Foot Constable

John McLennan HOLMAN




South Australia


John Holman took a bullet in the abdomen on a Saturday night in Grenfell St just 10 minutes before the end of shift. He and Constable Ernest Budgen had responded unarmed to a report of gunshots emerging from a dispute between criminals. In Grenfell St the officers seized a motorcycle and sidecar which belonged to one of the offenders and moved to take it to the City Watch House. At that moment John Stanley McGrath and another man appeared and confronted them. McGrath drew a .32 semi-automatic pistol and fired at Holman before an armed officer John Clement King arrived on the scene to back up his colleagues. After a vicious gunfight McGrath and his accomplice fled as King and Budgen chased after them. Holman bleeding from his wound also chased McGrath but collapsed outside the Grenfell Hotel. Although doctors worked frantically to save him Holman died 90 minutes later in the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Recovered from his lower abdomen was a nickel-coated bullet. Holman honoured with a State funeral left behind three brothers two sisters and his then fiance.

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National Police Memorial Australia

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