Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

1891ArticlesBuriedCauseCurrently ServingDeceased PoliceFuneralGenderGPSHorseIncompleteLocationMaleNSWOf eventOf graveOn DutyPhotosStateVehicle accidentWall of RemembranceYearYes

Michael Thomas DeCourcey O’BRIEN


Michael Thomas DeCourcey O’BRIEN

Late of  ?

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ‘Q‘  6158

For the purposes of this website ‘Q‘ represents those Police joining between 1862 ( commencement of NSWPF ) – 23 February 1915 ( Commencement of NSWPF current numbering system )

Rank:  Probationary Constable – Death

Stations:  Central – 1 Division – Death

ServiceFrom  17 March 1891  to  31 May 1891 = 6 WEEKS Service

Awards:   No find on It’s An Honour

Born:   ? ? c1865 – Ireland

Died on:   Sunday  31 May 1891 about 1pm at Sydney Hospital

Age:  25

Cause:   Horse accident – struck by horse and run over by buggy

Event location:  Goulburn St & George St, Sydney CBD

Event date:  Saturday  30 May 1891 about 8am

Funeral date:   Wednesday  3 June 1891

Funeral location:   Rookwood Necropolis

Funeral Parlour:  ?

Buried at:   Catholic Section, Sec M1, FF, 144

Grave location

Memorial located at:   ?

Sacred to the Memor of Constable M. T. De Courcey O'BRIEN  Native of Limerick, Ireland Aged 25 years Killed in the execution of his duty at Sydney 30 May 1891 R.I.P.

Sacred to the Memor of Constable M. T. De Courcey O'BRIEN  Native of Limerick, Ireland Aged 25 years Killed in the execution of his duty at Sydney 30 May 1891 R.I.P.

[alert_green]MICHAEL IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_green] * Added to National Police Memorial in 2017






May they forever Rest In Peace


Kevin Banister
NSW Fallen Police FB Group   Thursday  31 May 2018

Probationary Constable Michael Thomas DeCourcey O’BRIEN
Born c1865 Ireland.
Died 31/5/1891 aged 26. About 8am on Saturday 30 May, 1891 Probationary Constable O’Brien was on duty in the vicinity of Goulburn and George Streets, Sydney when he attempted to stop a runaway horse and buggy. As he did so he was struck by the horse, knocked to the ground, and was run over by the buggy. He was taken to the Sydney Hospital suffering from extensive head injuries however he passed away about 1pm the following day. He was in the Police for only 6 weeks.  He was a single man.

A number of newspaper reports state that he had a large funeral attended by many Police from the Inspector General down with a long Police procession leaving from Sydney hospital where he died from his injuries.
According to the SMH 2/6/1891 the funeral was to leave the Sydney Hospital at 1.30pm on 3/6/1891 for the Necropolis (Rookwood). (Catholic Section) O’Brien, Michael Thomas, 03 Jun 1891, 26, SEC*M1*FF**144.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Monday 1 June 1891, page 4


MONDAY, JUNE 1, 1891.

CONSTABLE Michael Thomas O’Brien, who was injured in George-street on Saturday morning whilst attempting to arrest the progress of a runaway horse, died in the Sydney Hospital yesterday afternoon.



Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 – 1909), Monday 1 June 1891, page 5

the late constable O’Brien.

The Inspector-General of Police has received with extreme concern the report of the death of Constable Thomas De Coursey O’Brien, which adds another number to the honorable list of the police who have sacrificed their lives in the execution of their duty, the force and the public having in this instance lost the services of a promising and efficient officer.

Mr. Fosbery desires that every respect may be shown at the deceased’s funeral by the attendance of as many of his officers and comrades as can be safely spared from duty.

Mr. Fosbery will be present himself.



Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 – 1909), Monday 1 June 1891, page 6


A Constable Injured.

In his efforts to stop a runaway this morning Constable O’Brien, of No. 1 Station, was somewhat seriously injured. He was on duty in George-street, and when passing the tobacco shop of Messrs. Craig and Aitken a horse attached to a cart belonging to the firm bolted; owing to someone throwing a cracker in front of the animal.

Immediately the runaway made off O’Brien started in pursuit; and, catching up to the horse, seized hold of the reins, when, through the animal swerving, the constable was struck in the chest by the shaft and knocked down.

Before the officer could regain his feet the wheels passed over his body, and O’Brien was left lying on the ground seriously hurt. On being admitted to the Sydney Hospital the victim was seen to have received one or two very nasty scalp wounds, in addition to being seriously injured about the chest and body.



Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 – 1909), Thursday 4 June 1891, page 6


The funeral of the late Constable O’Brien, who succumbed in the Sydney Hospital on Sunday to injuries received the previous day, in a plucky attempt to stop a runaway in George-street, took place this afternoon.

Though only a recent addition to the force, O’Brien had placed himself on the most friendly terms with men and officers alike, and the young fellow’s frank and jovial disposition won what it merited — the high esteem and respect of every comrade.

The funeral, which started from the hospital, was numerously attended, and among those who paid the last tribute to the memory of the deceased were the Inspector-General of Police (Mr. E. Fosbery), Mr. Superintendent Read and nearly all the inspectors of the metropolitan divisions.

About 100 constables walked on foot, preceding the hearse, while about an equal number, including commissioned and non commissioned officers, brought up the rear in cabs and other vehicles. Immediately following the hearse were two mourning couches containing the brother and more intimate friends of the deceased.



Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Thursday 4 June 1891, page 6

Yesterday’s Brevities

Constable O’Brien, who was knocked down in attempting to stop a runaway horse on Saturday, and who succumbed to his injuries in the Sydney Hospital on Sunday, was buried at the Roman  Catholic Cemetery, Rookwood, today.

The Inspector-General of Police, the superintendent, a number of inspectors, sub-inspectors, and about 150 men attended the funeral, out of respect to the deceased gallant young officer.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *