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Memorial plaque reinstated in Moseley Square

Wednesday 23 June 2021
Memorial plaque in Moseley Square, Glenelg

A Police Heritage Site plaque has been reinstated in Moseley Square, Glenelg in dedication to Foot Constable Albert Edward Ring – a young police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1908 by a fellow Glenelg local.

The Glenelg Historical Society championed the restoration of the commemorative plaque which has been reinstated just metres from where the courthouse and police station once stood, near the Glenelg Town Hall.

It was unveiled by Deputy Mayor Rebecca Abley and Assistant Acting Police Commissioner John De Candia at a special ceremony on Sunday afternoon, 20 June.

Deputy Mayor Rebecca Abley told the crowd, who had gathered to witness the plaque unveiling, that its reinstatement was important to Holdfast Bay’s story.

“We have a strong belief at Holdfast Bay that preserving our past is as important as planning for our future,” she said.

“We stand here today in the shadow of the Glenelg Town Hall, which has been significantly restored over the past few years.

“This grand building is historically important for Holdfast Bay and Glenelg and acts as a local heritage marker for all that pass by her.

“And now, within this same precinct, we reinstate this local heritage marker that identifies not only a place of importance, but rather a person.”

The plaque for Albert Edward Ring was first installed in 1999. However, during upgrades to Moseley Square, the plaque fell into disrepair.

A new plaque now has pride of place on a raised plinth in a garden bed on the northern side of Moseley Square, to serve as a reminder for all who see it about Constable Ring’s life and service.

In 1908, Albert Edward Ring was just 38 years old when he was killed in the line of duty at Millers Corner – the junction of Partridge St, Jetty Road and Gordon Street.

The young police officer would wait to meet the last train of the night as it arrived into Glenelg.

The offender was another Glenelg local, 58-year-old fisherman Joe Coleman, who had a grudge against Constable Ring for arresting him the night before for public drunkenness.

Coleman collected his rifle and set upon Constable Ring as he carried out his nightly duties.

Coleman fatally shot Constable Ring before running off towards the beach, throwing the rifle and powder flask into the sea from the jetty, before disappearing into the night.

Two days later, more than 10,000 people lined the route from Glenelg to Payneham for Constable Ring’s funeral procession, which was believed to be the biggest in state history.

Ten days later, Coleman was eventually arrested, charged and found guilty of Constable Ring’s murder. He was executed and buried in the Adelaide Gaol.

A report in the newspaper described the murder as an, ‘illustration of the truism that a policeman carries his life in his own hands’.