Bannister River Police GravesPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Derek Graham
The plaque, at the burial site, commemorates Police Trooper Thomas Knibbs who was shot and killed in 1855 and Ann Barron, infant daughter of Police Constable Edward Barron who was stationed in Bannister.

The Last Post sounded for Const. Thomas Knibbs for the first time yesterday - 139 years after he became the first police officer killed on duty in W.A. The 21 year-old officer was murdered by Obediah Stevens near Bannister, 108km south of Perth, in February 1855. His wife, Ann Wright, whom he married in Albany in 1854, was pregnant with their first child. 

Police records show that Stevens, a mentally deranged prisoner was being transported on a small cart from Albany to perth, and used the young constables pistol to shoot him in the head. The day after Constable Knibb`s murder, Const. Phillip McGuire and mailman Robert Toovey set off again for Perth with Stevens and the troopers body. According to police records, " the smell from the body became offensive and they buried it at Bannister." 

Until recently the grave — which Const. Knibbs shares with Ann Barron, a policeman's daughter who died in 1864 — had been in poor condition. But the Royal WA Historical Society, Police Historical Society and Boddington Shire Council joined forces to ensure Const. Knibbs` death was acknowledged properly. 

Yesterday in a corner of a farm at Bannister, Police Commisioner Bob Falconer presided over a simple ceremony to mark Const. Knibbs` death. 
The West Australian, 22 October 1994. 


Address:Albany Highway, Bannister , 6390
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.677545
Long: 116.518257
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:Government


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 22nd October, 1994
Front Inscription

Bannister River Police Graves

Thomas Knibbs arrived in the colony in 1852 aged 17 years. He married Ann Wright in Albany in 1854 and was stationed as a Police Trooper at Beaufort River in 1855. Robert Toovey's mail carts from Albany to Perth were escorted by the resident Policemen along the way. In February 1855, Obediah Stevens, a prisoner considered to be mentally unstable was being sent to Perth on the mail cart. At Narrakine a scuffle occurred and the prisoner shot and killed officer Knibbs who was buried at this site. 

Also Ann Barron, who died in 1864 aged 14 months, infant daughter of Police Constable Edward Barron and his wife Johanna, who were stationed at Bannister.

Erected by the Royal Western Australian Historical Society Western Australian Police Historical Society & the Shire of Boddington



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