Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

Police Deaths in NSW – 1788 to 1996 (3)


In Remembrance of those Police Officers who gave their life

O’GRADY, Miles
9 April, 1866.

On the morning of 9 April, 1866 Thomas Clarke and his gang of bushrangers appeared at Deep Creek near the Gulph Goldfields and spent the day robbing passing travellers. At nearby Nerrigundah, 19 km west of Bodalla, Constable Patrick Smythe was performing his duties alone. Sergeant Nelson Hitch was absent at Braidwood Court and Constable O’Grady was in bed seriously ill with ‘colonial fever’ (probably cholera). When Clarke learned of the Police situation at Nerrigundah he led his gang into the township. Upon their arrival, they held up Walli’s Hotel and Pollock’s Store. Mrs Pollock (wife of the local gold buyer), however, threw the keys to the safe into the street and the gang spent considerable time searching for them in the darkness. News of the events reached Constables Smythe and O’Grady at the Police Barracks, and against the wishes of his colleague, Miles O’Grady arose from his sick bed and dressed in his uniform. The two Constables then set out to engage the bushrangers although O’Grady was very ill, and was having difficulty walking. As they approached Walli’s Hotel, the Police spotted the bushrangers and O’Grady fired, killing bushranger, William Fletcher. In the ensuing gun battle, O’Grady was shot in the side and as both Police fell back, the gang ran to their horses and escaped. O’Grady was carried to the Police Barricks where he died a few hours later in great pain.
The Constable was born in 1841 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 15 June, 1863. At the time of his death, he was stationed at Nerrigundah.

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RAYMOND, William
14 April, 1866

At the time of his death, Constable Raymond, Sgt John Healy, and Constables Andrew Kilpatrick and Edward Mitchell were escorting eleven prisoners to Darlinghurst Gaol where they were to help with building works. When the wagon in which they were travelling reached Bargo Brush, the prisoners attacked their escort in an escape bid. In the ensuing brawl, one of the prisoners named Crookwell managed to seize a Police revolver. He fired at Sergeant Healy, however the bullet struck Constable Raymond in the face, killing him. The Constable’s given name is sometimes recorded as Edward.

The Constable was born in 1838 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 3 June, 1862. At the time of his death, he was stationed in the Metropolitan District.

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Special Constable Special Constable

Special Constable Special Constable
9 January, 1867.

John Carroll (a Senior Warder at the Darlinghurst Gaol) was the leader, and one of four men sworn in as Special Constables to search for and capture the Clarke Gang of bushrangers. The patrol consisted of Carroll, Patrick Kennagh, Eneas McDonnell and John Phegan. All were well armed with sophisticated Tranter Weapons and were posing as surveyors in the Braidwood area. On the night of the 8/9 January, 1867 the four men were walking through an area of very dense bush on Jinden Station, Braidwood. There is little doubt that the party was ambushed by the Clarke Gang, who were probably the most violent and bloodthirsty gang of bushrangers in Australian history. Witnesses apparently heard shooting during the night, but did not investigate until the following day. In a clearing in the bush McDonnell and Phegan were found shot to death, their bodies riddled with bullets. About 800 metres further Carroll and Kennagh were found, also shot to death, probably after surrendering. Carroll was found lying on his back, with a neatly folded handkerchief on his chest with a one pound note pinned to it. A large sum of money he was carrying in his pocket had not been touched. Like Carroll, Kennagh and McDonnell were prison warders, and Phegan had been chosen for the search because, as a former associate of the Clarkes, he knew the Braidwood area well. These murders represent the highest number of Police ever killed in a single incident of this type in Australian history. It is only surpassed by the spearing of patrols of Native Mounted Police in Queensland in the 1860’s.
Special Constable McDonnell was born in 1817, Special Constable Carroll in 1829, Special Constable Phegan in 1837, and Special Constable Kennagh in 1841.

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EFFE, William
24 January, 1867

On 16 January, 1867 Constable Effe was performing gold escort duty on a coach travelling between Bendemeer and Tamworth. It is thought that the shaking of the coach caused a rifle to accidentally discharge, shooting the Constable. The wounded Constable was left in a shepherd’s hut while the coach continued to Tamworth to obtain medical assistance. Dr Scott of Tamworth provided assistance for Constable Effe, however the wound was to prove fatal, and he died the following day.
The Constable was born in 1834 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 11 August, 1857.

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MADDEN, Thomas
30 April, 1867.

On the 29 April, 1867 a party of eight police, led by Sgt Walter Casey, camped at Pulpit Hill (near present day Katoomba) with sixteen prisoners they were escorting to Darlinghurst Gaol. At midnight, Constable Madden took his turn to watch over the lockup in which the prisoners were housed. When he was relieved at 2am by Constable Hitchcox, Constable Madden went to check the prisoners. When he opened the door of the lockup, the prisoners, who had apparently been waiting for their chance to escape, rushed the Constable. Sergeant Casey, who realised what was occurring, began firing at the prisoners. Unfortunately, of the five shots fired by the Sergeant, three accidentally struck Constable Madden, inflicting fatal wounds. Two prisoners were also wounded.
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7 April, 1868.

On 7 April, 1868 Constable Campbell was riding from Mudgee to Green Swamp in search of an offender who had attacked Naughton’s Public House at Green Swamp the previous evening. The Constable had spent most of the night searching for the offender. He was a Foot Policeman, and was not an accomplished rider, however at the time there were no Mounted Troopers at the Police Barricks to pursue the offender. While riding at a fast canter the Constable fell from his horse. He died of his injuries.
The Constable was born in 1823 and joined the New South Wales Police Force in July 1855. At the time of his death, he was probably stationed at Mudgee.

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McCABE, John
Senior Constable
1 November, 1868

On 6 October, 1868 Constable McCabe was searching an area near the Queensland border for bushrangers Frank Pearson (Captain Starlight), and Charles Rutherford. He was accompanied by Constable Hugh McManus of the Queensland Police Force. During their patrol, the Police stopped for supplies at Shearer’s Inn, Enngonia (about 100 kilometres from Bourke). While they were so engaged, two riders appeared and entered the inn. Almost immediately, Pearson yelled “Bail up!” with the obvious intention of robbing those present. The two Police, who had taken their weapons into the inn, turned and fired at the two offenders. Constable McCabe, who had dropped to one knee and fired, was shot in the chest, however he managed to fire several times, hitting Pearson in the wrist and right arm. The two bushrangers than ran from the inn and escaped. After rallying for almost a month, Constable McCabe died as a result of both his wounds and the resultant infection.
The Senior Constable was born in 1828 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 23 February, 1863. At the time of his death, he was stationed at Biree.

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BYRNE, Thomas
8 May, 1869

On Saturday 8 May, 1869 Constables Byrne and Beck launched the Police boat on the flooded Cowpasture River near Camden. The mail coach from Campbelltown, waiting on the far side of the river, had been unable to cross. The two Constables rowed across and collected the mail and a number of passengers before attempting to return. Nearing the bank of the river on the return journey, the boat suddenly overturned, casting the occupants into the water. Constable Byrne, unable to swim, weakened by rowing on the flooded river, and heavily clothed with cape about his neck, sank beneath the surface and drowned.
The Constable was born in 1841 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 25 February, 1864. At the time of his death, he was stationed at Camden.

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