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Remembering our brave frontline officers fallen in the line of duty

Publication date: Wednesday 22 November 2017

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Frontline officers who fell in the line of duty will be remembered across the state this Friday by their grateful colleagues, friends and families on Corrective Services NSW Remembrance Day.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the annual CSNSW Remembrance Day on Friday 24 November 2017 also commemorates the lives of staff who died while serving and those who passed away after retiring.

"On CSNSW Remembrance Day we also honour our officers and other staff who go about this dangerous and challenging profession to keep the community safe, with little fuss and often no public recognition," Mr Severin said.

"We shall never forget them or their ultimate sacrifice."

Corrective Services NSW staff joined Mr Severin in paying tribute to the valour and dedication of the brave officers who lost their lives while on duty.

Twelve officers have been killed in the past 175 years by inmates with weapons including guns, hammers, axes, iron bars, baseball bats and even an HIV-infected syringe.

The first officer killed on duty was Henry Kingsmill Abbott at Parramatta Gaol in 1842. Courageously standing his ground to foil an escape, he was brutally shot by prisoners.

The last custodial officer to lose his life in the line of duty was Wayne Harold Smith, who was attacked by an inmate at Silverwater Correctional Centre in December 2006. Tragically, he passed away on 25 January 2007 as a result of his injuries.

The other valiant officers who died in the line of duty and were remembered today were:

  • Thomas Craig at Berrima in 1862
  • Officer John Carroll at Braidwood in 1867
  • George Spinks at Windsor in 1869
  • John Sutherland Brown at Cootamundra in 1908
  • Alan Cooper at Bathurst in 1958
  • Albert Hedges at Berrima in 1959
  • Cecil Mills at Emu Plains in 1959
  • Willy Karl Faber at Parramatta in 1978
  • John Colin Mewburn at Long Bay in 1979 and
  • Geoffrey Pearce OAM, who died in 1997 as a result of an attack at Long Bay.

Corrective Services NSW Rememberance Day ceremony

Courtesy CSNSW Remembrance Day – Ceremony: (L-R): Minister for Corrections David Elliott MP (fourth from left front row) and Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin (fourth from right front row) join Corrective Services staff and families in a minute of silence to remember their fallen comrades.

Courtesy CSNSW Remembrance Day – Ceremony: Observing one minute of silence for our brave frontline officers.

Courtesy CSNSW Remembrance Day – Ceremony: Flowers placed at the Memorial.