F. C. Derry
Suicide – Firearm
Died 7 October 1893
The Argus ( Melbourne, Vic. ) Monday 9 October 1893 page 6 of 8
SUICIDE AT THE RUSSELL STREET BARRACKS.
SERGEANT DERRY SHOOTS HIMSELF.
On Saturday morning Sergeant F. C. Derry, who acted as clerk to Superintendent Sadlier, committed suicide by shooting himself at the Russell street barracks. No reason can be assigned for his act. He was happy in his domestic relations was well advanced in grade in the force, held a comfortable position as clerk to the inspecting superintendent, and was almost, if not quite, a total abstainer from intoxicants. In these circumstances and the additional favourable features of good health and a happy temperament, the members of the force have been compelled to the opinion that his act was the result of some sudden impulse which cannot be explained. Derry was 38 years of age, and a married man with a wife and two children. He entered the Permanent Artillery in 1874, and a year later joined the police force. In May, 1887, he was promoted to the rank of senior constable, and in February, 1892, to a second class sergeant. His clerical ability which in 1884 carried him with honours through the officers examination, marked him as specially suitable for a position on the office staff, and when Sergeant Crampton was promoted to the rank of sub- inspector and left the office of the inspecting superintendent, Derry was appointed to take his place as chief clerk. In his new position Derry worked untiringly and with much success, and having a talent for organisation he devoted himself to the task of making a success of the police brass band, of the committee of which he was chairman. His efforts and the efforts of those associated with him were an unqualified success as the record of two years, during which £5OO or so has been raised by the band for charities testifies. On Saturday morning Derry seemed in his usual health and spirits, but soon after he had entered his office Constable McGuinness heard a pistol shot, and upon running into Derry’s room he found him lying on the floor with a smoking pistol in his hand. Sergeant Byrne was called, and though he saw that the pistol bullet having entered the sergeants mouth, was still embedded in his brain, and had undoubtedly caused instant death, he ordered the body to be at once removed to the Melbourne Hospital. This was done, and Dr Desailly examined the patient but his examination confirmed the opinion of Sergent Byrne. The bullet had evidently been fired while the pistol was held in the mouth, and it had caused immediate death. Mr Sadleir examined the sergeants papers and found them correct in every particular, and he then communicated the fact of his death to the chief commissioner. An inquest will be held to day at noon.