Trooper Robert Williamson, attached to the Great Lake Territorial Police in the municipality of Bothwell, died from injuries when a tree fell across the horse he was riding and struck Williamson in the back; he was [about] 25 years of age. There is very little documentation available detailing Robert Williamson’s life before entering the police force in October 1864. An entry in the Police Establishment Register indicates he arrived on the ship the Lady Eginda from Fifeshire in Scotland. Williamson worked in the Great Lake District as a constable and served a couple of years before his accident in 1867. On the 20th February 1867, James Wright, the foreman/shepherd of a large Bothwell property, accompanied Trooper Williamson onto the property of James Maclanchan, Esquire in the municipality of Bothwell. Giving evidence at the Inquiry James Wright recalled how the two of them were “riding in the bush on the Shannon run….when a large tree fell across the horse he was riding, instantaneously killing the animal, and striking Williamson on the back so severely that he expired in three hours afterwards.” (The Leader Newspaper, 1867; Reports of Crime, 1867). His death on the 20th February is recorded in the Deaths in the District of Bothwell Register and in Reports of Crime. The findings of the Inquest simultaneously reflect the newspaper stories and the entry in the Police Establishment Register. Dr Campbell, who examined the deceased, informed the Inquiry “The Injury to the spine and the chest must have caused interruption to the action of the vital organs of the chest, heart and lungs.” Dr Campbell concluded the cause of death was “the limbs of a falling tree coming into contact with the deceased…” (Country News Bothwell, 25th Feb. 1867).

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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 Queen Elizabeth II Island and the National Carrillion. View in Google maps