A. L. (Arthur Lincoln) Haydon.

The trooper police of Australia; a record of mounted police work in the commonwealth from the earliest days of settlement to the present time online

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Online LibraryA. L. (Arthur Lincoln) HaydonThe trooper police of Australia; a record of mounted police work in the commonwealth from the earliest days of settlement to the present time → online text (page 17 of 32)
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threw himself on his back, his favourite position for shoot-
ing, and emptied the contents of his gun at his pursuers.
As his weapon was loaded with slug shot, and the range was
fairly long, not much damage was done. The troopers'
horses were hit, but not badly.

Brennan saw that the other would have to reload, and
took his chance of capturing his man before this was accom-
plished. It was just a chance that he could reach him in
time. Putting spurs to his horse he galloped up, threw
himself off, and got his hands on Tom at the moment that



the latter was putting the cap on his gun. This weapon,
by the way, was an old-fashioned type and of the extra-
ordinary length of six feet.

" Another few seconds," said Waterloo Tom grimly,
" and you'd have known what a good shot I am ! "

In July, 1900, the Dubbo district of New South Wales
was the scene of some atrocious murders committed by
aborigines. There were four natives concerned, three men
named Jacky Underwood, Jimmy and Joe Governor, and
a girl, Ethel Governor. At Breelong they massacred a
selector's entire family, after which they appeared at Gul-
gong, Wollar, and other places, shooting and spearing
several people. The mounted police sent in search of
these criminals were led by Superintendent Thomas Garvin,
who kept up a hot chase for some twelve weeks. Two of
the blacks, the Governors, were ex-police trackers, and
thus up to all the tactics that would be adopted for their

For continuity of pursuit this man-hunt equalled
anything that had been done in the criminal history of the
State. By throwing out advance parties on the right and
left wings (several civilians, smart bushmen, had now joined
in the chase), the police finally drove their quarry into a
corner. Joe Governor was caught up with and shot dead
at the end of October. His brother, Jimmy, was captured
at Dingo Creek, on the Manning River, after an encounter in
which he was wounded, and with Jacky Underwood was
subsequently executed. The girl, who was less culpable,
received a sentence of imprisonment.

Superintendent Garvin three years later relinquished
the command of the Northern District to take up the duties
of Inspector-General, having been appointed to that office



on the retirement of Mr. Fosbery. 1 That he has proved
himself to be a capable chief of police is shown by the present
high state of efficiency in the service. To-day the New
South Wales troopers are among the smartest in the Com-
monwealth, while the organisation of the force leaves
nothing to be desired. In 1909 Mr. Garvin was created a
Companion of the Imperial Service Order by his late
Majesty King Edward VII.

At the end of last year a notable change in the adminis-
tration took place. Mr. Garvin retired from the force
on a pension, and was succeeded by Mr. Ernest Day, who,
although a junior Superintendent, had been acting as
Deputy Inspector-General for some time. This appointment
has afforded universal satisfaction, for the new chief has
given ample evidence that he is possessed of the right
qualifications for this onerous position.

We may turn now to consider the mounted police of
the State as they are at the present time, under the same
Police Act of 1862 that effected their establishment. Ex-
clusive ofthe officers superintendents, inspectors, and sub-
inspectors, who have charge of both mounted and foot police
the troopers number 718. Of these thirty-five are at the
depot in Sydney, on duty at the Inspector-General's office,
acting as orderlies to his Excellency the State Governor, or
undergoing a course of instruction ; the remainder are dis-
tributed over the nine country districts into which the
State is divided. 2 If we reckon in the above-mentioned

1 Mr. Fosbery on leaving the service in December, 1903, received the
distinction of C.M.G. and a seat in the Legislative Council.

2 The distribution of the force is as follows, the headquarters being
printed in brackets : Northern (Armidale), 88 ; Southern (Goulburn),
112; Eastern (dep6t at Bedfern, Sydney), 90 ; Western (Bathurst),
122 ; Bourke (Bourke), 54 ; North-Eastern (West Maitland), 78 ; North-



officers the full total is 780. To these must be added sixty-
six native trackers who are employed almost exclusively
with the mounted men.

The metropolitan force is a foot service, and comprises
all told 1,010; the country force is a mounted and foot
service, and comprises 1,425, being an excess of 415 men
over the metropolitan district. The latter has 104 police
stations, while the country has 551.

The Police Depot was formerly at Belmore Barracks,
Sydney, but has been transferred to new quarters at Red-
fern. Here are commodious buildings covering an area of
nearly four acres, with drill ground, armoury, stables and
manege. On being drafted here recruits for the mounted
branch commence their training under Superintendent Sykes
and Inspector J. S. Clarke, the latter, who formerly served in
the 17th Lancers, being well qualified to act as drill-master
and riding-instructor. For the mounted police, who must all
be picked men, the standard is as follows : Age, from 21
to 30; height, 5 feet 8 inches; weight, 11 stone; chest
measurement, 38 inches. Every candidate has to pass a
severe educational test in dictation and arithmetic, in
addition to the medical examination, and it is indispensable
that he should be able to swim.

The best type of recruit is, of course, the man from
the country districts, who is generally a good horseman
and possessed of special knowledge of cattle and sheep.
The town-bred policeman, as a rule, is an indifferent
rider. All, however, are tried after the initial selection
has been made, and their certificates are placed before
the Inspector-General. Those who survive this stage

Western (Tamworth), 69 ; South- Western (Deniliquin), 64 ; Murray
(Albury), 61.



then pass on to the manege, where their education begins
in earnest. The course of military equitation which is
now undergone includes " physical, sword, revolver, and
carbine exercise, on foot and horseback, formation drill,
such as increasing and diminishing the front, the aids in
horsemanship, right and left closing, the proper applications
of the bridle, hand and legs, which enable the riders to
direct and determine the turnings and paces of their mounts,
make them obey the bits, and at the same time have
freedom of the right hand to use their swords or other
arms." Mounted recruits are also regularly exercised in
marches of eight or ten miles in military fashion, and sent
out in patrol parties under an experienced leader.

So much for the riding-school side of the mounted
recruit's life. From the farrier and the veterinary surgeon
he next learns how to take care of his steed while out in the
bush, how to shoe it and how to apply remedies for simple
ailments. The horses supplied to the troopers, it may be
said here, are of a very high standard. Bred from good
strains and raised in the State, they can compare with any in
the country. A fine specimen of the breed is depicted in the
illustration opposite page 216.

In the class-rooms of the depot the would-be mounted
policeman is instructed in the various other branches of his
work. He is taught how to take finger-prints, a most
important feature of the system ; and how to discover
finger impressions on smooth boards, glass, or other material.
Then come lessons in matters relating to police duties,
necessitating the study of the " Police Rules," and the
various Acts referring to vagrancy, police offences, crimes,
etc. To acquire proficiency in framing reports he practises
drawing up accounts of cases given in the official Gazette,



while he further gains knowledge of the conduct of police
cases by attending the courts.

As the trooper stationed in a country district must be
ready to meet any emergency that may arise he can hardly
know too much. Such useful qualifications as a know-
ledge of ambulance work and first aid to the injured come
within his scope. Special instruction in ^this direction is
given to every man, and one finds many notes in the police
files testifying to the value of such teaching. " Constable
Campbell of Bobadah," we read in one instance, " is de-
serving of commendation for his humane action in assisting
in a case of snake-bite, some distance out of the township,
in the absence of medical advice. The constable, on hear-
ing that a lad had been bitten, hastened to the scene, tied
ligatures around the limb, scarified and sucked the wound,
and did everything else possible, with the satisfactory re-
sult that the boy recovered."

The mounted policeman " out back " is often Clerk of
the Petty Sessions and the stand-by of the local magistrate.
More often than not he knows the statutes better than the
entire bench, and his timely word helps to preserve the
majesty of the law. They tell a good story of a local justice
of the peace who was a big station owner in the north and
a man noted for his fiery temper as for his lack of education.
Riding round his domain one day with a trooper who had
paid him a call, he made a terrible discovery. A swagman
had camped on his sheep run and killed a ewe for his dinner.
What was even worse, he had broken down the wire fence,
allowing some hundreds of sheep to stray.

Mr. Brown, as we will call him, fixed the delinquent
with blazing eyes. In a country where every wayfarer,
however poor, may reckon upon hospitality, the commission



of such a crime as sheep-killing is regarded as a most
heinous offence. When he had found words to express his
wrath he spluttered out

" Do ye see this, Beresford ! The unmentionable black-
guard ! We'll make an example of him, Beresford."

Beresford (it was not his name, really, but never mind)
said, " Yes, sir," with stern significance.

" It's worse than murder, Beresford ! "

" Yes, sir."

" Am I not a magistrate, Beresford ? "

" Yes, sir."

" The law must be upheld, eh ? "

" Yes, sir."

" Well, then, I'll Til hang him for it, Beresford," cried
the irate squatter. " I will I'll Tiang him ! "

" Yes, sir," said the imperturbable trooper. And the
wretched swagman, conscious of the enormity of his crime
and by this time in abject fear, grovelled on the ground.

" I'm in my rights, Beresford, and the evidence is con-
clusive. We've caught him red-handed." Mr. Brown
paused for another explosion of wrath, which incidentally
brought him under the Act directed against the use of
strong language, and proceeded to address the " prisoner
at the bar." Having summed up judicially he passed
sentence of death in his most impressive manner, and Beres-
ford, uncovering, wound up with " God save the King ! "

Pending his execution the miserable and well-frightened
prisoner spent the night in bonds in a stable. The next
morning (much against Mr. Brown's will, no doubt) the
trooper carried him off to the nearest township, where in
due course a less severe sentence was imposed upon him
by a properly constituted bench.



Whether or no the above story is apocryphal, the allu-
sion to troopers acting as Clerks of Petty Sessions reminds
us of the many extraneous duties that are constantly being
performed by the mounted police. The following note on a
year's work, which occurs in a recent report of the Inspector-
General, is illuminating. He says :

" The inquiries made and the work performed by the
police for other departments of the public service continue
to increase. Six hundred and twenty-one (621) communica-
tions were received from the Department of Public Health
for transmission to the police in country districts, in addi-
tion to a number forwarded direct to the Metropolitan
Superintendent of Police. Proceedings have been conducted
by the police, on behalf of the Department of Public Instruc-
tion, in four hundred and sixty-eight (468) cases under the
compulsory clauses of the Education Act, for neglect to
send children to school, etc. Inquiries have been conducted
in two thousand five hundred and forty-four (2,544) cases
for the Master-in-Lunacy, one thousand nine hundred (1,900)
for the Boarding-out Officer and Chief Officer under the

' Children's Protection Act, 1902,' and one hundred and


sixty-seven (167) for the Medical Inspector of Charities.
One thousand six hundred and twenty-six (1,626) inquiries
were made by the police to recover moneys advanced, and
on other matters connected with the State Labour Bureau.
Seven hundred and fifty-four (754) notices were served on
behalf of the Department of Lands, and four hundred and
fifty-eight (458) for the Land Appeal Court. One thousand
two hundred and forty-four (1,244) inquiries were made for
the Department of Agriculture in connection with the
recovery for moneys for seed wheat supplied, etc., one
hundred and forty-eight (148) inquiries were made for the



Fisheries Department, five hundred and twelve (512) for
the Government Statistician, sixty-five (65) for the Govern-
ment Savings Bank of New South Wales, twenty-four (24)
for the officer in charge of the ' Shearers' Accommodation
Act,' two hundred and eighty-six (286) for L the Explosives
Department, twenty-seven (27) for the Taxation Depart-
ment, one hundred and fifty-seven (157) for the Resumed
Properties Branch, fifty-nine (59) for the Randwick Asylum,
and twenty-five (25) for the Registrar-General under the
' Registration of Firms Act ' ; six hundred and seventy-
three (673) for the Chief Secretary's Department respecting
Justices of the Peace and nominations for the Commission
of the Peace ; two thousand seven hundred (2,700) for
the same Department respecting charitable allowances,
and nine hundred and nine (909) respecting the licensing of

" Reports were furnished regarding one thousand eight
hundred and twenty-eight (1,828) applications for expenses
of witnesses attending Police and Coroners' Courts, one
hundred and fifty-seven (157) in connection with tramway
accidents, and forty-nine (49) for the Sheriff respecting the
death of jurors (a considerable number of reports were also
furnished direct by the police for the information of the
Board for Invalidity and Accidents Pensions in Sydney, in
addition to numerous inquiries made for the various local
Boards), and one hundred and forty-eight (148) inquiries
were made for the Immigration and Tourist Bureau respect-
ing the proposed settlement of immigrants on the land, etc.

" With a view to assisting the Board of Health in their
administration of the ' Private Hospitals Act, 1908,' in-
quiries have been made by the police during the year regard-
ing all persons conducting private hospitals throughout the



State, the class of buildings utilized, and the accommodation
provided, etc. Four thousand five hundred and nineteen
(4,519) similar inquiries were made by the police, at the
instance of the Chief Secretary, upon the passing of the
' Theatres and Public Halls Act,' regarding halls required
to be licensed under the Act.

" Arrangements having been made by the Government
for the payment of invalidity and accidents pensions, which
are payable by the State, through public officers, half-
monthly, on and after the llth November, instead of
monthly, through the Bank of New South Wales, as formerly,
I consented to the police, at certain places, including those
who are Acting Clerks of Petty Sessions, undertaking these
duties as may be found necessary.

" The police at various centres still continue to perform
duties for the Commonwealth in connection with the ' Com-
monwealth Invalidity and Old-age Pensions Act,' consisting
of the completion of forms, submitting original claims for and
renewals of pensions, furnishing reports to the Registrar
in regard to applications for warrants under section 33 of the
Principal Act, collecting necessary evidence, and reporting
where further information is required in connection with
claims, reporting cases of removal, attending Board meet-
ings when required to give evidence, and filing informations
against pensioners where false declarations have been made,
and prosecuting offenders in Police Courts.

" In the month of September, at the instance of the
Commonwealth Government, the police throughout the State
commenced a canvass with a view to bringing the Federal
electoral rolls up to date. The work was satisfactorily and
expeditiously completed, the only expense to the Common-
wealth Government being the travelling allowances of the



police engaged on the work and actual out-of-pocket ex-
penses for postage, freight, baits, etc."

In addition to the foregoing we find the mounted police
filling the important posts of mining registrars, mining
wardens' clerks and bailiffs, registrars of Small Debts
Courts, issuers of miners' rights, business and min-
eral licences, acting foresters, registrars of births, deaths,
and marriages, inspectors under the Diseases in Sheep
Act, inspectors of vineyards, inspectors under the Alien
Immigration Acts, inspectors under the Fisheries Act,
crown lands rangers, inspectors under the Early Closing
Act, \ inspectors under Noxious Trades Act, agents for the
Curator of Intestate Estates, agents for the Aborigines Pro-
tection Board and collectors of aborigines yearly census,
agents for inquiries under the Poisons Act, issuers of permits
for sheep to travel, receivers and distributors of money
under Deserted Wives and Childrens Act, inspectors under
Factories and Shops Act, issuers of timber, fuel, and
quarry licences, agents for Labour Commissioners, receivers
of cormorant heads and issuers of certificates for payment.

And this is not all. Almost every Department of the
State looks to the police for assistance in one way or another,
and the whole of the help rendered is done free of charge.
The Inspector-General not unreasonably asks whether the
Commonwealth Government ought not to pay for these
varied duties. There is not the slightest doubt that, were
the services of the police not made available, the Common-
wealth would be at considerable expense both in the matter
of the collection of electoral rolls and in obtaining the
information now furnished by the police of the State. It
is a fact, too, that in view of the prevailing conditions some
of the work could hardly be carried out without this assist-



ance, and the present arrangement certainly makes for
effectiveness and economy. The police do not grumble at
the burden of work, they are ready enough to " run the
show " : what they ask is adequate compensation for services

With the course of years have come a few changes in
uniform, all of which have tended to increased smartness in
appearance. The New South Wales trooper of to-day is a
striking figure in his blue cloth jacket, Bedford cord breeches,
black riding boots, and black cloth cap with its French
peak. This is his working dress ; for parade he dons a
white helmet, white buckskin crossbelt and sword-belt,
and white buckskin gloves. In the bush he will exchange
his showy " Wellingtons " for more serviceable brown boots
and leggings, which do not call for constant cleaning. The
carbine now used by the mounted police is the Martini-
Henry, this being carried in a bucket on the saddle. The
revolver is the well-known Adams pattern or the Webley,
these having superseded the heavier Colt.

Lastly, a word as to the pay of the police, which is the
same for mounted men as for the foot. The scale is as
follows : Probationary constables, 6s. 6d. per day ; ordi-
nary constables, 7s. Qd. rising, after three years' service,
to 85. ; constables, 1st class, 8s. Qd. ; senior-constables, 9s. ;
sergeants, 2nd class, 10s. 3d. ; sergeants, 1st class, lls. 6d. ;
detectives, from 10s. to 14s. All non-commissioned officers
and constables not provided with quarters receive an allow-
ance of Is. per day. On retirement at the age of sixty, or if
certified unfit for service earlier, a policeman is awarded a
pension according to the number of years he has been in the
force. For thirty years' service full salary is granted, for
twenty-five years' three-quarters pay, for twenty years'

225 g


two-thirds pay, and for fifteen years' half-pay. For those
appointed to the force since 1906 the scale of pension for
twenty years and upwards has been fixed at *V of the salary
for each completed year of service. 1

1 All members of the Police Force subscribe 4 per cent, of their salaries
to a Superannuation Fund, from which pensions and gratuities are payable
to those who reach the age limit or who may be certified unfit for further
service by the Medical Board. Widows of members of the force are also
entitled to gratuities from the Police Reward Fund. These grants are
made under the " Police Regulation (Superannuation) Act " of 1906.




The Port Phillip settlement Superintendent Latrobe Separation
demanded The colony of Victoria Policing arrangements High
Constables Captain Lonsdale Mounted police Captain Mair
A native corps Mr. W. H. F. Mitchell, Chief Commissioner Captain
Charles Macmahon Highway robberies The tables turned A
Melville story Uniforms Captain F. C. Standish, Chief Commis-
sioner Power, the bushranger An exciting capture Superinten-
dents Hare and Nicholson Quelling a mutiny Mr. H. M. Chomley
appointed Mr. T. O'Callaghan, Chief Commissioner Police figures
At the depot Pay.

THE settlement of Port Phillip by John Batman and
John Pascoe Fawkner, and its growth under New
South Wales jurisdiction, has already been touched upon.
It remains to sketch briefly the events which led to its
separation from the older colony and the constitution of
the State of Victoria.

From the very first there was trouble. The Port Phillip
settlers chafed under the distant rule of the Legislative
Council at Sydney. Mr. Latrobe, who had been sent out in
1839 to take charge of the settlement, with the title of
Superintendent, found the community grow too fast for
him. The demand for land was so great that the authorities
could scarcely keep pace with it. And as the population
increased accordingly the general discontent began to
manifest itself openly. The settlers' grievances were



augmented in 1840 when the boundary of New South Wales
was fixed to include a number of districts which it had been
proposed to leave in the southern division. It was felt that
the time had come when Port Phillip was strong enough to
stand on its own legs.

A concession was made in 1842 when the English Parlia-
ment passed an Act by which the southern settlement was
empowered to send six representatives to the Legislative
Council. But this was not sufficient ; the inhabitants
clamoured for autonomy. Two years later an attempt was
made to bring about the desired separation without avail,
the Council negativing the proposal. In order, therefore,
to draw the attention of the Imperial Government to the
state of affairs, Melbourne nominated and duly returned
" The Right Honourable Henry Grey, Earl Grey in the
peerage of Great Britain," the then Secretary of State for the
Colonies, as its representative hi Sydney. To this farcical
proceeding the Governor, Sir Charles Fitzroy, rejoined by
declaring the election null and void. But though eventually
local representatives were secured, Earl Grey was now made
aware of the necessity for reform, and steps were taken to
effect the change.

The defeat of the Government of which Earl Grey was
a member somewhat delayed matters. In 1850, however,
an Act passed through the British Parliament authorising
the separation, and in the following year the colony of
Victoria was proclaimed. Mr. Latrobe was appointed the
first Governor. At this juncture, as we have seen, there
occurred the great gold discoveries, following upon those of
New South Wales. The influx of people into the colony sent
up its population by leaps and bounds, and Victoria entered
upon its independent career with bright prospects. Its



subsequent vicissitudes are a matter of history, which it
is beyond our purpose to follow.

The policing arrangements of Port Phillip in its earliest
days were very primitive. That some sort of watchmen or
constables were appointed is evident from the fact that

Online LibraryA. L. (Arthur Lincoln) HaydonThe trooper police of Australia; a record of mounted police work in the commonwealth from the earliest days of settlement to the present time → online text (page 17 of 32)