Copeland, Arnold John (Mounted Police)

Date of Birth/Death:


Arnold John Copeland was born on 3 February 1895 at Forest Range, South Australia. Samuel Reid Copeland and Sarah Ann Copeland (née Sitters) were his parents. Samuel was a gardener, and the family were involved in their local community. For example, they contributed to the Australia Day celebrations in 1916. Arnold was the fifth child of a family of nine.  Arnold joined the Mounted Police on 1 July 1917, where his brother Harold was already serving. He served at Port Pirie, Mungeranie on the Birdsville Track, Farina, Willunga, Stirling West, and Moonta. During his time at Farina, he married Ruby Gladys Irene Crombie (19/8/1924). He was 29, and Ruby, his bride, was 16 years old. Ruby was one of the daughters of William and Susan Crombie, who were well known on the Birdsville Track and in the Far North. Arnold and Ruby had four children:  Roger John (b. 27/06/1926, Tweedvale), Faye Lorraine (b. 18/6/1927, Tweedvale), Margaret Beth (b. 8/2/1931, Willunga), and Joan (b. 1932 place unknown).  Arnold served at Willunga from 2 July 1929 to 8 February 1935. This meant he had to transfer police operations from the almost derelict police station at 61 High Street to the new brick building at 3 Main Road in 1930.

The Copelands were active in the community. Arnold was a prize-winning bowls player and was an office-bearer with Willunga Football Club. Ruby was involved in croquet.  It appears that they enjoyed living in the Willunga District and were popular with the other residents.   A farewell event was conducted upon Arnold’s transfer to Stirling  in 1935, and the community presented an eight-day Westminster clock.  Arnold died as a serving Police Officer while he was stationed at Moonta. He was on duty when he complained of feeling ill and returned to his home in Ellen Street, Moonta. He died soon afterwards on 20 September 1947. His funeral was held at the Summertown Methodist Church, and he was buried at the Summertown Cemetery.


GenealogySA Online Database

1935 ‘REPORTS FROM RURAL CENTRES’The Advertiser, 13 February, p. 7, viewed 27 Dec 2023

1938 ‘COMMITTED FOR SENTENCE’News, 26 September, p. 5, viewed 27 Dec 2023

1947 ‘Advertising’The Advertiser, 22 September, p. 16, viewed 27 Dec 2023

1947 ‘Obituaries’Chronicle, 16 October, p. 9, viewed 27 Dec 2023


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