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Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The plaque commemorates Constable William Henry Greene who was shot by bushrangers in 1859. 

Constable Greene was 21-years-old when he joined Victoria Police in 1858 and was posted to Omeo in Gippsland. The following year in January 1859 he was accompanying a gold escort to Sale when his party was held up by two bushrangers, George Chamberlain and William Armstrong.

A gold buyer, Cornelius Green, was shot dead and Constable Greene was shot in the chest and arms. His horse bolted back to a nearby hotel where the alarm was raised. Despite being injured and only having received basic treatment, Constable Greene returned to the crime scene where the body of Mr Green was discovered mutilated by the bushrangers.

A manhunt began and Chamberlain and Armstrong were later captured and sentenced to death for wounding Constable Greene with intent to murder him. Constable Greene left the police force after being granted full pay for two years in recognition of his bravery, but later re-joined and was stationed at Moonambel from 1889-1897. He retired in the area and died aged 83 on October 2, 1920.

A policeman who was shot by bushrangers while escorting a gold shipment almost 150 years ago will be honoured by Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon on Thursday. Ms Nixon will unveil a plaque at Moonambel Cemetery, near Stawell, north-west of Melbourne, honouring Constable William Henry Greene, who was buried there 88 years ago.

Constable Greene's descendants will receive the Victoria Police Star on his behalf.

The Irish-born policeman migrated to Australia and joined Victoria Police in 1858 where was initially posted to Omeo in the state's far east. In January 1859 Constable Greene was assigned to escort a gold buyer to Bairnsdale, and they were ambushed en route by bushrangers George Chamberlain and William Armstrong. The gold buyer, Cornelius Green, was shot dead, while Constable Greene was shot in the chest and both arms.  His horse bolted and took him to a nearby hotel where his wounds were treated. The bushrangers got nothing for their troubles and were hanged later for the crime.

Victoria Police discharged Greene a few months after the incident, awarding him a year's pay. He returned to Ireland but came back to Australia in 1862. He rejoined Victoria Police before retiring in 1897 to Moonambel, where he died in 1920.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 September 2008. 


Address:Cemetery Road, Moonambel Cemetery, Moonambel, 3478
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.992374
Long: 143.331898
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 2nd October, 2008
Front Inscription

Victoria Police

Constable William Henry Green, 503 & 742

Served Victoria Police 1858 - 1859 and 1862 - 1897
Died 2nd October 1920 aged 83

During his service he was shot and woounded by bushrangers whilst on gold escort from Omeo 1859

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