Police Deaths in NSW – 1788 to 1996 (1)


In Remembrance of those Police Officers who gave their life

LUKER, Joseph
26 August, 1803

On the night of 25/26 August, 1803 the Constable was patrolling Back Row East, Sydney Town, in response to a large number of burglaries that had been committed in the settlement. During his patrol near prostitute Mary Breeze’s dwelling (where a robbery had been committed earlier that night) the Constable was set upon by a number of offenders and beaten to death. He suffered horrific head wounds, reportedly 16 in number, and when found had his cutlass guard embedded in his skull. Another Constable, Isaac Simmons, was strongly suspected of having been (and almost certainly was) involved in Constable Luker’s death, however this allegation was never sustained. This was the first recorded death of an Australian Police Officer.
Back Row East is now Phillip Street, Sydney. The spot where Constable Luker was killed lies in the area bounded (in 1996) by Phillip Street, Hunter Street, Macquarie Street and Martin Place.

At the time of his death, the Constable was stationed in the Sydney. His patrol appears likely to have been the eastern side of the settlement, now the Domain – Hyde Park area.

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HAYNES, Joseph
31 January, 1824.

It is almost certain that Joseph Haynes was a Constable in the Sydney area. The circumstances of his death, on 31 January, 1824, are unknown. (Sometimes recorded as HAINES).

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1 April, 1819

Constable Cosgrove was murdered by bushrangers at South Creek, near Parramatta, on 1 April, 1819. The circumstances of the event are unknown.

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The place and circumstances of the death of Inspector Prosser in 1839 are unknown.

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July, 1841

In July, 1841, Constable McGuire was escorting two bushrangers, James Berry and Paddy Curran, to Berrima Gaol. Both prisoners escaped after shooting the Constable near Goulburn. No other details are known.

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23 November, 1841

The details of the death of Constable Connell in Sydney are unknown.

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The Sergeant was killed in a brawl at a gold miner’s camp in 1853 at Hill End. He was buried on the spot at a place which was later the Hill End Racecourse. A stringybark tree at the site was blazed and inscribed with the Sergeant’s name and year of his death. Later, after white ants had begun to attack the tree, the author Harry Hodge placed a sandstone marker at the site with the inscription “Sgt Jipp, 1853”.
At the time of his death he was stationed at Tambaroora (Hill End) and appears to have been a soldier attached to either the Gold Escort or the Mounted Police.

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22 December, 1857

On the 22 December, 1857, Trooper Codrington rode out to meet the gold escort from the Turon Valley. His duties included escorting the gold being carried either by coach or packhorse down the steep Wyagdon Hill and into Bathurst. After he was reported missing a search was conducted and his body was found off the side of the Bathurst – Turon Road at the top of Wyagdon Hill. Bushes were found nearby piled on the roadside, and it is thought that the bushrangers who probably killed the Trooper had hidden at that spot to await and rob the escort. No other satisfactory reason could be found for the murder, although the escort passed the spot unmolested on that day. Local legend has it that the Trooper was killed by an old enemy who returned to England after the murder.
The Constable was probably born in 1832 and joined the Gold Escort Police about 1854. At the time of his death he was stationed at Cheshire Creek Barracks – Bathurst / Peel area.

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16 June, 1862

On 15 June, 1862 Constable Havilland, Sergeant James Condell, Senior Constable Henry Moran and Constable Rafferty were travelling as protection for the Forbes Gold Escort. At a locality known as the Eugowra Rocks, the coach was ambushed by bushrangers including the notorious Frank Gardiner, John Gilbert and Ben Hall.
As a result of the attract, Sergeant Condell and Senior Constable Moran were wounded, the coach was overturned, and 14,000 pounds in gold and banknotes and bags of registered mail stolen. The following day the coach was righted and driven into Orange. Shortly after arriving in town, a revolver under the seat in the coach discharged, with the shot travelling upward through the seat, and striking Constable Havilland under the chin. The Constable was killed instantly.
The Constable joined the New South Wales Police Force about 1858. At the time of his death, he was attached to the Forbes Gold Escort.

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FOY, John
Senior Constable
23 February, 1863

Senior Constable Foy was the Lockup-keeper at Tabulam in the Northern Police District, west of Casino. On Saturday, 23 February, 1863 the Clarence River flooded, and the Constable evacuated his wife and family to safety. This accomplished, he returned to the lockup to salvage his family’s personal belongings. The floodwaters continued to rise, however, and the Police lockup and Courthouse were swept away. The Constable was drowned.
The Senior Constable was born in 1814 joined the New South Wales Police Force on 1 August, 1859. At the time of his death, he was stationed at Tabulam.

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O’HORRIGAN, Jeremiah
25 February, 1863

On Wednesday 25 February, 1863 the Constable was patrolling the Weddin Mountains. On his return journey to Forbes, he was required to cross the flooded Lachlan River. As he did so, the strong current began to carry his horse along. As the Constable attempted to check the horse it rolled over, throwing the rider into the water. As he was unable to swim, the Constable was drowned. His body was recovered downstream some hours later.
The Constable was born in 1831 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 1 May, 1860. At the time of his death he was stationed at Forbes.

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ADDISON, Peter John SPEARS, Robert Bruce
Constable Constable
9 July, 1995.

On the night of 8/9 July, 1995, the Constables were performing night shift at the Kempsey Police Station. About 12.35am they were called to a malicious damage complaint at the nearby township of Crescent Head. having attended one address in relation to the complaint, they drove to a dwelling in Main Street, Crescent Head. There they parked the Police vehicle in the driveway and began to walk toward the front door. At 1.22am an urgent radio message was received from Senior Constable Addison requesting urgent assistance. It was later learned that the offender McGowan had hidden near the carport of the dwelling and, camouflaged and armed with high-powered Ruger rifle, had opened fire on the two Police. While withdrawing to the Police vehicle, Senior Constable Spears received a severe wound to the head and collapsed onto the ground. After exchanging shots with the offender, Senior Constable Addison quickly sought help from neighbours. While apparently seeking a house with a telephone so he could call for assistance for his partner, he was also shot to death. The murderer than committed suicide with the rifle. At the inquest into the deaths of the two Constables, the New South Wales Coroner Mr Derek Hand commended both men for their courage. Special mention was also made of Senior Constable Addison’s bravery in that “No-one would have blamed him if he had decided to seek safety. Not only was he obviously concerned about Constable Spears but he was faced with an armed man who could have caused much more death and injury in the neighbourhood”. Mr Hand also commended the brave actions of Detective Senior Constable Michael Clark, Ambulance Officer Edward Hill and Mr Gregory Barnett.
Senior Constable Addison was born in 1959 and joined the New South Wales Police service on 6 November, 1981. At the time of his death he was stationed at Kempsey. He was posthumously awarded the Commissioner’s Medal for Valour.

Senior Constable Spears was born in 1959 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 26 June, 1987. At the time of his death he was stationed at Kempsey. He was posthumously awarded the Commissioner’s Medal for Valour.


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2 March, 1863

The Constable died by drowning in the Western District. Further details are unknown.
The Constable was born in 1840 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 19 October, 1861. At the time of his death, he was stationed in the Western District. (Sometimes recorded as CANAVAN)

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