Constable 1/c Charles O'KEARNEY
16 September 1904
In Laidley at 11pm on the night of 15 September 1904, Sergeant McFoyle and Constable 1/c Charles O'Kearney arrested a man named John McFadden for making use of profane language and for misbehaving himself. Another man named Walter Peacock went to McFadden's aid but was talked out of interfering by his brother who then removed him from the scene by force.
After conveying McFadden to the lockup, McFoyle and O'Kearney returned to the street where a considerable crowd had gathered. During the absence of the police, Walter Peacock had mounted his horse, and on appearance of the two police officers, abused them and anyone else who had helped with McFadden's arrest. Peacock became very animated and any attempt to arrest him was frustrated by the horsemanship and aggressive tactics of the rider.
Peacock tried time and time again to run the two officers down and in the final instance moved at full gallop down the street towards O'Kearney and McFoyle. He swerved, hitting O'Kearney and knocking him over. O'Kearney hit his head and fractured his skull. Although assistance to the injured officer was rendered quickly, O'Kearney died at 6am on 16 September 1904.
James Walter Peacock was committed to trial on 4 October 1904 on the offence of wilful murder of Constable 1/c Charles O'Kearney. He was found guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to 3 years hard labour.
Constable Albert G. Price
23 December 1905
On the night of 23 December 1905, Constable Price was patrolling Mackay's Chinatown. At 6.30pm fighting erupted between drunken Island workers. Constable Price and other officers arrested a number of them and then returned to Chinatown in order to prevent further breaches of peace, and to make enquiries about people allegedly supplying liquor to the Islanders. A man named Johannes was suspected of using his fruit shop as a cover for his sly grog trade. Police were confident they had enough evidence to arrest him so Constables Price and Cameron, were sent back to Chinatown at 8.15pm to do so. On entering the Johannes' shop, they found a drunk woman who seemed quite unaware of her surroundings, but there was no sign of Johannes. Cameron went outside to wait for Johannes while Price remained in the shop. Johannes eventually arrived and was accompanied into the shop by Cameron. When Johannes would not provide sufficient answers about the drunk woman he was arrested and escorted from the building.
On the footpath, Johannes told them he would go quietly. "It's all right, I'll manage him, you see where the woman is," Price told Cameron. Cameron had taken a few steps when he heard a scuffle behind him and turned to see Johannes stumble onto the street. Price yelled to Cameron "Look out, he's got a knife!" and then collapsed. He had been stabbed twice and died within minutes. Johannes turned and confronted Cameron, swinging the knife at him. Acting Sergeant Mulvey was on foot patrol and upon seeing the fight, went to assist. As he approached behind Johannes, Cameron warned him of the danger, but Johannes swung around and lunged at Mulvey, stabbing him in the back. Johannes then ran off but was captured in a local hotel. Johannes was convicted of the murder of Constable Price and sentenced to death. He was hanged on 14 May 1906.
Sergeant Thomas HEANEY
27 September 1906
In the early hours of 7 June 1905 while on patrol, then Constable 1/c Thomas Heaney witnessed a male offender exiting a window of the Norman Hotel at Woolloongabba. Heaney approached and attempted to arrest the offender, Henry Smith, and a violent struggle ensued. Heaney was struck from behind by a second offender and Smith’s accomplice, Lawrence Blake. Heaney was hit multiple times over the head with a metal bar rendering him unconscious and with severe head injuries resulting in skull fractures.
Heaney was transported by ambulance to a hospital for treatment where doctors reported he has sustained a compound communicated fracture to the skull about his left ear, several cuts and abrasions to the head and a fractured jaw. The two offenders Smith and Blake, were later arrested and charged with grievous bodily harm and burglary. Blake was sentenced to 10 months and Smith to four years imprisonment. Heaney was promoted to Sergeant back dated to the attack on 7 June 1905. On 1 January 1906, Sergeant Heaney was medically retired on a full police pension.
On 27 September 1906, Thomas Heaney died at this residence in South Brisbane. The attending Doctor certified that he died from primary injuries of a fractured skull and secondary injuries of paralysis of the muscles of the throat and larynx. Even though Heaney was no longer a serving police officer, his death was reported to Police Commissioner Cahill and he was granted a full police funeral and was buried at the Toowong Cemetery alongside his late wife Mary.
Constable 1/c Roy DOYLE
1 April 1956
On 29 March 1956, heavy rains fell in the Mackay area with torrential amounts falling in the Pioneer river catchment area. Police from Mackay were sent out to maintain control of the situation. It was not long before the Pioneer River began to rise and the current became swift. At 5.30am on 30 March the river reached 45ft and continued to rise. Evacuations were begun and people were moved to the top floor of the Cremorne Hotel. The flood peaked at midday on 30 March stopping only a few meters from the top floor of the Hotel. The river had receded a great deal by 3pm that afternoon.
Constables Porter and Doyle who had been doing duty at both ends of the Forgan Bridge waded over to Senior Sergeant McNaught to announce that all was okay on the northern side of the river. McNaught advised them that all dangers had passed in the Cremorne area and that they should stay around for a short while until their shift ended at 5pm. At about 3.30pm a man named Lorenz Heinrich Fedderson who had been drinking at the hotel waded into flood waters and commenced to swim out into the deep water of the river which was running very strongly. He soon got into difficulty and when his plight was noticed, Constables Springer and Crowe obtained a row boat and went to help him. These two officers then got into trouble when an oar broke and had to jump from the boat. While Springer dragged it back to shore, Crowe went after Fedderson. Constable Doyle deciding to assist Crowe in the rescue, waded to a retaining wall, climbed it and then dived into the river. He reappeared floating face down in the water. Roy Doyle was sent to the Mackay Hospital but his condition deteriorated and he died at 1.40pm on 1 April. Investigations later showed that when Doyle dived into the flooded Pioneer river he struck his head on a submerged block of concrete which caused massive head injuries.
Constable Gregory J. OLIVE
19 February 1962
Constable 1/c Gregory Olive was at the Kelvin Grove Police Station on 19 February 1962. At about 9.50am he left the station to make a routine investigation into wilful damage to property. The suspect was Piotr Michalewicz, a 47 year old unemployed labourer.
Michalewisz resided only 50 meters from the Kelvin Grove Police. Over the period that he had lived at this address, tension had developed between Michalewicz and his neighbour Mr Fletcher. On 17 February Michalewicz shouted abuse at his neighbour. The following day Fletcher found his bedding and several frocks in his laundry slashed, his toilet flooded and the cistern arm twisted. A frock on the clothes line was also slashed. On the morning of the 19th Fletcher heard a noise in his kitchen and found Michalewicz standing by the refrigerator, Michalewicz left immediately and Fletcher later said that he found a quantity of horse meat for his cat, was missing. Fletcher made a complaint to Constable Olive at the Kelvin Grove Police Station who later accompanied him home to inspect the damaged property.
That same day Constable Olive called at Michalewicz's house to speak to him about the matter. He knocked two or three times on the front door. The door was flung open and he was shot in the chest at close range by a .303 rifle. Olive staggered back from the door and collapsed. The door was then immediately slammed shut and locked. Olive died a few minutes later. Michalewicz was later shot and wounded by Sergeant Walker when attempts to get him to relinquish the rifle failed. In court Michalewicz pleaded guilty, the jury agreed and he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the wilful murder of Constable 1/c Gregory Olive.
Constable Douglas W. WREMBECK
Brisbane Traffic Branch
16 August 1962
On Wednesday 15 August 1962 Constable Wrembeck, of the Brisbane Traffic Branch, was rostered on a 3pm to 11pm shift and left the station to patrol the South Brisbane area. At 10.15pm Wrembeck, riding his police Triumph motor cycle, was returning towards the City to complete his shift. At this time he observed a Ford Zephyr sedan fail to give a signal as it turned from Vulture Street into Grey Street. Wrembeck stopped the car to speak to the driver. The Zephyr was parked close and parallel to the western kerb in Grey Street near Tribune Street at South Brisbane. The Zephyr was fitted with a semaphore type indicator (This type of indicator has a signal arm which pops out from the body of the car). Wrembeck asked the driver to accompany him to the rear of the car in order too prove or disprove the use of the indicator.
Wrembeck and the Zephyr driver were standing at the rear of the car. Wrembeck had moved slightly towards the centre of the road and while there was struck by a Vanguard Space Master sedan which was headed towards the city. Wrembeck was struck on his left side and the force threw him against the side of the Zephyr and then up onto the bonnet. His body then rolled off the car, hit his motorcycle and finally came to rest beside it, 27 feet from the impact. The Vanguard sedan stopped 50 yards on from the accident but then drove away from the scene. Wrembeck, close to death, was rushed to the nearby Mater Hospital. Wrembeck died on 16 August 1962 from his injuries.
The driver of the offending car was located and had three charges laid against him: (1) unlawfully killing Constable Wrembeck; (2) being under the influence of alcohol whilst driving a motor vehicle and (3) failing to stop after being involved in a road accident. He was fined, found guilty of dangerous driving and was sentenced to six months in jail and disqualified from driving for 5 years.
Senior Constable Cecil R. BAGLEY
14 February 1963
Senior Constable Cecil Bagley was at home with his wife and children at Mt Gravatt when at about 7pm on 14 February 1963 the attention of the Bagley and his wife was attracted by the sound of a light bulb exploding, and a scream. They then saw their neighbour Mr Chapman leaning on his motor vehicle with the open bonnet of the car resting on his head, and the engine of the vehicle still running.
Bagley realised that Chapman had been electrocuted and he went to render assistance. He warned Mrs Chapman and his own wife that on no accountant were they to touch Chapman due to the danger to themselves of electrocution. He asked Mrs Chapman to turn off the electricity at the fuse box which she did. However before the power had been switched off, Bagley went to the driver's side door and leaned into the vehicle to turn off the ignition. He was electrocuted as he leant through the window.
Attempts were made to immediately revive both Bagley and Chapman but both failed to respond and were pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
Although Senior Constable Bagley was not on duty at the time of this accident, he was included on the Roll of Honour in recognition of the fact that by nature of their occupation police officers are always on duty and must be prepared to cope with any emergency whenever it arises.