Maurice Raymond McDIARMID
Late of ?
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # 8451
Uniform # 2463
Rank: Probationary Constable – appointed 9 July 1956
Senior Constable – appointed 26 September 1967
Sergeant 3rd Class – posthumously on ?
Stations: ?, Blacktown – Death
Service: From ? ? pre July 1956? to 30 September 1971 = 15+ years Service
Awards: No find on It’s An Honour but I would suspect that he also received a Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry
Born: 20 May 1932
Died on: Thursday 30 September 1971
Cause: Shot – Murdered – shotgun
Event location: Mimosa Ave, Toongabbie Approximate GPS: -33.781884, 150.951727
Event date: Thursday 30 September 1971
Funeral date: Tuesday 5 October 1971
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: Cremated
Pinegrove Memorial Park Location:
Peace Rose Gardens
Section: Family Memorial
Lot: Left 110
Lat/Lng: -33.78922, 150.84705
Memorial located at: 1/ Pinegrove Memorial Park, Eastern Creek
2/ Blacktown Police Station. Memorial photos was in the foyer, then the boss’s foyer & now in the corridor between the front counter & muster room.
3/ Plinth at the entrance to the Memorial Rose Garden, NSW Police Academy, Goulburn.
Memorial Gardens at the front of Blacktown Police Station – Dedicated in September 2017.
FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.
PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal
May they forever Rest In Peace
On 30 September, 1971, Sergeant 2nd Class Riley and Senior Constable McDiarmid attended a dwelling in Mimosa Avenue, Toongabbie to investigate a report that a man had shot and killed his brother at that address. On arrival the police saw the offender RonaldClarke who quickly ran to the rear of the house. Senior Constable McDiarmid followed him while the sergeant entered through the front door. As the senior constable entered through the back door the offender opened fire with a shotgun, inflicting a fatal wound. It appears the offender then went back through the house where he also shot and killed Sergeant Riley. Although the senior constable was still alive when other police arrived he died a short time later in an ambulance on the way to hospital. The offender was shot and killed by police ( Cst 1/c Alf GREGORY ) the same day.
William Riley was born in 1921 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 3 December, 1945. At the time of his death he was stationed at Blacktown. He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant 1st Class.
Maurice McDiarmid was born in 1932 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 9 July, 1956. At the time of his death he was stationed at Blacktown. He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant 3rd Class.
George Lewis Memorial Trophy
This trophy for the year 1971, which is for the most courageous act performed by a member of the New South Wales Police Force, was awarded posthumously to the late Sergeant 1st Class W. W. Riley and the late Sergeant 3rd Class M. R. McDiarmid who were stationed at 27 Division.
The trophies were presented to Mrs Riley and Mrs McDiarmid at the Police Academy during 1972.
PETER MITCHELL TRUST AWARDS
The ten awards under this Trust for the year 1971 were made to the following police, the trophies being presented at the Police Academy during 1972:
Most Courageous Act Posthumously awarded to the late Sergeant 1st Class W. W. Riley and the late Sergeant 3rd Class M. R. McDiarmid in conjunction with the George Lewis Memorial Trophy.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Tuesday 21 March 1972, page 3
SYDNEY, Monday. — At the Pine Grove Memorial Park near Rooty Hill today, Bishop Hulme-Moir, chaplain of the NSW Police Force, dedicated a plaque in memory of Sergeant Maurice McDiarmid and Sergeant William Riley, who were shot when attempting to arrest an armed man at Toongabbie on September 30 last year.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Wednesday 6 October 1971, page 3
SYDNEY, Tuesday. -More than 400 policemen attended the funeral this morning of the two policemen shot by a man in Toongabbie last Thursday. Both men, Sergeant William Watson Riley and Senior Constable Maurice Raymond McDiarmid, were given full police honours at their funeral.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Thursday 13 January 1972, page 11
Payments to 3 police widows
SYDNEY, Wednesday. – The NSW Government agreed today to make, as “an act of grace”, lump-sum payments of $12,500 to each of three police officers’ widows.
“The Premier, Sir Robert Askin, said the payments would be in addition to the pensions and dependant’s allowances already paid out of the police superannuation and reward fund.
The three policemen involved in the payments are Senior Constable W. E. King, who was murdered at East Gresford police station on August 13 last year, and Sergeants W. Riley and M. McDiarmid, who were shot by a man at Toongabbie on September 30 last year.
Sir Robert said members of the police force had always been specifically excluded from the definition of “worker” under the Workers Compensation Act.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Allan, had brought to the notice of the Government that, in certain matters of workers’ compensation, police were in an anomalous position in relation to other Crown employees.
Sir Robert said a full examination would be made of overall benefits of workers’ compensation available to police.
Blacktown Police dedicate memorial to slain officers William Riley and Maurice McDiarmid
A solemn memorial stands to remind Blacktown police officers of the price paid by two of their colleagues.
They are now remembered by commemorative plaques outside Blacktown Police Station, as well as a plinth at the entrance to the memorial rose garden at the NSW Police Academy.
The plinth features two police caps pictured the way they fell when the men were murdered, and bears the words: “For The People”.
Chief Inspector Bob Fitzgerald said the permanent memorials were important for police and the community.
“I hope it’s a reminder when you come to work, you do the job to the best of your ability and go home to your family,” he said.
Acting Inspector Lauren Martin said Police Remembrance Day gave every officer a chance to think about those who didn’t make it home.
“It’s good to have a visual reminder so you can reflect on what could happen when you come to work,” she said.
Sergeant 2nd class Riley and Senior Constable McDiarmid were attending a home in Mimosa Avenue, Toongabbie, following reports a man had raped a woman and shot her lover, who was also his brother.
The offender, Ronald Clarke, shot and killed both officers as they attempted to surround him. He was shot and killed by police in Hillview later that day.
“It is a very sad day for all those who believe in upholding the law and order,” Police Commissioner Norman Allen said at the time.
Both officers were posthumously promoted for their outstanding courage and devotion to duty.
More than 400 officers attended their funeral in Blacktown. They were laid to rest at Pinegrove Cemetery with plaques bearing the inscription: “Doing His Duty”.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Saturday 27 November 1971, page 9
Two policemen commended by coroner
SYDNEY, Friday. — A Sydney coroner has commended two policemen who chased and stopped “an armed and desperate man“.
The man, Mr Ronald Desmond Clarke, had earlier shot and killed two other policemen after having killed his own brother in Toongabbie on September 30.
The coroner, Mr J. Parnell, SM, found on Wednesday that Mr Clarke in turn died in a car of cerebral lacerations and gun shot wounds to the brain inflicted by a person defending himself.
Constable A. C. Gregory, giving evidence at the inquest into the deaths of the four men, said that he and Constable L. ( Les ) A. Crawford in a police truck had rammed Mr Clarke‘s car, causing him to lose control.
Constable Gregory had seen Mr Clarke transfer a gun from his left hand to his right. The gun had been pointing at the policeman’s face and the constable had fired “one shot towards his shoulder“.
“The impact of this bullet appeared to throw him towards the passenger side of his car, but he still had the revolver, which he now held in both hands, levelled at my face“, Constable Gregory said.
“He appeared to be endeavouring to discharge the gun and it was then that I fired two quick shots at him“.
The four men who were killed were Sergeant First Class William Watson Riley, 50, and Sergeant Maurice Raymond McDiarmid, 39, of Blacktown, and Ronald Desmond Clarke, 20, and Warren John Clarke, 22, both of Toongabbie.
( Both policemen were promoted posthumously. Sergeant Riley was raised from second-class to first class, and Sergeant McDiarmid from senior constable to sergeant third class. )
Mr Parnell found that Mr Warren John Clarke died from gunshot wounds inflicted by his brother, Mr Ronald Desmond Clarke.
He found also that Sergeant Riley died from a fractured skull and lacerations to the brain, and Sergeant McDiarmid died in an ambulance between Toongabbie and Blacktown Hospital.
Both died as a result of bullet wounds inflicted by Clarke.
He said Mr Ronald Clarke, a professional criminal, had shot his brother, Warren Clarke, after having raped his brother’s de facto wife.
Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Friday 1 October 1971, page 1
Shooting in Sydney Brothers, two police die
SYDNEY, Thursday. – Two policemen and two other men were shot dead in the outer western Sydney suburb of Toongabbie today.
The policemen were shot while investigating a report of rape and murder.
Earlier, Mr Warren Clark about 22, died in his bed. Police said his elder brother, Ronald. 23, had shot him through the head with a .22 calibre repeater rifle.
A young woman, living in the house in Mimosa Ave, Toongabbie. with Mr Warren Clark, told police that Mr Ronald Clark had awakened her and then shot his brother.
The woman alleged that Mr Ronald Clark then raped her and forced her to accompany him in his car.
After driving her around for several hours, he had released her at Black town.
The woman went to Blacktown police station.
She was in a hysterical condition.
Sergeant Second-Class William Riley, 50. and Senior-Constable Morrie McDiarmid, 39. left the station immediately to go to the house.
While they were on their way the police radio directed other police to the house.
The next-door neighbour, in Mimosa Ave, Toongabbie. Mrs Ethel Roberts, 54. said she first knew something was wrong when a police officer ran down a driveway at the side of her house.
He began kicking on the door of the house next door.
“He eventually forced the door and went inside”, she said.
“All was quiet for perhaps two minutes, then three shots rang out.
“I ran to the front porch as a young blond man ran from the house with a rifle in his hand, entered a car and screeched off down the road”‘. Mrs Roberts said.
“After he drove off, I saw a policeman’s blood stained hand grasping the back steps of the house”.
Stem flow of blood
“I ran to the road where a woman was delivering bread and told her to call an ambulance”.
Another neighbour, Mrs Dawn Harris, was called by Mrs Roberts, who was trying to stem the flow of blood from Constable McDiarmid.
“When I reached the house a policeman was propped against the back steps”, Mrs Harris said.
“His mouth and part of his face were torn and shredded from the shotgun blast.
“Another policeman was lying dead on the ground.
“In a bedroom in the house another man covered with a sheet was also dead and blood could be seen everywhere”.
Police said later they believe Sergeant Riley died immediately when he was shot at point-blank range with a shotgun.
Constable McDiarmid was taken by ambulance to Blacktown Hospital. He died shortly after arrival.
Meanwhile an all-points bulletin was broadcast over the VKG police network for all cars to be on the lookout for a bright blue 1950 sedan.
The broadcast warned, ‘This man is dangerous. He has a .22 rifle, a shotgun and two police pistols”.
“We have sighted him”, one car replied. “He is going toward Hillview”.
“We have stopped the car”, was the officer’s next report.
Constable Alfred Gregory and Constable Les Crawford said later they had rammed the suspect’s car with their police van.
The sedan got out of control and crashed into a bowser at a service station.
Constable Gregory jumped out of the van. As he approached the car he saw Mr Clark take one of the police pistols from the seat and transfer it to his right hand.
Three shots from pistol
Constable Gregory fired three shots from his pistol.
One of his shots struck Mr Clark in the side of the head, killing him.
In the car, police found several Commonwealth Bank cash bags, a blood stained nightgown and two suitcases containing mostly women’s clothing.
Two police revolvers, a .22 repeater rifle and a sawn-off shotgun were also recovered.
Tonight forensic and ballistic experts were still examining them.
The policemen killed are each survived by a widow and two children.
Sergeant Riley joined the force in 1945 and Constable McDiarmid in 1956.
A CIB spokesman said this afternoon the families were eligible for a special allowance paid to police killed while on duty.
He said that the lack of witnesses, particularly when the two policemen were shot, was hampering investigations.
POLICE KILLED OR WHO DIED FROM INJURIES RECEIVED IN THE EXECUTION OF THEIR DUTIES
On 13th August, 1971, Senior Constable William Edward King, who was then the officer-in-charge of police, East Gresford, was shot dead at East Gresford Police Station by a man who fired upon him with a rifle.
On 29th August, 1971, Constable 1st Class Patrick Mark Hackett died from injuries received in a motor accident at Polis, Cyprus, whilst performing duty with the New South Wales Police component of the Australian Police Contingent of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force.
On 30th September, 1971, Sergeant Second Class William Watson Riley and Senior Constable Maurice Raymond McDiarmid, both then attached to Blacktown Police Station, were shot dead in a house at Toongabbie which they had entered to arrest a man who a short time before had murdered his brother and raped a woman in the same house.
A police funeral with full ceremonial honours was accorded these deceased officers at which appropriate tributes were paid.
In recognition of their outstanding courage Sergeant Riley and Senior Constable McDiarmid were posthumously promoted by me to Sergeant 1st Class and Sergeant 3rd Class respectively. In addition, I submitted recommendations to the Premier for favour of consideration of Royal Awards being granted in both cases.
To assist the widows of the deceased police the Premier approved the payment to each of them of the sum of $12,500 as a gratuity. This payment did not in any way affect their entitlements to payments under the provisions of the Police Regulation (Superannuation) Act.