Sergeant Cecil William Sparkes & Special Constables Mervyn George Casey & Colin Roy KroemerPrint Page Print this page

14-March-2019 (Paul Bunney)
14-March-2019 (Paul Bunney)

Photographs supplied by Bryan Cole / Paul Bunney / Stephen Warren

The memorial commemorates Sergeant Cecil William Sparkes, Special Constable Mervyn George Casey, and Special Constable Colin Roy Kroemer, South Australian Police Officers who were killed in a bushfire in January 1951. 

ADELAIDE, Fri.—A police sergeant instructor and two police constables were burnt to death while fighting a bush fire near Upper Sturt, in the Adelaide Hills, this morning. They were Sgt. Instructor Cecil William Spark (43), married, of Kurralta Park; Special Constable Mervyn George Casey (22), unmarried, of Prospect, and Special Constable Colin Roy Kroemer (33), married, of Glenelg.

The victims were members of a police party of 20 sent from the Adelaide police barracks equipped with knapsack sprays in response to a call for assistance. They were among others fighting a blaze in a gully when the wind swept the fire around them, cutting off their escape. After they had been reported missing, H. Eaton, of the Stirling emergency fire fighting unit, went into the fireswept gully and found the three bodies severely burned. Two of them still had knapsack sprays strapped to them. Two civilian fire fighters overcome by smoke were sent to hospital for treatment. The fire threatened many homes, but was confined to scrub and grassland.
Mercury (Hobart), 20 January 1951. 


Address:Waverley Ridge Road, Crafers West, 5152
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.006211
Long: 138.698876
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:19-January-1951
Actual Event End Date:19-January-1951


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 28th April, 1995
Front Inscription

Police Heritage Site

Near this site the following members of the South Australia Police Force perished while fighting a bushfire in the vicinity of  Foster Gully on 19 January 1951

Sergeant Cecil William Sparkes
Special Constable Mervyn George Casey
Special Constable Colin Roy Kroemer

This plaque was unveiled on 28 April 1995 by Mr. D. A. Hunt, AO, QPM Commissioner of Police and Mayor Anita Aspinall, 
BA District Council of Stirling

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