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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

"Maurie" Maurice PLUNKETT

Born 15 June 1901 in Hoffman Mills, Western Australia [P264]
Son of Charles PLUNKETT and Mary Jane ABBOTT [15]
Married Barbara Katie FARNSWORTH on 20 November 1923 in Wagin, Western Australia[P40]
Served in the Western Australian Police Force from 19 September 1928 to 21 April 1938; regimental number 1626 [87]
Police Constable in Perth, Subiaco, Geraldton and then Mullewa before being transferred to Carnamah [5: 3-Apr-1936] [P40]
Arrived in Carnamah at 4 p.m. on 16 April 1936 to take charge of the Carnamah Police Station from Constable Alan O. FIEBIG [88]
Police Constable in Carnamah from 16 April 1936 to 21 April 1938 [87] [88]
At 7 p.m. on 16 April 1936 Alan O. FIEBIG handed control of the station to him including all firearms, stores and licenses [88]
In addition to Carnamah his district also included Winchester, Waddy Forest, Coorow, Marchagee and Gunyidi [88]
After some delay his furniture arrived at the railway station in Carnamah by train at 12 noon on 20 April 1936 [88]
Took up occupancy of the police quarters at 7 p.m. on 20 April 1936 after his furniture had been delivered by carrier R. R. WYLIE [88]
During his first week he did general, office and town duties in addition to checking on the Carnamah Hotel [88]
Both the Carnamah Police Station and the quarters next door were telephone number Carnamah-22 [60]
A contractor began work on constructing a lock-up at the rear of the Carnamah Police Station on 22 April 1936 [88]
On 23 April 1936 he paid his first visit to Winchester after a telephone call about a man who was suspected of being up to no good [88]
At 1 p.m. by private car on 24 April 1936 he left for his first visit to Coorow where he made inquiries and checked on the hotel [88]
Agreed to assist the Road Board  traffic inspector Arnold C. A. BIERMANN stop youths from riding bicycles on town footpaths [88]
On 1 May 1936 received a telephone call from the Matron of the Carnamah Private Hospital reporting a car accident [88]
     He left for the scene on Winchester Road and ascertained that the car had gone off the road, turned over and swung around [88]
     The two men in the car were treated for minor injuries at the Carnamah Private Hospital; no charges were laid [88]
Advised per a notice in The North Midland Times newspaper on 1 May 1936 firearm licenses required renewal [5: 1-May-1936]
On 6 May 1936 he began making inquiries following another car accident at Winchester involving two Three Springs men [88]
As his predecessor had attended balls and other functions he was advised to attend the Coorow Football Club's ball on 6 June 1936 [88]
During his time as Constable he attended all balls, stock sales, sporting events and agricultural shows in Carnamah and Coorow [88]
Also checked on the Carnamah Hotel and the Coorow Hotel at least once a week to ensure they were adhering to their licenses [88]
By 8 June the lock-up or "the cells and exercise yard" were completed except for the locks which hadn't arrived [88]
On the odd occasion that someone was imprisoned in the lock-up his wife provided their meals [P264]
His first known arrest was of a 46 year old man charged with being drunk in Ferguson Street, Carnamah on 16 June 1936 [88]
The 23 June 1936 saw his second known arrest - of a 22 year old man charged with insurance fraud [88]
On 13 July 1936 posted Statistical Forecast Cards to all farmers in the Carnamah sub-district [88]
Received a letter on 28 July 1936 from Frank R. BRYANT of Marchagee stating 350 of his sheep were either missing or stolen [88]
     Departed Carnamah for Marchagee by private car at 12 p.m. the same day to make inquiries about the sheep [88]
     Returned to Carnamah at 9 p.m. that evening after a round trip of 70 miles; continued making inquiries over the next 16 days [88]
     Himself and two detectives failed to locate the sheep after inquiring and searching at centres between Marchagee and Mingenew [88]
On 21 August 1936 went to the Carnamah Private Hospital on the urgent request of Dr Cecil P. ROSENTHAL [88]
     A 19 year old woman had been admitted, and had revealed to the doctor she had previously had an illegal operation [88]
     She had been pregnant and paid an East Perth woman £4 to perform an illegal operation which led to her losing the child [88]
     He interviewed the girl however she refused to name the woman who had performed the operation so no charges could be laid [88]
On 4 September 1936 arrested a man who had imaginary grievances against many and had written letters of an abusive nature [88]
     After being examined by Dr ROSENTHAL and going before the Carnamah Police Court he was removed to a Mental Hospital [88]
Visited Winchester on 5 September 1936 to make inquiries about the theft of flywire doors and other house fittings [88]
    Also called at Coorow where he confiscated an automatic pistol and again interviewed the woman who'd had an illegal operation [88]
Attended the Carnamah District Agricultural Society's show on 10 September 1936 where he found all correct and orderly [88]
At 2 a.m. on 12 September 1936 left Carnamah for Perth to get attention for his daughter Margaret who was dangerously ill [88]
While at Coorow on 16 September 1936 he succeeded in getting a signed statement from the woman who'd had an illegal operation [88]
At 5 p.m. on 10 October 1936 Leonard R. WATSON reported at the Police Station that he had unearthed a human skeleton [88]
     He proceeded to WATSON's farm to inspect the bones that had been found while loading a truck with sand [88]
     On inspection he discovered the skeleton had been buried about three feet deep in a sand bar [88]
     The bones gave every indication of having been in the ground for many years and were believed to be of an Aboriginal person [88]
     It was also revealed that bones had been found near the same spot over the past 20 years when the ground was ploughed [88]
     The opinion was passed that the spot was an old Native burial ground and the he submitted a special report [88]
At 11:45 a.m. on 22 October 1936 received a telephone call from A. J. MORTIMER, Stationmaster of the local Railway Station [88]
     Was informed that there was a man on the train from Perth who refused to pay for a ticket [88]
     He met the train when it arrived in Carnamah at 12:15 p.m. and despite initial resistance made the man pay for a ticket [88]
At 1:30 a.m. on 22 November 1936 had a phone call from A. SMART stating there were two men fighting near his Carnamah store [88]
     Attended the scene but by the time of his arrival the man had left and after making inquiries could not ascertain their identities [88]
At 1:00 p.m. on 19 December 1936 he received a telephone call from Inering schoolmaster A. E. LUTZE reporting a theft [88]
     A. E. LUTZE stated that a bicycle with licence plate CA-43 and a watch had been stolen from the school premises [88]
     Left the Police Station and on his way to Inering passed the Carnamah Hotel where he saw the bicycle on the back of a truck [88]
     He searched the owner of the truck and found the stolen watch in the pocket of his trousers and then received admission of guilt [88]
     The guilty man went before the Carnamah Police Court on 21 December 1936 where he was fined £2 and costs of 19/6 [88]
At 9:00 p.m. on 31 December 1936 received a phone call from Coorow that there had been a head on car collision [88]
     In company with Dr Cecil P. ROSENTHAL proceeded to the scene approximately two miles north of Coorow [88]
     Afterwards he assisted with the five injured patients at the Carnamah Private Hospital [88]
     The following day, on 1 January 1937, he returned to the site of the accident and took measurements etc [88]
     The man who drove the colliding car went before the Carnamah Police Court on 12 January 1937 and was fined £1 [88]
In 1937 his duties were expanded when Police Officers were automatically gazetted as Traffic Inspectors [5: 29-Jan-1937]
     From then onwards he could act on breaches of the Traffic Act and when requested assist the Carnamah District Road Board [5]
At 8 p.m. on 1 May 1937 received a call from Arnold C. A. BIERMANN notifying him an accident had occurred south of Coorow [88]
     Along with Dr ROSENTHAL proceeded to the scene where a truck from Watheroo had capsized after taking a corner too fast [88]
     The two injured men, one woman and a two year old child were treated on the scene and then taken to the Carnamah Hospital [88]
On 22 June 1937 received a report from Charles B. BURN that 100 of his sheep had either been stolen or strayed [88]
     Made inquiries at East Carnamah that day and in Coorow the next however nothing could be found out about the sheep [88]
On 27 July 1937 began making inquiries about 150 wooden sleepers that had been stolen from the Marchagee Railway Siding [88]
     West Australian Farmers, who had reported them stolen sent a telegram on 29 July 1937 to report the sleepers had been located [88]
On 30 July 1937 Dr ROSENTHAL informed him of a patient who had jumped out a train and later leapt out of a moving car [88]
     He was believed to be "out of his mind" and was placed under constant supervision at the Carnamah Private Hospital [88]
     Arrested the man on the charge of unsound mind upon his discharge from hospital at 5 p.m. on 31 July 1937 [88]
     Dr ROSENTHAL issued a Certificate under the Mental Treatment Act which was also signed by N. W. REYNOLDS JP [88]
     Temporarily imprisoned the man in the lock-up and made arrangements for him to be transported to Perth for treatment [88]
On 9 August 1937 received two phone calls regarding the theft of a large quantity of tobacco from the railway shed in Yandanooka [88]
     Received information that the man suspected to be responsible for the theft was camping at Marchagee [88]
     Left for Marchagee the following morning and after making inquiries located the man responsible and part of the stolen property [88]
     Arrested the man on the charge of stealing and took him back to the Carnamah Police Station [88]
     After returning to the Police Station had a report that a parcel of meat and four loaves of bread had been stolen from Marchagee [88]
     It would seem he had already solved the crime as three of the four items had been on the man he'd just arrested [88]
     The man went before the Carnamah Police Court and was charged on two counts of stealing and one of unlawful possession [88]
     Constable LEE of Geraldton escorted the prisoner to Geraldton by train where he was imprisoned for three months [88]
In August 1937 spent a number of days driving throughout his very large district collecting agricultural statistics from farmers [88]
     Included in the statistics were "acreage forecast numbers" which were forwarded to the Government Statistician [88]
Departed Carnamah for Lake Grace on accumulative leave at 7:20 a.m. on 1 October 1937 [88]
    During his absence the Carnamah Police Station was run by relieving Constable Vincent J. MCNAMARA [88]
    Arrived back in Carnamah at 11 a.m. on 12 November 1937 and took charge of the Police Station that same day at 6 p.m. [88]
On the evening of 10 March 1938 had a telephone call from H. F. DUNNING who reported his 73 year old mother was missing [88]
     Called together a large search party and proceeded to search over farmland for the missing woman [88]
     At 9 p.m. Mrs DUNNING was located several miles away at a neighbour's house, having wandered for a number of miles [88]
Made a number of arrests on the charge of drunkenness and those arrested were usually released on bail [88]
     Such arrests went before the Carnamah Police Court and were cautioned or fined in addition to paying the costs of the court [88]
     Cases that went before the Carnamah Police Court were presided over by two local Justices of the Peace who chose the ruling [88]
Often notified by telephone about prison escapees and those with warrants issued against them who might pass through Carnamah [88]
     On making inquiries sometimes found a wanted man had been through Carnamah and notified other police stations by telephone [88]
Attended in an official capacity numerous livestock sales, sporting fixtures, dances and other events in Carnamah and Coorow [88]
     Found all to be correct at all events except for one sheep sale when six people didn't have their sheep distinctively branded [88]
Apparently his duties also included taking expectant Aboriginal mother to the Mogumber Mission [7: page 152]
     In most cases by the time he arrived at the Aboriginal camp the women had seen him coming and had gone bush [7: page 152]
Contacted the Commissioner of Police tendering his resignation from the Police Force on 1 April 1938 [88]
At 4 p.m. on 21 April 1938 handed over control of the Carnamah Police Station to Constable J. F. CROWE 1634 of Geraldton [88]
His resignation from the Carnamah Police Force took effect from 21 April 1938[87]
During his time as policeman in Carnamah resided with his wife and children in the stone quarters adjacent to the police station [P264]
Following his voluntary discharge from the Police Force he remained in Carnamah as a fruiter, greengrocer and commission agent [--]
After his resignation resided with his wife and children in a rented house at 18 Robertson Street, Carnamah [P264]
Fruiter and Greengrocer in Carnamah with wife Barbara in 1938 and 1939 - traded as "M. & B. K. Plunkett" [6]
     Proprietors of the "Excelsior Fruit Shop" in Macpherson Street, Carnamah in 1938 [0: images 03323]
     Later in 1938 the name of their shop had changed to "Excelsior Fruit, Tea and Dining Rooms" [0: image 03715]
     Sellers of fruit, vegetables and fish [0: image 03323]
     Also sold fish suppers, dressed poultry and full supplies of cooked meals and small goods [0: image 03715]
     In September 1938 were selling oranges, apples, bananas by the case [0: image 03739]
     Agents in Carnamah in 1938 for Malloch Bros, Oldsmobile Cars & Trucks and Hotpoint Bandmaster Radios [0: image 03323]
     Also took in boarders at 22/6 per week [0: image 03715]
     The Excelsior Fruit Shop was telephone number Carnamah-42[60]
     The shop, for at least some of its operation, was in the old Post Office building at 23 Macpherson Street, Carnamah [P40]
     In May 1939 offered for sale their cutlery, utensils, glasses, crockery, counter, shelving, tables, chairs and stove [0: image 03787]
     The sale of their goods was handled by R. Goyne Miller [0: image 03787]
During his period in Carnamah as a Fruiter and Greengrocer also ran a small vegetable garden in Marchagee [P40]
Apparently also worked locally in Carnamah as a water diviner [7: page 152]
In 1938 and 1939 was an agent in Carnamah for Malloch Bros Ltd (Lister Engines, Alston Windmills and Twin City Tractors) [13]
     As an agent for Malloch Bros he also sold a wide range of fencing materials and gates including various wires, netting and posts [13]
     In 1939 he was also an agent in Carnamah for Wigmores Ltd and the Shearer Spring-tyne combine [0: image 02822]
     Whatever he had in stock was stored in the yard at the side of their shop in the old Post Office at 23 Macpherson Street [P40]
Attended the Carnamah Golf Club's 1936 season Opening Day at Centenary Park in Carnamah on Sunday 26 April 1936 [5: 1-May-1936]
     Committee Member of the Carnamah Golf Club in 1936 and 1937[5: 8-May-1936, 5-Mar-1937]
     At the conclusion of the Carnamah Golf Club's 1937 season he was presented with the Hertz Trophy [5: 17-Sep-1937]
Attended the Opening Day of the Coorow Golf Club for the 1936 season in Coorow on Sunday 17 May 1936 [5: 22-May-1936]
     Himself and Mrs Eliza M. P. LAMPARD of Waddy Forest won the 9-hole Handicap Mixed Foursomes conducted on the day [5]
After spending a holiday with them in Carnamah his father returned to his home near Wagin on Tuesday 26 May 1936 [5: 29-May-1936]
Committee Member of the Carnamah Ratepayers & Citizens Association in 1936 [5: 12-Jun-1936]
Attended the Carnamah Repertory Club's Social Evening & Play Presentation at the Carnamah Hall on 17 June 1936 [5: 19-Jun-1936]
Vice President and Committee Member of the Carnamah Athletic Club in 1936 [5: 19-Jun-1936]
Sent a floral tribute for the grave of Mrs Florence PRICE of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 1 September 1936 [5: 4-Sep-1936]
Attended the Carnamah Repertory Club's Social including three plays at the Carnamah Hall on Friday 2 October 1936 [5: 9-Oct-1936]
Member of John BOWMAN's XI who played against the Carnamah Cricket Club for the opening of the 1936-37 season [5: 9-Oct-1936]
Committee Member of the Carnamah Cricket Club in 1936-37 [5: 2-Oct-1936, 12-Feb-1937]
     Played for the Carnamah Cricket Club in their victorious match against the "Bulk Handlers" on 11 October 1936 [5: 16-Oct-1936]
     In December 1936 he was appointed Collector to collect 1/- per match from each member to defray the cost of balls [5: 24-Dec-1936]
     Following the creation of a second team for the 1936-37 season he played for "Carnamah B" [5: 29-Jan-1937]
     In 1937-38 he was again a member, playing for Carnamah Reds [5: 24-Dec-1937]
Attended the Farewell Social for departing postmaster R. Arthur LINDSAY at the Carnamah Hotel on 23 October 1936 [5: 30-Oct-1936]
Spoke on behalf of Carnamah at the Official Opening of the new golf links in Three Springs on Sunday 23 May 1937 [5: 28-May-1937]
He was among the 80 who attended the Carnamah Repertory Club's Social Evening at the Carnamah Hall on 25 June 1937 [5: 2-Jul-1937]
Visitor at the R.S.L. Valedictory for Charles A. METTAM at the lounge of the Carnamah Hotel on 28 July 1937 [5: 30-Jul-1937]
In 1938 had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and general repairers Henry Parkin & Son [53]
Along with his wife and children left Carnamah and shifted to Perth WA in 1939[P40]
Ran a fruit and vegetable market in West Perth WA for a short time [P40]
Later in 1939 took up the position of Secretary of the Laverton Hospital in Laverton WA [P40]
Remained as Secretary of the Laverton Hospital until resigning in July 1940 to enlist in the Australian Army [P40]
Enlisted in the Australian Army on 1 August 1940 in Claremont WA [16]
Lance Sergeant WX7249 in the Australian Army's 2/28 Australian Infantry Battalion during the Second World War [16]
Killed in Action on 27 July 1942 at Ruin Ridge in North Africa [P40]
Word of his death was received in Carnamah on Saturday 5 September 1942 [0: image 04152]
Buried / Memorialised at Alamein Memorial, El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt [17]
His name appears on the Perth Roll of Honour and on the Carnamah War Memorial [18] [35]
Maurice's brother George had been Killed in Action during the First World War[18]
Father of Hester, Gwen, Lila, Maurice and Margaret [P264]


From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 11 September 1942:
For King and Country - Late M. Plunkett
"It came as a deep shock to the residents of Carnamah to learn on Saturday last that L/Sgt M. Plunkett had been killed in action at Ruin Ridge on July 27th. The late Morry Plunkett was well and favourably known throughout the whole of the Carnamah district, where he resided for several years. He first came to Carnamah in charge of the local police station but late resigned from the Police Force in order to embark on a business venture locally. Unfortunately, this venture was not a success, and after closing the business down he and his family went to reside in Perth. After following several pursuits in the city he was successful in obtaining the position of the Laverton District Hospital. It was at that centre that he enlisted shortly after the outbreak of hostilities. The deceased man had been overseas for several years and had seen plenty of fighting. He was in the action in which the late Sgt. Geo. McGowan was killed about twelve months ago. He was, we believe, one of the original members of that band of Australians who were pleased to style themselves "the rats of Tobruk." During his sojourn in Carnamah the late L/Sgt. Plunkett took an active part in the sporting life of the district. He was Captain of one of the Carnamah cricket teams, and in addition was a keen supporter of the Carnamah Golf and Football clubs. Every sympathy is felt for his bereaved widow and family of four daughters and one son: Hester (Mrs. C. Chace, whose husband is in the U.S. Navy), Gwen, Lila, Maurice and Margaret. Deceased was aged 41 years."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Maurice Plunkett' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 12 December 2018 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




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