Sergeant John WALSH

Horse Accident

Araluen

29 May, 1865

 

The sergeant died as a result of injuries sustained when he was thrown from his horse at Araluen. The Sydney Morning Herald dated 31 May, 1865 announced that “Sergeant Walsh, in charge of the police at Araluen, was found dead about 6 o’clock last night, near Grover’s blacksmith’s shop, by a person named Reynolds, who immediately communicated with the police. Dr. Hillyard was called, but life was extinct. Sergeant Walsh had been on duty at 4 p.m. yesterday, had visited Red Bank, and was last seen about 5 o’clock. The lower portion of his skull was fractured and protruding. A magisterial inquiry will be held at 11 a.m. to-day.”

The Empire newspaper dated 5 June, 1865 also carried an account of the circumstances surrounding the death of the sergeant.

FATAL ACCIDENT AT ARALUEN – Telegram was received at the Dispatch Office yesterday morning announcing the accidental death of Sergeant Walsh, of the Araluen police, on the previous evening. It seems that the unfortunate non-commissioned officer had only left the police barracks twenty minutes or half an hour before the accident happened; the horse he was riding returned riderless to the barracks a few minutes before the report reached the police. It would appear that the accident happened between six and seven o’clock in the evening, about 300 yards from the police station just above Grover’s, on Mr. Hogan’s side of the Valley and the deceased was lying stretched on his back, with very large cut at the back of his bead. Sergeant Walsh had been about ten years in the service, and was chief constable at Moruya until the passing of the new Police Act in March, 1862, when he was transferred to Araluen as a sergeant. The deceased leaves a wife and seven children behind him. We were given to understand, last evening, that the accident was caused by “the horse stumbling”. The deceased was a very heavy man, measuring two feet across the chest and weighing seventeen stone, and consequently a fall of the kind could scarcely be expected to end otherwise than fatally. -Braidwood Dispatch.

The sergeant joined the police force about 1855 and after serving as the chief constable at Moruya, he joined the newly formed New South Wales Police Force in 1862. At the time of his death he was stationed at Araluen.

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