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Trooper Harry PearcePrint Page Print this page

22-November-2014
22-November-2014

Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

A monument near the scene of his attack commemorates Trooper Harry Pearce who was murdered while escorting a prisoner to Kingston in 1881.

Harry Edmonds Pearce died soon after a habitual horse thief stabbed him 14 times in the chest on a deserted road near Kingston. Robert Johnston arrested by the trooper for supplying liquor to Aborigines near Wellington had resisted Pearce’s attempt to handcuff and escort him to Kingston police station.

Johnston fled after his brutal crime but a passer-by later found Pearce still alive lying in grass just off the road. The young policeman’s father a state parliamentarian learned of the incident while Parliament was in session in Adelaide. James Pearce rushed to Kingston where he saw his son just before he died two days later.

Pearce junior had identified his attacker to a colleague before his death. Johnston hanged on November 18 1881 after his arrest trial and conviction for murder. His execution was the last in the Mount Gambier jail

Location

Address:Princes Highway, About 4 kilometres from Kingston, Kingston SE, 5275
State:SA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.837497
Long: 139.900961
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Crime

Dedication

Front Inscription

Australia 1788-1988
Near this site 8.5.1881
Trooper Harry Edmonds Pearce aged 24 was brutally attacked and stabbed by prisoner arrested nearby. Pearce died in Kingston 3 days later. Prisoner was retaken near Reedy Creek, tried and hanged Mt Gambier.
Pearce was second SA policeman to die on duty.
Unveiled by Commissioner David Hunt
15.5.1981

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