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1908ArticlesBuriedCauseCurrently ServingDeceased PoliceFuneralGenderGPSHorseLocationMaleNSWOf graveOn DutyPhotosPolice horseStateVehicle accidentWall of RemembranceYearYes

William Cochrane ADIE


 William Cochrane ADIE

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # ?

Rank:  Probationary Constable – Mounted Constable

Stations?, Stuart Town

ServiceFrom  17 December, 1907  to  11 October 1908 = 9+ months Service


Born? ? 1883

Event date:  Saturday  10 October 1908

Died on:  Sunday  11 October 1908

Cause:  Horse accident

Event location:  Stuart Town, NSW

Age:  25

Funeral date:  Monday afternoon  12 October 1908

Funeral location?

Buried at:  Stuart Town Cemetery, Wallaroi Rd,

Protestant section ‘ A ‘


[alert_green]William IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_green]




On Saturday 10 October, 1908 Mounted Constable Adie set out on a patrol of the town and surrounds. By the following day he had not returned as expected and Senior Constable McConville set out to find him. After being informed that an unattended troop horse had been seen in the bush Senior Constable McConville investigated and found the unfortunate Constable Adie seriously injured. It appeared that the young constable had been thrown from his horse the previous day and had lain seriously injured throughout the night. He died while being taken back to Stuart Town for medical attention. The constable’s horse was described in the Melbourne Argus of 14 October, 1908 as being “a particularly savage animal”.


In addition to this, the Sydney Morning Herald of 26 October, 1908 reported the following.



WELLINGTON, Saturday – The recent death of Constable Adie, of Stuart Town, who was killed by being thrown from his horse, is causing considerable discussion in the district in regard to the dangerous character of some of the horses supplied to police officers. The animal which killed Constable Adie is well known for its vicious propensities. It nearly killed Constable Cameron when he was at Stuart Town, and last Christmas it threw Senior Constable McConville’s brother, and nearly killed him. There are several other police horses in the district which the constables only ride at the risk of their lives, and every time they go out into lonely bush tracks they are exposed to the terrible fate of the late Constable Adie, who was not found until the day after he had been thrown and seriously injured.


The constable was born in 1883 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 17 December, 1907. At the time of his death he was stationed at Stuart Town.




Cst William Cochrane ADIE - Horse accident - 11 Oct 1908 - Story 01
The Sydney Morning Herald Wed. 14 Oct. 1908 p 10 of 16



Wagga Wagga Express     Thu.  15 Oct. 1908   p4 of 4

Constable Adie, of Stuart Town, was thrown from his horse on Saturday last, and died on Sunday afternoon. He went out on Saturday morning and did not return.  Two men saw his horse saddled and bridled on Saturday morning grazing in the bush, but no notice was taken of the matter.

On Sunday morning Constable McConville found Adie lying in a creek unconscious. He died 20 minutes later, without medical aid.

Deceased was 27 years of age, unmarried, and had been for 12 months in the force.


Wellington Times ( NSW )   Thu. 15 Oct. 1908  p4 of 8


The terrible accident which resulted in the death of Constable Adie at Stuart Town, directs attention to a matter that requires the serious attention of the police authorities. The animal which the unfortunate constable was riding when he met his death was well known in the district as being a dangerous one for any man to ride, and it has been rather good luck than other wise that it has not been responsible for a fatality long ago. This is not the only case in the district in which constables are compelled to ride horses that are a constant source of danger to them, and when a man is killed in consequence, are not those responsible for supplying such horses morally guilty of his death ?

Of course the men who have these horses do not care to object, for the reason that it would look as if they lacked courage, and prejudice them in the eyes of their officers, but surely there should be some care taken to see that a horse is fit to ride before it is handed to a constable.

The mounted men in the police force have to make many journeys on lonely tracks, and if they meet with an accident days may elapse before they are found. Under these circumstances it is only reasonable to expect that they would be supplied with reliable horses and not with outlaws that it would take the skill of an expert rider like Billy Waite to handle. To virtually compel a constable to ride a horse about the bush that is a menace to his life, is positively criminal, and the untimely death of Constable Adie should lead to an alteration in the system which, in his case, has had such a deplorable result.



Wellington Times ( NSW )   Thu. 15 Oct. 1908  p4 of 8



The death of Constable Adie, who was killed by being thrown from his horse, was the subject of an inquiry held by the Coroner ( Mr. R. Read ) at Stuart Town on Monday. Senior-Constable McConville gave evidence that at about 10 a.m. on Saturday last the deceased left the police station on bush patrol. He was instructed to patrol the Mookerawa as far as the Enterprise dredge, and return that evening or the following morning.

On Sunday morning, as the constable had not returned, he went out and met a man named Patrick Quiley, who, in reply to questions, stated that he had not seen Constable Adie anywhere, and that the constable did not stay at Marning’s the previous night.   Questioned further Quiley stated that he had heard that the constable’s horse was seen near Hop Wah’s place on Saturday evening feeding, with a saddle and bridle on. Witness then went to the Mookerawa and saw William Cohen, who said that he had not seen Constable Adie, but that the children had seen his horse feeding near Hop Wah‘s. He asked Cohen to try and find the constable, and then rode on to Hop Wah‘s, where he found the horse feeding with the saddle and bridle on. The bridle was tied to the breastplate. He carefully examined the saddle and found a spur mark from the near right side right across the seat. From the mark on the saddle his opinion was that the constable had fallen from the off side. He secured the horse and started to make a search by the river.

When returning with several others, who were assisting in the search, he met Harry Boehme, who told him that Constable Adie had been found in the Mookerawa Creek. He hurried to the spot and saw the constable, who was alive but unconscious, and was breathing heavily.   There was a piece of skin off the right   temple, and the skull appeared to be dented in.

When he saw the constable the latter had been moved about 15yds from where he was found. Witness carefully examined the place where the constable was picked up for bloodstains, but could find none.

The deceased wore elastic side boots, and there was no chance of his being hung up in the stirrup. The spur was still on, but the other one was missing.

From the horse’s tracks he thought that something had startled the animal causing him to buck. The horse was a dangerous one and would always buck if anything went wrong. Otherwise he was quiet enough.

Deceased was not a good horseman, but he was a careful, steady rider. The creek was dry where the constable was found, and his head apparently struck a stone where he fell.  A stone that was sticking out looked as if it had been shifted.

A man named Edwards told him that he had tied the bridle to the breastplate on Sunday morning, as he saw the horse feeding with the bridle trailing on the ground.

William Cohen, miner, residing at Mookerawa, deposed to finding the constable about two or three yards from the track, which was considered a short cut.

John Marning, grazier, gave evidence that at about 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon he was mustering cattle about a quarter of a mile from his place when he met Constable Adie. They rode along together for about a mile and a half, and on parting shook hands.

They parted about 5½ miles from Stuart Town. Deceased’s horse was then going quietly. He did not see deceased again until called upon to drive him to Stuart Town the following day.

The Coroner found that death was caused by injuries accidentally received in a fall from a horse.



Wellington Times ( NSW )   Thu. 15 Oct. 1908  p5 of 8

( From a Correspondent. )

The funeral of the late Constable Adie, whose death was reported last issue, took place on Monday afternoon. A great number of people from both town and district attended the funeral, which was a long one considering that Mr. Adie has only been in our midst for a short time. It is believed that   he had not a relative in the State.




Wellington Times ( NSW )   Thu. 15 Oct. 1908  p5 of 8

Constable Adie Killed. — Constable Adie, who has been stationed here for the last five or six months, had occasion to go to Lower Mookerawa on Saturday last, and not returning by Sunday morning, Constable McConville went in search of him, and finding his horse, with the saddle and bridle on, feeding about the road, near Hop War’s store, at Mookerawa, a search was made, and he was found lying in the Mookerawa Creek, where he had been thrown from his horse, striking a large stone with his head. He lay there all night until found next day in the water, which was only very shallow, otherwise he would have been drowned.

He was conveyed into town, but expired shortly after. The funeral took place on Monday. An inquest was held on Monday before Mr. Robt. Read, coroner, when a verdict of accidentally killed through falling from his horse was returned.




Wellington Times ( NSW )   Mon.  19 Oct. 1908  p3 of 4

I will make reference to the horse that was the cause of Constable Adie’s death, in Thursday’s issue of the Times.

A special memorial is to be preached to-night (Sunday) in the Church of England by Mr. Champion in memory of Constable Adie, who was killed last week, by being thrown from his horse.




Wellington Times ( NSW )   Thu.  22 Oct. 1908  p3 of 8




Wellington Times ( NSW )   Thu.  22 Oct. 1908  p5 of 8

As I said, I will refer to the horse that killed Constable Adie in this issue of the Times. I have known the horse, also Constable McConville’s, which were purchased for police mounts at the same time from Katella. Both were colts at the time, and very wild and vicious at that.

They had to be taken to Orange or Wellington to be shod, the local shoeing smiths could not manage them until they were shod several times. When the police had occasion to use them after a few days spell, they could be seen racing them around the paddock for some time with saddles and bridles on, but whether it was to put life into them or take it out of them, I am not sure ; but I think it was the latter.

Constable McConville is a very good horseman, otherwise perhaps he would have met with an accident ere this.

During Constable Cameron’s sojourn here he got a spill from the horse which accounted for Constable Adie’s death, and which very nearly sent him to glory.

Then, during last Christmas holidays Constable McConville’s brother, who was   on a visit, got a spill from the same horse, which also could have had a fatal ending, as he was rendered unconscious for some time.

So you can see that he can buck when he likes, and it is only a first class rider that should have the handling of such a brute. It is not the class of horse fit for a new-chum trooper — such as was poor Adie — to ride. It is only a pastime for this horse to buck, and seems an easy matter for it to get rid of its burden at will.

It is hoped that the next man sent to fill the gap made by such a brute is able to take out of this horse what the other troopers could not.




Mudgee Guardian & North-Western Representative ( NSW )   Thu.  29 Oct. 1908  p 26 of 28

A special memorial service was preached in the Stuart Town Church of England, in memory of Constable Adie, who was killed by being thrown from a horse.




Wellington Times ( NSW )   Thu.  3 Dec. 1908   p5 of 8

WILLIAM COCHRANE ADIE, late of Stuart Town, Constable of Police, deceased.

All persons having claims against the above estate are requested to forward the same, verified by affidavit, to the undersigned, on or before the thirty-first day of December,   1908.


Curator of the above estate.

Chancery Square, Sydney, 1st Dec., 1908.






Cst William Cochrane ADIE - Horse accident - 11 Oct 1908 - Grave 06

Cst William Cochrane ADIE - Horse accident - 11 Oct 1908 - Grave 05

Cst William Cochrane ADIE - Horse accident - 11 Oct 1908 - Grave 04

Cst William Cochrane ADIE - Horse accident - 11 Oct 1908 - Grave 03

Cst William Cochrane ADIE - Horse accident - 11 Oct 1908 - Grave 02

Cst William Cochrane ADIE - Grave

William Cochrane ADIE - Grave 1 - NSWPF - Killed 11 October 1908

William Cochrane ADIE - Grave 2 - NSWPF - Killed 11 October 1908

Probationary Constable William Cochrane ADIE Touch Plate at the National Police Wall of Remembrance, Canberra
Probationary Constable William Cochrane ADIE Touch Plate at the National Police Wall of Remembrance, Canberra




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