Constable William GORDON
30 April, 1861
The constable drowned while on escort duty in floods at Windsor. The Sydney Morning Herald of 8 May, 1861 carried a lengthy account of evidence given at his inquest, of which the following is an extract.
DISCOVERY OF THE BODY OF CONSTABLE GORDON – INQUEST
Constable Byrnes deposed “I belong to the Windsor Constabulary. On Wednesday last I was instructed, along with Constables Wilkinson and Alpin, by Chief Constable Hobbs, to go in search of Gordon, who had been reported to have been drowned, we continued our search (Sergeant “Warren, from Penrith, afterwards joining us) until today, between nine and ten o’clock in the forenoon we saw the body lying in the water at the chain of ponds, about two miles from Windsor, the face was downwards, on searching the body I found a receipt signed by the watch-house keeper at Windsor for a prisoner named Mortimer, who had been forwarded from Bathurst, also a knife, a pipe and some tobacco, and one penny halfpenny in his trousers-pockets , he was taken in a cart to the dead house at the hospital.”
W. Phillips, watchhouse keeper at Windsor, identified the body. “He left the watch house at about four o’clock on Monday afternoon, having previously delivered up a prisoner named Mortimer, he said he would return that night to Castlereagh, where he lived, being fearful of a flood he was perfectly sober.”
Richard Melier, innkeeper deposed, “The deceased called at my house on Monday afternoon about four o’clock, and asked for some refreshment, it was then raining very hard, he remained till between seven and eight o’clock in the evening, when he seemed very anxious to return home, I tried to induce him to remain all night as it was very wet and dark, but he would not do so; the deceased was quite capable of taking care of himself and horse when he left my place.”
Richard Warren, Sergeant in Penrith police, depose: “I recognise the body as that of Constable Gordon, he belonged to the Penrith force, and was stationed at Castlereagh, I have known him for six years in the force, he was generally under my instructions, he was a prudent and temperate man, he leaves a widow and four children, I was present at the finding of the body.”
The jury returned a verdict of “accidentally drowned”.
At the time of his death the constable was 33 years old and was stationed at Castlereagh. He appears to have been in the police force for six years.