Constable 1st Class

Cyril Elgar HOWE

YEAR OF DEATH

1963

JURISDICTION

New South Wales

DETAILS OF DEATH

On the evening of the 19th December 1963 Sergeant (then Constable) Howe detained the offender Little near Oaklands and spoke to him regarding a stolen cheque book. He then directed the offender to drive his vehicle to the local Police Station while he followed in the Police vehicle. En route the offender sped away and was pursued by Constable Howe for several kilometres. When the offender eventually stopped the Constable approached his vehicle. The offender who had taken cover behind his vehicle door (the doors opened from hinged centre pillars) then produced a shotgun and shot Constable Howe. The Constable crawled back to the Police vehicle where he took cover and although seriously wounded returned fire until his automatic pistol jammed. He then sought further cover by crawling underneath the Police vehicle where he cleared his pistol and fired another shot before it again jammed. The offender then fired at the police vehicle shooting out the headlights steering and the Police sign from the top before escaping. Constable Howe then wrote the offender’s name several times in his Police notebook before dragging himself into the Police vehicle. He was only able to drive it a few metres before it ran into a roadside ditch. After being found the Constable was able to detail the events leading to the shooting. He was taken to the Wagga Base Hospital however despite a five-hour operation he died at 10.45pm on 20 December 1963. Constable 1st Class Howe was posthumously promoted to Sergeant 3rd Class and awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry and the Peter Mitchell Award. The offender later committed suicide. The circumstances surrounding the death of Sergeant Howe (pistol repeatedly jamming) led to the introduction of revolvers as general service issue to New South Wales Police. The Sergeant was born in 1932 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 1 April 1957. At the time of his death he was stationed at Oaklands.

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