Corporal William Murray Wickham & Mounted Constable John DunningPrint Page Print this page

21-September-2020 (Stephen Warren)
21-September-2020 (Stephen Warren)

Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin / Stephen Warren

The plaque commemorates the 150th anniversary of the drownings of policemen Corporal William Murray Wickham and Mounted Constable John Dunning Carter on the 7th May 1847. They were the first police personnel to die in the course of their duty in South Australia.

In early May, 1847, the pair received orders to travel to Overland Corner, where they were to deal with reported disturbances. Overland Corner, although used as a resting and grazing area by drovers, had neither facilities nor status as a township.

The pair set out from Moorundee on horseback and, dressed in full uniform – heavy tunics, trousers, riding boots, sabres and firearms – rode through mallee scrub. Some way into their journey on May 7, the officers decided to stay overnight at the river-front station of J. H. Wigley.

Then, undeterred by major risks, the officers bravely attempted the river-crossing that killed them. Local Aborigines later recovered the two bodies, which they laid to rest on the river bank.  At a later date, the bodies were exhumed and reburied at West Terrace Cemetery.


Address:Sturt Highway, Banrock Station, Kingston-On-Murray, 5331
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.194175
Long: 140.288402
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State
Actual Event Start Date:07-May-1847
Actual Event End Date:07-May-1997


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 28th July, 1997
Front Inscription

Police Heritage Site

On 7th May, 1847, Police Corporal William Murray Wickham and Mounted Constable John Dunning Carter were drowned while crossing the River Murray at Wigley Reach, 3 kilometres north-east of this location.

They were en-route from Moorundee (near Blanchetown) to Overland Corner for police duty in response to disturbances in the area.  They were the first police personnel to die in the course of their duty in South Australia.

This plaque commemorates the 150th anniversary of their sacrifice and was unveiled on Police Foundation Day 28th April, 1997 by Mr M. A. Hyde, A.P.M. Commissioner of Police 

Mrs Janice D. Cass, J.P.  
Mayor of the District Council of Loxton



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