Henry James FETHERSTON
Late of ?
Queensland Police Force
Regd. # ????
Rank: Senior Constable
Stations: ?, Maryborough ( from 1879 )
Service: From ? ? 1878 to 23 February 1885 = 7 years Service
Born: ? ? 1859 in Ireland
Died on: 23 February 1885 @ 7am
Cause: Thrown from bolting Police horse which then fell upon him
Event location: the Police Paddocks in Tinana
Event date: 22 February 1885
Funeral date: ? ? ?
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: Maryborough Cemetery, Walker St, Maryborough, Qld
Memorial located at: ?
Approximate Grave location:
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Ceremony to unveil restored monument to fallen officer
WHEN Noel Sparks stumbled across the dilapidated grave of a young policeman who died in 1885, he did not know he was starting a journey that would result in the official recognition of the officer’s sacrifice.
Mr Sparks, himself a retired police officer, and his wife Denise visited Maryborough Cemetery in 2012 to check on Denise’s great-grandmother’s grave after the floods.
With a reading from Psalms and verses by Shakespeare on the side of the monument, Mr Sparks knew immediately that Senior Constable Henry James Fetheston ( misspelt – should be Fetherston ), who was just 26 when he died, had been a well-respected member of the community.
He would spend the next five years working towards honouring Snr Const Fetheston‘s sacrifice and helping to ensure the monument marking the young man’s grave would be completely restored to its former glory.
Yesterday ( 11 August 2017 ) a crowd of about 50 police officers, the restoration team, dignitaries and the public gathered to unveil the monument.
Snr Const Fetheston was born in Ireland and was sworn into the the Queensland Police Force in 1878 after migrating to Australia.
In 1879 he was posted to Maryborough.
Snr Const Fetheston was riding through the Police Paddocks in Tinana on February 23, 1885 when his horse bolted.
As he tried to calm him, he was thrown off, landing on a log before being crushed by the falling horse.
He was found at 5am and died at 7am the next day from internal injuries. ( this sentence is poorly worded. He died on 23rd, so either this sentence is wrong or the accident happened at 5am on the 22nd February and died at 7am the next day = 23rd )
Just prior to Police Remembrance Day last year ( 2016 ), his name was added to the Queensland Police Honour Roll and the national police Memorial in Canberra, acknowledging the officer had died while on duty.
After his death the community funded the monument that stands over his grave.
It was estimated that the monument would cost at least $70,000 to build if it was made today.
The well respected young man attended Maryborough’s Anglican church regularly and was a member of the rowing club and a local cricket club.
They sought the help of Warren Harland of Wide Bay Memorials.
“We worked under his direction and Warren was responsible for the restoration of the stone works including the marble and sandstone on the monument,” Noel said.
Senior Constable Henry James Fetherston Grave
Senior Constable Henry James Fetherston died from injuries sustained from a horse-riding incident in Maryborough in 22 February 1885. He was 26 years of age and was subsequently buried in the Maryborough Cemetery.
A substantial monument commemorates his death and appears to be in a reasonable state of repair.
The FQPM propose to examine the monument in detail with a view to arranging the cleaning and restoration of the headstone and surrounds.
The President and Secretary were fortunate to meet with retired QPS representatives who have an interest in the restoration of police graves, in particular in the Maryborough area. We spoke with retired QPS member Noel Sparks and his wife, who were keen to coordinate the necessary work on the Fetherston’ grave.
Noel has made a preliminary assessment of the work required and is of the view that the monument has been slightly undermined and requires additional support. The remaining work would include cleaning the monument, painting the iron fence and cleaning the grave surface and perhaps covering with weed mat and decorative stones.
It is believed that much of the restoration can be achieved with volunteer labour and any other work necessary quotes obtained. FQPM would consider any submissions for financial support.