Constable John HolmanPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Mary Beaven

Gravesite of Police Constable John Holman who was shot and killed in the line of duty.  The gravesite was restored in 1998 with funding from the Police Association.

In 1929, unarmed, and responding to a disturbance, Holman bravely confronted his attacker, John Stanley McGrath, in Grenfell Street  Adelaide. McGrath was already suspected of firing shots during an earlier disturbance in Halifax Street.

Determined to avoid arrest, McGrath drew a .32 semi-automatic pistol, fired at Holman and fled. Wounded and bleeding, Holman chased McGrath along Grenfell Street before collapsing outside the Grenfell Hotel.

Back-up officers, John King and Ernest Budgen - later awarded the King’s Police Medal - rushed to the scene to help their dying colleague. Still armed, McGrath forced the officers into a vicious gunfight before they managed to arrest him. McGrath sustained a bullet wound to his leg. Holman died from haemorrhage and shock.

Holman was honoured with a State funeral while, in the Supreme Court, McGrath was convicted of his murder and sentenced to death. That sentence, however, was commuted to life imprisonment. McGrath was released after serving only 13 years.


Address:161 West Terrace , West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, 5000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.933617
Long: 138.587807
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

In Loving Memory
Constable `JACK`
Beloved Son Of
D. J. & E. HOLMAN.
Died 24th February 1929
Aged 23 years.

"Sleep On Beloved."
Father Of Above

Died 18th Feby 1947,
Aged 64 years.

Plaque :

The Restoration Of This Memorial
Was Funded By The
Police Association Of
South Australia
In Consultation With The Family
Of The Late John Holman

December 1998

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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