Under construction

Please refer to "More than just bricks and mortar : history and reference book of South Australia police stations : South Australia 1838 to 2018 & Northern Territory 1870 to 1911", John White ; [foreword by] Grant Stevens APM, Commissioner, South Australia Police., Publ. S.A. Police Historical Society, 2018.

Kingscote Police Station pp.219-222

Hog Bay (Penneshaw) Police Station, pp.361-362

BROWN.—On the 14th June, at Port Adelaide, Joshua Brown, aged 50 years. The deceased was an old colonist of 23 years, and was in 1838, a police constable of Kangaroo Island.

- South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), Wednesday 19 June 1861, page 2

(arrived Pestonjee Bomanjee 12 Oct 1838)

Descendants of :


Generation 1

1. Frank WITHALL was born 14 Jun 1857 in Surrey, England and died 1942 in East Coolgardie, WA. He married Edith Fanny REEVES 09 Jul 1885 in Queenscliffe, Kangaroo Island, SA. She was born 05 Jul 1867 in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, SA and died 1917 in East Coolgardie, WA, daughter of Augustus REEVES and Eliza Jane YOUNG.   

Other events in the life of Frank WITHALL
Occupation: BET 27 Nov 1883 & 02 Apr 1895 in K.I.'s first police officer (Mounted Constable)

 Children of Frank WITHALL and Edith Fanny REEVES:
  i.         Charles Edward WITHALL was born 15 Apr 1886 in Queenscliffe, Kangaroo Island, SA and died 31 Jul 1917 in Killed in Action, Belgium
  ii.         Frank WITHALL was born 25 Dec 1887 in Queenscliffe, Kangaroo Island, SA and died 25 Dec 1887 in Queenscliffe, Kangaroo Island, SA
  iii.    2.    Sybil Florence Eliza WITHALL was born 22 Jun 1891 in Queenscliffe, Kangaroo Island, SA and died 09 Jun 1950 in Kalgoorlie, WA
  iv.         Jack WITHALL was born 28 Mar 1895 in Semaphore, SA and died 28 Mar 1895 in Semaphore, SA


Generation 2

 2. Sybil Florence Eliza WITHALL was born 22 Jun 1891 in Queenscliffe, Kangaroo Island, SA and died 09 Jun 1950 in Kalgoorlie, WA. She married Melville Guthrie GRAY 25 May 1918 in Boulder, WA. He died 31 Jul 1940 in Perth, WA.

Other events in the life of Sybil Florence Eliza WITHALL
Burial: in Boulder Cemetery, WA

Children of Sybil Florence Eliza WITHALL and Melville Guthrie GRAY:
  i.         Melville C. GRAY was born 1919 in East Coolgardie, WA
  ii.        Vivian F. GRAY was born 1920 in East Coolgardie, WA
  iii.       Sophie E. GRAY was born 1927 in East Coolgardie, WA

Last updated 28 April 2020

1883  As an old resident of the island I am pleased to hear that the Government intend to station a trooper here. This is a want that ought to have been supplied years ago, but I presume that the recent, rush for land here has something to do with the matter.

KANGAROO ISLAND, April 6. (1883, April 16). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 7. 

Arson in Hog Bay

"Another of those mysterious fires occurred here during the night of Friday or say about 3 o'clock this morning, whereby the house of W. Lyall was entirely burnt down, the only persons in the house at the time being Mrs. Lyall and four small children, who were awakened by the crackling of the fire, and with difficulty saved themselves and a few of their goods. The bulk of the furniture, including two iron bedsteads and bedding, was destroyed. I do not know whether there will be an inquest, the nearest police being stationed at Yankalilla. I think it time that some police protection should be afforded at or near Hog Bay, as within a short period three cases of arson have occurred within the township, besides other offences of less magnitude."

- Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), Saturday 23 April 1881, page 25

PERSONAL.—M.C. McArthur, who has come from Gladstone with a reputation as a smart and capable officer, is now stationed at Kingscote having arrived on Wednesday last to take up his new duties. M. C. Thorpe, one of the busiest men on K.I., will now have an assistant who will relieve him of some of his arduous duties.

(1907, December 7). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4
Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 22 February 1908, page 4


M.C. McArthur, who arrived at Kingscote some time ago for the purpose of assisting M.C. Thorpe in that officer's many onerous duties, has been transferred to the Hog Bay district.

He left this week en route for his new sphere of action in which we wish him all good fortune. Mr McArthur can now claim the distinction of being the first officer stationed at Penneshaw.

Farewell to Mr D. McARTHUR  Hog Bay Notes. (1908, May 23). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2. 
Mounted Constable Duncan MacArthur. Kingscote 27/11/1907 - 10/2/1908 then to Penneshaw. 

Mr Barrett moved that the Association approach the Government with reference to the building of a court-house. He stated that in many instances the hall was engaged and it could not be used as a court and again when the court had the hall engaged (for which the Council did not receive any pay) the Council lost money because people that would have hired the hall would have paid for it. When the court engaged the hall it could not be let to anyone else so this was a loss to the revenue of the District Council. Mr H. F. Mitchell supported. Court work had increased considerably during the past five years. The Government were paid hearing fees which all went into the revenue and still they paid nothing for the hire of the the hall. It was moved by Mr Barrett that the secretary write to the members urging the necessity of building a court-house at Kingscote. Carried.

Kingscote Trades and Association. (1908, December 5). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4.

HOG BAY REQUIREMENTS.—A few weeks ago Mr E. S. Bates J.P., of Hog Bay, got up a petition for presentation to the Government, asking for improved shipping facilities, the erection of a police station, the stationing of a police trooper and the establishment of a local court. A reply was received to the effect that the petition would be considered in due course and a promise made that something would be done. The petition (which bore some 50 or 60 signatures) was presented by Mr C. M. Muirhead. 

Concert on Monday Night. (1907, November 16). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 5.

The Penneshaw police station was built in 1908 and used as such up until August 1959.

- Chris Ward

[1908] M.C. Lowe transferred from Moonta. 

HONOURING DEPARTING TOWNSMEN. (1908, July 4). Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931), p. 52. 

[1909] M.C. Thorpe  after nearly ten years' residence on Kangaroo Island, has received notice of transfer to a higher station, and the regret of the Islanders, on receipt of the news, has been general, as it is felt that we are losing one of our best and most useful residents. M.C. Thorpe first arrived at Kingscote on March 17 1899, and during his long service on the Island has experienced some exciting and very hard work in connection with his multifarious duties not the least of which was the arduous work involved in connection with wrecks on the rugged South Coast. He has watched with keen interest the steady growth of the Island and, with voice and pen, has always been ready 'to 'enter the lists' against anyone who spoke slightingly of the 'tight little isle.' He joined the S.A. Mounted Police force on December 1, 1888, therefore, has just completed 21 years of continuous service. When first joined he went to the Northern Territory in the ill-fated steamship 'Catterthun,' which was afterwards wrecked near Seal Rocks, with great loss of life and, during his eleven years of service in the wilds of the Northern Territory he experienced some dangerous duty amongst the uncivilized natives. He can relate many exciting incidents of tracking lost men in the Territory, and hunting and capturing black murderers and cattle killers. He has buried many a poor fellow who was either murdered by blacks or perished from thirst and has many a time had to ride 100 mile stages without water for his horses, and swim his horses and packs over flooded and alligator infested rivers. When stationed at Camooweal on the Queensland border he had to escort his prisoners on horse back to Borroloola Gaol — 500 miles — and when camped on the table-lands or plains where there were no trees, he would have to handcuff his prisoner to himself for the night, while his only other companion, his black tracker, would sleep some distance away. Few people who have never gone through it can have the slightest idea what a rough, hard and dangerous life a trooper experiences in the Northern Territory. In the summer time the heat and flies and mosquitoes are rampant, day after day long, dry stages have to be negotiated and, in the wet season, where the average is very often nearer feet than inches— some trying and anxious times are experienced. With it all Mr Thorpe has a great love for the Territory and a high opinion of it for its wealth of yet hidden gold and its capabilities for cattle, horse and sheep-raising and the cultivation of valuable tropical products. In the early days of Mr Thorpe's residence on K.I. he was the only doctor available and was never too busy or unwilling to alleviate suffering and more than once his opportune treatment has saved life. As to the official appointments (which he has ably carried out) we give some of them as follows :—Clerk and Bailiff of the Local Court of Kingscote and Commissioner for taking affidavits in the Supreme Court of South Australia, Officer in charge of Police, Officer in charge of Life-saving Rocket Crew, Issuer of Miner's Rights, Inspector of Fisheries, Crown Lands Ranger, Public Vaccinator, Inspector of Slaughter - houses, Keeper of Public Prison, Receiver of Wrecks, Collector of Statistics etc. In addition to these duties he was an able and useful Chairman of the Board of Advice and was also indentified with various other local bodies.

Impending Removal of a Well-known Resident. (1909, December 24). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 5.

A Police Transfer. — Mounted-Constable Thorpe, the officer in charge of the Kingscote (Kangaroo Island) Police-station, has received notice (states the "Advertiser") of his transfer to Narracoorte, and it is probable that he will leave for the South-East about the beginning of January. The islanders regretted to hear of Mr. Thorpe's impending departure, because, while always the essence of courtesy a good tactician, and a man of consider-able ability he is a terror to evildoers, and a hard worker for the maintenance of peace and good order. He joined the force on December 1, 1888, and has had a somewhat eventful career. For ten years he was stationed in the Northern Territory, where he had many exciting experiences with the natives, and frequently negotiated water-less journeys of 100 miles or more in pursuance of his duties on horseback. For example, while stationed at Camooweal, on the Queensland border, whenever he had to escort prisoners to Booroloola, a 500 mile journey each way was involved, and no one knows better than he does the discomforts of camping out in the wet and cold weather when the country was flooded, and rafts had to be improvised to cross deep waters, while the pack horses had to swim. Hunting for lost men in the wilds of the Territory is always exhausting work, necessitating long and wearisome trips on horseback. Many a long journey of that nature was undertaken by Mounted-Constable Thorpe, and many a poor victim of thirst was buried by him in the lonely parts of the Territory. He was transferred to Kangaroo island in March 1899. He has travelled it from end to end and side to side, and along the whole of the coastline so many times that the wisdom of removing him, seeing that he knows every nook and corner of the land and every danger of the coast, is questionable.— We are in formed that no appointment has been made to Narracoorte, and that all transfers notified previously have been cancelled in definitely. M.C. Teate, the officer in charge of the Narracoorte police station, has received no notice of transfer.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1909. (1909, December 21). The Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), p. 2. 

1910 Mr P. T.  Lowe has resigned from the police force and is leaving the district.

Advertising (1910, March 26). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 5.

Senior-Constable Ewens, late of Goolwa, arrived at Kingscote on Saturday last and relieved M.C. Thorpe, who left for Goolwa on Monday, taking with him tbe good wishes of the people oi Kangaroo Island. Mr Thorpe wired us last night informing us of his safe arrival and sending a message of thanks to the K.I. people for good wishes expressed and kindness shown previous to the departure of his wife and himself.  

K.I. POLICE SUPERVISION. (1910, January 29). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4.

On Saturday evening last a representative gathering of town and district residents met at the Ozone Hotel to say farewell to Mounted Constable W. U. Ewens, who left on Monday to take up his new duties at Murray Bridge, after a term of five years in charge of the Kingscote Police Station. A happy evening resulted.  ...  The health of Mrs Ewens made it necessary for her to have a change .... to be replaced by Mr Adamson, 30 years experience in the force ...

VALEDICTORY. (1915, May 1). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4.

M.C. Adamson who has been in charge of the Kingscote Police Station for the last six months, will leave shortly to take charge of the Mt. Pleasant Station. This sudden  move is due to the ill health of Mrs Adamson, who has been advised by doctors to remove from the sea. During his stay here M.C. Adamson has proved an obliging and capable officer and Islanders generally will regret his departure, We understand that M.C. Smith will succeed Mr Adamson at Kingscote.

PERSONAL. (1915, November 20). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4.

M.C. Shegog, who was in charge of the local Police Station many years ago, paid a short visit to Kingscote last week-end. M.C. W. U. Ewens, [William Underdown Ewens] who some time ago was transferred from Kingscote to the charge of the Murray Bridge station, retires from the force shortly and will reside at Murray Bridge.

PERSONAL (1917, March 3). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

On Monday evening last a number of townspeople met in the District Hall to bid farewell to Sgt. and Mrs R. A. Lenthall, prior to their departure from K.I. Sgt. Lenthall has accepted the position of officer in charge of the Berri Police Division ... spoke of the high esteem in which he was held by the Police Department as a conscientious and zealous officer ...

VALEDICTORY. (1923, February 3). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

1927  Flags were flown half mast at Kingscote on Monday, in respect for the late M.C. F. E. S. McEwen, whose death occurred in Adelaide at midnight on Sunday. Mr McEwen who was about 60 years of age served in the Police Force for 37 years, joining the service on June 1st. 1890. During the early part of his service, be was stationed on the West Coast and in the North at Hergott Springs. He had some very exciting experiences in those days, and was on several occasions complimented by the Commissioner of Police for smart work. Among other Stations that he had charge of were Penola and Magill. He took over the charge of the Kingscote Police Station in 1925. Owing to ill health he recently had to go to Adelaide for surgical treatment, which was unsuccessful. The late M.C. McEwen was very fond of horses, and took a good deal of interest in the Racing Club and the K.I. Show, scoring several prizes in the Show ring with horses and Jersey cattle. 

OBITUARY. (1927, July 30). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

We regret to hear that M.C. McEwen who recently journeyed to the city for special surgical attention, is not making any marked progress towards recovery. M.C. Gibb has again taken over the charge of the Kingscote Police Station.

PERSONAL. (1927, April 2). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

1927  POLICE OFFICER APPOINTED On Saturday last M.C. Gibb re-reived notice that he had been appointed Officer-in-charge of the Kingscote Police Station. M.C. Gibb has been acting O.C. for several months.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 20 August 1927, page 2

1928 M.C. Gibb and Mrs Gibb are spending a holiday in New South Wales. M.C. Opie is in charge of the Kingscote Police Station during the absence of M.C. Gibb. 

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 5 May 1928, page 4

1928 On Saturday last June 9th. a farewell social was tendered to Mr and Mrs Mrs A. B. Coad [Albert Bruce Coad 1890-1955] who are shortly leaving Penneshaw for Salisbury. Mr Coad in the few years that he has dwelt amongst us, has shown us an example of good citizenship. Apart from his duties as Police Officer of the district, which have been well carried out, he has been an active member of the School committee, the Institute, recreation Ground and Tennis Club committees...

PENNESHAW. (1928, June 16). The Kangaroo Island Courier , p. 2. Retrieved May 13, 2019, from

1931 M.C. Gibb who has been in charge of the Kingscote Police Station for about five years, accompanied by Mrs Gibb and little daughter, will leave by the Karatta on Monday en route for their new home at Karoooda. Their friends wish them a happy time at their new home and hope that Mr Gibb will enjoy better health than he had during his residence here.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 6 June 1931, page 2

[1934, Penneshaw] M.C. Dodwell accompanied by Mrs Dodwell and their little daughter arrived by the s.s Karatta on Wednesday. Mr Dodwell will succeed M.C. [Cornelius Edward] Haarsma at the Penneshaw Police Station. Mr and Mrs and Miss Shirley Haarsma left by Thursday's boat for their new home at Swan Reach. During his term of office here, Mr Haarsma has made many improvements at the Police residence. He had recently been appointed chairman of the School Committee, and has since worked hard to improve the school grounds and work shed. The friends they have made at Penneshaw were sorry to see them go and they wish them every happiness in their new home.

PENNESHAW. (1934, May 26). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 3.

1938. Farewell Dance. A farewell dance was given to M.C. Dodrell and Mrs Doddrell on Saturday last as they will shortly leave for their new station. A gift of cutlery was presented to them on behalf of the residents by Mr E. L. Bates. Mr Murray also spoke on behalf of those present.

Smoke Social. A smoke social was given M.C. Doddrell at the residence of Mr and Mrs D. Grimshaw by tbe Dudley Rifle Club. Mr Doddrell was presented with a clock from the members. A very enjoyable lime was spent.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Friday 16 September 1938, page 4 

12th February, 1945. Personal.

M.C. Thornton has been transferred to Adelaide. He left with Mrs Thornton and Digby, on Saturday, 12th of January, M.C. Burt, from Penong, with his wife and two children arrived the same day. 

PENNESHAW. (1945, February 16). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

THORNTON, Peter   

b. 17 Nov 1885 Border Town, SA d. 17 Mar 1971 College Park, SA
e. Electoral roll BET 1939 & 1943 Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island, police constable
m. HIERN, Ruby Clarice.  11 Apr 1912  Crystal Brook, SA d. 16 Apr 1945

Police Attachment A.docx