George Herbert GRAY
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ?
Stations: , Darlinghurst – death
Service: From ? ? ? to 6 April 1938 = ? years Service
Awards: No find on It’s An Honour
Born: ? ? 1907 – 8
Died on: Wednesday 6 April 1938 about 6.45am in the bathroom
Cause: Illness – Suicide – firearm- Service Pistol
Event location: Home – Loch Maree Street, Kingsford
Funeral date: Friday 8 April 1938
Funeral location: “Hundreds lined the pavements of George street and Railway square this afternoon to watch the funeral led by 30 uniformed police and the Police Band leave Wood Coffill’s chapel for Botany cemetery’
Buried at: Botany Cemetery, 12 Military Rd, Matraville, NSW
Grave Location: ADDD Anglican FM DDD, Position 208
George is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance
- BUT SHOULD BE
Some articles state that the suicide was on the 6 April whereas other articles state the suicide was on the 7 April
Constable Gray was found shot dead at his home in Loch Maree Street, Kingsford, a few hours before he was to have appeared at the City Coroner’s Court to give evidence about the death of Mrs. Dorothy Alice Graveur on Christmas Eve, 1937.
It is almost certain that the constable committed suicide after worrying himself about his temporary absence from his post in Oxford Street, Paddington when Mrs Graveur was killed by a motor cycle.
Constable Gray was not held responsible for his absence by the Police Department, but he had convinced himself that the accident wouldn’t have happened had he been present at the time. The continual worry about the death had also begun to affect his health, and after a minor operation on his throat he was to have been transferred to a station on the South Coast.
At the inquest on 23 April, 1938 the constable’s wife Mrs. Marjorie Gray gave evidence to the effect that just before going to bed on the night before his death her husband had been reading some papers relating to the inquest into the death of Mrs Graveur, due to be held the following day. She said he seemed worried about the case.
About 6.45 am she was awakened by a shot, and she quickly informed a constable who lived two doors away. Her husband’s body was found in the bathroom with his service pistol nearby.
In a note addressed to Marjorie, found beside his body, Constable Gray had described himself as a failure, and said that he could not stand the worry and shame he had brought on himself.
At the time of his death the constable was aged 30 years and was stationed at Darlinghurst.
Cootamundra Herald ( NSW ) Friday 8 April 1938 page 1
No Reason Given
SYDNEY, Friday. ,
Detectives are at a loss to explain the Suicide of Constable George Herbert Gray, 30, at Kingswood, except for the fact that he was extremely grieved over the death of Dorothy Alice Graveur, 45, who was killed in a motor cycle accident in Oxford street on Christmas Eve.
Gray was on point duty near the spot, and during his temporary absence on a personal matter, the woman was killed. A departmental inquiry absolved him of the responsibility, but the woman’s death worried him, as he believed the accident would not have occurred if he had been there.
After the event he became ill, and was transferred to the South Coast with his wife and children to give him a chance to recover.
His tonsils were recently removed, and early this week he said his health was much improved.
Before shooting himself with his service revolver, Gray wrote an affectionate letter to his wife, but did not give any reason for his act.
At the conclusion of the inquest concerning Mrs. Graveur, the coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.
Riverine Grazier ( Hay, NSW ) Friday 8 April 1938 page 2
A Peculiar Development.
Constable George Herbert Gray (30) who was found dead at his home, Kingsford, yesterday, with a bullet in the temple, was to have been the principal witness at the inquest into the death of the two women who had been killed in separate accidents by a motor cycle, ridden by Thomas R. Curyer, of Paddington.
The police say that Gray has been worried for some time over the case. A revolver was found lying beside him.
Further Particulars. SYDNEY, Friday Noon
Detectives are at a loss to explain the suicide of Constable G. H. Gray (30), at Kingsford, except for the fact that he was extremely grieved over the death of Dorothy Alice Graviur (45), who was killed in a motor cycle accident in Oxford St., on Xmas Eve.
Constable Gray was on point duty near the depot., and during his temporary absence on a personal matter, the woman was killed.
The departmental inquiry absolved him of responsibility, but the woman’s death worried him, as he believed the accident would not have occurred if he had been there.
Lithgow Mercury ( NSW ) Friday 8 April 1938 page 4
Of Sensitive Police Officer
SYDNEY, This Afternoon.
Const. George Herbert Gray ( 30 ) who committed suicide at his home at Kingsford yesterday is believed to have been worried over the fact that, while he was temporarily away from point duty a woman was killed in a motor cycle accident. Gray’s death was revealed yesterday at the inquest on the woman. He was absolved by the departmental inquiry, but he became ill, and arrangements were made for his transfer to the country. Gray left an affectionate letter to his wife, but gave no reason for shooting himself.
Advertiser ( Adelaide, SA ) Saturday 9 April 1938 page 26
SUICIDE OF POLICE CONSTABLE
Worry About Work Thought To Be Reason SYDNEY, April 8.
Worry about his temporary absence from his post, is believed to have been the reason why Constable George Herbert Gray, 30. committed suicide yesterday. Gray was found dead by his wife at his home in Loch Maree street Kingsford, several hours before he was to have appeared at the City Coroner’s Court to give evidence about the death of a woman.
revolver was lying beside him with a note addressed to his wife, in which he regretted that he had to leave her.
Police officials believe that Gray committed suicide after worrying himself about his temporary absence from his post when Mrs. Dorothy Alice Graveui of Glenore road, Paddington, was killed by a motor cycle in Oxford street near Dowling street, Darlinghurst, on Christmas Eve.
Gray was not held responsible for his temporary absence by the Police Department, but it is believed that he thought the accident might not have happened if he had been present.
Worry affected his health. After a minor operation to his throat he was to have been transferred with his wife and three children to a station on the south coast.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police ( Mr. T. Lynch ) said today that Gray had a good record in the Police Force.
Newcastle Sun ( NSW ) Friday 22 April 1938 page 8
TORTURED BY HIS SENSE OF DUTY
SUICIDE OF A CONSTABLE SYDNEY, Friday.
Tortured by the fear that, he had failed in his duty and had wrecked his career, Constable George Herbert Gray, 30, shot himself with his own service revolver on April 7, the morning when he was to have given evidence at an inquest, the City Coroner ( Mr. Oram ) found to-day. ‘It was most tragic, as he had done his duty properly and was regarded as a most capable officer,’ said Mr. Oram.
‘There is no doubt that Gray was worried very much by the inquest, which concerned a woman who had been killed in a motor cycle accident. It preyed on Gray’s mind that he did not report the motor cyclist for a breach, as the same motor cyclist was involved in another accident a few days later when a girl was killed. ‘The sad and painful fact is that Gray had no cause at all for worry as at the Inquest, It was found that the first mishap was entirely an accident and there was no reason why the motor cyclist should have been reported. A finding of suicide was returned, ed for a breach,’ Mr. Oram said.
Marriage: 902/1929 Marjorie I MERSH. Married in the District of Ashfield
Death: 10969/1938 Father = Wilfred Mother = Emma
Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 18 January 1936 page 16
GRAY – January 16 Netherleigh private hospital, Randwick to Marjorie wife of George Herbert Gray of Beauchamp road Matraville – a daughter
( Patricia Margaret ) Both well