Constable Samuel NelsonPrint Page Print this page

06-August-2018 (Russell Byers)
06-August-2018 (Russell Byers)

Photographs supplied by Tim Carroll / Russell Byers

The monument commemorates Constable Samuel Nelson who was shot and killed by Ben Hall`s gang outside the Bushranger Hotel.

Shortly before 6pm on 26 January, 1865 bushrangers Hall, Dunn and Gilbert attacked Kimberley`s Inn at Collector. The local Police at the time were out searching the area for the bushrangers, and the only man on duty in town was the Lockup keeper, Constable Nelson. One of the gang, John Dunn, had been left outside to guard the pub. When confronted by the constable he shot him dead with a shotgun and a pistol. The entire incident had been witnessed by one of the Constable`s nine children, young Frederick Nelson, who was also fired upon by Dunn. Dunn was finally captured on Christmas Day, 1865 and hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on 19 March 1866.

On Saturday a somewhat belated but none the less genuine recognition of an act of bravery performed 43 years ago by one of the police force took place at Collector, when Mr. T. Waddell, Colonial Treasurer, unveiled a monument to the memory of Constable Samuel Nelson, who was shot by the bushranger Dunn when endeavouring to arrest him and his two confederates, Ben Hall and Gilbert. The Ministerial party, consisting of Mr. Waddell and Colonel Ryrie, drove to Collector from Goulburn by motor car. There was a large gathering of the residents at the spot where the monument is erected when the ceremony of unveiling was performed, about 4.30 o'clock.

Smart showers of rain were falling at the time, and the proceedings were necessarily somewhat curtailed. The monument is of grey granite, in the form of an obelisk 6ft. 9in. high, and fixed on a base of Pyrmont stone. The coping is of the same material on a concrete foundation. The stone is enclosed by an iron railing 3ft. 6in. high. The site of the monument is about ten yards to the right of Kimberley's Commercial Hotel, which stands as it did in 1865. It is still occupied by Mrs. Kimberley, who is in her 86th year.
Excerpt from Unveiling a Monument in Collector, 
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), 11 February 1908.


Address:24 Church Street, Outside Bushranger Hotel, Collector, 2581
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.912071
Long: 149.431421
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:26-January-1865
Actual Event End Date:26-January-1865


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 8th February, 1908
Front Inscription

This monument is erected by the Government of New South Wales

To the memory of Constable Samuel Nelson who was shot dead on this spot whilst in the execution of his duty by the outlaw John Dunn on 26th January 1865

Plaque :

Constable Samuel Nelson
(1827 - 1865)

Joined the Police Force in 1857

He lived with his wife and 8 children as the lock-up keeper in Collector.  In 1864 and 1865 bushrangers were active in this area and on the 26 / 1 / 1865 bushrangers, Ben Hall, John Gilbert and John Dunn were robbing the Kimberley`s Inn.  Constable Nelson was alerted and armed with his carbine with attached bayonet he remarked to his wife that he would simply "have to his best". 

Upon reaching the inn, the Constable was shot by Dunn who had hidden behind a fence post  the blast struck the Constable to the chest.  Dunn fired against striking the Constale in the head killing him.  The entire incident was witnessed by two of the Constable`s sons.  Bushranger John Dunn was later hanged in Darlinghurst Gaol for the murder of Constable Samuel Nelson.

The Nelson family continued to receive support from the Collector community

Dedicated to his memory by the Goulburn Local Area Command


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