Late of Singleton
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # P 1154
For the purposes of this website ‘P‘ = represents those Police joining Pre 1862 when NSWPF “Officially” commenced
Stations: ?, Singleton
Service: From 11 August 1857 to 24 January 1867 = 9+ years Service
Born: ? ? 1833 – 1834
Died on: Thursday 24 January 1867
Age: 33 – 34
Cause: Shot – accidental
Event location: between Bendemeer & Tamworth, NSW
Event date: 16 January 1867
Funeral date: Friday 25 January 1857
Funeral location: Old Bendemeer Cemetery
Funeral Parlour: ?
Buried at: Old Bendemeer Cemetery ( private property and unmarked )
Memorial located at: Bendemeer Cemetery, NSW
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Constable William Eiffe memorial unveiled by Oxley police at Bendemeer Cemetery
A PERMANENT memorial to recognise a fallen officer has been unveiled near Tamworth on the 150th anniversary of his death.
Constable William Eiffe died from a gunshot wound to the thigh on January 24, 1867, and is buried in an unmarked grave in the Bendemeer cemetery.
Oxley police together with Tamworth Regional Council – who helped to construct the memorial – commemorated his career in the force in a service on Tuesday morning.
”It’s a great part of the local history to have this recorded and I think it brings some interest in the local cemetery and the history of Bendemeer,” Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd said.
“And, hopefully for centuries to come, people will be able to come here and look at this and remember what has happened in our past.”
The Singleton-based officer was on a police escort on the night before his death when he was accidentally shot in the leg.
“On the evening of Wednesday the 23rd of January, 1867, there was a gold escort moving through the Moonbi Ranges, approximately seven miles from Bendemeer,” Oxley Sergeant Josh McKenzie said.
“A rain show had caused members of the escort to retreat into the carriage, another member of the escort had handed his rifle to Constable Eiffe, he rested the rifle across his thighs with the butt resting against the side of the coach.
“It is thought that the shaking and bouncing of the carriage has caused the rifle to accidentally discharge, shooting Constable Eiffe in the thigh.”
Constable Eiffe was left at Shepherds Hut nearby and the coach returned to Tamworth.
“Dr Scott of Tamworth was taken to the hut but unfortunately Constable William EIFFE died from the effects of the gunshot wound at noon on the 24th of January, 1867.”
Acting Superintendent Budd said the service was a reminder of how far the force had come in 150 years.
It is thought that the shaking and bouncing of the carriage has caused the rifle to accidentally discharge.
Sergeant Josh McKenzie
“One of the things that would be a tragedy today is for this to occur and his family to not be supported,” he said. “In the days of Constable William Eiffe, his wife and four children would have been destitute without the support we have today and we should be grateful for that.”
Constable William FYFFE
24 January, 1867
On 16 January, 1867 Constable Fyffe was performing gold escort duty on a coach travelling between Bendemeer and Tamworth. It is thought that the shaking of the coach caused a rifle to accidentally discharge, shooting the constable. The wounded constable was left in a shepherd’s hut while the coach continued to Tamworth to obtain medical assistance. Dr Scott of Tamworth provided assistance for the constable, however the wound was to prove fatal and he died the following Thursday. He is sometimes referred to as William Effe.
The Sydney Morning Herald dated 25 January, 1867 reported that news from Tamworth had been received that ” Last evening, Constable Fyffe, on gold escort duty, was accidentally shot in the thigh whilst riding in the coach on Moonby Ranges, seven miles from Bendemere. His rifle accidentally discharged, it is supposed, by the shaking of the coach. He was left at a shepherd’s hut. The escort proceeded to Tamworth, and on its arrival there Dr. Scott was immediately started off. Fyffe died from the effects of the wound at noon today. He has left a wife and large family at Singleton.
The constable was born in 1834 and joined the police force on 11 August, 1857. In 1862 he became a member of the newly-formed New South Wales Police Force. At the time of his death he was stationed at Singleton.