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The headstone was erected at the gravesite to commemorate Israel Chapman (1794?-1868), Australia`s first Police Detective who died in 1868. 

The NSW Police Force has honoured our nation’s first detective during a memorial service, more than 190 years after his designation. In 2018, the NSW Police Force Detectives Board engaged an archival and research team from the Rookwood Historical Cemetery, NSW State Archives, and NSW State Library to assist State Crime Command to identify NSW’s first detective designation.

Their research uncovered the colourful exploits of former convict Israel “Izzy” Chapman, which includes his policing career in NSW and the nation’s first designation, as appointed by then Governor of NSW, Sir Ralph Darling. The group also recovered and replicated his absolute pardon and the first fictional novel published in Australia – “The Adventures of George Flower: the Celebrated Detective Officer” – which honours the deeds of Detective Chapman.

It was also discovered that Detective Chapman was laid to rest in an unmarked grave at Rookwood Cemetery, which was located with the assistance of the Jewish Historical Society. Further research identified his descendants, who also became involved in the project.

With the assistance and funding of the Jewish Board of Directors and the Police Association, researches and Detective Chapman’s family made arrangements for a headstone to honour his contribution to law enforcement in NSW.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and his Executive Team joined the Chapman family to place the headstone on his grave at Rookwood Ceremony on Wednesday (23 October 2019). The memorial reacknowledged Israel Chapman’s contribution to enforcing the law for the safety of colonial Australia.
Mirage News, October 26 2019. 


Address:Hawthorne Avenue, Jewish Section OGU, Grave 11, Rookwood Necropolis, Rookwood, 2141
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.874722
Long: 151.058333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 23rd October, 2019
Front Inscription

Dieu Et Mon Droit
Israel Chapman
[Inscription in Hebrew]

Australia`s First Police Detective
        Died July 4, 1868

Born of Jewish Heritage in London, sentenced to
Transportation for Life in Australia for crime, he arrived in
Sydney on the convict ship "Glory" in 1818.
He fast became the Overseer of Hyde Park Convict Barracks
   and went on to join the Sydney Police. 
Appointed the "George Street Runner" in 1827 by Governor
of NSW, his Excellency Sir Ralph Darling, he was granted an
Absolute Pardon that same year in recognition of his diligence to his
        duties in the service to NSW.
A fearless character that gained notoriety as a master of 
disguise, ruthless at finding and capturing Bushrangers with
his bare hands, he was wounded several times in the line of duty.
The 'Flower of Colonial Constables' his exploits were
Immortalised in writing by Australia`s first novelist John Lang
his courageous achievements having their equal only in
                    modern times

Recognised on this day, October 23 2019, as the Nation`s 
First Police Detective, Israel "Izzy: Chapman forever takes his
place of significance in the history of the NSW Police Force. 


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