 February 1915

Was a Sergeant at Coffs Harbour in May 1916

Sergeant 2nd Class at Coffs Harbour in April 1916

Sergeant 2nd Class – Death

Stations:  White Cliffs ( 1898 ), Thackaringa ( 1898 ), Grafton ( Feb 1900 ),  Alstonville ( Oct 1903 ), 

Burraga ( Oct 1904 ), Hillgrove ( Oct 1912 ), Coffs Harbour ( 1916 ), and only stationed at Ulmarra a few months ( from at least September 1917 ).

ServiceFrom  4 February 1895  to  11 December 1917 = 23+ years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born:  30 March 1870 in Victoria

Died on:  Tuesday  11 December 1917 about 8.15pm

Age:  47

Cause:  Vehicle collision – Sulkie – Internal injuries

Event location:   River St, Ulmarra between the Post Office and past the Masonic Hall

Event date:   Tuesday  11 December 1917 about 5pm

Funeral dateWednesday  12 December 1917 @ 3pm

Funeral location:  Ulmarra General Cemetery

Buried at:  Ulmarra General Cemetery, Coldstream Rd, Ulmarra, NSW

Grave location:   29°39’00″S    153°03’53″E

 Memorial located at?

In sad and loving Memory of my Dear Husband & your devoted wife Sergt RAMSAY DOBBIE who was killed at lmarra 11th Dec. 1917, aged 47 years 9 months. Inserted by his loving wife Mary. A DOBBIE & children, David, Stella, Ramsay, Edith, Jim, Bob & little Jessie. Too dearly loved to ever be forgotten.

Sgt Ramsay DOBBIE - Arrest injuries - 11 Dec 1917 - Grave stone 02

Touch Plate at the National Police Wall of Remembrance, Canberra

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






May they forever Rest In Peace


The sergeant suffered serious internal injuries while trying to apprehend the offender McClennan at Ulmarra. He had been called to a complaint of Unseemly Words (offensive language) in the street at Ulmarra involving an intoxicated male. As the sergeant approached the offender, whom he found sitting in a sulky, the offender whipped the horses into a gallop. The sergeant caught hold of the sulky and climbed aboard, however the offender then jumped clear. As the sulky rounded a corner it collided with a pole, throwing the sergeant to the ground and causing severe internal injuries. He died a short time later.


The Barrier Miner dated 12 December, 1917 reported the following.


At Ulmarra yesterday, Sergeant Ramsay Dobbie was killed. He was endeavouring to arrest a man who had been arguing with some conscriptionists, when the man drove off in a sulky. The sergeant 1880got into the vehicle from the rear. The man jumped out, throwing down the reins. The horse commenced to gallop, and dashed the sulky against a telegraph post with great force. The sergeant was thrown out; several ribs were fractured and his chest crushed. He died in about three hours. Sergeant Dobbie was 47 years of age, and leaves a widow and seven children.


The sergeant was born in 1870 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 4 February, 1895. At the time of his death he was stationed at Ulmarra.



Attended the service today to mark the Centenary of the on duty death of Sgt Ramsay Dobbie on 11 December 1917, at Ulmarra General Cemetery.

Several descendants of Sgt Dobbie were present and members of the Coffs Clarence Command who organised the service to ensure Sgt Dobbie is appropriately remembered.

The grave site was recently restored, with additional monument stone. Our thanks to John McDiarmid for carrying out this work.

Inscription: In sad and loving memory of my dear husband our devoted daddy Sergt Ramsay Dobbie. Who was killed at Ulmarra 11th Dec. 1917, aged 47 years 8 months. Inserted by his loving wife Mary A. Dobbie & children David, Stella, Ramsay, Edith, Jim, Bob & little Jessie. Too dearly loved to ever be forgotten. This monument is restored by NSW Police Force on the Centerary of the death of Sergeant Dobbie 11 December 2017

Inscription: In sad and loving memory of my dear husband our devoted daddy Sergt Ramsay Dobbie. Who was killed at Ulmarra 11th Dec. 1917, aged 47 years 8 months. Inserted by his loving wife Mary A. Dobbie & children David, Stella, Ramsay, Edith, Jim, Bob & little Jessie. Too dearly loved to ever be forgotten. This monument is restored by NSW Police Force on the Centerary of the death of Sergeant Dobbie 11 December 2017

Inspector Ian Colless & ?

Ramsay DOBBIE's grave - December 2017

Ramsay DOBBIE's grave - December 2017

Ramsay DOBBIE's grave - December 2017



At the time of joined the NSW Police Force, Ramsay was described as:

6′ 1/4″ tall, 11 stone 8 lb, Grey eyes, light brown hair, “fresh” complexion, Native of Victoria, Single at the time of Joining the NSWPF, later married twice, previous calling is hard to decipher but similar to Kai? houseman, Presbyterian, ‘District Sent to’ – South Western.

‘Cause of Leaving Police “Killed in execution of duty”.  Date of leaving Police  11.12.1917




Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 – 1954), Wednesday 12 December 1917, page 2


DOBBIE. — The friends of the late Sergeant Ramsay Dobbie are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, to leave his late residence, Ulmarra, at 3 o ‘clock THIS DAY (Wednesday), for Ulmarra Cemetery.


Phones 27 and 68.





Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 – 1954), Thursday 11 December 1919, page 4


DOBBIE.— In sad but loving memory of my dear husband, and our darling devoted daddy, Sergeant Ramsay Dobbie, who was killed in the execution of his duty at Ulmarra, 11th December, 1917, aged 47 years and 9 months.

Too dearly loved, too sadly missed, To ever be forgotten.

Inserted by his loving wife, Mary and children, David, Stella, Ramsay, Edith, Jim, Bob, and Jessie.



Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 – 1954), Wednesday 11 December 1918, page 2


DOBBIE. — In sad but loving memory of my dear husband and our darling, devoted daddy, Sergeant Ramsay Dobbie. who was killed in the execution of his duty at Ulmarra, 11th December, 1917, aged 47 years and 9 months, The shock was great, the blow severe, To part with one we loved so dear. ‘Tis sad, but true — we wonder why — The good are always first to die.

Inserted by his loving wife, Mary, and children, David, Stella, Ramsay, Edith Jim, Bob, and Jessie.







NSWBDM – Marriage 1 = 2102/1898     Bride = MACKENZIE, Annie Beatrice        District = Wilcannia    Died  19 March 1899

NSWBDM – Marriage 2 =  1043/1902    Bride  = McALPIN, Mary Ann                    District = Casino

NSWBDM – Death = 17097/1907           Father = James      Mother = Janet J         District = Ulmarra



Armidale Chronicle (NSW : 1894 – 1929), Saturday 22 December 1917, page 2

Sergt. Dobbie’s Death.


The inquest into the cause of the death of the late Sergeant Ramsay Dobbie was opened at Ulmarra on Tuesday afternoon before the Coroner.   Mr. McGuren appeared for William McLennan, who was present in custody.

Sergeant Swan was the first witness. He deposed as follows:— I was present when the Coroner viewed the body of Ramsay Dobbie. a police sergeant. From what I can learn, on the 11th inst. a man. William F. McLennan, now in Court, and his brother, Donald, had some altercation with the Mayor of Ulmarra, Ald. G. W. FitzgeraldFitzgerald had complained to the deceased sergeant in reference to the insulting and abusive language of William McLennan. Deceased made an attempt to arrest McLennan for Insulting words or behaviour. Upon the sergeant’s approach McLennan, on being spoken to, put his horse into a fast gallop, upon which the deceased caught hold of the back of the sulky, running along a few paces, still holding the sulky, and attempted to get in the sulky to arrest McLennan.

On turning a sharp curve at the end of River-street the pace was so great the sulky was capsized, the horse being then in a gallop, the sergeant being thrown against a telephone post, and so seriously injured, that he died. I went to McLennan‘s residence, and saw William McLennan I said, “I want you, McLennan.” He said. “Yes, I believe you do. What is the charge?” I replied, “I am going to charge you with causing the death of Sergeant Dobbie.” He said, “I am very sorry. Sergeant: I was drunk, and don’t know what happened.

Mary Dobbie. widow of the deceased, gave formal evidence regarding deceased’s family history. She heard loud talking in the street near the post office, where one man was in a sulky without a hat on, whilst another man was on horseback. She recognised the man now in custody as the person she saw in the sulky. At this time she saw her husband walk over to the sulky, the driver shaking the reins and forcing the horse into a gallop. As the vehicle passed where she was at her home, the sergeant was holding on to the back of the sulky. She came out to the street, and McLennan immediately passed her walking back up the street. Deceased was at first conscious. He said, “Mr. Fitzgerald gave McLennan in charge, and I was going to arrest him, and when he saw me coming and I got alongside of McLennan, he ( McLennan ) drove off. When McLennan saw me getting over on to the seat he threw the reins on the horse and jumped out.” He said no more.

Dr. S. L. Cook gave evidence. It was found that seven ribs on the left side were fractured, the pleura torn, the left lung perforated by the broken ribs. The spleen had also been ruptured. The other organs were healthy and uninjured. Death was due to shock and the injuries mentioned.

C. W. Fitzgerald, .J.P., Mayor of Ulmarra, deposed: On the 11th instant I was at Ulmarra. I saw William McLennan that afternoon as I rode into Coldstream at about 5 p.m. He was in front of O’Brien’s hotel, in company with his brother Donald, and Chas. Lee, and Thos. Mawhinney.

As I turned into the street I heard William McLennan talking excitedly, but could not hear what he was saying. When I got within 100 yards I heard McLennan say, “I’ll talk to the Puddicombes ; I’m Irish and I don’t give a **** for them.” I then heard him say, “Who is this Fitzgerald? I will talk to him.” I then went on to the public wharf, being on horseback at the time. I could then hear Mr. Lee trying to quieten McLennan. I almost got past the group where McLennan was when the latter said, “Oh ! I want to have a talk to you.” I rode on, making no reply. McLennan said, “I’m a Catholic and not-a ****** turncoat like you.” I turned round and said, “Now, you be very careful, young man, or you’ll get yourself into trouble.” I rode on, Donald McLennan saying “I’ll fight you, you ****. ” He then said, “I’ll throw you into the —— river.” I then continued on to the wharf, where I remained a few minutes. Returning up the street, Donald McLennan was in front of Spring’s Hotel, and William some 75 yards further away.

I came down towards the post office, where I spoke to C. Goode and E. Cameron. After speaking for a few minutes, Sergeant Dobbie joined us. I said to Dobbie that he should be down the town, where the McLennans had possession, and were using Insulting and obscene language. In reply to his question, I said Donald and William McLennan were there. He asked if I was sure Donald was in town and I replied that I was certain, because he had been challenging me. Later, Mr. Cameron said, “There’s Donald crossing the road now.” The sergeant later came into the post office. A few minutes later William McLennan again drove up and exclaimed excitedly, ” I want to have a word with you” ( the witness ), I replied, “No, you don’t, Billy, I won’t talk to you;” McLennan said, ” You’ll have to talk to me.” I again said I would have nothing to say to him. He jumped up in the sulky and said I was not ***** well game to talk to him. I said, “Go about your business. ” He said I was trying to send him away to the war, but was not game to go myself.

Sergeant Dobbie then came out of the post office and endeavoured to catch hold of McLennan‘s horse. McLennan, on seeing the sergeant close to the horse, sat down in the sulky and hit the horse with the reins and started off down past the police station. Dobbie caught the back of the sulky with his right hand and then with both hands.  McLennan looked back and, seeing the sergeant hanging on to the sulky, furiously flogged the horse with both reins. After going a little over a chain the sergeant placed both feet on the back springs. The pace of the horse still quickened as they approached the corner, until the horse was in a furious gallop. When within a few yards of the corner Dobbie sprang into the sulky which then turned the corner and was lost to sight. I then heard a crash, immediately before which I started to move. I was about 150 yards from the corner.

To the Coroner: McLennan was either in a great rage or drunk.

Witness, continuing, said he passed McLennan coming back, on foot. He ( McLennan ) then said: ” He’s done through you ; my horse is gone ; go up that way and you’ll get him.” I hurried on and saw Sergeant Dobbie lying on the ground against a telegraph post on the left side, of the road. I jumped off my horse and saw Dobbie appeared badly injured. A number of people were around him.

Percy O. Jones deposed: I know William McLennan and saw him at Betallick’s store about 4.30 or 5 p.m. on the 11th instant. McLennan came in and said, ” I want a hat, I’ve done mine. I’ve left the big fellow asleep round the corner. ” He then bought a hat. He was under the influence of drink.

To the Coroner: I previously heard of the accident and took it that the words “big fellow” referred to the deceased sergeant.

The Court, at 7 p.m., was adjourned until 10 a.m. on Wednesday, at Grafton.



Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 – 1954), Thursday 20 December 1917, page 6



An inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of the late Sergeant Ramsay Dobbie, which was adjourned from Ulmarra on the previous day, was re-opened at the Grafton Coroner’s Court yesterday morning before Mr. J. L. Shropshire, Coroner.

Sergeant Swan conducted proceedings on behalf of the police, while Mr. F. McGuren (McGuren and Pollack) appeared for William Freeman McLennan, who was present in custody.

Dr. T. J. Henry, Government Medical Officer, stated that on the 11 th inst., about 5.45 p.m. he received a telephone call from Dr. Cook at Ulmarra, asking him to go down and see Sergeant Dobbie. Witness arrived at the residence at 6.45, and saw the sergeant lying on a bed in the front room, with Dr. Cook in attendance.

Witness said to Sergeant Dobbie: “What has happened to you?” and he replied: “I was thrown from a sulky.” Witness was unable to obtain any further statement, as it obviously gave him great pain to breathe, and he was suffering from the effects of shock to such an extent that he could only speak a few words at intervals, although he was perfectly conscious.

Pointing to his left side, he said: “All the trouble is there.” Witness placed his hand on the left side of deceased’s chest, and found that several ribs were fractured, and there was a crack in the tissue, showing that the lung had been pierced and air had escaped into the tissues. There were no marks of violence visible, with the exception of bruising about the waist.

Dr. Cook and witness administered several drugs to stimulate the heart and ease the pain. The dressings usually used in cases of broken ribs were then applied. Deceased rallied after about an hour, and witness then went for tea.

In answer to a call witness returned with Dr. Cook, and Sergeant Dobbie complained of suffocation and that the bandage was too tight. Witness diagnosed this as internal haemorrhage. The bandage was released in the hope that some relief might be given. Deceased rapidly became weaker, and died about 8.15. Deceased was conscious till, about five minutes of the end.

Next morning with Dr. Cook witness conducted a post-mortem examination at the Ulmarra Court-house. The left lung was lacerated in several places, and witness found that the lacerations corresponded with fractures of seven ribs.- Witness came to the conclusion that death was due to the injuries to the lung and spleen. The injuries were consistent with the deceased’s statement that he had been thrown from a sulky.

Witness was told by an eye witness that deceased had struck the telegraph post with his left side, and seemed to double round it.

By Mr. McGuren: I made an examination of William McLennan on Friday, 14th inst., at the Grafton Gaol. I found that he had a small abrasion on the back of the left ear. The skin had been torn, and the abrasion was about the size of a sixpence. He also had two bruises on the left hip, and requested me to look at his mouth. I did so, and found indication of a tooth having been drawn from the upper jaw on the left side. He also showed me his trousers, and on the outside of the left leg were some greenish marks, such as might be made by contact with grass. The marks are consistent with a fall from a vehicle.

To Sergeant Swan: These marks and bruises could be caused by anyone falling about under the influence of liquor.

To the Bench: In my opinion deceased was mentally capable of making a statement to within five minutes of his death, He was so lethargic from the shock that unless spoken to he rarely made any remark, and it was obviously impossible to interrogate him.

Henry Moran, a carrier, residing at Ulmarra. said that he knew the deceased, and William McLennan. On the 11th inst., a little after five o’clock, witness saw a sulky with a horse attached going down Coldstream-street without a driver. The sulky had turned right over and was being dragged along wheels upwards. Witness caught the horse and stopped him. The horse was then taken out of the shafts and the sulky righted. The horse was then put back in.

Donald McLennan came along shortly afterwards, followed by William McLennan. The latter said, ” My sulky is broken, and I can blame ‘ Fitz ‘ for that. ” Witness understood him to mean Mr. Fitzgerald, the Mayor of Ulmarra. Witness advised William McLennan not to drive but to give the reins to ” Donny. ” . They both got in and drove away. William McLennan appeared to be excited, and under the influence of drink. When the horse was pulled up the reins were found entangled in the lamp on the driving side of the sulky.

By Mr. McGuren: The reins were pulled tight, and the horse was going very steady, The horse appears to be a very flighty animal.

Sergeant Swan, again in the box, gave evidence to the effect that from inquiries made he elicited the information that when at the post office on the day in question, Sergeant Dobbie was in uniform.

By Mr. McGuren: I have known William McLennan for seven or eight years. I have always found him steady and a hard worker, and have never seen him under the influence of liquor. I give him a good character.

The police intimated that this was all the evidence they had to put forward.


The Coroner found that Ramsay Dobbie, then a sergeant of police in the New South Wales force at River-street, Ulmarra, in the Grafton Police District, in the State or New South Wales, on the 11 th day of December, 1917, died from injuries received on the same day through being thrown from a sulky attached to a horse then and there being negligently and recklessly driven along the aforesaid River-street, Ulmarra, by William Freeman McLennan, and he further found that in the manner aforesaid the said William Freeman McLennan did feloniously slay the said Ramsay Dobbie while in the execution of his duty as police officer as aforesaid.

The Coroner then proceeded to read out the committal in terms of which the case would be heard in Sydney.

Mr. McGuren objected, and stated that accused was a poor man, and would be at a big disadvantage in regard to his witnesses.

The Coroner said that he was looking at the matter from the view of expedition.

If, as Mr. McGuren had suggested, the case was committed to the next sessions at Grafton, the accused would have to wait until 9th April. ‘ Sergeant Swan said that one of his witnesses was on the point of leaving the district and would be unable to wait for the sessions.

Mr. McGuren intimated his willingness to allow the witnesses’ depositions to be put in at the trial.

Sergeant Swan: If the case is committed to the Grafton sessions the authorities will take the same action as they did in the last case.

Mr. McGuren: That was altogether different. The accused was unable to get bail.

The Coroner ( to Mr. McGuren ): Suppose it is sent to Sydney, then you can make representations to the Attorney-General.

Mr. McGuren: I would prefer it to be the other way.

The Coroner ( to Sergeant Swan ): You can make application to the Inspector-General of Police to have the case taken to Sydney. Accused was committed to the next Grafton Quarter Sessions, to be held on April 9, 1918.

Bail was allowed, self in £200, and two sureties of £100 each, or one in £200.

The sureties were forth coming.



Daily Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1903 – 1926), Thursday 11 April 1918, page 3

Grafton tragedy.

Accused acquitted.

GRAFTON, Wednesday.— At the quarter session to-day, William Freeman McLennan was charged with feloniously slaying Ramsay Dobbie, a sergeant of police, at Ulmarra, on December 11.

Accused was acquitted.





Warwick Examiner and Times ( Qld )  Saturday  15 December 1917  page 6 of 8

Police Sergeant Killed Near Grafton.

An unfortunate tragedy occurred at Ulmarra on Tuesday afternoon, by which Sergt. Ramsie Dobbie lost his life. It is alleged that an individual was using strong language towards the conscriptionists, and information was sent to the Sergeant, who attempted to arrest the offender, but the latter got into a Sulky and drove off. The Sergeant endeavoured to climb into the back of the vehicle, and eventually did so. The offender then jumped out, throwing the reins on the horses back. The animal went off at a gallop and dashed against a telephone post with terrific force. Sergeant Dobbie was thrown out, sustaining several fractured ribs and injuries to his chest, and he succumbed three hours after. He leaves a widow and seven children. The eldest is only 13. He was a very popular officer, and had been only a few months at Ulmarra, having come from Coff’s Harbour, and formerly from Hill Grove. He was 47 years of age.




Mary Ann DOBBIE ( nee McALPIN ) – Wife to Ramsay, passed away 7 September 1967 – aged 87 years.  Buried at Grafton General cemetery, Villiers St, Grafton.

Inscription:<br /> In loving Memory of our dear mother<br /> Mary Ann DOBBIE<br /> passed away 7th Sept. 1967<br /> aged 87 years.<br /> "Always remembered"

Ramsay Vickers DOBBIE – son to Mary & Ramsay.  Storeman – late of Alice St, Turramurra.  Died 21 February 1953  Buried at Grafton General cemetery, Villiers St, Grafton.

Stella DOBBIE – daughter to Mary & Ramsay.  Died 1961 – aged  58 years.  Buried at Grafton General cemetery, Villiers St, Grafton.

WEDDING:  At St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Saturday, November 4, 1939, Jessie Mary, youngest daughter of the late Sergt. Ramsay Dobbie and of Mrs. M. Dobbie, 48 Clarence St, Grafton, to Percy Samuel, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel.




Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser (NSW : 1904 – 1929), Friday 14 December 1917, page 4


An unfortunate tragedy, resulting in the death of Sergeant Ramsay Dobbie, occurred at Ulmarra on Tuesday afternoon. It seems that a man named W. McLennan, a resident of the Coldstream, aged about 30, who was said to be more or less under the influence of liquor, had during the afternoon been waging wordy combat on certain conscription advocates. About 5 p.m. he appeared in front of the post office in a sulky and again verbally attacked some well known residents standing there. His language was very lurid and Sergt. Dobbie hearing it, hurried out of the Police Station near by. As soon as he saw the sergeant approaching him, McLennan whipped his horse and drove off, but the sergeant, after calling on McLennan to stop, caught hold of the sulky and commenced to climb in as it was careering down the road. It is said that McLennan then jumped from the sulky, and before he could get possession of the reins and pull up the horse Dobbie was dashed against a telegraph post as the vehicle swung round the corner in the narrow roadway. Quite a number of horrified residents witnessed the whole affair and medical assistance was speedily forthcoming, but the sergeant, whose left side was frightfully smashed,, died about three hours later.

Deceased, who was a most efficient and popular official, had only been stationed at Ulmarra for a few months, having been transferred there from Coff’s Harbor. He was 47 yours of age and leaves a wife and seven children ( ranging from 15 years down to a few months old ), for whom the deepest sympathy is expressed, McLennan was arrested at his home at Lower Coldstream on Wednesday, and on the same day was brought before the Ulmarra Police Court. Sergeant Swan gave evidence that he visited defendant’s residence, and with Constables Walklate and Warburton, arrested accused. McLennan replied : ” I am very sorry, Sergeant, I was drunk at the time and do not know what happened.” He then brought McLennan to Ulmarra, McLennan was then charged with, that on the 11th December at Ulmarra he caused the death of Sergeant Ramsay Dobbie. Accused applied for bail. Sergeant Swan said he would strenuously oppose the application. A man had been killed, and it was his duty, in the circumstances, to object to bail, The bench refused the application, and accused was then remanded to the Ulmarra Police Court on Tuesday next.




Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954), Monday 19 March 1900, page 2


DOBBIE. – In loving memory of my dear wife, Annie Beatrice Dobbie, who died March 19, 1899 ; also my dear little daughter, Beatrice Irene, who died March 28, 1899.

As the ivy clings to the oak, My memory clings to thee.

Inserted by her loving husband and father, Ramsay Dobbie.