Raymond James PAFF
Late of Corrimal
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ????
Stations: ?, “possibly” Werris Creek, Wollongong
Service: From ? ? pre January 1949 to 19 March 1958 = 9+ years Service
Awards: No find on It’s An Honour
Born: ? ? 1929 at Nabiac, NSW
Died on: 19 March 1969
Age: 39 – 40
Cause: Motor Vehicle Accident – Pedestrian – directing traffic.
fatal cerebral haemorrhage 16 years later
Event location: Princes Hwy near Mt Ousley Rd, Fairy Meadow, NSW
Event date: 5 August 1953
Funeral date: ? ? ?
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: ?
Memorial located at: ?
Funeral location: TBA
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 the night of 5 August, 1953 Constable Paff was directing traffic around a traffic accident on the Princes Highway, near Mt Ousley Road at Fairy Meadow.
A taxi approached the constable, who was using a torch, and slowed down. Another vehicle which had been travelling behind the taxi then attempted to overtake. As it did so it struck Constable Paff, carrying him along about twenty metres and throwing him to the ground.
The constable sustained serious head injuries as a result of the incident.
Due to deteriorating health caused by his injuries Constable Paff was discharged from the police force in March, 1958. He then worked for some time as a handyman on the Wollongong Council. He suffered a fatal cerebral haemorrhage at work on 19 March, 1969.
The constable was born at Nabiac in 1929 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 17 January, 1949. At the time of his injury he was stationed at Wollongong.
Wollongong police memorials
The NSW Police Force carries on its logo the phrase “Proud Traditions since 1862“, but capturing the history of these traditions at an operational level has never been a priority for the force.
However, almost 150 years after it was first formed, NSW Police – and Acting Southern Region Commander Gary Worboys in particular – is using history as a tool to instil pride in those wearing the uniform.
Three memorials for Wollongong police officers who died while serving the community were unveiled at Wollongong Police Station yesterday at a ceremony attended by family members and former colleagues of the deceased officers.
The memorials, located in the hallway of the detectives’ floor, feature images and biographies of the men as well as an account of the incidents that led to their deaths.
The memorial wall was Mr Worboys’ idea, with Senior Constable Dave Henderson given the task of completing the project.
Snr Const Henderson said the project had involved research through police archives, old copies of the Illawarra Mercury and interviews with family members.
Mr Worboys, who will return to his former role as Wollongong Local Area Commander at the end of the month, said he became inspired to record police history during his time as commander of the Goulburn LAC. It was there he heard about a policeman who’d been shot by bushranger Ben Hall’s gang at Collector.
Mr Worboys said research led to the discovery of the grave of the officer, Samuel Nelson, in a cemetery near the police station, but it was found to be an “absolute shambles“.
The grave was restored and distant family members invited to take part in a subsequent ceremony, proving to Mr Worboys the value of history to the police force.
“There is so much history associated with police stations, but as walls get painted and people move on we don’t capture that history.”
“The memorials and the stories they have attached to them provide officers with a link to the past and makes them realise they are not the only ones who have walked these corridors.”
Mr Worboys said the memorials not only represented distinguished service, but the trauma, grief and heartache suffered by families.
He said the last death of a Wollongong officer on duty was in 1969, and he hoped no more stories would be added to the wall: but the memorials were a reminder that policing was a dangerous occupation.
Among those at yesterday’s ceremony were Constable David Reiher‘s father Bruce ( RIP – Nov 2009 ), and Constable Ray Paff‘s widow Valerie, who described the memorial as “a wonderful tribute” to her late husband.
“It may have been a long time ago. But you never forget,” she said.
Gloucester Advocate (NSW : 1905 – 1954), Friday 14 August 1953, page 2
Constable Raymond Paff, who was seriously injured at Wollongong recently is a brother of Mr. Rory Paff of Wallanbah.
Constable Paff, who is stationed at Wollongong was investigating a car smash when another car ran into him. He received a fractured skull and other injures and was admitted to Wollongong hospital.
Illawarra Daily Mercury (Wollongong, NSW : 1950 – 1954), Wednesday 5 May 1954, page 2
POLICEMAN INJURED ON DUTY AFTER ACCIDENT. COURT TOLD
The hearing into a charge in which a man, allegedly under the influence of liquor at the time, allegedly struck down a police constable on traffic duty, began in the Court of Petty Sessions yesterday.
Leslie Wallace Speed. 27 years old engineer of Webber St., Towradgi, was charged with having caused grievous bodily harm to Raymond James Paff, while driving a motor vehicle under the influence. The accident occurred about 6.25 p.m. on August 5, while Constable Paff was directing traffic near the intersection of the Mount Ousley turn-off and Prince’s Highway. It was stated that at the time, Constable Paff was directing traffic around a small car which had overturned.
Speed is alleged to have knocked Paff down as he drove past. Paff received a fractured skull and lacerations to his head, hands and legs.
Det. H. North said that when he questioned Speed he could smell intoxicating liquor on his breath. Speed had admitted having six beers between 4.30 and 6 o’clock that afternoon.
He had claimed that he had not seen Paff until he was right on top of him, said Det. North. Speed, said Det. North, had admitted that his brakes and lights were not as good as they could have been.
When he was being charged Speed had admitted that he was under the influence and had declined the services of a doctor, Det. North alleged.
A motor mechanic, Donald Frazer, of Douglas Rd., Fernhill, stated that he had tested the brakes on Speed‘s car and had found them slow to respond. The hand brake was ineffective and the lights were dull. The case was adjourned until June 7.
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW : 1900 – 1954), Monday 10 May 1954, page 5
Engineer Charged With Causing Grievous Bodily Harm to Constable
A 27 years old engineer, Leslie Wallace Speed, of Webber Street, Towradgi, appeared at Wollongong Court last week on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm, by driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, to Constable Raymond James Paff, of Wollongong.
The hearing of the charge was adjourned after six of the 12 witnesses to be called by the Police had given evidence. The hearing will be resumed on June 2, Speed being allowed: £40 bail.
Det. H. O. North, of Wollongong, said that at 6.20 p.m. on August 5 he went , with Const. Paff to the scene of an accident north of Mount Ousley Road turnoff on Princes Highway. Shortly after they arrived, Constable Millar also came on the scene.
Const. Paff began to direct traffic around a small sedan car that had overturned on the highway. He had a lighted torch in his right hand and was controlling traffic with it. Const. Paff was also illuminated by the lights of the overturned car. Det. North said he heard a bump and Const. Millar called out something. He looked and saw a car travelling towards him at about 25 m.p.h. He saw Const. Paff lying across the bonnet of the car, which was travelling north. The car swerved onto its incorrect side of the roadway and he had to jump out of its way. Const. Paff then disappeared from view and the car continued on and came to a halt on the eastern side of the roadway.
Det. North said he then saw Const. Paff lying sprawled across the centre of the roadway and immediately ran to a phone and contacted the ambulance. When he returned Paff was seated on a wooden ramp on the footpath on the eastern side of the roadway. Const. Millar approached him with Speed and told him Speed was the driver of the car that struck Paff.
Det. North said he told Speed he could smell liquor and asked him if he had been drinking beer. Speed replied that he had six middies of beer at the Wollongong Hotel between 4.30 p.m. and until the time the hotel closed. He said Speed was unsteady on his feet, his breath smelt strongly of liquor and his speech was slurred and hesitant.
After the overturned car was cleared from the roadway, he took the defendant to the police station where Det Clunas questioned him. He told Det. Clunas he very seldom drank beer. When told he would be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, Speed said ” I’m sorry, gentlemen I am not drunk.” Det. Clunas replied: ” You are not being charged with being drunk. You are going to be charged with driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. ” Speed told Clunas, according to Det. North, that he did not see Paff until he was right ” on top of him. ” He also said he did not see the overturned car until he was ” right on top of it “. He said Speed claimed he had been following a taxi that pulled off to the side of the roadway and he thought it was picking up a fare. As he went to go around it, the constable was right in front of him.
Det. North said Speed said he knew the brakes and lights on his car were not ” as good as they should be. ” When asked by the station sergeant, Sgt. Bradley, if he wanted to tie examined by a doctor, Speed replied: ” I’ve had six middies of beer and admit I’m under the influence. It would be no use seeing a doctor. ”
Donald Fraser, foreman motor mechanic, of Douglas Road, Fernhill, said he tested the brakes of Speed‘s car on the day after the accident. The footbrake was in a bad condition and due to the battery being low, the headlights were dull. The speedometer was not registering correctly, being 2 m.p.h. fast.
Witness admitted to Mr. McInerney that the battery could have lost a lot of its efficiency overnight.
Constable Raymond James Paff said that he was in uniform on the night of the accident. He was directed to go to the scene and direct the traffic. He remembered commencing to do this.
He was injured, but did not remember how he received his injuries. He had been off duty ever since. He still suffered from ” double vision.” He remembered the arrival on the scene of Constable Millar.
Constable John Blair Millar said that when he arrived, Detective North and Const. Paff were there. There was a car lying on its side on the eastern side of the road. Constable Paff went to the centre of the road and started to direct the traffic with a torch. He saw a car strike Paff and throw him onto the bonnet. Witness said that Speed got out of the car and came over. He admitted he was the driver. Speed smelt strongly of intoxicating liquor and was unsteady on his feet. He said to witness, ” I am sorry, constable ; I didn’t see him.”
At the police station later, witness noticed that Speed‘s eyes were bloodshot and he was holding onto the counter.
Dr. Ian D. Alexander, of Wollongong, said Const Paff was taken to Wollongong Hospital on the night of August 5 last year and, although conscious, he had no recollection of the accident. He had lacerations to the right forehead, multiple lacerations to both hands, the right ear and right knee, swelling of the right eye and bruising of the right forehead. An X-ray showed he had a linear fracture of the right frontal bone of the skull and a probable fracture underneath the right eye. He complained of blurring of the vision, and was discharged as ” quite sound ” six days later. He did not complain of blurred vision when he left.
Const. W. K. Tuchin, of the Scientific Bureau, told of examining the roadway at the scene of the accident two days: later. There were fragments of glass on the edge of the roadway. About 68ft. 6ins. from this point and slightly east of the centre line there was what appeared to be blood on the roadway. He also inspected the defendant’s vehicle and saw a new crack in the windshield and a dent in the bonnet.
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW : 1900 – 1954), Monday 23 February 1953, page 8
COULD NOT REMEMBER ANY COLLISION
The driver of a utility who ” could not remember ” having had a collision with a car was fined for negligent driving when he appeared at the Wollongong Court last week.
He was Kenneth Goodman Jones, of 51 Gipps St., Wollongong, for whom Mr. Mclnerney appeared. Constable Paff told the Court that the collision occurred in Corrimal Street, Wollongong, on 19th September last. After receiving a report, the police checked on a motor vehicle number and as a result interviewed Jones, who said he did not remember having been in a collision. When shown a hole in his mudguard, he said to witness, ” That looks like a new one, and I must have hit something.” He also said that when nearing the Harp Hotel, the steering wheel started shaking in his hand, so he gave a stop signal. He had just about pulled up when the shaking stopped, so he got into low gear and drove home very carefully.
To Mr. Mclnerney, witness said Jones was very helpful to the police. The marks on the utility were very minor ones.
Gordon Godfrey McDonald, 6 Matthew Street, Wollongong, said his car was parked in Corrimal Street. After someone had spoken to him, he examined it and found damage to the front bumper bar and wheel. The repairs cost £7/5/0.
James Francis Lear was called as a witness, but did not appear, and when Albert Barnett was was called, Police Prosecutor Sergeant W. J. Smith said he ” had gone home to get a shirt ” so that he might come to Court suitably attired.
Barnett subsequently appeared but by then his services as a police witness were not required.
Defendant Jones, after confirming what he had said to the constable at the time, said he could have hit another vehicle but he did not know that he had done so.
Jones was fined £2/18/0 with 12/- costs and 30/- witness’s expenses:
A charge of failing to stop after an accident was dismissed.
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW : 1900 – 1954), Thursday 12 February 1953, page 21
Two Month’s Gaol
A man who on a previous occasion told the magistrate that he took drugs and alcohol together, with disastrous effect, came before the Wollongong Court on Monday and was sent to gaol for two months for assaulting a constable.
He was Reg Lacey, 32, labourer, of 17 Campbell Street, Woonona, who was alleged to have poked his head into the cabin of a police patrol van and ” booed ” at two constables last Saturday. Lacey was charged with offensive behaviour, resisting arrest, and assaulting a policeman.
Constable R. Paff told the Court that after Lacey had put his head into the police van, which was outside the Commercial Hotel, Wollongong, he stepped back, raised his thumb in a vulgar gesture and then ran down the road.
The two constables who had been in the van chased him and tried to arrest him. Witness said that Lacey struggled wildly and kicked him several times in the stomach and legs. He still struggled when they eventually got him to the police station.
Police Prosecutor, Sergeant W. J. Smith said that Lacey had two previous convictions for similar offences and had been warned that a recurrence would be regarded seriously by the Court.
He had been drinking on Saturday and had provoked some other persons to fight. It took a quarter-hour struggle before he could be placed in the police van.
Lacey was fined £5 on each of the first two charges, in addition to the gaol sentence for assault.