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|Frank MILLS - Part II [6 June 2008] transcribed from an oral interview|
|Cadet ID: 123|
|Association ID: 29|
FRANK MILLS, POLICE CADET NUMBER 123,
KILLARNEY VALE NSW
Ian Granland: How long would it take you to get from Howlong to Brocklesby (by horse)?
FRANK MILLS: - Ohhh, ‘bout 2 hours sort of business. Course
they were hard roads and just depends if the side of the road was a bit wet and
you could push the horse along but he wasn’t a very clever old horse the one I
Granland: Back to the cadets. Do
you think they gave you much responsibility as a cadet?
FRANK MILLS: Not a lot, I don’t think ... You would … I know at the M.O. Section we had a fellow named Bolwer, Alec Bowler and he was … I think he was one of the top soccer referees, were they referees or umpires? One of the two. At that stage and he used to walk around and have a double check on you and if he found an error he would let you know about it. But as for responsibilities … [indiscernible].
Ian Granland: You mentioned you got three pound … fourteen, and how was that given to you? Did you get a cheque or did you get….
FRANK MILLS: No, it was cash. And that’s ... I mentioned Sergeant Douglass earlier on. They used to pay you on a Thursday, every second Thursday. There’d be someone come from headquarter, pay section and he would have a policeman escort him. They’d come in and sit down at the table and everyone would be … walk passed give your name sort of business and you’d get your envelope, a little brown envelope? And Sergeant Douglass warned me “You check your pay son” … again he said “You check it”. So I stood there and only had three pound twelve ($7.20) and I said “I’ve only got three pound twelve.” Oh oh, so they sorted around and found two bob down the bottom of their bag, their kitbag and I said to the Sergeant afterwards “I was down two shillings”. “That’s why I warned you son, two shillings is a lot of money to them, if they get 5 two shillings at the end of the day, ten shillings is a lot of money." It was too. For two bob you could buy a lot in those days.
Ian Granland: What about if someone wasn’t working … if they were rostered off on that day?
FRANK MILLS: I think … I think it used to go into the inspector’s Office into a little safe – yeah. I faintly think a few times I might of … might have had to type up a list of or something like that. I just faintly recall that.
Ian Granland: Did you act as an inspector’s clerk as a cadet?
FRANK MILLS: Not as a cadet. But while I was at Wagga I was ahh ... inspector’s clerk and I used to fill in in the Superintendents Office with assistant clerk in there.
Ian Granland: From the cadets to being sworn in. Was there many boys who were sacked or did they drop out, did you find. Was there a fair percentage?
FRANK MILLS: Well by 19… my period, 1940, we were 'man powered'. You couldn’t change jobs, you were there and that was it. You couldn’t say “I don’t want to be a policeman at this stage", but, there were … I remember there were … Geoff Staehli, I cant think of his cadet number, he would have been about 130 or something like that. He got the sack at the last minute, we never know what happened … he just wasn’t there. Ah.. our class started and there were two mounted men sacked over night, for reasons unknown, they just disappeared. But most the fellows, after they were sworn in and had five or six years service, the war was over and there were a lot … quite a few left the job very quickly. K Bennett (Keith) went to Woolworths to be their security officer. Warren Linkenbagh, went then ..what was then, the Daily Mirror to become a crime reporter. A lot of them jumped at opportunities and went out.
Granland: Where abouts were you sworn in?
Granland: Who drove that car?
you were sworn in and sent straight to Wagga?
Ian Granland: So you’d be 24?
FRANK MILLS: Yeah. And they then would start making inquiries about your wife to be, what her parents were like, or the … they’d knock it back if her father was a criminal they’d say “you cant marry her”. Oh yeah, they controlled you.
Ian Granland: Strange isn’t it? And how times have changed.
FRANK MILLS: Times have changed. A lot of cadets there. All of a sudden they gave us god fathers. We had these four god fathers, all first class sergeants at headquarters. And you could go to them if you had any troubles whatsoever.
Ian Granland: Were these for cadets or anyone?
FRANK MILLS: No, for cadets. Certain cadets were allocated … cant think of the name of the sergeant , I never went to him. One of the first cadets to go along went to Colin Delaney, who later became a commissioner and he had a girl in the family way and he wanted to know if he could borrow some money to get married. “ Certainly son” was the answer, “come down on Thursday morning I’ll see you at .” Poor bugger went down at and they handed him his pay and his dismissal.
Ian Granland: You mentioned before about mounted police. Once a policeman was sworn in, could he be transferred straight to the country?
FRANK MILLS: Almost. But they liked to keep them for … unless
there were vacancies in the country … they liked to keep them for their
probationary period. I was away within
three months, I did. Partially through
March I was there and they … in those days you used to have a smallpox
vaccination and they work up – ohhh, just before Christmas time that I hadn’t
had it and therefore could be confirmed without it of course, small pox and I
had to be confirmed by the 18th January on my birthday. So here I was at Wagga and I had to go to
Ian Granland: Could you have or did you ever contemplate joining the forces during the war?
FRANK MILLS: No. Umm, two of us went along one day, a fellow
named Colin McKenzie both went along to join the air force. They were recruiting, we wanted to get out, I
had three brothers and a sister, they were all overseas at that stage and I
said I’ll be in it too. Anyhow they just
served us with manpower notices and that was the end of it.
Granland: Was Steve Engle one of your instructors?
Granland: Did you play any organized sport when you were in the cadets?
Granland: No, I mean for the cadets.
Granland: What you are really saying is that the system was really hard on you
boys when you were young?
Granland: And you went from Wagga to where?
Ian Granland: Did they have mounted police there?
see, so there were mounted and foot police at the one station would you ...?
that was your job. That was the mounted
Granland: You lived at the police premises?
The interview ends abruptly because we came to the end of the tape and I was just about finished anyhow but in retrospect I should have asked more questions – IG.