Australian Police

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James RUSH


James RUSH

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # 

Rank:  Sub Inspector

Stations: Forbes ( 1862 – 1866 ), Orange ( 1866 – 1875 ), Sydney ( No. 2 Division 1875 – 20 May 1880 )

London Police Force:  From 1852 to 1855

Service:  From 1855  to 20 May 1880


Born: 1830

Died on:  Thursday  20 May 1880

Location: Residence at No. 2 Division

Cause:  Arrest Injuries –  Erysipela an infection of the skin caused by bacteria

Age:  about 44

Funeral date:

Funeral location:

Buried at:

Sub Inspector James Rush
Sub Inspector James Rush



The circumstances of the death of Sub Inspector Rush are yet to be established conclusively. Rush Family tradition suggests that he died of the effects of making an arrest during a raid on a Chinese gambling house in Goulburn Street, Sydney. This is yet to be confirmed. His death was reported in local newspapers as being  ” sudden and unexpected “.


” The Sleeping City – The Story of Rookwood Necropolis ” indicates that James Rush was born in 1830, joined the London Police Force in 1852 and was one of a contingent of 100 police recruited from England in 1855, in which year he became a police officer in Sydney. After serving in Forbes (1862 to 1866) and Orange (1866 to 1875) he returned to Sydney and was promoted to sub-inspector. Five years later, he organised a police raid against a notorious gambling house. In carrying out the raid he was fatally injured and died on 20 May, 1880. He was given a full police funeral which was attended by the Inspector General of Police (Mr Edmund Fosberry). Contemporary newspaper accounts of the police raid and the death of the inspector fail to mention any connection between the two.

The cause of death appears to have been erysipelas – an infection of the skin caused by bacteria.

The Australian Town and Country Journal of Saturday 22 May, 1880 reported the following.

One of the oldest members of the police force of New South Wales, Sub-inspector Rush, died on Thursday at his residence, adjoining No. 2 police station. For the past week Mr. Rush had been suffering from erysipelas, and on Wednesday afternoon became delirious and remained so until about 12 o’clock on Thursday, when he passed away. Mr. Rush came to this colony 25 years ago with other members of the police force under agreement to the Government of N.S.W. in the Ship “Exodus”. Shortly after his arrival he was appointed acting sub-Inspector, and retained that position until he was, under the now Act of 1862, sent to Orange. About five years ago he was again given duty in the metropolis at No. 2 station, which office he had held with credit and efficiency ever since. He leaves a wife and a large family, numbering, we believe, eight children, who will feel the loss of an affectionate parent. Mr. Rush was about 44 years of age [sic], and was attended in his last illness by Dr. Egan who had the assistance of Drs. Day and Halket, when the illness assumed a serious form.”

The inspector was born in England in 1830 and joined the Sydney Police Force in 1855. In 1862 he became a member of the newly-formed New South Wales Police Force. At the time of his death he was stationed in Sydney.



One account of his injuries indicate that he suffered a head injury sustained while in the course of duty ( raid on an opium den )


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