Senior Constable James JOHNSTON


Senior Constable James JOHNSTON

Horse Accident


8 May, 1864


James Johnston was a mounted senior constable stationed at Cowra and sadlydied on 8 May, 1864 after being thrown from his horse four days earlier.The initial accident was reported in the Empireof 11 May, 1864.


POLICE – Sad Accident – Yesterday afternoon intelligence reached Sydney, by telegram, that Senior Mounted Constable Johnston was riding in the bush near Bathurst on Monday last, when his horse leaped through the fork of a tree, breaking Johnston’s two thighs and severely wounding him in the head. The injuries he has received are so serious as to leave no hopes of his recovery. The telegram, indeed, states the wounds to be of such a nature as to be considered mortal. It may be remembered that Johnston is the same who so closely pursued the bushrangers in October last when they were pillaging Bathurst, robbing Mr. De Claut’s public-house, a jeweller’s shop, and other places in that town.


His death was then recorded in the Empireof 31 May, 1864.


THE LATE FATAL ACCIDENT TO TROOPERJAMES JOHNSTON.—The Cowra correspondent of the Bathurst Free Presssays :—This melancholy affair took place as under: Johnston, in companywith another trooper (Herbert of Canowindra), were passing down the river,when they overtook two young men of our town. Proceeding together for sometime, Johnston said to one of the young men, “Come on, Joe, I willgive you a race”; they accordingly started and had not gone farwhen Johnston’s horse swerved and threw his rider with awful force againsta tree. He was immediately picked up, and taken back to Cowra; Dr. Rowlandwas sent for who set one of the legs (broken just above the knee) and otherwiseadministered to his relief, but all was of no avail, as he diedon the 8th, four days after the accident. A magisterial inquiry was heldon the 9th by Mr McDiarmid and the unfortunate man was buried the followingday. Johnston had only been stationed at Cowra four weeks when the accidenttook place; he was a very promising young man and evidently came to Cowrato do good. The marked courtesy of his demeanour in his intercourse withthe magistrates had been favourably reported at headquarters, and it isto be hoped that Mr Inspector Lidiard will supply his place with one equallyinclined to do his duty faithfully, and at the same time firmly and honestly.Poor Johnston was for once the right man in the right place, and the Cowrapeople are sorry indeed at his untimely fate.He was stationed at Cowra at the time ofhis death (formerly at Sydney Police Depot).


The senior constable was born in 1836 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on the day of its creation on 1 March, 1862. At the time of his death he was stationed at Cowra.

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