Tuohy, Thomas Stephen (Mounted Police)

Date of Birth/Death:


Thomas Stephen Tuohy was born in Woodforde, Ireland on November 20, 1852. He came to South Australia with his parents on Navarino, which arrived in Port Adelaide on 16 July 1857. When the ship arrived in Port Adelaide, it was discovered that it was being crewed by the immigrants after a serious mutiny had taken place amongst the crew, seven of whom were in irons. Thomas Tuohy was only a child at the time; perhaps this dramatic experience affected his future career! His family settled at Hindmarsh and Thomas’s education began at the first Roman Catholic school established in the district. He completed his formal education at St Patrick’s, West Terrace. After an initial period, where he tried his hand at farming in Gulnare and Crystal Brook, he returned to Adelaide in 1874 and joined the mounted police.

After four months of training, he was posted to Two Wells as an assistant trooper. He rose steadily in the Police and opened a new station at Mallala. Nine days after his arrival, he married Miss Mary Gertrude Delaney of Gawler. After 5 years at Mallala, Tuohy was transferred to Willunga where he, Mary and their 8 children remained for 15 years, living on the premises of the [[Court House and Police Station|Courthouse and Police Station]]. Constable Tuohy’s career in Willunga was distinguished by two dramatic events in South Australian history. Firstly, in 1886, he helped investigate the Yankalilla Bank Robbery, where malefactors broke into the premises of the Yankalilla Bank Manager, tied him up and robbed the bank.

Two years later, in 1888, Constable Tuohy displayed tremendous courage in rescuing people from the Star of Greece shipwreck. As a result of his actions, Constable Tuohy was awarded two medals for bravery. One was the Royal Humane Society Silver Medal, the other was a medal especially commissioned. It had the following engraving, “Presented to Mounted Constable Tuohy in recognition of brave conduct in saving life at the wreck of the Star of Greece, Port Willunga, 13 July 1888 — W.J. Peterswald, Commissioner of Police.

In 1898, he went to Tanunda for 8 years, followed by an appointment as barrack master and then sub-inspector at the Adelaide Barracks. At his own request, he was then placed in charge of Clare station, where he remained for 10 years. His duties there included those of the clerk of the licensing bench, clerk and bailiff of the court and district registrar of births, deaths and marriages. Tuohy was promoted to the rank of Sub-Inspector in May 1917 and, with two other Sub-Inspectors, was in charge of the Central District for 2 years. He retired in 1919. Thomas Stephen Tuohy died at his home in Kent Town in 1935 at the age of 84, survived by Mary and six remaining children. Two of his children predeceased him.


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