J. J. Walsh & A. H. PitmanPrint Page Print this page

18-July-2014 (Angela Gallagher)
18-July-2014 (Angela Gallagher)

Photographs supplied by Angela Gallagher / Bryan Hardy

The Walsh and Pitman monument commemorates police detectives J. J. Walsh, and A. H. Pitman who were brutally murdered while investigating a gold theft in Kalgoorlie. Since 1929 the names of fallen police oficers and police assistants have been added to the statue.

From 1912 Walsh was a Sub-Inspector at Perth, heading the criminal investigation branch. Promoted to Inspector in 1916, he returned to Kalgoorlie in 1920 in charge of the gold-stealing detection staff. Four years later the squad was reduced by four, leaving only Walsh and Pitman to police the entire area. Threats were made against them and their wives returned to Perth. On 28 April 1926 the two men set out for an unknown destination. Because of the need for secrecy, they did not inform the Kalgoorlie station of their proposed movements.

On 12 May their charred and dismembered bodies were found in a disused shaft, some 9.6 kilometres south-west of Kalgoorlie. A week later their bicycles were found in the bush 27 kilometres to the south-east. A gold-treatment plant was nearby and evidence indicated that the murders had occurred there. Perth detectives joined the search for the killers. On 6 June three local men—Evan Clarke, Phillip Treffene and William Coulter—were arrested. Clarke turned King`s evidence, swearing that he had only assisted in disposing of the corpses. Treffene and Coulter were found guilty of murder and hanged.

The memorial which is to be erected by the W.A. Police Force to the memory of Inspector J. J. Walsh and Detective-Sergeant A. H. Pitman, who were murdered at Kalgoorlie, reached Fremantle on the steamer Caprera yesterday. Designed by Constable D. Cummings of the Traffic Branch, Perth, the memorial consists of a symbolical figure of Justice with bowed head, but without the traditional blindfold, surmounting plaques of Inspector Walsh and Sergeant Pitman within circlets of laurel leaves, and a similar circlet between.  Above the plaque in scroll are  the words, 'Justice,' 'Protection,' and 'Sympathy.' The memorial, which is of finest Carrara marble, will be erected in front of the Police Barracks in James-street, opposite the Public Library, and will be ten feet six inches high.
The Daily News (Perth), 20th July 1929.

The memorial to the late Detective Inspector J. J. Walsh and Sergt. A. H. Pitman, which was recently erected in front of Police Barracks, James-street, City, will be unveiled tomorrow afternoon, at 3 pm. by the Governor, Sir William Campion.  The memorial, costing approximately £500, has been subscribed to by police officers throughout the Commonwealth.
The Daily News (Perth), 7th December 1929.


Address:Lakeside Drive, Western Australia Police Academy, Joondalup, 6004
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.750044
Long: 115.773522
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:28-April-1926
Actual Event End Date:28-April-1926
Designer:Constable D. Cummings (Perth, WA)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 8th December, 1929
Front Inscription

Justice  Protection  Sympathy

Erected by the members of the Police Forces of the Australian States,

To the memory of Det. Inspector J. J. Walsh, and Sergeant A. H. Pitman, who gave up their lives in the execution of
their duty.

28th April, 1926.

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