Constable

John F POWER

YEAR OF DEATH

1867

JURISDICTION

Queensland

DETAILS OF DEATH

Constables Cahill and Powers were the first two Queensland Police Officer killed in the line of duty. They were shot dead while performing Gold Escort Duty in 1867. This double murder occurred at the MacKenzie River the present location of the Bedford Weir north of Blackwater in Central Queensland. The Constables were returning to Clermont from Rockhampton with 4000 pounds in cash. During the evening while they slept both Constables were shot through the head with the money stolen. Their bodies found two days later by an innkeeper who raised the alarm. The offender was Thomas Griffin the Assistant Gold Commissioner from Rockhampton who committed robberies and murders to pay his gambling debts. Griffin had been Magistrate and Gold Commissioner to the Clermont district before being demoted and transferred to Rockhampton. While in Clermont he had become an addicted gambler and owed an number of Chinese Gold diggers money. He was convicted of the murders of Cahill and Powers and hung at Rockhampton prison on the 1 June 1868. Constable Cahill and Powers were originally buried at MacKenzie River. In 1868 there bodies were exhumed and buried in the old South Rockhampton Cemetery.

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National Police Memorial Australia

  • The National Police Memorial is located in Kings Park on the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin adjacent to Aspen Island and the National Carrillion. View in Google maps