Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

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Joseph LEES


Trooper Joseph LEES

New South Wales Police Force



7 January, 1867

On 7 January, 1867 the trooper was on duty collecting the electoral roll and agricultural returns near Grafton. Shortly after 1pm on that day he was attempting to cross First Falls on the Upper Clarence River when his horse reared, throwing him into the water, where he drowned. Trooper Lees was a married man with two children and a wife then expecting their third child.


The Maitland Mercury dated 15 January, 1867 contained the following brief notice, indicating that “We regret to learn that Trooper Leece [sic] of the Grafton Police Force, in attempting to cross the First Falls, at the Upper Clarence, yesterday, shortly after noon, in the execution of his duty, was carried down by the current and drowned. Information of the sad event reached Grafton last evening when the police boat was immediately dispatched with grapnels to drag for the body, which had not been recovered up to the time our informant left.”


At the time of his death the trooper was stationed at Grafton.

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