History News Reports Superintendent Sadleir

Death of Mr. John Sadleir

“DEATH OF MR. JOHN SADLEIR.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 27 September 1919: 40 (TOWN EDITION).


Mr. John Sadleir, who died at Elsternwick (V.), on September 22, aged 86 years, was born in Ireland in 1833, and arrived in Victoria on November 12, 1852. At the suggestion of an ex-officer of the 75th Regiment, whom he had known in Ireland, he joined (on December 1, 1852) the Police Cadets, a special corps formed by Governor Latrobe. Many members of this corps subsequently rose to high rank in the police force of Victoria, and it is believed that Mr. Sadleir was one of the last two survivors of it. Mr. Sadleir was promoted to sergeant on January 31, 1853, and on January 1 following became sub-inspector. Six years later he became inspector, and on August 19, 1874, was made superintendent. He was appointed to the metropolitan district in 1883, and on January 1, 1892, became inspecting superintendent, and finally retired on pension in December, 1896. after 44 years’ service. Mr. Sadleir gained a great deal of experience on the goldfields and in the country districts in the days of bushrangers and escort robberies. He played a prominent part in the extermination of the Kelly gang at Glenrowan in July, 1880, and in the capture of its leader, the notorious “Ned” Kelly. Superintendent Hare, who was in charge of the force at Glenrowan, was wounded in the first rush, and Superintendent Sadleir assumed command, and conducted the attack to a finish. Mr. Sadleir possessed a wonderful store of information, and in 1913 he published the “Recollections of a Victorian Police Officer,” a work giving a most interesting account of the goldfields and subsequent times, as well as a fairly full story of the Kelly gang and the measures taken for their suppression by the Government, extending over nearly a year and 10 months. Until recently Mr. Sadleir was an active member of the Historical Society of Victoria, to which he was able to give much valuable information. Throughout his career Mr. Sadleir was an efficient and exemplary officer of police, with a high sense of duty.

By AJFPhelan56

Father, writer, artist and bushranging historian residing in Melbourne, Australia. Author of 'Glenrowan' and the popular website A Guide to Australian Bushranging.

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