William H. PEARCE
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ?
Stations: Scone, Coopernook, Merriwa
Service: From ? to 13 December 1898 = ? years Service
Born: about 1863
Died on: Tuesday 13 December 1898
Funeral date: Wednesday 14 December 1898
Funeral location: ?
Memorial location: ?
[alert_red] William is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_red] * BUT SHOULD BE
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Wednesday 13 December 1899, page 1
PEARCE.—- In fond and loving memory of my beloved husband, Constable W. H. Pearce, who was accidentally drowned at Merriwa, December 13th, 1898. Inserted by his loving wife and children.
William H. PEARCE
13 December, 1898
The constable was drowned in the Merriwa River, Merriwa after he had jumped into the river to rescue a drowning boy named Thomas Baker. The boy was also drowned.
The Maitland Daily Mercury of 14 December, 1898 went into a little more depth.
“ Sad Drowning Fatality. “
A GALLANT POLICEMAN’S DEATH – MOURNFUL OCCURRENCE AT MERRIWA,
Merriwa, Wednesday – A sad drowning fatality occurred here yesterday evening. Constable W. H. Pearce was returning to town on horseback and after crossing Merriwa Bridge his attention was directed to a boy drowning in the river.
Pearce immediately dismounted and jumped into the river without undressing and attempted to rescue the boy, but being a bad swimmer both were, drowned.
The bodies were recovered after being about an hour under water. The funerals will take place this afternoon, also the magisterial inquiry.
Constable Pearce leaves a wife and six children. The boy was a son of Mr. A. W. Baker, custodian of the School of Arts. “
The Goulburn Evening Post of 15 December, 1898 carried the following very brief account.
Double Drowning Fatality. – A Brave Man Lost.
MERRIWA, Tuesday – Constable Pearce and a boy named Thomas Baker were drowned in Merriwa River this evening. Pearce jumped into the river to rescue the boy. Both bodies were recovered.
At the time of his death the constable was stationed at Merriwa.
Scone Advocate (NSW : 1887 – 1954), Friday 16 December 1898, page 2
Constable Pearce Drowned.
BRAVE ATTEMPT TO RESCUE A BOY. BOTH HAVE A WATERY GRAVE.
A sad drowning fatality occurred at Merriwa on Tuesday evening. Constable W. H. Pearce was returning to town on horseback and after crossing Merriwa Bridge his attention was directed to a boy drawing in the river. Pearce immediately dismounted and jumped into the river without undressing and attempted to rescue the boy, but being a bad swimmer both were drowned.
The bodies were recovered after being about an hour under water. Countable Pearce leaves a wife and six children.. The boy was a son of Mr. A. G. Baker, custodian of the School of Arts at Merriwa.
Residents of Scone and district learn with deep sorrow of the sad, though brave end of Constable Pearce, who was stationed here a few years ago.
It is surprising that a man so smart in other respects should be unable to swim from a small pond such as this must have been. Possibly the brave constable got fastened in some way while under the water.
The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser.
Tuesday 20 December 1898 page 2 of 4
Double Drowning Fatality.— The sad news reached Yass on Tuesday afternoon that Mr. William Pearce, brother of Mr. E. Pearce of Yass, was drowned at Merriwa that day. It appeals that Mr. Pearce, who was a mounted constable, was returning home from day duty and was crossing the bridge at Merriwa when he saw a boy named Thomas Baker drowning in the river. Pearce jumped off his horse and plunged into the water with his clothes on. The boy appears to have got hold of Pearce, with the result that the unfortunate man who was doing a brave act was drowned. Mr. Pearce, who was a native of Yass, was 35 years of age, and leaves a wife and six children. Great regret was expressed in Yass when the news was received, as Pearce was a very popular and well behaved young man. Deceased is a brother of Mr. A. G. Pearce, of Adelong, who was formerly in the employ of Mr. Newman, of Tumut, and was bandmaster of the Tumut band.
Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of New South Wales (Taree, NSW : 1898 – 1954), Wednesday 21 December 1898, page 2
Drowning Fatality at Merriwa,
DEATH OF CONSTABLE PEARCE.
A sad drowning fatality occurred at Merriwa on Tuesday evening, the 13th instant. Constable W. H. Pearce was returning to town on horseback, and after crossing Merriwa Bridge his attention was directed to a boy drowning in the river.
Pearce immediately dismounted, and jumped into the river without undressing, and attempted to rescue the boy, but being a bad swimmer both were drowned. The bodies were recovered after being about an hour under water.
The funerals took place the following afternoon, also the magisterial inquiry.
Constable Pearce leaves a wife and six children.
The boy was a son of Mr. A. W. Baker, custodian of the School of Arts.
[ Constable Pearce will be remembered as having been stationed for some time at Coopernook, in this district, where he made many friends. — Ed. ]
Maitland Weekly Mercury (NSW : 1894 – 1931), Saturday 28 March 1896, page 10
Singleton District Court and Quarter Sessions.
The above Court was opened at the Courthouse at ten on Saturday morning before Judge Backhouse. Mr. H. J. Leary, District Court Register, who present. Mr. A. K. Watt was the only member of the bar present. The solicitors in attendance were — Messrs. R. W. Thompson, H. V. Howe, W. W. Robinson, A. B. Shaw, and E. P. Richards.
BREAKING AND ENTERING.
William Frost (17) and Joseph Harris (16) were charged with breaking and entering, on the 12th February, the house of Joseph Heath, at Merriwa. Both accused pleaded guilty. Constable W. H. Pearce, stationed at Merriwa, stated they were swagmen and strangers in his district.
In answer to his Honor, Frost said his people were living in Sydney, and Harris said he lived in Newcastle. His Honor ordered Senior-Sergeant Moylan to procure from the accused the address of their relations, and telegraph to them to find out anything connected with them, and then remanded the accused for sentence until next day. In answer to his Honor both the accused said they had given wrong names. Accused Frost said his proper name was William Fury, and Harris that his right name was Walter Hay. His Honor told Fury that from enquiries made he found that he had been convicted of larceny in 1887, and received four days in the lockup. It appeared from that that he was now 17 ; he had started his defalcations rather early. But, however, he would treat them both as being young, and sentence them each to four months’ hard labour in Maitland Gaol.