Lionel George GUISE
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ?
Stationed at Newtown Police Station
Murdered – Shot
Joined NSW Police Force on 22 November 1937
Died 26 February, 1939
Buried in Rookwood cemetery
On the afternoon of 26 February, 1939 Constable Guise and Sergeant Werner were patrolling the Newtown area when they were advised of a possible break and enter offence occurring in Marion Street, Newtown. On attending the address, the police stopped their vehicle beside a truck which had apparently been used in the offence. As they stopped, two men jumped from the truck and fled on foot, pursued by the two police. As Constable Guise caught up with one of the offenders the man turned and threw a torch, striking the constable in the chest. In the struggle that followed the offender managed to shoot the constable in the abdomen. Constable Guise died in hospital a short time later.
The Advertiser dated 14 June, 1939 reported on the trial of the murderer Leslie Murphy.
CONSTABLE SHOT WHILE MAKING ARREST-
ACCUSED SENT TO GAOL FOR MANSLAUGHTER.
SYDNEY, June 13 – Leslie William Murphy, 28, was found guilty before Mr. Justice Owen and a jury in the Central Criminal Court this morning with the manslaughter of Constable Lionel George Guise, 22, and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Constable Guise was fatally shot at Newtown early in the morning of February 26 and died in hospital about seven hours later. The Crown Prosecutor (Mr. L.J. McKean K.C.) said that the Crown alleged that Murphy had been doing an unlawful act in attempting to resist apprehension. If a person resisted lawful apprehension and did something which brought about the death of a police constable, then, the Crown contended, such person would be guilty of manslaughter. Following the theft of a lorry a struggle took place between Guise and Murphy and Guise lost his life while lawfully apprehending Murphy.
The dying depositions of Constable Guise, taken at the hospital, were read in court. They were as follows: “We had a fight and my own gun went off. The other man did not have a gun. I don’t know the people. One ran one way, one another. I caught one and he threw a torch and missed. We had a scuffle. My gun went off and I felt a terrible pain. I shot from the ground at the man. I don’t know whether I hit him or not. He was about 35 years old.”
The constable was born in 1916 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 22 November, 1937. At the time of his death he was stationed at Newtown.
NEWTOWN LOCAL AREA COMMAND POLICE COMMEMORATION SERVICE
Ms CARMEL TEBBUTT (Marrickville) [7.07 p.m. 8 May 2013]: Recently at Rookwood Cemetery I attended a memorial service to commemorate police officers from the Newtown local area command killed in the line of duty. The moving service was attended by Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldis, Superintendent Simon Hardman, the commander of the Newtown Area Local Command, many other police representatives, and relatives and descendants of the police officers. Those attendees included Ms Avona Wallace, Mr and Mrs Norman Stephenson, Mrs Lynette Everton and Ms Edna Stevenson. Representatives from the emergency services and community members were also in attendance. The member for Campbelltown, Bryan Doyle, attended representing the Premier.
The five officers being remembered at the ceremony gave their lives to protect the community. They were Constable First Class John Wallace, Constable First Class Ruston Stephenson, Constable Lionel Guise, Detective Inspector Reginald Stevenson and Constable Pashalis Katsivelas. The ceremony to mark the sacrifice of these officers reflected on the enormity of their contribution to the community, as well as the impact of their death on their families. It is often said, and it is true, that police officers leave their homes for each shift uncertain of what any day may bring and whether they will return at the end of the day. We owe these men and women our deepest gratitude for the risks they face and take every day in their job. At Rookwood Cemetery we visited each of the graves of those officers who lost their lives in the line of duty and behind each individual was an illuminating life story.
We began at the grave of Constable First Class Ruston Stephenson, who died 80 years almost to the day of the commemoration. Constable Stephenson joined the Police Force in 1912, and four years later enlisted in the army, later joining the fight in France during the First World War. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry in rescuing injured soldiers while under fire. Remarkably, when he returned he rejoined the Police Force and continued to serve until his death on 9 April 1933 after a tragic accident involving a motorcycle at the then Newtown Stadium while performing general duties policing.
We were also told the story of Detective Inspector Reginald Hugh Stevenson—I was honoured on the day to meet his widow, Ms Edna Stevenson, who still had strong memories of the incident that led to Inspector Stevenson’s death. Detective Inspector Stevenson joined the NSW Police Force as a cadet in 1943 at the age of 17. In an act of extraordinary selflessness, Detective Inspector Stevenson was on annual leave on 9 December 1974 when he decided to go to work to assist in the planned arrest of a dangerous offender in Newtown, at the time telling his wife, “I don’t want my boys doing this on their own.” During the operation he was shot in the chest after leading his team in pursuit of the offender.
Detective Inspector Stevenson partially recovered and was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service. However, he died in 1980 of a heart attack, deemed to be the result of the injuries he sustained on duty in 1974. These officers are just a few of many across New South Wales whose lives have been cut short as they have gone about performing their duty. I pay tribute to them all. They will not be forgotten and local events such as this are a powerful reminder of their sacrifice.
I also take this opportunity to acknowledge two Marrickville police officers, Sergeant Stewart and Constable Steele, who on Monday of this week rescued an intellectually disabled person from a house fire in Marrickville. Thankfully, those two officers who took huge risks survived and are quite rightly being hailed as heroes by their colleagues and the community. It is yet another example of the risk our police men and women take every day in order to keep the community safe. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to them.