A POLICEMAN accidentally shot while transporting gold in Orange 150 years ago will be honoured at a memorial service at Orange police station today.
Canobolas Local Area Command Detective Superintendent David Driver said the service would not only honour the life and death of 33-year-old constable William Havilland but remind the community of the dangers facing modern-day police officers.
“Policing can be a very dangerous occupation, when people are in need they call us,” Superintendent Driver said.
“Police respond to dangerous jobs on a regular basis.”
Constable Havilland was killed while working with sergeant James Condell, senior constable Henry Moran and constable Rafferty as they escorted gold through the region.
The coach was ambushed at Eugowra Rocks by a gang of bushrangers including Ben Hall, Frank Gardiner and John Gilbert.
As a result of the attack sergeant Condell and senior constable Moran were wounded and the coach they were travelling in overturned.
Fourteen thousand pounds in gold, bank notes and bags of registered mail was stolen.
The following day, June 16, 1862, the coach was driven into Orange when a revolver under the seat accidentally discharged.
The bullet travelled through the seat, hitting constable Havilland under the chin, killing him instantly.
Superintendent Driver said constable Havilland was buried in an unmarked grave at Orange cemetery, however police would like to hear from anyone who knows exactly where his grave is located.
They would also like to learn more about his family.
Constable Havilland is the first officer listed on the NSW Police Force’s honour roll for members who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The memorial service will be held at Orange police station today at 10.30am and invited guests include Western Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, Superintendent Driver, member for Calare John Cobb and serving NSW police officers.
The general public is also welcome to attend.