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LITCHFIELD, Fredrick Henry

Frederick Henry Litchfield was born on 27th April 1832 in India.

He was appointed on 28th July 1865 by Boyle Travers Finniss, Magistrate and South Australia Government Resident in the Northern Territory, to Acting Inspector of the Rural Constabulary at Escape Cliffs in the Northern Territory.

Finniss wrote on the 28th July, 1865.

In previous dispatches….I adverted to the necessity for the establishment of a police force in the Northern Territory. I now proceed to state more at length the steps I have taken in this respect. I found that the keeping guard in rotation of men caused a great interruption to work;… men not specially trained are apt to get careless;,..cases occurred in which the natives assumed to be at a distance, stripped the tents of their furniture whilst the men were all at tea or breakfast within a few yards of them; and blacks, seen running off with their stolen property were not secured;..escapes have thus been permitted which have emboldened the robbers.

These reasons continue to induce me to form a police force at once before any new conflict should occur.

I have accordingly under my powers as a magistrate, nominated and sworn in seven men to act as a rural constabulary in defence of life and property and in pursuit of offenders.

(Source: McLaren’s History of NT Police)

FINNISS also advocated the appointment of two South Australia natives.

Litchfield resigned from the Rural Constabulary late that same year. The Rural Constabulary lapsed soon after when Finniss was recalled to Adelaide.

Litchfield is believed to have died at Calcutta in India in 1914 from a spear wound received from his time in the Northern Territory which had turned gangrenous.

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