1890 – Police sergeant Richard Troy, 33, may have shot himself during a raid on an Aboriginal camp in remote north-western Australia.
It was June 16, 100 miles east of the Kimberley town of Wyndham, when Troy and fellow policemen charged the camp. They were trying to catch men thought to have been cutting telegraph wire.
The camp inhabitants fled, but Troy was shot in his leg as his horse lunged forward.
There was conjecture about whether he had shot himself or whether another officer’s gun had caused the wound. It doesn’t really matter – the end result was that he took five long days to die, despite a doctor’s attention.
He was put under the red, rocky ground in the wilds of the Kimberley, but it was not to be his final resting place.
News of his death reached his family in York, 3000 kilometres south, via a telegram to Richard’s brother Patrick, also a policeman, at Derby.
This is what it read:
Patrick set off to organize his brother’s unburial, and then accompanied his body to York.
It wasn’t until November 21 – five months later, that the brothers arrived by train at the York railway station.
The funeral was held the next day, with a procession of more than 100 people, including many police officers.
Sources: Clack, A and Rae, J, 2006, York Cemetery Historical Walk Trail, published by the The York Historical Society Inc.
The Daily News, Thursday 17 July 1890, p3