Ewens, George Reynolds (Mounted Police)

Date of Birth/Death:


George Reynolds Ewens was a mounted constable stationed at Willunga from April 28, 1898 to August 1903. He was born at Port Elliot on July 22, 1859, where his father, Sergeant J.R. Ewens was also a serving police officer. His uncle,  William Robert Ewens, was also a policeman who formed part of Tolmer’s Gold Escort in the 1850s.

After considerable pioneering work in the interior of Australia, George joined the Police Force in February 1884. His first posting was at Goolwa, where he spent seven years. During this time, he married Kate May Knapp in Adelaide on 11 February 1886 and they had four children, namely:

  • Eleanor May (b. 1887)
  • Muriel Harriet (b. 1888)
  • Ethel Murray (b. 1890)
  • Gertrude Hersey (b. 1891)

He then took charge at Snowtown when the railway was being constructed at Gladstone, where 600 navvies were engaged. George and Kate produce four more children at Snowtown, namely:

  • Beatson George (b. 1893)
  • Roy Brooks (b. 1892, d. 1893)
  • Jack Reginald (b. 1895, d. 1895)
  • Gladys Lillian (b. 1896, d.1896)

He was posted to Willunga in April 1898 and then to Gawler in August 1903.

His later posting to Yorketown coincided with the wreck of the steamship Clan Ranald, which sunk on Troubridge Shoal on January 31, 1900. Forty people were drowned. MC Ewens, who was stationed at Edithburgh, patrolled the coast for three weeks after, finding 36 bodies from the ill-fated ship. He died on June 22, 1933, and is buried at Pink Lake Cemetery, Yorketown,


1933 ‘The Late Mr. G. R. Ewens’The Pioneer, 30 June, p. 2. , viewed 29 Dec 2023

1898 ‘GOVERNMENT GAZETTE.’, Chronicle, 9 April, p. 16, viewed 29 Dec 2023

1909 ‘THE CLAN RANALD DISASTER.’, The Register, 18 February, p. 5, viewed 29 Dec 2023

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