Mounted Constable John Charles ShirleyPrint Page Print this page

08-June-2021 (Henry Moulds)
08-June-2021 (Henry Moulds)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Henry Moulds

The plaque commemorates Mounted Constable John Charles Shirley (1856 - 1883), the first policeman to lose his life in the Northern Territory.

In October 1883, Harry Redford was reported missing from Brunette Downs Station in the Northern Territory. A search party was mounted under the direction of Mounted Constable John Charles Shirley. The party was comprised of eight men and eighteen horses. Tragedy overtook the search party and all perished from lack of water with the exception of two members - Alan Giles (an experienced bushman), and an Aboriginal Tracker. Ironically, Redford was later found but was to suffer a different fate - drowning in Corella Creek during heavy rains a few years later.

Mounted Constable John Charles Shirley was born in Ireland on 27 September 1856. He joined the South Australia Police on 10 March 1877 as a 3rd Class Trooper based in Adelaide. Records show that he was promoted to 2nd Class Trooper on 1 June 1879 and that he is believed to have been stationed at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station in 1880 - being the first policeman stationed there. On 1 July 1882 he was promoted to First Class Mounted Constable and later that month transferred to Barrow Creek. On 7 November 1883 he died at the age of 27. He was the first police officer to lose his life in the Northern Territory.


Address:Stuart Highway, Attack Creek Rest Stop, Attack Creek, 0862
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -19.023664
Long: 134.141439
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Actual Event Start Date:07-November-1883
Actual Event End Date:07-November-1883


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 8th November, 2003
Front Inscription

This plaque is to commemorate Mounted Constable John Charles Shirley

Who perished in the performance of his duty in this vicinity on 7 November 1883.

Unveiled by Commissioner Paul White APM

8 November 2003

Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society Inc


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design