New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ?
Rank: Aboriginal Tracker
Service: From ? 1900 to ? 1902
Died on: ? 1928
Funeral date: ?
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: Narromine Cemetery
Ceremony marks life and work of Aboriginal tracker
March 6, 2013, 4 a.m.
OFFICERS from Orana Local Area Command (LAC) joined forces with the Aboriginal community when they commemorated the life of an Aboriginal tracker and former NSW Police Force employee, Jimmy Nyrang.
James “Jimmy” Nyrang was employed as a tracker by the NSW Police Force between 1900 and 1902.
He played a prominent role in the tracking of Jimmy Governor in the investigation of the deaths of the Mawbey family at Breelong, near Gilgandra, on 20 July 1900.
As part of their 150th year of policing celebrations last year, Orana Local Area Command has been working closely with Narromine Ngurra Mayin Elders for the past 12 months in preparation for this commemoration.
Orana Local Area Commander, Superintendent Stan Single APM, hosted a formal ceremony yesterday morning at the Narromine Cemetery to acknowledge Mr Nyrang.
He died in 1928 near Narromine and was buried in the Narromine Cemetery where his grave was marked with a white timber cross.
A formal headstone was unveiled by Western Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, to honour the former work of Jimmy Nyrang and the symbol of his Aboriginal totem, the possum.
Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said the collaborative work of Orana Police and the Narromine Ngurra Mayin Elders, had resulted in the ceremony organised for tomorrow.
“We are delighted that the work of Mr Nyrang within the NSW Police Force and the community can be acknowledged formally tomorrow.
“Officers have worked closely with Aboriginal elders in the community to ensure Mr Nyrang could be honoured in this way,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
Members of the Narromine Aboriginal community, Aboriginal Lands Council, Aboriginal elders and representatives from local schools were in attendance.
Evening News ( Sydney ) Saturday 21 July 1900 page 5 of 12
-EVENING NEWS’ OFFICE, 6 P.M.
AWFUL TRAGEDY NEAR GILGANDRA
Three Persons Murdered By a Party of Blacks.
Three Others Dangerously Wounded.
The Murderers Escape.
Police in Hot Pursuit.
Superintendent Sanderson, of Bathurst, telegraphed this morning the following information to the headquarters of the police department at Sydney regarding a horrible atrocity perpetrated by four aborigines, near Gilgandra, a small town, situated between Dubbo and Coonamble.
The news which the telegram contains is concise in the extreme, but it discloses bare details of a crime which is, perhaps, unparalleled in the later history of the colony.
The message says: ” Gilgandra police where Jimmy and Joe Governor and two other aborigines attacked Mr. Mawbey‘s family last night, killing Miss Kerz (school teacher), Percival and Hilda Mawbey, and dangerously wounding Mrs. Mawbey, Grace Mawbey, and Elsie Clarke. The police arrived at 3 a.m. I am in pursuit of the offenders with a strong party.”
DETAILS OF THE TRAGEDY.
VICTIMS TOMAHAWKED IN BED.
( From our Correspondent. )
GILGANDRA, Saturday morning. — A terrible tragedy was enacted last night at Breelong, about 10 miles from here, at the residence of Mr. Mawbey. The most meagre details are only to be gathered. A messenger galloped in to town last night, and reported that the whole family of Mawbeys had been brutally murdered by blacks.
Police-Constable Barry at once proceeded to the scene. He found Miss Kerz, Hilda Mawbey, and Percy Mawbey were dead and horribly mutilated, evidently by a tomahawk, their skulls being smashed completely in, and Elsie Clarke, a niece of the Mawbeys, Grace Mawbey, and Mrs. Mawbey, wounded to such an extent as to give small hopes of recovery.
The police have not returned yet, but a messenger who has just arrived from the Mawbeys states that they were murdered in bed at about 11 o’clock last night, and the perpetrators were a couple of blackfellows, who were ringbarking for Mawbey. The Mawbeys are among the pioneers of this district, and are fairly well to do, owning a large area of land on the banks of the Castlereagh River. Miss Kerz, a provincial school teacher, who is among the murdered, comes from Girilambone. She has only been in the district a short time, and was boarding at the Mawbeys.
No men were sleeping in the Mawbeys‘ house last night, Mr. Mawbey being away at the old Breelong Post Office, which belongs to him, while the family were residing in the new house at another part of the run about a mile away. Breelong, is a small township on the Castlereagh River, situated about 10 miles from Gilgandra, and 304 miles west from Sydney. Postal communication is via Gilgandra and Mundooran. Gilgandra is 292 miles N.W. from Sydney, and is the centre of an agricultural district containing an estimated population of 400.
Communication is by rail to Dubbo, and thence by coach on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Mundooran, which is situated lower down the river, is 256 miles from Sydney, and has coach communication with Mudgee (73 miles) on Wednesday and Saturday. Its population is estimated at 400.
Later. — It appears that the blacks went to Mr. Mawbey, at the old place, and asked him if he was going to stay there all night. On his answering in the affirmative, they said, ” All right, we want some chaff in the morning. ” The inmates of the house were all in bed, and as fast as they arose and tried to run away, the murderers felled them. A report states that one little boy, seeing what was happening, crawled under a bed, and the blacks missing him, endeavored to find him, but were unsuccessful in their search.
A large party of townspeople has left for the scene of the murder, and some of them have already arrived. The names of the aboriginals supposed to have committed the murders were said to be Jimmy and Billy Governor, of Denison Town, and Cobbora, and Crooked Toed Jacky, from Gulgargambone. There was also a white girl in the camp with the blacks. The cause is supposed to be jealousy. The blacks wanted Mrs. Mawbey to treat the white girl as one of themselves, which she refused to do.
The murderers were employed grubbing out trees on a piece of ground. Mr. Mawbey was getting ready for ploughing. The bodies of Miss Kerz and Miss Grace Mawbey were lying side by side, about 25 yards away from the house. Miss Kerz‘s head was smashed to a pulp with a tomahawk.
A report just to hand states that two blacks, answering the description of Jimmy and Billy Governor, were seen in the vicinity of Balladoran, a roadside hotel on the Dubbo-road, about eleven miles from here. The Dubbo police were wired for early this morning, also a black tracker; but it is now raining, and likely to obliterate, any tracks. There is no hope held out for the recovery of Mrs. Mawbey, Miss Elsie Clarke, and the other Miss Mawbey. Mrs. Mawbey‘s head is very much battered in.