Victorian Police Force
Regd. # ?
Stations: ?, South Melbourne, Warrnambool, St Kilda
Service: From ? ? 1888 to 19 June 1914 = 26 years Service
Died on: Friday 19 June 1914
Cause: Suicide – gunshot to head about 4.50pm
Location of event: Outhouse ( toilet ) at his quarters at the police station
Death location: Alfred Hospital about 2 hours after the cause
Inquest held: Sunday 21 June 1914
Funeral date: ?
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: ?
Daily Telegraph ( Launceston, Tas. ) Saturday 20 June 1914 page 6 of 12
HIS LAST CHARGE
CONSTABLE SHOOTS HIMSELF
MELBOURNE, Friday – At St Kilda today, Constable John Gillander, aged 55, who has been in the force since 1888, shot himself with a revolver.
Deceased left a widow and family of four.
Weekly Times ( Melbourne, Vic. ) Saturday 27 June 1914 page 33 of 56
CLUE TO SUICIDE CONSTABLE’S WORRY
” All of a’work with the nerves, ” as a comrade phrased it, as the result of the escape of a prisoner under his charge, Constable J. Gillanders, St. Kilda watchhousekeeper, shot himself in the head at the inquest which was held on June 20 at the Alfred Hospital.
Mr T. Allen, J.P., returned a finding that Gillanders died from a gunshot wound in the head, self-inflicted.
“In my opinion,” he added, “it was caused through mental worry. There is no evidence to show the state of Gillanders’ mind at the time.”
Sergeant D. Kennedy stated that at 4 p.m. on June 18 Constable Gillanders reported to him that a prisoner named Arthur Waghorn had escaped from the lock-up. The prisoner was re-arrested shortly afterwards. On the same evening witness requested Constable Gillanders to furnish a report regarding the escape.
At 8.45a.m. next day Gillanders did not report for duty, and witness sent Senior-constable Hore to ascertain why he was absent. Hore subsequently informed him that Gillanders complained of nervous prostration, and that he would probably come on duty later in the day.
At about 2 p.m. that day witness requested Constable Matthews to inform Gillanders that he would have to go to the depot hospital, as he had not furnished a medical certificate. Matthews returned, and said Gillanders was not prepared to go to the hospital just then. Gillanders decided to go to the hospital at about 3.30 p.m.
Sergeant Kennedy, continuing, said that when he entered his office on June 19 he found the resignation of Gillanders on the table. He did not know who put it there.
It was also reported that his daughter saw him with the revolver but before she could run to him, he put the weapon to his temple and fired, dying tow hours later in Alfred Hospital.