Crawford House Publishing
Police Troopers of the Outback 

Police Troopers of old were a unique breed in the early years of Australia's colonies as they were frequently assigned to previously unexplored regions.

They became masters of survival in what has often been described as one of the harshest and uncompromising environments in the world.

Their tasks were many and varied. They accompanied and shared their skills with explorers, they pursued and captured horse thieves and murderers, often placing their own lives in peril.

Burying bodies of lost travelers and drovers who had perished from exposure or starvation was a trooper's frequent chore.

Police Troopers of the Outback, while illustrating the formation of one of the world's oldest organised police forces, contains many stories of high adventure, humour and heartache that all formed part of the everyday life of the trooper. Also included are some of the unfortunate deaths on duty of troopers such as John Charles Shirley, and other members of his party, who died of thirst whilst searching for a man incorrectly reported as missing, and there is the poem written by Shirley's colleague William Willshire in honour of the brave members of that party.

A very early execution and the circumstances leading up to it are also included, as are many of the stories taken from troopers own writings and reminiscences, highlighting incidents within their careers that they considered worth noting.

On a more light-hearted note copies of correspondence show the number of letters that were required to be sent and received by a policeman simply to have the pit of the 'long drop' toilet at a police station/residence cleaned out without incurring considerable personal expense. Another letter, written by Mounted Constable Cornelius Power, relates the extent of hardship and privation to which many of these troopers willingly submitted in the course of their duty.

Also included is a factual account of the infamous Sundown murder case of the 1950s written by the chief investigating officer, Chas Hopkins. Often experienced bush policemen needed the help of loyal native trackers, but on one occasion it was a native prisoner named 'Neighbour', who at the risk of his own life plunged into raging floodwaters to save his captor, Mounted Constable William F. Johns, from drowning. 'Neighbour' was consequently awarded the Albert Medal for bravery.


Edited by Jim Sykes & Allan Peters


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105 B&W photos




230 x 200 mm



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