Christopher McKENNA

Late of  ?

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #

Rank:  Constable

StationsSydney Water Police

ServiceFrom  ? ? ?  to  9 December 1848 = 6 years Service

Awards?

Born? ? 1826?

Died on:  Saturday  9 December 1848

Age:  about 22?

Cause:  Drowned off Police Schooner ‘ Satellite ‘

Event location:   South West shore of Bradley’s Head, Sydney Harbour

Event date:  Saturday  9 December 1848

Drowned body located on Sunday  10 December 1848

Funeral date? ? ?

Funeral locationDevonshire St Cemetery,  Roman Catholic Section  Row:  1889   Cemetery Plot U-P

Buried at?

 Memorial located at?

 

Three Constables of the Sydney Water Police drowned in this ‘on duty’ event on the 9 December 1848.

 

CHRISTOPHER is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance
*BUT SHOULD BE

 

 

 

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

Nothing found on NSWBDM for this name and year date.
V18482110 116/1848
Further follow up articles to include:
Death of Cst Hugh CRAILL – Sydney Water Police
Death of Cst ? VINCENT – Sydney Water Police

 

Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 – 1861), Saturday 30 December 1848, page 2


LOSS OF THE GOVERNMENT SCHOONER ” SATELLITE. “

We regret to announce the loss of the police schooner Satellite, during the gale of Saturday night.

She had started in the forenoon on a pleasure-trip  down the harbour, having on board the Colonial Secretary, Captains Browne, Innes, and Batty, Mr. Mann, and several other gentlemen. On returning from the Heads, about dusk, having to beat up against a westerly wind, these gentlemen left her in the hands of the crew, three in number, and came up to Sydney in Captain Browne’s boat.

A few minutes before the gale commenced, the schooner was observed by some parties standing across from Bradley’s Head to Clarke’s Island, and it is supposed that almost instantly after she must have capsized and gone down, as no trace whatever can be found of her. The names of the unfortunate men who have thus met with a watery.grave are Crawell, McKenna, and Vincent.

The Water Police boats were all over the harbour on Sunday morning, and finding no vestige of the vessel, they commenced dragging for the bodies of Crawell and Vincent, that of McKenna having been found on the rocks near Bradley’s Head. The bodies of the other two had not been found.

The telegraph mast at Fort Phillip has also been carried away by the gale. The inconvenience to the public will be very considerable unless the Government speedily erect another.

By the assistance of two punts the Satellite was floated yesterday, and towed into Woolloomooloo Bay : From all the circumstances of this melancholy case, we think that a considerable degree of blame is attached to the parties who left the schooner in the hands of three men only, two of which were, we understand, totally unacquainted with the duties of a seaman ; more especially us, from the general appearance of the weather during the day, an experienced seaman like Captain Browne might reasonably have anticipated a storm about sun-down.

One of the bodies of the unfortunate men was found yesterday evening.

People’s Advocate, Dec 16.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/3713357

Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (NSW : 1845 – 1860), Saturday 23 December 1848, page 2


The Loss of the Satellite.

A most unjustifiable attack on the Colonial Secretary was given to the world, or, more correctly speaking, to that very circumscribed portion of it with which the “Atlas ” is connected, in the columns of that journal on Saturday last.

The penman of the vituperative article would appear to be either of very recent importation, and consequently incompetent to treat of the conduct of the local Government and its officers, or, ( which is equally creditable to his impertinence ) has taken no pains to arrive at the truth of the accusation so unblushingly levelled at a gentleman whose public and private career has till now escaped the foul mouthed abuse of the slanderer.

Our present purpose is merely to rebut the calumny, and, if possible, shame the calumniator by the simple declaration that Mr. Thomson did NOT form one of the party on board the ill-fated ” Satellite ” on the pleasure trip which resulted in so melancholy a loss of life.

With respect to the alleged mal-appropriation of the Water Police Schooner by her commander, in occasionally entertaining a party of friends on board, and indulging in a cruise about the harbour, we can see neither impropriety nor ” disgrace ” in so natural a proceeding. As well might the ” Atlas ” arraign every Post Captain in the British Navy, for, with few exceptions, our gallant tars do not scruple to appropriate H. M’s. boats to the occasional entertainment of their friends in harbour, and this without risk of rebuke from the Admiralty, or the censure of any, save, perhaps, that of some expuseyite canting print whose ruling principle, like that of the termagant on the eve of matrimony, is avowedly”,” to find fault where there is no occasion.”

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/59766042

Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), Wednesday 20 December 1848, page 2


The water police schooner Satellite was, late on Saturday night, recovered, and has been towed into Neutral Bay, where she now lies. She was found with all her sails set, and not a rope misplaced. She has sustained no damage worth speaking of, or at all events, not beyond what a few pounds will cover.

The body of one of the two missing policemen, a man named Craill, was found on Friday night, at Potts’s Point, lying between two rocks. It was in a fearful state of decomposition, and could with difficulty be identified. An inquest was held on Saturday. The evidence adduced was precisely the same as that given at a former inquest held on the body of the man named McKenna, and a finding of death from accidental drowning was recorded.

Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), Wednesday 20 December 1848, page 2


 THE “SATELLITE” — Early yesterday morning, two punts is attached to the dredging machine proceeded to the spot where the police schooner Satellite had been found, near Bradley’s Head, in thirteen fathoms of water, and by means of the ?, she was towed into shallow water near Garden Island.
The body of the water policeman Craill was found yesterday on Potts’ Point, and brought to the Water Police Office, on which was ? ? will be held this day. We are as ? to state that all expenses incurred in getting up the schooner, and giving her the necessary repairs, will be borne by the party who were pleasuring in her on the day of the unfortunate disaster occurred. – Dec 16.

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Tuesday 19 December 1848, page 2


The police schooner Satellite having been towed into shallow water near Garden Island on Friday last, was yesterday morning got up, and the water being pumped out of her, she was towed into Hulk Bay, having sustained little or no damage.
The vessel when got up had every sail and rope set, which shows that she must have been beating up against a westerly wind, when the southerly squall caught her, and capsized her.

Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (NSW : 1845 – 1860), Saturday 16 December 1848, page 2


LOCAL INTELLIGENCE.

Loss OF THE WATER POLICE SCHOONER, “SATELLITE.” – On Saturday last, a select party of gentlemen, accepting the invitation of Captain Browne, proceeded down the harbour on a pleasure cruise in the Satellite.

On their return about 7 p m., towards Sydney, the wind which had been variable, and blowing in sudden gusts, veered ahead, on which the party determined on leaving the schooner, and pulling to the wharf in Captain Browne’s boat.

Previous to quitting the Satellite, positive instructions were given to the three men left on board, to take in the main-top-sail, but it would stem as though they had utterly mistaken the order, as the boat had not proceeded many hundred yards before they perceived the schooner’s top-gallant-sail hoisted, and all sail set. The boat, on nearing the shore, suddenly encountered a heavy squall, which nearly capsized her, and it is presumed that the Satellite must have been struck and overwhelmed by the same, as no tidings of the unfortunate vessel could he gleaned on the following morning.

On search being made, the body of McKenna, one of the crew, was discovered cast up on the rocks near Bradley’s Head ; the bodies of his shipmates, Crawell and Vincent, have not yet been recovered.

The Schooner was subsequently found sunk, in fourteen fathoms water, and immediate steps will be taken to raise her.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/59767379

Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (NSW : 1845 – 1860), Saturday 16 December 1848, page 2


COXSWAIN – We believe the Colonial Secretary did not form one of the party on board the Satellite schooner.

We shall be happy to refer J.A. to our Solicitor, should he require further explanation in the matter.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/59767385

Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 – 1860), Saturday 16 December 1848, page 301


 We are sorry to have to announce the loss of the Police schooner Satellite, during the gale of Saturday night.
She had started in the forenoon on a pleasure trip down the harbour with the Colonial Treasurer, Captains Browne, Innes, and Batty, Mr. Mann, and others.
On returning from the heads, about dusk, having to beat up against a westerly wind, these gentlemen left her in the hands of the crew, three in number, and came up to Sydney in Captain Browne’s boat. A few minutes before the gale commenced the schooner was observed by some parties standing across from Bradley’s Head to Clarke’s Island, and it is supposed that almost instantly after she must have capsized and gone down, as she has since been found in that part of the harbour.
The names of the unfortunate men who have thus met with a watery grave, are Craill, McKenna, and Vincent.
The body of McKenna has been found on the rocks near Bradley’s Head, and that of Craill on Potts’s Point.
We are authorised to state that all expenses incurred in getting up the schooner, and giving her the necessary repairs, will be borne by the parties who were pleasuring in her on the day the unfortunate disaster occurred.
During the same gale a small coasting vessel of about ten tons, was driven ashore on the rocks near George’s Head, but fortunately no lives lest. The telegraph mast also at Fort Phillip, has been carried away by the violence of the gale.
Inquest on the body of Hugh CRAILL, whose body was taken to the Water Police Office, was head at the Hooper’s the King’s Head, Lower George-street on Saturday  16 December 1848.
Accidental drowning

Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), Saturday 16 December 1848, page 2


SYDNEY NEWS

( From our Correspondent )

Sydney, Thursday Evening.

THE WATER POLICE SCHOONER – No attempt could be made for the recovery of the Satellite yesterday, in consequence of the boisterous weather that prevailed.

The diving bell and the punts belonging to the dredge left Sydney before daylight this morning to make the attempt.

The bodies of the two other missing water police have not yet been recovered.

The government, I am informed, have resolved that as the boat at the time of the occurrence was out on a pleasure party, and not on ” duty “ the water police magistrate shall pay for her loss.

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Wednesday 13 December 1848, page 2


The police schooner Satellite, which has been dragged for during the last two days, was yesterday afternoon fell in with near Bradley’s Head, in between ten and twelve fathoms water. The steam dredge and diving bell were to proceed at daylight this morning for the purpose of recovering her. Neither of the bodies of the police constables Craill and Vincent had, up to yesterday evening, been found.

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Tuesday 12 December 1848, page 2


INQUEST. – An inquest was held yesterday by Mr. Ryan Brenan, at O’Dowd’s, the Forbes’ Hotel, King and York streets, on view of the body of Christopher McKenna. then lying dead at the residence of his mother, in York-street. The deceased was one of the three Water Police constables who were on board the Government schooner Satellite, when she was lost in the harbour during the sudden squall of Saturday night.

Mr. T. H. B. Venour, clerk of the Water Police Court, deposed to the finding of the body of the deceased late on Sunday afternoon, lying on the rocks on the south-western side of Bradley’s Head.

Captain Browne, P.M., stated that on Saturday the schooner had been down the harbour, and on returning to Sydney, at about seven o’clock in the evening, when off Clarke’s Island, the wind falling light, he (Captain B ) with others quitted the vessel, leaving her in charge of the deceased and two others of the constabulary named Craill and Vincent.

On leaving the vessel a caution was given to these parties to mind the southerly wind and have their sails taken in. They were directed to work up to Sydney. Captain B. and his party then pulled up, but within the succeeding twenty minutes were caught by the squall, and from its violence experienced great difficulty in reaching Sydney.

Finding on yesterday (Sunday) morning that the schooner had not come up, he proceeded down the harbour, and found on the rocks near Bradley’s Head the Satellite‘s main hatch gratings, and a table which he ( Captain Browne ) knew to be aboard of her when he quitted her, as also a hat belonging to the deceased.

Every possible enquiry had been made respecting the schooner, but although it appears she was seen shortly previous to the coming of the squall, no person could be found who had seen her struck by it.

The deceased, who was about twenty-two years of age, had been four years in the service, and a high encomium on his conduct during that time was passed by Captain Browne.

The deceased and the other men, at the time the schooner was left in their charge, were perfectly sober.

The jury returned a finding of accidental death by drowning.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/12908510#

 

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Monday 11 December 1848, page 2


We are sorry to have to announce the loss of the Police schooner Satellite, during the gale of Saturday night.

She had started in the forenoon on a pleasure trip down the harbour with the Colonial Secretary, Captains Browne, Innes, and Batty, Mr Mann, and others.

On returning from the heads, about dusk, having to beat up against a westerly wind, these gentlemen left her in the hands of the crew, three in number, and came up to Sydney in Captain Browne’s boat.

A few minutes before the gale commenced the schooner was observed by some parties standing across from Bradley’s Head to Clarke’s Island, and it is supposed that almost instantly after she must have capsized and gone down, as no trace whatever can be found of her. The names of the unfortunate men who have thus met with a watery grave, are Crawell, McKenna, and Vincent.

The Water Police boats were all over the harbour yesterday morning, and finding no vestige of the vessel, they commenced dragging for the bodies of Crawell and Vincent, that of McKenna having been found on the rocks near Bradley’s Head.

During the same gale a small coasting vessel of about ten tons, was driven ashore on the rocks near George’s Head, but fortunately no lives lost.

The telegraph mast also at Fort Phillip, has been carried away by the violence of the gale. It is to be hoped the government will lose no time in repairing this latter damage, as the loss will be a great inconvenience to the public.

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