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1906ArticlesBuriedCauseCurrently ServingDeceased PoliceFuneralGenderHeart attackIllnessIncompleteLocationMaleNoNSWOf eventStateWall of RemembranceYear

John Thomas O’BRIEN


John Thomas O’BRIEN

Late of  ?

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  2815

( this Regd # pre-dates the current numbering system which commenced on 25 February 1915 )

Rank:  Mounted Constable – appointed 4 October 1876

Constable 1st Class – appointed 1 June 1878

Stations: ?, Muswellbrook ( 1877 – Sept 1880 ), Cessnock ( 1880 ), Cooranbong ( 1884 ), Coonamble ( 1886 ), Lochinvar ( 1888 ), possibly stationed at Greta ( 1891 ), Lockup Keeper at Paterson, Mulbring and Forster. At the time of his death he was stationed at Raymond Terrace.

ServiceFrom  4 October 1876  to  31 May 1906 = 29+ years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born:  13 October 1845 @ Menangle, NSW

Died on:  Thursday 31 May 1906

Age:  60

Cause:  Heart attack

Event location:  Outside Raymond Terrace Court

Event date:  Thursday 31 May 1906

Funeral date? ? ?

Funeral location:  Pioneer Hill, Raymond Terrace Historic Cemetery, Elizabeth Ave

Buried at?

 Memorial located at?



[alert_red]JOHN is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_red] *BUT SHOULD BE


 Funeral location TBA





May they forever Rest In Peace


Dear people. This is a VERY long post about Mounted Constable John Thomas O’BRIEN and his time line. Born 1845, died 1906.

I put it up because of the entry in 1883. This was not just a normal sitting on the last day of the Court at Cooranbong for the time being. After all proceedings had been dealt with, it would appear that it was a ‘set up’ by a number of Magistrates, JP’s and persons of note who were present at the end of Court proceedings at which Constable O’Brien was giving evidence. These other Magistrates etc would not normally have been in the one place at the same time.

At the time of his death he had a wife and 6 children ( his second wife ) to which she was paid a ‘gratuity‘ of 240 pounds to pay for funeral expenses. His second wife died September 1906 at Picton 4 months after John. He had about 8 children with his first wife whom had died then married his second wife.

I have NEVER seen/found a testimonial given to a serving Constable under such circumstances as a transfer.

His stations included Muswellbrook, Cessnock, Coonamble, Cooranbong, Lockup Keeper at Preston, Lochinvar, Mulbring and possibly Forster. At the time of his death he was stationed at Raymond Terrace.

John Thomas O’Brien, born 13/10/1845, Menangle, New South Wales to Irish born parents both of whom were born County Limerick, Ireland.
John Thomas O’Brien – Appointment to Mounted Police NSW 4 Oct, 1876. Registered No. 2815. Height: 5ft 7inches. Eyes: Hazel. Hair: Dark. Complexion: Dark. A Native of: N S Wales Married or Single: M. Calling: Timber Dealer. Religion: R C. Appearance: Good. District: North East. Date of Apptmt: 4 Oct, 1876 Rank: Constable. Remarks: 1st Class 1/6/78
Stationed at Muswellbrook, NSW. (Trove court notices)
1/6/1878. Promoted to Constable 1st Class
Stationed at Cessnock, NSW. (Trove court notices)
An extract from Maitland Times 1883 regarding Const John Thomas O’Brien on the final day of the 2 week sitting of the CPS Cooranbong, who gave evidence on a couple of matters.
Before the court adjourned, and whilst the magistrates were still on the bench, between four and five p.m., the Police Magistrate presented to Constable John Thomas O’Brien a very handsome gold watch and chain (Burton make and Indian turned), which had been sent after Mr.O’Brien by the people at Cessnock, where he had lately been stationed, in recognition of had lately been stationed, in recognition of his services there. The watch and chain, valued at £34 sterling, were accompanied by a suitable address.-

The Police Magistrate (Mr. Beeve), in presenting the watch and chain to Constable O’Brien, said:
“Mr. O’Brien, the Cooranbong Bench are very happy indeed to see that your services have been so cordially recognised, and so handsomely acknowledged by those amongst whom, at Cessnock, for some considerable time, you discharged your duties as a peace officer. Speaking for myself personally, and feeling sure that I am only expressing the sentiments of my brother magistrates, Mr. Andrew S. Browne and Mr. Thomas Bussell, J.P, I am bound to state that I esteem this portion of Brisbane Water, and the country adjacent thereto, extremely fortunate in having a police officer stationed here, who is at once courteous, fearless, intelligent, and independent-animated (as we think) by a sincere desire to do all his duty, without any wish whatever to go beyond it, We are then more pleased to be the persons chosen to hand you this very beautiful watch and chain, because their value has been, in our opinion, very greatly enhanced through an official permission, given to us by your superiors publicly to make this presentation to you on behalf of your friends at Cessnock. The neatly engrossed address (above referred to) signed on behalf of the inhabitants of Cessnock, by Messrs. Martin Bouffier, Walter C. Green J.P., J, A. Jones, William Stafford, L, C. Kelman, John Gouldsbury, John Doyle, and Michael Carroll, was also handed over to Constable O’Brien, with the watch and chain.
It was as follows: To Constable J. T, O’Brien, Cessnock.
Dear Sir. Hearing that you are about to be promoted to another station we desire to express our regret at your departure. During the period of two years’ and a-half residence amongst us, you have discharged important and frequently very difficult duties, with benefit to the public and much credit to yourself. The representatives of every interest acknowledge that your activity and vigilance have given security and protection. Your exemplary propriety of demeanour has justly gained for yourself and family our respect and esteem. With this intimation of our appreciation of your meritorious conduct, we solicit your acceptance of the accompanying gold watch and chain. Wishing that you, together with Mrs. O’Brien and family, may be prosperous and happy in your new sphere of action. We remain, dear sir, yours sincerely,.
The two assisting magistrates, Mr. Andrew S. Browne, J.P., and Mr. Thomas Bussell, J.P., intimated their hearty concurrence in all that had been said by their chairman, Mr, E. Beeta-
Mr. J. T. O’Brien, in returning thanks to his good friends at Cessnock for the very handsome testimonial just presented to him in their name and in so complimentary a manner by the Bench, desired to say that he could only hope he might long continue to have a just claim to such terms of approval. It would always be his study to do his utmost to gain and to retain the support of the bench at the place at which he might be stationed; and, at the same time, to do his duty, fearlessly and conscientiously, towards the public at large. Whether he could always expect to please everybody by such a course was, of course, another matter. He begged their Worships to have the goodness to convey to the people of Cessnock his very strong sense of the kind feeling which they had been pleased thus liberally to manifest towards him, and to assure them of the very great pleasure it had given him to receive not only that beautiful watch and chain, but the kind address with which that testimonial was accompanied. He confessed he could hardly understand how he could have merited such a distinguished mark of approval from the people of Cessnock during the comparatively short time that he was amongst them, but during that short time he had, he felt bound to say, always driven to discharge his duty. It might have been that in so doing he might have sometimes have given offence to somebody; but if so, he could not help that.
Every policeman had his duty to do, and that duty he was at all times bound to hold himself ready to discharge, without laying himself out to please any person whatever, outside of it. He had made that, at the outset of his service in the force, a rule of duty, and he would always stick to it, he would never let any secondary consideration come between him and what he thought he ought to do. He begged the Bench to transmit to those who had sent him this watch and chain his heartfelt thanks. He would like also, in the same way to send his heartfelt thanks to Messrs. Carroll, Stafford, and Doyle for their friendly aid in assisting him to shift his things to Cooranbong, at his rather hasty removal from his old station, where, it seemed he had still, he was proud to think, so many friends. A similar acknowledgement was also due from him to those ladies at Cessnock, whose kindness and attention to Mrs. O’Brien and their young family on their leaving Cessnock was something it would be quite impossible for him ever to forget. The Court then adjourned until Monday, the 12th November.
Stationed at Coonamble, NSW. Appointed as Clerk of the Petty Sessions.
Possibly stationed at Greeta
Constable John Thomas O’Brien died 31/5/1906.
Constable John Thomas O’Brien, of Raymond Terrace, dropped dead outside the courthouse there on Thursday, from heart failure. Deceased was a well-known member of the police force of the State, in which he had served for 29 years and four months, and would have been entitled to retire upon his pension in eight months’ time. He had been in failing health for some time, and was just upon 6O years of age. Deceased, who was a smart, efficient constable, leaves a large family. For many years he occupied the position of lockup keeper at Paterson, and had also been stationed at Cessnock, Cooranbong, Mulbring, Lochinvar, and Foster.

From a public member family tree. – Buried at the “Pioneer Hill” Raymond Terrace Historic Cemetery. Burial service by Father Bernard McKierman.

I have sent off an inquiry to the Raymond Terrace Historical Society regarding our above friend and a possible burial site/headstone. Being the weekend, I may not hear for a while.

( Kevin Banister )