Wednesday, 31 January 2018
The Spark That Ignited Armed Conflict - The Great Antipodean Adventure!
The Newspaper Headline that tuned The Great Antipodean Adventure Nasty!
In the days following the dismissal of Premier Lang's New South Wales State Government on the 11th of May 1932 the streets of Sydney were filled with throngs of people stunned by this highly controversial use of Australia's constitutional powers! The thought of a government's term being cut short on the whim of a lackey of a Monarch half a world away was unheard of and of great concern to many! The more the citizenry mused the more they were angry and the news of the new Premiers deferment of a state election turned the anger of many into fury!
The many Political Factions which had been in existence for years took this opportunity of uneasiness to hit the streets spruiking their agendas and plans on how the state of New South Wales should be governed and in doing so whipped the masses into a frenzy. Seemingly uncontrollable rioting began! The Constabulary on order from the Police Commissioner waded in to clear the streets but their efforts were unsuccessful and there were many injuries! Due to the number of Constables with head injuries they were ordered to discard their military style caps to dye their summer helmets to match their uniforms and don them for protection. Of more importance and in a disturbing escalation of events Constables were also issued long arms from military stocks for 'their protection'.
May 17 and the fighting around barricades erected by rioters in the Rocks District was becoming particular intense. It was late in the afternoon as the shadows grew longer near the defences at the end of Mavis Street that an alcohol fueled mob cheered the darling of the Unions, Mrs Slocombe as she taunted the Police facing them! No one knew exactly what happened next but a Constable was struck, a flaming Molotov Cocktail was passed to Mary Slocombe and their was the sharp crack of a rifle...Mary was killed instantly and with her any hopes of peacefully quelling the rising feeling of the populace against the caretaker Government of Premier Stevens!
Mary's death opened the floodgates and now with the 'gloves off' the crowds armed themselves with every manner of firearm they could lay their hand on...blood thirsty chants rang through Sydney Town and the 18th of May 1932 dawned with a blood red sky...
Next Post the first Great Antipodean Adventure AAR - A Visit to The Governors House!