Provis, Christopher Flinders (Mounted Police)

Date of Birth/Death:


Christopher Flinders Provis was born at Port Lincoln on 27 January 1890. His parents were Caleb Provis, who had emigrated from England at four years old to become the first white child in the Tumby Bay area, and Janetta (Jessie) Patterson. Christopher was the fifth child among nine siblings. His uncle, also called Christopher Provis, had been a mounted constable with South Australian Police from 1857 to 1877.

Christopher joined the police force around late 1913 to late 1914. From reports in newspapers, at first he was involved in cases concerning liquor licencing and was then stationed in a series of police stations in the Adelaide Hills and, in 1915, in Renmark. He married Ada Brand in Renmark in 1916 and they had three children.

He was stationed at Willunga only from May 5, 1917 to May 26, 1917. His career continued in places such as in Brinkworth, Cockburn, Burra, Penola and Terowie.   He retired from the Police at the end of July 1939. The people of Terowie gathered to give the Provis family a memorable send-off:

”A gathering of approximately 250 of the residents of Terowie and the surrounding districts were presided over by Mr. A. J. Molony in the Terowie Institute on Monday night, when farewell was said to Mounted Constable Provis and family, who have been in Terowie for three years. The chairman referred to the sterling qualities possessed by Mr. Provis, both as a Police Officer and a citizen and regretted the loss of such a valuable townsman…. Mrs. H. C. Groves (President of the local C.WJV.) made a very fitting speech and touched on the wonderful services rendered by Mr. and Mrs. Provis to the Terowie Branch of the Association and on behalf of the members handed the guests a traymobile, with an Inscribed silver plate. Miss Brenda Molony spoke for the Younger Set and handed Miss Jessie Provis a very nice clock. A handsome cheque was presented to Mr. Provis by the chairman from the residents of Terowie and surrounding districts.”

”Mr. and Mrs. Provis suitably responded and Mr. Provis made known his resignation from the S.A. Police Force, after 25 years service. He had taken up land at Penola, where he intended settling down at farming. A sumptuous supper, served by the ladies, brought to a close a successful function. Mr. and Mrs. Provis and family left on Tuesday for their new home.”(1)

Christopher had a 1,700 acre holding in Penola and moved there to become a farmer. Unfortunately, the land proved to be unproductive, so he stocked it with 530 Romney-Merino sheep. He then established an angora goat stud in 1950, an innovation that drew considerable attention. By 1853, however, it had become just an interesting and profitable sideline, and the focus had returned to sheep. Christopher died at home in 1959 at the age of 69.


SA Genealogy Database

1917 ‘A CHAPTER OF FATALITIES.’, Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record, 12 January, p. 5, viewed 27 Dec 2023

1929 ‘REPORTS FROM THE COUNTRY’The Advertiser, 25 November, p. 13, viewed 27 Dec 2023

1939 ‘M.C. Provis Leaves Terowie.’, The Times and Northern Advertiser, Peterborough, South Australia, 11 August, p. 4, viewed 27 Dec 2023

1939 ‘Development of Penola.’The Narracoorte Herald, 1 December, p. 1, viewed 27 Dec 2023,



(1) Times and Northern Advertiser, Peterborough, 11/8/1939, p. 4

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