Clarke, William Thomas

Constable 3203

On an unknown date in 1887, Constable Clarke arrested a man for being drunk in Humffray Street, Ballarat. He was conveying the prisoner to the Ballarat East lock-up when the man viciously assaulted him, kicking him in the groin and the back. One of the kicks ruptured the Constable’s liver. Clark complained of great pain at the time, and sought medical treatment. From that date his health deteriorated, and although he sought help from “nearly all the doctors in Ballarat”, there was nothing they could do for him. For the three weeks before his death he was confined to his bed. He died on the 27th of November 1887. He was buried in the New Street cemetery with full police honours.

Despite extensive inquiries no further details of his death are known. There is no record of an Inquest having been held. However, a file located at the Public Record Office contains a letter from Chief Commissioner Chomley, in which Chomley states that “there seems no doubt in my mind that the Constable’s death was the result of injuries received in the execution of his duty”.