Sergeant John McNallyPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Robert & Rebecca McIntosh

The plaque at the grave commemorates Police Sergeant John McNally who was murdered whilst on duty in October 1856. A new stone was unveiled and rededicated in 2006. 

Sergeant John McNally became the first member of Victoria Police to be feloniously slain in the line of duty when he was murdered at the Mount Ararat goldfields on 16th October, 1856  whilst trying to arrest a bushranger known as "Gipsy Smith" over a string of armed robberies.

After a shotgun was fired killing Sergeant McNally and seriously injuring his partner, Constable John Moore, the offenders made their escape. Seven days later, they were arrested and charged with the murder of McNally. One of the offenders, William Twiggem, was hanged. "Gipsy Smith," William Turner, evaded a death sentence on a technicality and received fifteen years hard labour.

Sergeant McNally had only joined the Victoria Police Force the previous year after serving with the Royal Irish Constabulary in County Longford for eight years.


Address:Phillips Flat Road, Cathcart Cemetery, Cathcart, 3377
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.319616
Long: 142.888729
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:16-October-1856
Actual Event End Date:16-October-1856


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1974
Front Inscription

In memory 

Sgt John McNally

Who was murdered whilst in the execution of his duty 16-10-1856.

Erected by Ararat & District Historical Society and Victoria Police Department


Rededication on the 150th anniversary 16th October 2006 by Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation

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