Police service remembered

April 05, 2018

Martin and Brian Dolphin at the restored grave of their great grandfather Thomas Holt, in Nagambie Cemetary, yesterday.

Two Nagambie police officers who died serving the community more than a century ago were commemorated at the Nagambie cemetery last week.

School students, police, family, friends and the state’s chief police commissioner attended a grave rededication service ensuring the service and legacies of Nagambie police officers Senior Constable Thomas Holt and Constable William Irwin would not be forgotten.

Both officers died in the line of duty in the late 19th century.

Sen Const Holt died in 1893 and Const Irwin in 1881, both from injuries received after being thrown from their horses.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton stressed the importance of such services.

‘‘To me they send the message to the community that we value our police and their service,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a really special privilege to be a police officer, and in rural communities our police really are with the community in so many ways.

‘‘So to be able to send that message to the community that we value our police is really important.’’

Comm Ashton said it was important to thank officers for the sacrifices they made to ensure the safety of others.

‘‘They put themselves in harm’s way so often on behalf of the community,’’ he said.

Sen Const Holt’s great-grandsons Martin and Brian Dolphin were in attendance to accept a medal from Comm Ashton on behalf of their relative.

Martin said such services were ‘‘really significant’’ in recognising policemen who died in the course of duty.

‘‘To see it now in its refurbished state is wonderful,’’ he said of his great-grandfather’s grave.

‘‘Topped off by a medal award on the same occasion, (which was) totally unexpected, is wonderful.’’

‘‘I think it’s a great thing the police are doing,’’ Brian said.

‘‘To go back over 100 years, to be doing this, it’s quite a fantastic effort — and really appreciated by the family.’’

Martin described his great-grandfather as an ‘‘interesting man’’ who ‘‘tried a bunch of things during his life’’, recalling his journey emigrating to the United States and onwards to Australia.

‘‘I think he tried to make the best of his life in the places he thought he would do best at.’’

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