Honour for policeman killed
after Gold Escort hold-up
A POLICE officer accidently shot dead after the infamous Gold Escort hold-up near Eugowra 150 years ago will be honoured at 10:30am today (Saturday) in a ceremony at Orange Police Station.
Constable William Haviland was the first officer killed on duty, on June 16, 1862, following the formation of the New South Wales Police Force in 1862.
On June 15, 1862, Constable Haviland, Sergeant James Condell, Senior Constable Henry Moran and Constable Rafferty were travelling as protection for the Forbes Gold Escort when it was ambushed by a gang of bushrangers at Eugowra Rocks.
The gang included the notorious Frank Gardiner, Ben Hall and John Gilbert.
Sergeant Condell and Senior Constable Moran were wounded in the attack and the coach they were escorting was overturned.
Gold worth ₤14,000 and banknotes and bags of registered mail were stolen.
The following day, June 16, the coach was repaired and driven into Orange.
Shortly after arriving in the town a revolver under the seat in the coach accidently discharged.
The shot travelled upwards through the seat, striking Constable Haviland under the chin and killing him instantly.
Constable Haviland was aged in his 30s.
Guests including Canobolas Local Area Commander, David Driver, federal MP for Calare John Cobb and NSW Police Officers will attend today’s service.
A memorial plaque will be unveiled on the front wall of the Orange Police Station as a tribute to Constable Haviland.
Meanwhile, the Gold Escort hold-up will be re-enacted at 11am today at Eugowra Showground.