Clarence Roy PIRIE
Late of Capertee, NSW
Husband to widow Frances Josephine PIRIE who died 12 October 2019 ( see below ) 58 yrs 11 mths 29 days after Clarrie
NSW Penrith Police College Class # “possibly” 005
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # 5824
Rank: Probationary Constable – appointed 15 September 1947
Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Constable 1st Class – appointed ? ? ?
Senior Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Final Rank = Senior Constable
Stations: Parramatta ( 18 Division 1947 – ? ), Young – Lock-Up-Keeper ( ? – 1958 ), Capertee ( 1958 – 1960 ) – Death
Service: From ? pre September 1947 ? to 13 October 1960 = 13+ years Service
C.M.F. 1 October 1941 – 28 April 1943
World War II Australian Imperial Force
Regiment: 2 Aust. Ord. Port Detachments
Enlisted: 28 June 1943
Service # NX171227 ( N210415 )
Embarkation: Duntroon for Pt. Moresby 12 July 1943
Next of kin: Mrs Henrietta PIRIE, 50 Meehan St, Granville – Mother
Religion: C of E
Single / Married: Single
Returned to Australia: ?
Date of Discharge: 6 August 1946
Posting at Discharge: HQ 6 A B S A
WWII Honours & Gallantry: None for display
Occupation upon joining: Mill Hand – Process Operator
War Service In Au: 195 days
Active Service outside Au: 553 days
Active Service in Au: 1017 days
Police Awards: No find on Australian Honours
Born: Sunday 22 August 1920 at Paddington, NSW
Died on: Thursday 13 October 1960
Age: 40 yrs 1 mth 21 days
Cause: Shot – Murdered
Event location: Jews Creek, Capertee, NSW
Event date: Thursday 13 October 1960
Funeral date: Monday 17 October 1960
Funeral location: ?
Wake location: ?
Funeral Parlour: ?
Buried at: Rookwood Cemetery, NSW
Grave Location: Zone E, Section 19, Grave 3661
Memorial located at: 1/ Glen Davis Rd, Capertee – the Clarence Pirie Memorial Park
2/ a Wall Plaque at Chifley L.A.C.
CLARENCE IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance
Grave location: Rookwood Cemetery, NSW
Zone E, Section 19, Grave 3661
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
Senior Constable Clarrie Pirie was the Officer-in-Charge of the Capertee Police Station from 1958 until his death on 13 October, 1960. On that day he was informed by Lithgow Police that two male offenders had abandoned a stolen car at Cudgigong, north of Capertee.
While patrolling the area Senior Constable Pirie found two fourteen year-olds with a vehicle at a roadside camping area at Jews Creek, ten miles south of Capertee. These however were not the two offenders the police were searching for and as such Constable Pirie did not know that on the previous day the pair had escaped from the Yasmar children’s detention centre ( Lidcombe ) and had broken into a dwelling where they stole several items of property and the vehicle before driving to the Jews Creek area.
As the constable was talking to the young offenders one of them suddenly produced a .22 rifle and shot Constable Pirie. He died a short time later. Both youths were captured the following day.
The senior constable was born in 1920 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 15 September, 1947.
At the time of his death he was stationed at Capertee.
Source: Beyond Courage
As an aside – Clarence PIRIE was the cousin of Victor AHEARN who was also shot and murdered in 1946 aged 40.
( Eli HANSON, NSWPF # 2207, Retired in 1962 and died in January 1973 ( aged 71 years, 0 months, 2 days ) )
Police Remembrance Day – 29 September 2022
A message received from one of the daughters of Roy & Frances PIRIE on 21 September 2022:
Dear Greg, Not sure if you are the right person to find out some info on Police Memorial Day Services in the Young area.
I live near Young & would really like to be able to pay my respect to my Dad who was killed on duty in 1960. It’s my only way to keep my memory going & now my Mum has passed, I’m feeling the sadness even more.
My Dad was Constable Clarence Roy Pirie who was shot & killed at Capertee.
I usually find out after the event that there had been a service around Young so what I’m hoping is that someone could let me know beforehand so I could attend.
Sorry to trouble you but just reaching out.
Good choice picking me. lol.
I have tried to phone Young ( without success ) but I have just spoken with the District Commander, Supt. Paul Condon, and he confirms that there WILL be a Service in Young.
He is now on the phone to obtain the ‘where and when’ for us.
omg, bless you & thank you x
I am on NSW Fallen Police ( FB Group ) so that’s how I got you so; thanks again.
There is a Service at Young Police Station ( only a small Service though ) at 11am on Thursday 29 September. The troops there will be expecting you.
Greg thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I’ll be there
You are very welcome Francine.
Thank you so much for organising my attendance yesterday.
The staff at Young Police Station were amazing. The young Police Officers were so interested in my family’s story.
Thank you for the link as I read through the article I read things I didn’t know about. Many tears have been cried but I still believe it’s been a healing time for me even though it’s been 62 years.
Sometimes you need a reason & yesterday was a good reason to grieve, not only for my Dad but for all the other families who have lost their loved one.
Again Greg, thank you from my heart as this would not have happened if you hadn’t gone to the trouble to organise this for me.
God bless you
Great effort from Young Police and Supt. Paul Condon, Goulburn
Mrs Frances Josephine PIRIE sadly passed away last night ( Friday 12 October 2019 ) aged 94 years – 5 days shy of her 95th birthday.
Wife of Senior Constable Clarence Roy PIRIE of the Capertee Police.
Almost 59 years to the day, Frances and Clarey are together again.
May they both, forever, Rest In Peace.
Friday, 20 September 2013
The tragic death of Clarie Pirie
Mum often talked about him, said he was a good man and never carried a gun.
The Canberra Times Friday
14 October 1960 page 1 of 28
Constable Shot Dead In Chase
SYDNEY, Thursday: – Police were to-night conducting one of the largest manhunts ever in the Central Western district for two youths who are alleged to have shot dead Senior Constable Clarence Roy Pirie, 40, of Cullen Bullen.
The constable was chasing two youths on the Capertee Cullen Bullen Road early to- night.
Pirie, a father of four, was believed to have been killed with a .22 rifle.
Police from Lithgow, Bathurst, Mount Victoria, Kandos, Rylstone, Katoomba, Oberon, Orange and other centres are searching dense bush near Jews Creek.
Police from other Central Western stations and from Sydney will join the searchers to-morrow.
The searchers are heavily armed with rifles and riot guns.
Other specialised weapons will arrive from Sydney to-morrow.
At 9 a.m. to-day a stolen car was found abandoned at Cudgegong.
Two youths were seen to leave the car and police in the area were alerted.
Constable Pirie sighted two youths in a second stolen car on the Lithgow-Mudgee Road near Jew’s Creek.
The stolen car overturned at high speed about a half mile farther on.
Two youths scrambled from the wreck and fled into the bush.
Constable Pirie followed them.
Police believe that the elder youth, realising that Pirie was following them, turned and fired the shot which fatally wounded the policeman.
The Canberra Times Wednesday
19 October 1960 page 29 of 33
Murder Charge Remand For Boy
LITHGOW, Tuesday:- A 14-year-old Sydney boy was remanded in Lithgow Children’s Court to-day on a charge of murdering a policeman.
He was remanded till November 1 without bail and will be detained in custody until that date.
The boy was charged with having murdered Constable Clarence Roy Pirie at Jews Creek camping reserve on October 13.
Police prosecutor Sergeant J. S. Smith said the youth charged with murder had escaped from a Sydney boys’ home on October 12 and together with another boy had stolen a car.
The car was allegedly parked at Jews Creek’ Camping reserve the next day.
When Const. Pirie approached the vehicle he was allegedly shot dead.
The Canberra Times Tuesday 7 March 1961 page 3 of 20
Boy, 15, Goes To Gaol For 15 Years
SYDNEY, Monday: — Christopher Lindsay, 15, went to gaol to-day for 15 years for killing a policeman last year.
Mr. Justice Else Mitchell described the fair-haired, well-dressed boy as a “young gangster.”
Lindsay, of Alice Street, Newtown, did not appear to be emotionally upset at the sentence.
He turned to court officials who led him from the dock to the cells below.
The sight of the boy being led away brought an outburst of sobbing from the public gallery.
Lindsay last week had pleaded not guilty to having murdered Constable Clarence Roy Pirie, 39, at Jews Creek Camping Reserve off the Mudgee Road near Cullen Bullen on October 13 last.
The Crown accepted Lindsay’s plea of guilty of man slaughter.
Lindsay – standing in the dock of Central Criminal Court with hands clasped in front of him – heard Mr. Justice Else Mitchell say that the deposition and Lindsay’s own signed statement left slender ground for the lesser offence.
“Before committing this crime, you had shown a refusal both in England and in this country to conform with the laws which are made for the good of society.
“From the record, it is clear that the processes of the habitation and reform which are provided by the country here have made no impact on your attitude or conduct.
“In pursuit of this anti-social conduct you twice escaped from Yasma shelter, where you were being detained awaiting trial for various charges, and on the second occasion in company with a confederate, younger than yourself, stole a rifle, food, other goods and then a motor car in which you travelled to the scene of the crime.
“When you were in fear of apprehension by a constable of the police for the theft of the car you did not hesitate to shoot him because as you said ‘You did not want him to catch you with the car.’
“Your subsequent conduct and your attempt to evade capture though perhaps natural do not appear to have been accompanied by any manifestation of c0ntrition or remorse, a fact which seems to me all the more serious in view of Dr. McGeorge’s conclusion that you are not suffering from any mental or psychiatric disorders.
“A substantial sentence appears to be necessary not only for the reasons I mentioned but as the only possible way in which you may begin to understand your obligations to society.”
Boy Killer’s Appeal Fails
SYDNEY, Friday:— The Full Supreme Court to-day dismissed a school boy’s appeal against a 15-year sentence for the manslaughter of a policeman.
The boy, Christopher Lindsay, 15, appealed against the severity of the sentence.
Mr. Justice Else-Mitchell, in Central Criminal Court, had sentenced Lindsay to 15 years gaol for the manslaughter of Constable
Clarence Roy Pirie, at Jew’s Creek, last October.
Pirie was questioning Lindsay on a car theft at the time.
Lindsay to-day conducted his own case before the Full Bench — comprising the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Evatt, Mr. justice Herron and Mr. Justice Hardie.
He handed the bench a written statement, headed —’ “No Discourtesy.”
The statement read: “I respectfully submit that His Honour, at the time of imposing the severe sentence for manslaughter, regarded the offence as tantamount to murder.
“I further most respectfully submit the crime was not premeditated.
“The whole tragedy took place in a matter of seconds.
“At no time did I intend this man’s death.
“I respectfully submit that a 14-year-old youth to be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for a crime he did not intend, is too severe.”
Mr. Justice Else-Mitchell, reported to the Full Court, that Lindsay’s offence was hardly distinguishable from murder.
However, he had felt that he was bound by the Crown’s acceptance of the manslaughter plea.
Lindsay originally had been charged with murder.
Mr. Justice Else-Mitchell said it had been submitted he should not impose a crushing sentence.
He also was mindful of the danger with a youthful offender — that the imposition of a heavy gaol sentence often could produce more harm than good.
The Full Court ruled unanimously against Lindsay’s appeal.
It added that Lindsay’s crime called for the greatest condemnation.
REPRESENTATIVES from Orange Police Station will today attend a national memorial in Canberra for Police Remembrance Day.
For Inspector Greg Pringle and Canobolas Local Area administration manager John Pirie, the day bears a special significance.
John Pirie was just coming up to his fifth birthday when his 40-year-old father Senior Constable Clarence Roy Pirie was shot at point-blank range and killed near Capertee.
It was on October 13, 1960, that Mr Pirie’s father was patrolling when he came across a stolen vehicle. He stopped the vehicle and spoke to two youths inside, but one of them pulled a gun on Snr Const Pirie and shot him.
Inspector Pringle’s experience is in contrast, but he agrees the grief that comes with losing a colleague on the job remains for many years.
“I was with highway patrol working out of Cootamundra in 1988. I had a cup of tea with a fellow officer Constable Kurt Schetor before we headed off to patrol in separate directions,” Insp Pringle said.
Ten minutes later the then Constable Pringle received a call to respond to a crash and he arrived to find his friend and colleague was in involved in a head-on crash with a truck.
“I did my best but I couldn’t revive him,” he said.
Insp Pringle said many police officers carried a burden of grief with them for colleagues who died on the job.
“In many ways it is harder to deal with your own grief,” he said.
“When you are a police officer your ‘tank’ is full of other people’s grief because that’s part of the job. But it doesn’t leave much left.”
Officers from Canobolas Local Area Command will not be marking Police Remembrance Day in Orange this year.
Instead, this year’s service will be held at Cowra which is part of the Canobolas Local Area Command.
Family honours a dad’s sacrifice
Slain policeman remembered
When Senior Constable Clarence (‘Clarrie’) Roy Pirie went to work on the morning of the October 13, 1960, he fully expected to go home to his wife Frances and their four young children at the end of the day.Sadly, 40-year-old Senior Constable Pirie lost his life that day at Jews Creek, when he was shot by one of two escapees from a juvenile detention centre.
Senior Constable Pirie’s family returned to Capertee this week to remember the events that turned their lives upside down for all time.
On Thursday morning Senior Constable Pirie’s wife Frances, with her children, grandchildren and some great-grandchildren, joined senior police including Deputy Commissioner Dave Owen, Assistant Commissioner Steve Bradshaw, Chifley Area Command Superintendent Michael Robertson, Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin, and many members of the police force at Clarrie Pirie Memorial Park in Capertee to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
A service was conducted by Police Chaplin Mark Jenkins from the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst and was addressed by the Superintendent Robertson, Mr Martin and Detective Superintendent Jim Foster who investigated Senior Constable Pirie’s death.
“Senior Constable Pirie paid the ultimate sacrifice and was the sixth of eight police officers [in the Chifley command] to lose their life upholding the law,” Superintendent Robertson said.
“Those who follow [in the police force] serve to do his memory proud and he lives on through this park, which was named in his honour.
“The debt owed by society to Senior Constable Pirie cannot be measured and we will always ensure that he is remembered.”
Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin related how Clarrie Pirie served with the Australian Armed Forces in New Guinea during World War II and how he met his wife in military service.
“He undertook a very challenging front line career, which can be extremely dangerous,” Mr Martin said, speaking on behalf of Police Minister Michael Daley.
“His loss will always be a tragedy and compares to the recent death of trainee detective William Crews, the former Glen Innes who lost his life in the line of duty last month.”
Detective Superintendent Jim Foster told how Senior Constable Pirie had joined the police force in 1947 and served at Parramatta and Young before being transferred to Capertee in 1958.
“Those were difficult times with no two-way radios or mobile phones, but the community spirit was evident as we investigated the case,” Detective Foster said.
“The Postmaster at Cullen Bullen kept the phone lines open after the 6pm regular closing time so that we had communications.
“The only police photographer was hours away and a local chemist took the photos we needed to record evidence.
The offenders were arrested at 3am on October 14 as they were attempting to board the Mudgee Mail train at Capertee.”
Detective Superintendent Foster said Senior Constable Pirie was faithful to his duty as a police officer and earned the respect of the Capertee community and the police in the then Lithgow sub-district.
Mrs Pirie said her husband’s attention to detail in his work as a police officer was incredible.
“He knew just about every car that passed through town,” she said.
“Strange cars always attracted his attention.”
Perhaps that attention to duty led him to investigate the stolen vehicle driven by the two escapees, that he saw at Jews Creek that day 50 years ago.
Mrs Pirie, now in her 80s, said her husband’s death changed her life forever as she struggled to raise four children.
“At the time of Clarrie’s death Ron was 8, John 5, Mary Anne 3 and Francene 2,” she said.
“I received a small police pension but had to go out and work to be able to raise and educate them.
“I had to remove our personal effects from the police house at Capertee soon after Clarrie’s death and we moved to Young.”
The ceremony concluded with wreaths being laid by Mrs Pirie and family, Assistant Commissioner David Owen, Superintendent Michael Robertson and the students from Capertee Public School.
Glen Davis Rd, Capertee, NSW
Lat: -33.143736 Long: 149.983791
by Det. Supt. ( Retired ) Jim FOSTER ( R.I.P. 9 July 2019 )
[blockquote]Stopped at my Dad’s park and had a cuppa a few days ago, often wonder how different our lives would have been if he hadn’t been killed. I will, in my elderly mother’s honor, ride the Wall to Wall ( of Remembrance ) this September.[/blockquote]