Territory Stories

The citation : the newsletter of the Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society



The citation : the newsletter of the Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society


Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society Inc


Citation; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Citation






Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Northern Territory Police Historical Society; Northern Territory Police Force; History; Police; Periodicals

Publisher name

Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society Inc

Place of publication





Issued November 2008

File type



1839-3918; 1839-390X


Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

November 1, 2008 [CITATION: NT POLICE MUSEUM AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY] C I T A T I O N - N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 8 Page 5 The Turners were at Pine Creek for several years. Mrs. Turner's extensive nursing experience was greatly appreciated during her time in the Territory and when the Pine Creek Hospital was closed she looked after the entire district and ran a home for 38 boys from the building some time during the period September 1931 to March 1932. She is mentioned in Ellen Kettles book Health Services in the Northern Territory A History 1824-1970. There were some wild incidents when unemployed men rioted in l932 and took over the unused hospital building. When police forced the men out and arrested a man, it was claimed shots had been fired at the squatters. There were conflicting reports that blank cartridges had been used and that shots had been fired into the roof. A mob descended on the police station and demanded an arrested man be released. In the melee, Constable Turner was reportedly clubbed and brutally assaulted. Involved in the drama was longtime Pine Creek resident Mayse Young whose parents ran the Pine Creek Hotel. About 15 at the time, she said unemployed men became angry when her father cut off credit in the pub because of nonpayment of outstanding debts. The men had placed a black ban on the pub, not observed by some, and watched the pub from across the road. A wild clash had taken place in which bones were broken and blood had been hosed away. In Northern Standard accounts of the explosive situation at Pine Creek it was said that a threat had been made to bomb the pub because they had sent for police protection. Eight police reinforcements were sent down from Darwin on the railway quad. At 2am the courthouse adjacent to the police living quarters was bombed. The Turners, Tom weak and groggy from the assault, shot up out of bed, according to Young. Some of Toms possessions were badly damaged or destroyed by the explosion. A newspaper report later said Constable Turner had been taken to the Darwin Hospital and there was no danger of him losing the sight of one eye, as had been feared. Another account of the bombing said Mrs. Turner had received a cut near an eye. A petition was signed urging the authorities to allow unemployed men to occupy the hospital building as it was the Wet season. When Mrs. Turners 76 year old father, a retired farmer, died in Adelaide, after falling off the roof while painting, funeral notices spelt his surname several different ways, including Rhodes. The Turners were based at Daly River for several years and had a highly productive garden. In the NT Library online photographic collection there are shots of Mrs. Turner and an Aboriginal woman with baskets of fruit, a banana tree in the background, and one of her with paw paws. Tom is also photographed with some large trombones. Apart from posing with a rifle, Mrs. Turner can also been seen with a snake, at a mine entrance and with a large bougainvillea. A snap shows Tom operating an Aerial Medical Service transceiver at the Daly.