James Gillis McDONALD

James Gillis McDONALD

AKA  JIMMY ‘TRACKER’ McDONALD

the First Wiradjuri black tracker with NSW Police in Mudgee

Late of  13 Perry St, Mudgee, NSW

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ????

Rank:  Aboriginal Tracker

Stations:  Mudgee

ServiceFrom  ? ? ?  to  ? ? ? = 40 years Service

Awards?

Born:  Friday  26 January 1872 at Cobbora, NSW

Died on:  Saturday  17 April 1937

Age:  65

Cause? – passed in his sleep

Event location:   ?

Event date:   ?

Funeral date:  Sunday  18 April 1937

Funeral location:  Mudgee Cemetery

Buried at:  Mudgee Cemetery

Salvation Army Section

Row B  Plot 50

 Memorial located at?

JIMMY 'TRACKER' McDONALD - JAMES McDONALD

INSCRIPTION:<br /> A LIFE TIME OF MEMORIES of our loving dad James McDonald<br /> The last of the Mudgee Trackers<br /> 26.1.1872 - 17.4.1937<br /> Loved and remembered by daughter Valerie &amp; remaining families.<br />

JAMES is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance  *NEED MORE INFO

 


FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal


May they forever Rest In Peace


 

Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 – 1954), Monday 19 April 1937, page 4

DEATH

Mr. J. G. McDonald

THE death of Mr. James Gillis McDonald (66), of Perry street. Mudgee, occurred on Friday night. The late Mr. McDonald, who had been a tracker in the police department for 40 years, passed away in his sleep. Born at Cobbora, he had lived in the Mudgee, Wollar, and Rylstone districts all his life.

In his younger days he was a noted athlete, boxer, and swimmer, and had won the famous Botany foot running handicap.

A well respected citizen, his passing will be mourned by many. A widow and eleven children survive.

The funeral was held yesterday afternoon, the interment being carried out in the Salvation Army portion of the Mudgee Cemetery by Messrs. J. C. Swords and Son.

The rites were conducted by Major Gibson.

Among those at the funeral were members of the local police force, who also acted as pall-bearers.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/162251620


The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957)    Tue 8 Aug 1922   Page 1

McDONALD ( nee Cubbins )— On the 7th August, suddenly, Catherine ( Kate, relict of James Gillies McDonald, of 459 Drummond street, Carlton, ( Victoria ) beloved mother of Norman, Elsie, and Kathleen, aged 48 years.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/1837914

Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 – 1954), Thursday 20 October 1904, page 21

LOCAL BREVITIES.

Mr. James Gillis McDonald and Miss Harriet May Cooper were joined in wedlock’s holy bonds, the Rev. T. D. Evans officiating. Miss May Bailey was bridesmaid and Mr. Robert Bailey was groomsman.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/157628544

Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 – 1954), Monday 19 January 1903, page 2

Mudgee Police Court..

Monday, 19th January.

Mudgee Police Court
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/157570465

Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 – 1954), Monday 24 March 1902, page 3
A Gulgong Robbery
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/157693070

Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 – 1954), Monday 26 May 1902, page 2

The Gambling Raid. –

-Sixteen Defendants Before the Court.

The Majority Discharged.

The Rest Get Stiff Sentences.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/157697199

Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 – 1954), Monday 14 July 1902, page 2

An Object of Suspicion.

A Mudgee Visitor’s Experience

On Friday the Mudgee police received word that a burglary had been committed near Wellington, and a description of the bold bad men was sent here by wireless telegraphy or some other up-to-date means.

The local suppressors of crime and bad language were soon all alert, and on Friday evening Constable Tully and James Gillies McDonald, the well known tracker, had their cunning constabulary optics on a couple of strangers who had driven over from Wellington that day and were stopping at a local hotel.

The rules and regulation provide that a constable shall always act with caution, and therefore Constable Tully did not rush affairs but engaged a room at the hotel and, presumably, sat up all night with one eye on the back door and the other on the front.

The name of the unconscious object of constabulary cunning was Mr. W. V. Bradley, the representative of the Two Bays Nursery Co., Melbourne.

After consuming a very gratifying breakfast he strolled outside his hotel, and was accosted by a man who was a stranger to him, and asked him some tricky little questions as to who he was, where he came from, and where he contemplated going to. Mr. Bradley stated that he was going to the post office, and the stranger at once revealed his official identity, and intimated that the requirements of justice necessitated that the visitor should be searched, for he was suspected of being mixed up in a burglary near Wellington.

Mr. Bradley said he had not the least objection to being searched, and informed the constable that his Gladstone bag was upstairs and contained the usual assortment of clothes soiled and otherwise, and that he had £60 in notes in his pocket, and a fully loaded revolver, which he playfully introduced to the notice of the guardian of the peace.

Constable Tully carefully examined the socks, bicycling knickers, etc., and then sadly abandoned the case as far as Mr. Bradley was concerned. So far as we have heard the genuine desperado has not yet been arrested, but the police are keeping a very wide eye open.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/157695327

Jimmy McDonald

Hi, My name is Jule and I am the great granddaughter of Jimmy McDonald. He was a tracker for the police and I am trying to find information on him.

I know he married Harriot Cooper. I do remember her but I would like to know where is is buried. Thank you  I really enjoyed reading your site too.  Jules.

I also think he had a police funeral – Jule.

Yes Jule. His family have also seen a photo of him in a NSW Police publication. they are finding out more information – editor.

Mickel Cowie answers: I don’t know anything about Tracker but have noticed that his name has been mentioned in a judgement re Warrabinga-Waradjurie that is accessable via Google using that as the search . Jules could read the judgement and contact the people  who have made the claim. Mickel

 

 

Jimmy McDonald

My name is Edwin McKenzie and I am the grandson of Jimmy “Tracker” McDonald and Harriet Cooper.  I’m 65 now, living in Cairns and moving to Brisbane at the end of June –  I would love to find out as much as I can about my family and descendents before I die.  i would appreciate any information or leads you can give me. Edwin McKenzie

Jimmy McDonald is also my Great Grand Father, my Grandmother (His daughter) Alice Valerie Honeysett (nee McDonald).  Jimmy is buried in Mudgee Cemetery in the Salvation Army section.  There is still family in the area.  The direct Children of Jimmy & Harriet McDonald are: Jimmy, Edie, Doobie, Davey, Jeanie, Donnie, Gertie, Valerie, Dawn, Malcolm McDonald 80 still living in Toronto. I have a photo of them all together which I would be happy to share if you wish.  Who are your parents, we must be cousins? Regards, Marina Honeysett

Answering Jules re Jimmy McDonald – he is buried in the Salvation Army section of Mudgee cemetery Row B Plot 50. (unmarked still I think) He lived at 13 Perry St where the RTA now stands and was the last tracker at Wollar between about 1906 to 1919 living there in the trackers hut, then at Rylstone. his obituary.  – Anonymous

20/4/1937(mon) Death – Mr J G McDonald – The death occurred of Mr James Gillis McDonald (66) of Perry St. Mudgee occurred on Friday night. The late Mr McDonald who had been a tracker in the police dept. for 40 years, passed away in his sleep. Born at Cobbora he had lived in the Mudgee, Wollar and Rylstone districts all his life. In his younger days he was a noted athlete, boxer, and swimmer and had won the famous Botany foot-running handicap. A well respected citizen, his passing will be mourned by many. A widow & eleven children survive. Funeral took place Salvation Army section Mudgee cem. Among those at the funeral were members of the local police force, who also acted as pall bearers.

 

Dear Diane, thanks for your email and yes I do have that information. James is buried in the Salvation Army section of the Mudgee cemetery and he has a plaque which was put there by his daughter Valerie . It is available on the mudgee cemetery website.

 

Please pass on email address to Jule , I too am a great grand daughter of Jim McDonald. His son James Henry Crawford McDonald is my grandfather Tanya Scrivener

My name is Edwin McKenzie and I am the grandson of Jimmy “Tracker” McDonald and Harriet Cooper.  I’m 65 now, living in Cairns and moving to Brisbane at the end of June –  I would love to find out as much as I can about my family and decendents before I die.  i would appreciate any information or leads you can give me.

James McDonald

 Thank you for your great site . Thanks to you I have found more relatives and some I didn’t know I had And I plan to catch up with all of them Congrats on a great site  Jule

http://www.mudgeehistory.com.au/lets_chat/lets_chat_pg3.html


 

James Gillis McDonald (abt. 1872 – 1937)

James Gillis “Jimmy” McDonald
Born about in Laheys Creek.Cobbora NSW Australiamap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of Harriet May Cooper — married 1904 in Mudgee NSW Australiamap

Descendants descendants

Died in Mudgee NSW Australiamap
Profile last modified 2 Nov 2016 | Created 22 Oct 2016
This page has been accessed 1,016 times.

Biography

True story of Jimmy Governor by Moore & Williams Children of James & Harriet McDonald were as follows Edith – James – Gertie – Hubert – Alice – Davi- Sylvia – Eugene and Donald (twins) – Dawn – Malcolm. Also two who may have died young.

Around the Black Stump. James Gillis McDonald A well known bush tracker, was born at Laheys Creek 26-1-1872. His mother being Eliza McNabb, and his father Thomas McDonald, who was employed by James Falconer as a shepherd. After his wife’s death Thomas McDonald went to Queensland, leaving his young son James with the Falconers. He was reared by the Falconers growing up with their children Mark & Mary.

The Lady Bushranger. Page 70. Sergeant Buckley of Rylstone , his reputation began the day he arrived, for he had brought his milking cow with him. During the trip the cow produced twin calves, one of which he gave to his tracker Jimmy McDonald, who owned a rogue cow. Jimmys cow was the terror of the town and was nothing short of a blooming menace , always breaking into everyone’s garden. Yet she fulfilled a much needed role by providing milk for Jimmys extensive brood. Although Jimmy was a full blood Aborigine his wife was not, and their twelve happy children came in varied colours.Jim could see the humour when he chuckled, with my kiddies , it’s never any use killing a fowl, it would have to be a centipede because everyone begs for a leg.

NSW Aboriginal Trackers James McDonald was the tracker at Wollarah when the Governor brother were on the run. He lived in a four room hut in the police paddock. James knew Jimmy and didn’t shoot him when he had the chance.

Interview with Malcolm McDonald 2012. Jimmy once fired a warning shot at James which struck his saddle, the children later played with saddle when growing up.

Aboriginal Trackers 1893. Coolah.

Aboriginal Trackers 1894 – 1901. Mudgee Jimmy Mack and others

Aboriginal Trackers 1898 – 1899 Tambar Springs Jimmy Mack and others

Wages for black trackers varied from four to seven pounds a month

Mudgee Guardian & North Western Representative 11-11-1918 Police tracker James McDonald stationed at Wollar, who has been doing police duty at Gulgong. Whilst sweeping the yard at the police station here a few days since,picked up a nice nugget of gold , weighing ?? wts

Mudgee Guardian & North Western Representative 1-7-1920. Police tracker McDonald, for many years stationed at Wollarah, who recently retired from the service , has it will be learnt with satisfaction rejoined it. Tracker McDonald will resume duty on July 10th. He will be stationed at Rylstone, which will henceforth be the tracker station and depot for the Mudgee Police District.

Mudgee Guardian & North Western Representative 19-4-1937 Death of Mr J McDonald (66) of Perry Street Mudgee occurred on Friday night. The late Mr McDonald who had been a tracker in the police Dept. for 40 years passed away in his sleep. Born at Cobbora, he lived in the Mudgee, Wollarah & Rylstone district all his life. In his young days he was a noted athlete, Boxer, swimmer and he won the famous Botany foot running handicap. A well respected citizen, his passing will be mourned by many. A widow & 11 children survive. Funeral Salvation Army section of Mudgee cemetery. Many at the funeral were members of the local police force, who acted as pall bearers.

James parents Thomas & Eliza McNabb ?????

Sources

Notes from Mr Roy Cameron. Historian of Coolah

<references /

  • BDM Index

DEATH 11485/1937 Mudgee Guardian & North Western Representative 11-11-1918 Mudgee Guardian & North Western Representative 1-7-1920- Mudgee Guardian Newspaper 19-4-1937. Page 4. The Lady Bushranger , page 70-71. by Pat Studdy-Clift. NSW Aboriginal Trackers Pathfinders saw.org.au/… List of Black Trackers Coolah & other areas by Roy Cameron Around the Black Stump, page 330. by Roy Cameron

 

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/McDonald-10243

Accessed 20/4/2020 by Cal


 

 

 

 




Arthur Alfred Jacob WILLMOTT

Arthur Alfred Jacob WILLMOTT

father of Jacob WILLMOTT

Late of Leeton formerly of Strathfield

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ‘ Q ‘9019

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:  Joined 22 August 1909

Constable – appointed 23 September 1910

Constable 1st Class – appointed 16 November 1915

Sergeant 3rd Class – appointed 15 June 1928

Sergeant 2nd Class – appointed 11 August 1935

Sergeant 2nd Class – Death

Stations: ?, Burwood ( Senior Station Sergeant 1930 – June 1936 ), Leeton ( from 3 June 1936 ) – Death

Duties:  traffic, motor cycle duty, plain clothes and detective.  Police Band.

ServiceFrom  22 August 1909  to  23 February 1937 = 26+ years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born:  23 August 1888 at Paddington, Sydney

Died on:  23 February 1937

Age:  48

CauseRheumatics around the Heart

Event location:  Leeton Police Residence

Event date:  23 February 1937

Funeral date? ? ?

Funeral location?

Buried at:  Cremated at Rookwood Crematorium

 Memorial located at?

Jacob Willmott with his sons Jack (left) and Arthur (right); Jacob Willmott was the first police sergeant at Corrimal. 1920
Jacob Willmott with his sons Jack (left) and Arthur (right); Jacob Willmott was the first police sergeant at Corrimal. 1920

 

Wedding of A Willmott, son of Jacob Willmott; Back row from left: Mr Walters, Miss Shepherd, Bride, Miss Shepherd, .A. Willmott. Sitting from left: Mrs Walters, H. Willmott, Arthur Willmott, J. Willmott, Mrs Shepherd (sister of the bride and mother of the Misses Shepherd). ca. 1912
Wedding of A Willmott, son of Jacob Willmott; Back row from left: Mr Walters, Miss Shepherd, Bride, Miss Shepherd, .A. Willmott. Sitting from left: Mrs Walters, H. Willmott, Arthur Willmott, J. Willmott, Mrs Shepherd (sister of the bride and mother of the Misses Shepherd). ca. 1912

 

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

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

 

[divider_dotted]

FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal

[divider_dotted]

May they forever Rest In Peace

[divider_dotted]

 

Narrandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser (NSW : 1893 – 1953), Friday 26 February 1937, page 2


Obituary

SERGT. ARTHUR A. J. WILLMOTT

For the second time within a period of a year, Leeton has been robbed of its Sergeant of Police to death.

On Tuesday morning Sergeant Arthur Alfred Jacob Willmott, aged 48 years, died at his home from heart trouble. The first sign of sickness was on Thursday of last week at the court of petty sessions, but the sergeant carried on till the close of the court on Friday. On Saturday it was necessary for him to go to bed. On Monday he spoke of going on holidays next week on account of feeling run down.

His sudden death came as a shock to the people of Leeton, for it is less than a year since his predecessor ( Sergeant Ferris ) died suddenly at the same house on April 8 last, after being only three months at Leeton.

Sergeant Willmott went to Leeton from Burwood in June last. He is survived by his widow and one daughter, Mrs. Blackmore, of Pennant Hills.

The body was taken to Sydney for burial.

Sergeant Willmott visited Narrandera in the course of his duty at the last sitting of the Quarter Sessions, and was very well respected by his comrades in this district, as well as others with whom he came in contact.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/100811468

 

 

[divider_dotted]

Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 – 1954),

Wednesday 24 February 1937, page 3


POLICE SERGEANT’S DEATH

HOODOO ON RESIDENCE ?

DEMISE AND ILLNESS OF PREDECESSORS LEETON.

Tuesday.

Sergeant Alfred Arthur Jacob Willmott, aged 48, who came to Leeton on June 3 last, from Burwood, Sydney, died suddenly this morning, ( 23rd ) after three days’ illness. Before coming to Leeton, he was senior station sergeant at Burwood. Sergeant Willmott was in robust health up till Saturday, and his death has shocked the community, especially in view of the fact that his predecessor, Sergeant Ferris, formerly of Wagga, died in almost exactly similar circumstances less than a year ago after he had been in Leeton only three months.

It is a coincidence that both Sergeant Ferris and Sergeant Willmott died in the new official residence in similar circumstances, the first occupant of which was ex-Sergeant Thomson, who went into it a few months before he was due for retirement. He suffered a critical illness, but is now restored to health.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/144380129

 

 

 [divider_dotted]

Murrumbidgee Irrigator (Leeton, NSW : 1915 – 1954),

Tuesday 23 February 1937, page 2


DEATH OF POLICE SERGEANT

SERGEANT Arthur Alfred Jacob Willmott, aged 48 years, of the Leeton police force, died this morning at his home, from rheumatics around the heart.

The first sign of sickness was on Thursday last ( 18 Feb ) at the Petty Sessions Court, but the sergeant carried on till the close of the court on Friday ( 19 Feb ). On Saturday ( 20 Feb ) it was necessary for him to go to bed. Yesterday ( 23 Feb ) he spoke of going on holidays next week on account of feeling run down.

The late Sergeant Willmott came to Leeton on June 3 last, from Burwood. He was an obliging and courteous officer and a man who gave personal attention to any cases of distress, which came under his notice.

Prior to coming to Leeton, he was senior station sergeant at Burwood divisional headquarters for six years, and had had all-round experience including traffic, motor cycle duty, plain clothes and detective work. He had also been a member of the police band.

His sudden passing has come as a shock to the people of Leeton, for it is less than a year since his predecessor Sergeant Ferris, died suddenly in the same house on April 8 last, after only being three months in Leeton.

The late Sergeant Willmott is survived by his widow and one daughter, Mrs. Blackmore, of Pennant Hills.

The body will be taken to Sydney today for cremation, under arrangements of Ashtons.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/156155036
[divider_dotted]

Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 – 2001),

Friday 7 May 1937 (No.64), page 1911


In the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

PROBATE JURISDICTION.

In the matter of the estates of the undermentioned deceased persons and in the matter of the Wills, Probate and Administration Act, 1898-1932; the Public Trustee Act, 1913-1936, and the Testator’s Family Maintenance and Guardianship of Infants Act, 1916.

NOTICE is hereby given that the Public Trustee has this day filed in the Registry of this Honourable Court his elections to administer the estates of the following deceased persons:—

Arthur Alfred Jacob Willmott, late of Leeton, in the State of New South Wales, sergeant of police, who died 23rd February, 1937 (will dated 4th July, 1919).

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/224750826

[divider_dotted]

South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW : 1900 – 1954), Friday 12 August 1932, page 13


CORRIMAL

Sergeant Jacob Willmott; formerly officer-in-charge of Corrimal police station for many years, died in Sydney on Tuesday, aged 72 years. One son, Arthur is a police sergeant at Burwood. His wife predeceased him a few months ago.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/142528192

[divider_dotted]

South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW : 1900 – 1954), Friday 6 May 1932, page 10


Bulli – Woonona

FUNERAL OF Mrs WILLMOTT
The remains of the late Mrs. Willmott, whose death is reported elsewhere, were interred in the C. of E. cemetery, Woonona, on Wednesday afternoon, alongside her son, Jack.
Rev. Turner administered the last sad rites and the chief mourners were the husband, Jacob Willmott, and son and daughter-in-law, Arthur and Ada.
The pall-bearers were old and intimate friends of the family — Messrs A. V. Green, A. Robb, R. Moore and J. Fitzgerald.
There was a wealth of floral tributes from friends in all parts of the State.
Those at the graveside included Detective Dymock, Mrs. Coleman and family, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Sweeney, Mr. Fahey ( Bankstown ) and Messrs English and Barker.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/142529682
[divider_dotted]

On 6 November, 1919 Constables Joseph Hush and Arthur ( Arthur Alfred Jacob )Willmott ( Q 9019 ) went to Roseville where they made enquiries into a robbery. On completion of these enquiries at about 5pm, they accepted a lift back to their station with a lorry driver. They had almost reached the Chatswood Police Station when a tyre on the vehicle blew out, causing it to overturn. Both constables were trapped beneath the vehicle and seriously injured. Both were conveyed to the Royal North Shore Hospital where Constable Hush unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. Constable Willmott recovered from his injuries.

The Sydney Morning Herald of 7 November, 1919 reported that ” Constable Hush, who was 39 years of age, had been in the police service for nearly 12 years. He was known as a steady, reliable man, who had performed good work on many occasions. He lived in Edward Street, Willoughby, and leaves a wife and six children. “

[divider_dotted]

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Wednesday 2 July 1919, page 10


WILLMOTT .- July 1, at R.P.A. Hospital. Sydney. John Thomas Willmott, ( late 20th Batt. A.I.F. ) dearly loved husband of Mary Adelaide (Molly ) Willmott of Fairmount street, Lakemba, aged 28 years.

WILLMOTT.- July 1, 1919, at R.P.A. Hospital, Sydney, John Thomas ( late A.I.F. ) dearly loved son of ex-Sergeant of Police Jacob Willmott late of Corrimal. South Coast, and brother of Constable A. J. Willmott of Chatswood police, aged 23 years.

 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/15844886
[divider_dotted]



George Frederick BOORE

Constable George Frederick BOORE

Motor Vehicle Pursuit

Camperdown

2 April, 1937

 

On the afternoon of 31 March, 1937, Constable Boore was seated in the sidecar of a Police Public Safety Bureau motor cycle outfit which was travelling along Parramatta Road, Camperdown. Constable Frank Hume was the rider of the outfit. While they were overtaking a speeding vehicle they had been attempting to stop, another vehicle stopped suddenly in front of them. Constable Hume braked and swerved to avoid a collision, and the cycle collided with a tram. Constable Boore sustained severe injuries in the collision and died in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital two days later.

 

The constable was born in 1907 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 20 March, 1928. At the time of his death he was attached to the Public Safety Bureau, Police Headquarters.

[divider_dotted]

 

 

Deadly toll

By Jonathan Pearlman
November 6, 2004

Alone in his patrol car, Chris Thornton had the police siren flashing as he chased a white sedan through Woy Woy.

Thornton, 35, a highway patrolman, had been in the force for 15 years. He was, his mother says, “the best driver I have ever seen”.

The reason for the chase that night in April 2002 is unknown. Both cars were seen travelling at high speed. Thornton was about 50 metres behind.

Meanwhile, Leonard Rowley, 56, an unlicensed driver, was driving to his local KFC to pick up dinner. He saw the first car flash past and judged – wrongly – that he had time to turn out in front of the patrol car. Thornton tried to avoid Rowley’s car but clipped the back, veered onto the wrong side of the road and hit a power pole.

Thornton died on the spot, which is marked by a permanent stainless-steel cross. Rowley later received a suspended two-year sentence.

“His life from the age of 12 was about helping people,” says Thornton’s mother, Freada Thornton. “He was in the surf club and he was there to rescue people and then he went into the force and he was doing the same thing.” His father, Barry Thornton, says: “He loved life. He had been in Gosford for 15 years and was so popular with the community there.”

Police pursuits are, says Barry, a necessary evil: “If they don’t catch the criminals there will be more deaths on the roads. The ones that they’re in pursuit of are the idiots that have done the wrong thing to start with.”

But pursuits have come at a cost to the NSW Police Department. Fifteen officers have died as a result of high-speed chases, beginning with the death of Constable George Boore in 1937.

Details provided by the NSW Police Association show a steady stream of fatalities involving cars and motorcycles. The full list of casualties is as follows:

April 2, 1937: Constable George Boore;

June 2, 1954: Constable Cecil Sewell;

November 14, 1958: Constable Brian Boaden;

December 23, 1958: Constable William Lord;

October 14, 1961: Constable James Kinnane;

September 7, 1963: Constable Colin Robb;

December 2, 1976: Constable Terry Moncur;

January 3, 1985: Constable Wayne Rixon;

July 25, 1985: Detective-Constable Steven Tier;

October 20, 1987: Constable Themelis Macarounas;

August 24, 1988: Constable Peter Carter;

June 13, 1989: Constable Peter Figtree;

June 14, 1989: Senior Constable Glenn Rampling;

January 14, 2001: Senior Constable James Affleck;

April 13, 2002: Senior Constable Christopher Thornton.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Police-Pursuits/Deadly-toll/2004/11/05/1099547386960.html

[divider_dotted]