Constable Henry RUCKER
19 October, 1863
The constable was drowned whilst attempting to cross a tributary of Lake Macquarie. He was one of a group of police searching for a number of offenders who had earlier robbed James Williams’ jewellery store in Hunter Street, Newcastle. While endeavouring to cross the creek the constable’s horse rolled over, throwing him into the water where he drowned.
The Empire newspaper dated 23 October, 1863 reported that ” On Monday afternoon, Mounted Constable Henry Rucker, stationed at Newcastle, was dispatched on business to Lake Macquarie, and going there was directed to a crossing place at Shepherd’s Creek, between Newcastle and the Lake, he misunderstood the direction, and attempted to cross in the wrong place and the current being very strong, he was seen to fall from his horse and sink. The horse swam to the opposite bank, but the body of the unfortunate trooper was not recovered. He was a young man, and a native of Sydney and what makes his death the more melancholy is that he was to have been married yesterday. He was a very efficient constable, and was much respected by his superiors. “
The constable was born in 1832 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 4 March, 1863. At the time of his death he was probably stationed at Newcastle.
National Police Remembrance Day ceremony in Lake Macquarie
- September 29 2017 – 4:27PM
POLICE from Lake Macquarie Local Area Command have unveiled plans for a memorial wall at Belmont to honour the seven local officers killed in the line of duty since 1863.
Plaques commemorating the seven officers were dedicated to the wall in a ceremony at Belmont police station this afternoon, National Police Remembrance Day.
Chief Inspector Murray Lundberg of Lake Macquarie LAC presided over a private ceremony attended by police, local high school students, and the families of the fallen officers.
“This is a time for reflection on the ultimate sacrifice that police officers can give in the execution of their duty,” Chief Inspector Lundberg said.
The fallen officers honoured were Constable Henry Rucker (who died in 1863), Constable Frederick Martin (1953), Sergeant 2nd Class William McKie (1965), Senior Constable Douglas Eaton (1977), Sergeant 3rd Class Keith Haydon (1980), Sergeant 1st Class Rhoderic Lindsay (1984), and Sergeant 3rd Class Ross Jennings (1986).
Acting Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree, the Northern Region Commander, said the wall of remembrance, to be created on the distinctive blue wall at the entrance to the police station, would be striking.
“It will be a sight to treasure,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Greentree said.
“I want the officers, as they are walking out the front doors of this police station, to stop and reflect on the names, stop and reflect on the sacrifice.”
He said he hoped that the inaugural plaques to be installed on the wall were also the last.
“My dream is that we never, ever, add another name to this wall. I hope and pray that our wall is now complete.”
Acting Assistant Commissioner Greentree reached out to the families of the fallen officers.
“No commemoration or recognition can make good the loss that is unfairly carried by family members,” he said.
“I can only offer you my heartfelt condolences. Please know that your loved ones, who are no longer with us, will always be remembered.”
Across NSW, ceremonies were held to commemorate the service and sacrifice of the 269 officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and through injury or illness, since the formation of the NSW Police Force in 1862.