William HAVILLAND

New South Wales Police Force

Constable

Regd. # ?

Accidentally Shot

Orange

Event  15 June 1862

Died  16 June, 1862

Funeral  ?

 

On 15 June, 1862 Constable Havilland, Sergeant James Condell, Senior Constable Henry Moran and Constable Rafferty were travelling as protection for the Forbes Gold Escort. At a locality known as the Eugowra Rocks the coach was ambushed by a gang of bushrangers which included the notorious Frank Gardiner, John Gilbert and Ben Hall. As a result of the attack, Sergeant Condell and Senior Constable Moran were wounded, the coach was overturned and 14,000 pounds in gold and banknotes and bags of registered mail stolen. The following day ( 16 June 1862 ) the coach was righted and driven into Orange. Shortly after arriving in town a revolver under a seat in the coach discharged, with the shot travelling upwards through the seat and striking the unfortunate Constable Havilland under the chin and killing him instantly.

 

The Empire dated 19 June, 1862 provided some interesting background information on the constable.

 

CONSTABLE HAVILAND – This man, who was shot under such mysterious circumstances in the vehicle of the gold escort, just after its arrival in Orange, was a very deserving officer of the force. He was formerly a sergeant in the Royal Artillery at Woolwich, and, leaving the regiment, he arrived in Sydney about four years since from India, when he entered the metropolitan police. He was for a considerable time in the Parramatta street division, where he was always known as a very efficient member of the force. He was a first-rate marksman and a good shot, and, we believe, he was so well versed in drill exercises that it was intended at one time by the Inspector General, to make him act as an instructor to the Sydney Police. He subsequently acted as orderly to the Inspector General, in which capacity he was looked upon as a confidential servant. From that position he entered the gold escort, in which service his untimely fate is to be regretted. Haviland has left a widow and two children residing in Sydney, to deplore their loss; and Mrs Haviland is at present, we understand on the eve of her confinement.

 

At the time of his death the constable was aged 33 years and had joined the police force about 1858. He was attached to the Forbes Gold Escort which on 1 March, 1862 had become part of the New South Wales Police Force.

 

 

( This is believed to have been the first on-duty death of a member of the New South Wales Police Force, which had been created on 1 March, 1862 following the passing of the Police Regulation Act 1862. On that date all existing police forces, units and constabularies were amalgamated into one organization which was led by Inspector General Captain John McLerie. The original force consisted of about eight hundred men. )

 

Senior Constable Henry MORAN was later accidentally killed on the 4 February 1890 and a memorial to MORAN is located at Mt Lambie, between Bathurst & Lithgow, NSW.

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