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1917ArticlesBuriedCauseCurrently ServingDeceased PoliceFuneralGenderGPSIllnessLocationMaleNoNSWOf eventOf graveOff DutyPhotosStateWall of RemembranceYear

William Albert BLEECHMORE


William Albert BLEECHMORE 

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # ‘Q‘ 6172

For the purposes of this website ‘Q‘ represents those Police joining between 1 March 1862 ( commencement of NSWPF ) – 23 February 1915 ( Commencement of NSWPF current numbering system )


Rank:   Probationary Constable – 14 April 1891

Constable 1st Class – 1902

Sergeant 2/C – appointed   June 1912


Stations?, Byerock ( Constable 1892 ), Mt Drysdale ( Constable in 1896 – Bourke District ), Burraga ( Cst 1/C – 1902 ), Carcoar ( SenCon around 1905 ), Gulgong ( SenCon 1913 – Sgt ) – O.I.C.

ServiceFrom  14 April 1891 to  16 May 1917 = 26+ years Service


Born:  27 May 1868, Auburn S.A.
Died on:  Wednesday  16 May 1917

Cause:  Paralytic Stroke

Age:  48

Funeral date:  Friday  18 May 1917

Funeral location:  C of E section, Gulgong cemetery

Buried at:  Gulgong Cemetery, Castlereagh Hwy, Gulgong, NSW

Portion:  Anglican   Row:  BA

 Memorial at?William Albert BLEECHMORE - NSWPF - Died 16 May 1917

 WILLIAM is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance  *NEED MORE INFO



About 9am on 16 May, 1917 the sergeant was speaking with two men in the street in Gulgong when he suddenly became ill and had to be assisted to his home. He sadly passed away later that afternoon. He had apparently been ill with neuritis for about two years prior to his death.

The Mudgee Guardian and North-West Representative of 17 May, 1917 reported on the sergeant’s sudden death.

A painful sensation was caused at Gulgong on Wednesday afternoon, when it became known that Sergeant Bleechmore, officer in charge of the local police, had died suddenly. About nine o’clock on Wednesday morning the sergeant, as he was standing in Mayne-street opposite the Centennial Hotel, talking to Mr. W. G. Ashford MLA, Minister for Lands, and a representative of the Sun, who were both on their way to Coonabarabran to attend the Show there, was taken suddenly and seriously ill. He was taken to his home, where he lingered until two o’clock in the afternoon, about which time he breathed his last. Sergeant Bleechmore had been in ill health for some time, suffering from neuritis, but none of his friends (nor, it may be believed, he himself) anticipated that matters were so serious with him as it has transpired they were.

The sergeant was held in high esteem in Gulgong and the news of his tragically sudden death gave the townspeople a painful shock.

Sergeant Bleechmore was 49 years of age, and had been 27 years in the police force, and six years in charge the police at Gulgong. He leaves a wife and five children — four sons and one daughter.

The eldest son, who is 20 years of age, is employed at the Railway Station at Dunedoo. A second son is a school teacher, whilst the daughter is the youngest of the family. The three younger children – (as was also Mrs. Bleechmore) with their father when, he died.

The Leader of 25 May, 1917 provided a few more details of the incident and death of the sergeant.”Referring to the death of Sergeant Bleechmore, at Gulgong, the town’s “Advertiser” says: About two years ago deceased developed an attack of neuritis, and had sometimes suffered very much from the complaint. He lately had a recurrence of the attacks, but not to that extent to provoke uneasiness amongst his family and friends. He finished his work at the stable, and then went and had breakfast. At this time he appeared to be in the best of health and spirits.

The Hon. W. G. Ashford was passing through Gulgong on Wednesday morning, and he sent a message to Sergeant Bleechmore that he would be pleased to see him. Shortly after 9 o’clock Sergeant Bleechmore went out and met the Minister, who had with him a representative of the “Sun” newspaper. The trio were talking near the Centennial Hotel, when Sergeant Bleechmore remarked that he had suddenly become unwell, and said to the Minister, “May I put my hand on your shoulder?” Almost immediately he collapsed, and would have fallen only for Mr. Ashford’s promptitude in catching him. It was seen that Sergeant Bleechmore’s condition necessitated his removal to his home, where he was taken by Messrs. A. E. Souter and B. J. Naughton. Dr. Lees was immediately summoned.

“The sergeant was born in 1868 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 14 April, 1890. He was the officer-in-charge of police at Gulgong and was survived by his wife Maria and five children.

Sergeant Watts succeeded him at Gulgong Police Station in July, 1917. He is not listed in the official New South Wales Police.


Leader (Orange, NSW : 1912 – 1922),

Wednesday 23 May 1917,

page 1

The interment of the late Sergeant W. A. Bleechmore, who died from a paralytic stroke on Wednesday, took place in the C.E. portion of the Gulgong cemetery on Friday. Members of the police force were the pall-bearers, and brethren of the Mundooran, Mudgee and Gulgong Masonic Lodges preceded the hearse in the funeral procession, while deceased’s horse was led in the rear of the corpse.

The mortal remains were first taken to the Church of England before being consigned with Masonic honors to their last resting place.


William Albert BLEECHMORE, husband of Maria May Bleechmore ( nee Robinson ) – married 9 April 1895 in Dubbo, NSW.


Government Gazette of NSW

Tuesday  15 March 1892     p2106

THE Bench of Magistrates at Byerock have this day appointed Constable William Albert Bleechmore to be Small Debts Bailiff for the said Court, vice Hogan, resigned.Police Court, Byerock,3rd March, 1892.C. McA, KING, P.M. F. H. PERRY, J.P.


Government Gazette of NSW

Friday  5 September 1902    p6332

THE Bench of Magistrates in Petty Sessions assembled have this day appointed First Class Constable William Albert Bleechmore to the position of Bailiff of the Small Debts Court at Burraga,—from this dateT. ARKELL SMITH, P.M.THOS. P. HACKNEY, J.P.ATHERDEN BOOTH, J.P.Dated at Burraga, this 1st day of September, 1902. [2332]


Lithgow Mercury ( NSW )

Friday  2 February 1906   p4

FROM THE ” GAZETTE.”The undermentioned police officers have been appointed inspectors to carry out the provisions of the Shearers’ Accommodation Act in the specified districts: — Sen. Const. William Albert Bleechmore, Carcoar; First class Constable John Edwin Williams, Burraga; Constable J. Valins, Trunkey.


Government Gazette of NSW

Wednesday 1 March 1911    p1265

THE Police Magistrate and Justices of the Peace in Petty Sessions assembled at the Court-house, Carcoar, have this 21st day of February, 1911, appointed Arthur Henry Higgs to be Bailiff of the Small Debts Court at Carcoar, vice Senior-Constable William Albert Bleechmore, transferred.

F. B. TREATT.[ 54191 ]

Police Magistrate;


Government Gazette of NSW

Wednesday 29 March 1911    p1866


NOTICE is hereby given that Senior-constable William Albert Bleechmore has been duly appointed as Inspector of Slaughter-houses, and of cattle intended for slaughter, under the ” Cattle-slaughtering and Diseased Animals and Meat Act, 1902,” for the Municipality of Gulgong.W. G. GIBBS,Town Hall, Gulgong, Town Clerk.24th March, 1911.


Lithgow Mercury ( NSW )

Wednesday  19 June 1912   p2

In the list of recent police promotions appears the name of William Albert Bleechmore, formerly of Hartley Vale, but now of Gulgong, who has been made a second-class sergeant.


Mudgee Guardian & North West Representative ( NSW )

Thursday 19 March 1914  p7

Leo Smith’s Death.Coronial Inquiry.An inquest touching the death of Leo Alexander Smith, who was recently found dead at Cumbandry, was held at the Court House, Gulgong, before the District Coroner, Mr. W. Arnott, P.M. on the 9th instant.

William Albert Bleechmore deposed that at about 7 p.m. on Friday night he was coming from Home Rule, and met a lady and two children in a sulky half-way down Caffrey’s Hill, which is 1 mile from the Post Office. About 160 yards behind the sulky he met deceased, who was riding horseback. Spoke to him and passed on. About 9 p.m. on the same night saw Mrs. Smith drive to Judge’s shop. Went down and saw the dead body of deceased whom he had spoken to on the hill, and which he identified as Leo Smith, son of Michael Smith, of Cumbandry. Carefully examined the body. Found a large abrasion on the right knee and a small scratch on the top of the right ear. There were no other external marks of violence. At 6 o’clock this ( Saturday ) morning went to a place on the Home Rule road just across where the railway line crosses the road, saw tracks where a horse had suddenly turned off the road and a great number of horse tracks where it had evidently been bucking. There was a mark where something had lain on the ground, and a small damp patch about the size of the palm of his hand. Two yards further on from the mark found the hat ( produced ), which is similar to that worn by deceased. Went to Smith’s residence at Cumbandry, and examined the pony that deceased was riding. It did not show any marks of having fallen, but on the saddle the right knee pad and right flap had marks of where it had grazed the ground. Was of opinion that the horse had bucked on to its side without falling and had thrown deceased who was an exceptionaly good rider for a boy.

William Richard Wall deposed that he was a Butcher, residing at Gulgong. He identified the boy as Leo Alexander Smith, who was his nephew, and was 13 years and 10 months old. He was born near Mudgee and was a schoolboy. Saw him about quarter past 6 yesterday ( Friday ), in Gulgong. He was just going to get his horse to start home. At about 8 p.m. his sister, Mrs. Smith, came to his place and saw that Leo had not come home, and she had found his pony, near Avery’s gate. Went with her in the sulky and found deceased lying not far from the road. Picked him up and handed him into the sulky to his mother. He was then quite warm. Brought him to Mr Judge’s and sent for a doctor.

Henry Joseph Harris, a duly qualified medical officer, residing at Gulgong. deposed that at about 9 a.m. last night ( Saturday ) he was summoned to the house of Mr. J. Judge. On arrival he saw the body of Leo Alexander Smith. He was fully clothed, with the exception of his boots and stockings. The only mark visible was an abrasion on the right knee. Was of opinion his neck was broken. He appeared to have been dead at least one hour.His Worship found that the deceased died from the effects of injuries accidentally received by falling from his horse.


Mudgee Guardian & North West Representative ( NSW )

Monday  22 February 1915  p1

“I AM GOING TO DIE, TED.”EVIDENCE AT INQUEST.A coronal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mrs. Gray was held by Mr. Arnott, P.M., at the Gulgong Police Court on Thursday morning last.

William Albert Bleechmore, Sergeant of Police, deposed ” About 12 o’clock midnight on the 17th instant Mr. Gray, husband of deceased, came to the police station and informed me that his wife was dead. I immediately went round for Dr. Harris, the Government Medical Officer, and in his company went to Gray’s residence at Lagoon Paddock, about two miles from Gulgong. I saw the deceased lying on the bed. In company with Dr. Harris I took the body inside the house and the doctor carefully examined the body.

Edmund Gray, manager for Geo. Rouse‘s farm and residing at Lagoon Paddock, Gulgong, deposed: Only my late wife and myself were living at the house. My family were away in Sydney and Portland. We retired to bed about 10 p.m. We were sleeping on the front verandah. Deceased was in her usual state of health just before she went to bed. She did not complain. During the last few days, which were very hot, she complained of a smothering feeling about her chest. During the last two years she complained about shortness of breath if she had much exercise. As far as I know she was never treated for heart trouble, but, about two years ago, she underwent an operation for the removal of veins from one of the legs. About a quarter to eleven on Wednesday got her a drink. She started coughing. I was half asleep and was slow in getting up. The deceased got up and went to the water near by. I overtook her and gave her a drink from the water bag. She then came back to the verandah and sat on a sofa. She started spitting up phlegm and said, “I’m going to die, Ted.” I made no reply as I did not take her seriously. She asked me to strike a light and see what she was spitting up. I struck a match and she again said “I am going to die, Ted.” She jumped up off the couch and went to the bed and lay down. She was still coughing. I lifted her upon one knee as she seemed to be smothering. She then gave one long breath and died.The deceased was 51 years old, and was born at Gulgong. He and his wife attended a funeral the day before, and at the graveside his wife was overcome by the heat and fell on to her knees.

Dr. H. Harris, residing at Gulgong, deposed: About 12 midnight, accompanied by Sergeant Bleechmore, I visited the house of Mr. Gray, about two miles from Gulgong, and there saw deceased lying on a bed in her night dress. I could see no marks of violence on the body. About two years ago I gave deceased a course of treatment, and found that she had a somewhat enlarged fatty heart. I should say from indications, after listening to Mr. Gray’s evidence, and from my own knowledge, that deceased died from a disease of the muscle of the heart.The P.M. found that death was due to natural causes.


Mudgee Guardian & North West Representative ( NSW )

Thursday  3 June 1915  p8

Horse Trainer Killed   Death of John Hartley.

Members of the racing fraternity were greatly shocked when they learned that John Hartley had been killed as the result of an accident on the Tallewang road on May 25th. He was about 50 years of age and was well known as a horse trainer. He had been for some time residing at Mundooran. He was well known in Mudgee and Gulgong.

A magisterial inquiry was opened at the Gulgong Police Court on Thursday morning last by Mr. George Rouse, deputy coroner.William Albert Bleechmore, Sergeant of Police, stationed at Gulgong deposed: At 12 midnight on the 25th May, I received a telephone message from the Rev. H. Woodger, at Tallewang, to the effect that he had found a man lying on the road near the Tallewang school, with his face covered with blood. I immediately proceeded to the place, accompanied by Dr. Payne. I there saw a man lying on the left-hand side of the traffic part of the road. I turned the body over and saw that it was that of a man about 50 years of age. I knew the man by sight, but did not know his name. The body was fully clothed, including an overcoat ( produced ). About six yards from where the body was lying I was shown this piece of an overcoat ( produced ) which corresponds to the portion of an overcoat missing from that found on deceased. The body was lying with the face downwards, and the left arm straight out from the body. There was a mark five yards back along the road, as if the body had been dragged. There was a number of abrasions on the face, particularly a large one over the right eye, and on the right side of the nose. The left ear was black or bruised, and had blood about it, and the bottom lip of the mouth had teeth marks buried in it. Both knees had a little skin off, and on the left shin there was an abrasion about three inches long. I saw no other marks of violence on the body. I found the sum of £1/3/ on deceased, also a metal watch and chain. About 100 yards further along the road from which the body was found, I found a bottle full of spirits, which I believed to be rum, and for over two miles further along the road at intervals I found a rug, a blanket, and an enamel plate. Late in the morning I went along the road in the direction of Stringy Bark, and six miles from where the body was found. I came across deceased’s horse and sulky. The sulky contained blankets, tent, and general cooking utensils, and rabbit traps. It looked as if deceased had been shifting his camp. I had the body brought to Gulgong. I know nothing of deceased’s antecedents. The soles of deceased’s boots were torn off from the front part. In my opinion deceased fell out of the sulky, and was dragged for five yards along the road, and probably by his over coat catching in some part of the vehicle. The lost piece of the coat, including the pocket, was caused to be torn from the overcoat.

Harold Woodger, Rector of Gulgong deposed On the 25th instant I was at Tallewang, and left the public school at 11.30 p.m. About 100 yards from the house I noticed the body of a man. Standing over the body was a yellow dog. I was accompanied by Clarence Bleechmore, and I sent him back to the public school to ask Mr. Kinder, the teacher, to come, and he came and looked at the body, and said the man was apparently dead. I drove to Tallewang Hotel and rang up the Sergeant of Police in Gulgong, informing him that there was a dead man on the road near Tallewang School. I then returned to the scene of the accident, and awaited the arrival of the Sergeant and doctor.

Kenneth Campbell, hotelkeeper, residing at Tallewang Hotel, deposed that he saw the body and knew the deceased. He was at my place on the 25th instant, arriving about 12 o’clock. He left about 2 o’clock, and returned about 6 p.m. Whilst at my place he had drinks during the day. He left my place about a quarter or half-past ten at night. He was travelling alone in a sulky. When he left he was a little under the influence of liquor. He took a bottle of rum with him. He said he was going to Stringy Bark. Another old man named Kelly was going to the same place, but I am not sure whether he was riding or driving. They had been drinking together that day. I believe deceased was going to Kelly’s camp to stay. Kelly had a bottle and a flask of whisky. I considered deceased was capable of managing his horse when he left my place.

Percy Herbert Payne deposed: I am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Gulgong. On the morning of the 26th May about 12.30 a.m. I was awakened by Sergeant Bleechmore, who informed me that he had received word from Tallewang that a man had been injured, and asked me if I would accompany him. Sergeant Bleechmore and I set off and after proceeding about 17 miles along the road to Tallewang we were stopped by a party who informed us where the body of the man was lying. I examined the body and found the man was dead. There was a contused wound over the right eyebrow, and blood over the side of the face, and clotted blood was issuing from both nostrils and mouth. There was also an abrasion on the left knee cap, and one about four inches long on the shin-bone of the left leg. Death, in my opinion, was instantaneous, and due to a fractured skull. This could have been caused by deceased falling from his sulky directly on to his head.

John Andrew Lynch, hotelkeeper, residing at Gulgong, deposed to having identified the body as that of John Hartley, who by occupation was a horse-trainer; and a native of Grenfell (N.S.W.). Witness thought he was about 52 years of age. Deceased generally lived at Stringy Bark with James Kelly.The Coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.

THE FUNERAL The remains were interred in the Gulgong general cemetery on Thursday day afternoon last, the Rev. Mr. H. Woodger officiating. The mortuary arrangements were carried out by Mr. S. J. L. Turner.


The Sydney Morning Herald

Wednesday  23 May 1917   p14

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES – Probate Jurisdiction. -In the Estate of WILLIAM ALBERT BLEECHMORE, late of Gulgong, In the State of New South Wales, Sergeant of Police, deceased, intestate. – Application will be made after fourteen days from the publication hereof that Administration of the Estate of the abovenamed deceased may be granted to MARIA MAY BLEECHMORE, the Wife of the said deceased And all creditors in the said Estate are requested to send in particulars of their claim to the undersigned, upon whom all notices may be served.


Solicitor for the Applicant, Gulgong.

By his Agent, R A. MONRO KING,

3 Castlereagh-street, Sydney.


Government Gazette of NSW

Friday  20 July 1917    p3735


NOTICE is hereby given that Police Sergeant Charles James Watts has been appointed as Inspector under the Cattle Slaughtering and Diseased Animals and Meat Act for the abovenamed Municipality in place of Sergeant William Albert Bleechmore, deceased.W. G. GIBBS,Town Hall, Gulgong, Town Clerk.16th July, 1917.


William Albert BLEECHMORE - Grave

William Albert BLEECHMORE - Grave
Grave – as seen April 2022  Photo:  Monte Jones

William Albert Bleechmore not a miner but a Police Officer

Di Nash of Canberra is a descendant of Samuel Nash and Harriet née Coombe (Chapter 12 in The Complete History). She has emailed us with information about William Albert Bleechmore who was born in Auburn in 1867, son of Caroline Bleechmore née Coombe, Harriet’s younger sister. Caroline was widowed in 1869. William spent his adult life in mining areas of New South Wales but was not, as we surmised, a miner. He was a police officer. Di informed us that he was appointed a probationary constable on April 14 1891. He worked in various places west of Sydney and was the sergeant in charge at Gulgong when he died quite suddenly in May 1917. He had been chatting to the Minister for Lands and a Sydney reporter in Mayne Street Gulgong when he collapsed and was taken to his home, where he died several hours later. [1] Wendy Walker, who is a great-great granddaughter of William and Jane Jacka through their eldest daughter Mary Lilla Jane, is a long time researcher of Jacka and Coombe family history. She recently sent us related information about William Albert Bleechmore’s career in the New South Wales Police Force including references to the New South Wales Police Gazette for 1902 and 1911.

Di has suggested that perhaps Caroline and William went to New South Wales after the death of Benjamin Bleechmore, Caroline’s husband and William Albert’s father. Unfortunately the fate of Caroline is still a mystery. Di told us that William Albert’s death certificate listed his deceased father but had no information under the heading ‘mother’. This suggests William lost touch with his mother, perhaps because she was long dead by 1917 or perhaps because they had a falling out.

Samuel Coombe and his descendants — The Complete History of Arthur and Rose



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