1856

07Jul

Anderson, David

Constable

On the 7th of July 1856, Anderson was found drowned in a creek about 1 1/4 miles from Wangaratta. He was apparently on duty at the time, but the exact circumstances of his death are unknown.

02Aug

Bates, Stephen

Constable

On Saturday, 2nd August 1856, Constable Bates was on a routine patrol when he attempted to cross the Loddon River, 5.5 miles from the Serpentine Creek Police Station. Because he could not swim he led his horse into the water and clung to it as it swam across, but when it reached the middle of the river it sank, dragging Bates down with it. The horse subsequently struggled to shore but the Constable, deprived of the animal's assistance, was drowned.

02Jan

Brunton, Robert

Constable

At 7 a.m. on Wednesday, 2nd January 1856, Constable Brunton left Porcupine to go to Sandhurst to have his horse shod. At 11 p.m. that evening his steed returned unaccompanied to its stable, and the alarm was raised. A search later located Brunton's body lying on the Sandhurst Road, his death having been caused by a fall from his horse.

21Oct

Fallon, Edward

Constable

In the early hours of Tuesday, 21st October 1856, Constable Fallon was on patrol duty in the Mildura area when he was drowned whilst crossing a creek near the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers.

16Oct

McNally, John

Sergeant

At about 7 p.m. on Thursday 16th October, 1856, Sergeant McNally and Constable John Moore, having received information that a wanted man named William Turner (alias Gypsy Smith) was at a miner's tent about two miles away, rode in search of the suspect. Turner was well known to the police and was suspected of committing armed robberies in the area. They subsequently located Turner at the tent, and he made a desperate struggle to escape. Just as they had subdued him he called on an associate named William Twigham (alias Cockney Bill) to come and help him. Twigham came out of the tent carrying a double barrelled shot gun, and fired at the policeman, killing McNally and wounding Moore. The two offenders then made good their escape. However they did not remain at liberty for long, for on 23rd October, 1856 they were arrested at the Adelaide lead diggings near Amherst. Charged with the Sergeant's murder both men appeared before Castlemaine Circuit Court. Twigham was convicted and sentenced to death, and hanged at Melbourne on 11th March, 1857. Turner was more fortunate. Because of legal difficulties the charge of murder did not proceed against him, and he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to fifteen years hard labour.

04Dec

Thompson, Edward P.

Sub-Inspector

On the 14th September, 1853 the bushrangers Henry Bradley and Patrick O’Connor commandeered a vessel in Van Dieman’s Land and forced the Captain to take them to Victoria. On landing they went on a rampage of robbery and murder. The police were soon in hot pursuit and at dusk on the evening of Monday, 26th September 1853, they finally cornered the men at Mr. Kane’s Station near Kilmore.

After a short gun battle, during which Sub-Inspector Thompson was shot through the lung, the offenders escaped on horse back. The troopers were unable to follow as their horses had broken away, and it was some time before the pursuit could be re-commenced. Sub-Inspector Thompson never recovered from his wound, and his condition steadily deteriorated. He died on 4th December, 1856 after a long and painful illness