150th Anniversary Clarke Brothers Capture
Maitland 2016

Constable Alexander Binning Walker


Ex-police Superintendent Alexander B. Walker, who killed the notorious bushranger, Thunderbolt, died on Saturday at his residence, Richmond-avenue, Cremorne. Mr. Walker had a remarkable career in the police force, rising from the ranks to the rank of superintendent. For three months in 1907 Mr. Walker relieved the late Mr. Garvin as Inspector-General of Police. Mr. Walker was 81 years of age.

Mr. Walker was born at Oldbury, England, in 1847, and came to Australia when a young man. He enlisted in the mounted police, and when a constable shot Thunderbolt dead on May 27, 1870, at Kentucky Creek, near Uralla. Walker had a thrilling encounter with the bushranger, and after the latter had been shot he grappled with the young constable. During the encounter at Kentucky Creek, Walker’s horse fell and Thunderbolt rushed at him with his revolver in his hand. Walker then fired at the bushranger, who rose and attempted to grapple with the constable. The latter then struck Thunderbolt over the head with the revolver. It was Walker’s last shot that killed the bushranger.

Thunderbolt, whose name was Frederick Ward, was in 1856 at the Maitland Assizes, sentenced to ten years’ hard labour for felony. He obtained a ticket of leave, and was again convicted at Mudgee in 1861. While serving a sentence on Cockatoo Island, on  11 September 1863 he escaped, in company with another convict named Frederick Britton. Ward evaded capture for seven years until he was shot by Constable Walker.

Mr. Walker was subsequently presented with a public subscription, and received a Government reward of £200. He soon afterwards received promotion, and continued to rise in the service until, in 1895, he was made superintendent at Deniliquin. He later served in a similar capacity at Albury and Goulburn.

Mr. Walker is survived by three sons and three daughters. The sons are William Robert Walker (ex-Superintendent of Police, who only some time ago was in charge at Grafton), Alexander Walker (manager of the Commercial Bank, Narrandera) and Walter Walker (manager of the Union Bank, Oxford-street). The daughters are the Misses Pearl Walker, Olive Walker, and Mrs. Cedric Fitzhardinge (of Newcastle).

Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April 1929, p 8