Fragments from the official career of John Dwyer, Superintendent of Police, 1878 to 1921

Cover John Dwyer’s 43 year policing career began in New Zealand in Dunedin in 1878. Posted around the country, his service took in Oamaru, the Otago goldfields, Christchurch, Wanganui, Napier, and his final stint was in Christchurch from 1914 to his retirement in 1921. Superintendent Dwyer was associated with many notable cases throughout his career. His memoirs focus on some of these incidents, and provide insight into policing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century New Zealand.

Unpublished, [1934]

View complete Fragments from the official career of John Dwyer, Superintendent of Police, 1878 to 1921 [ PDF 16.5 Mb]


View Pages 1 to 13 [PDF 2.2 Mb]

  • Foreword
  • My First Important Arrest
  • The Result Of A Dream
  • A Chinaman’s Hoard
  • The Cumberland Street Fire

View Pages 13 to 27 [PDF 2.8 Mb]

  • The Smoked Fish Case
  • The Footprint Case
  • Oamaru Drowning Fatality
  • Youthful Criminals
  • Struggle With A Criminal Lunatic
  • The Goldfields

View Pages 27 to 43 [PDF 3 Mb]

  • The Dream Case
  • Arson Case
  • Arson Case - E. D. Smith, Wanganui
  • The Licensing Law
  • Sly Grog Selling At Taihape
  • Promoted To Commission Rank
  • The New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-07
  • Ned Kelly’s Revolver
  • “Stand Off The Grass”

View Pages 43 to 61 [PDF 1 Mb]

  • The Saving Of Two Children From Drowning
  • Valedictory Conversazione
  • The Cashel Street Riot
  • Tussle With The Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Of New Zealand, Jack Lloyd
  • The Woodville Baby Murder Case

View Pages 62 to 70 [PDF 1.5Mb]

  • The Industrial Strike Of 1913-14

View Pages 70 to 77 [PDF 2.2 Mb]

  • The West Coast Murder
  • Alleged Immorality On The Banks Of The River Avon In Christchurch
  • Visit Of The Prince Of Wales To Christchurch

View Pages 77 to 90 [PDF 2.6 Mb]

  • My Final Parade Of The Canterbury Police
  • The Public Farewell
  • A Substantial Cheque
  • “A Few Tit-Bits” An Amusing Speech
  • A Few Verdicts Recorded In The Far-Off Days Of Long Ago By Coroners’ Jurors

Related information

Books from our collection

Newspaper articles

  • Mr John Dwyer was policeman for 43 years, Christchurch Star-Sun, 31 Oct. 1947, p. 2
  • Mr John Dwyer, The Press, 1 Nov. 1947, p. 8

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