John & Harriet Snushall

John Colin Rogers Snushall was born at Araluen NSW to William & Elizabeth on 12th April 1860. He had an older brother, William Lindsay Murdock John Colin Roberts SnushallGraham Snushall who was 3-year old. His younger brother, George, was also born at Araluen the following year, 1861. Araluen was a gold field town and John and his family lived there for about four years after the birth of John, at which time they moved to another gold field about 12 miles from Araluen, called Jembaicumbene (pronounced Jum-bay-i-cum-been) where they lived about three years.  John commenced school there.

About that time John & George's older brother, William, died at the age of 9 years on 2 January 1867. Soon after that, John would have been about 7, the family traveled to New Zealand where they lived at gold diggings at Kanieri (pronounced canary) and remained there for 6 years. During this period, at the age of 11, John commenced work on the gold fields. This was shift work and when not working on an 8-hour shift John continued his schooling. He continued working there until age 13 when the family returned to Australia and lived in the rich gold reefing district called Hill End in NSW.  John worked on gold crushing machines there for about 4 years.

The family again moved, this time to a copper mine called Snowball near Gundagai where John worked at a Blacksmith shop, wood chopping and in the copper smelting works for the next 4 years. He then took leave of his family and left this area with two mates and walked about 500 miles to the copper mines at Cobar where he worked on the copper smelting works and furnaces for 12-months.

In the meantime his parents and younger brother had moved to a new copper mine at Mount Hope and John joined them there. Some months later, John married Harriet Trevithick at Mount Hope on 17th April 1882. Their two eldest boys, John & William, were born at Mount Hope in 1883 and 1884 respectively.  His last two years at Mount Hope, John worked as a copper smelter, which was very hard work.

John, Harriet and the two boys left Mount Hope in February 1885 and moved to Sydney and a short time later John joined the NSW Police Force. The family then moved to Morpeth on the 10th June 1885 where John commenced his duties as a police constable. The family lived at Morpeth for almost 7 years and during this period two sons, Frederick and Leslie, were born in 1887 and 1889, respectively.

Following promotion to 1st Class Constable and in October 1890 he was transferred on 27th January 1891 and the family moved to Greta where John was in charge of the Police Station there for 13 years. During this period John & Harriett had three more children, Frank, Cecil & Lilian, who were born in 1893, 1895 & 1899 respectively.

On the 4th July 1904 John was transferred to Kurri Kurri, a large new mining area just opened up about 14 miles from Greta. It was here that their youngest child, Mabel, was born in 1905.
John CR & Harriet Snushall & Children

JCR Snushall was regarded as dedicated family man and career police officer and the citizens of Kurri Kurri held him in high esteem where he served as First Class Sergeant, in charge of the local police for 15-16 years until his retirement on 1st July 1919.

It was reported in the Newcastle Morning Herald, Friday July 4 1919, that Mr. W. Kearsley MP, guest speaker at the Retirement Dinner held on Tuesday 1st July 1919, said that; "Having known John for 20 years he could describe him as a man among men, always faithful in the discharge of his duties and respected by all, working with the object of making men better, and of building a better citizenship."

Much of the above life-story was taken from an article titled "A Policeman Reminisces" printed in the NSW Police News in 1964, which was about John CR Snushall’s childhood and his long career in the NSW Police Force. A copy of the article was given to me by one of his Great Grandchildren, Jill Snushall and can be found in the "Documents" section. The copy of the article printed in the Newcastle Morning Herald was provided by another Great Granddaughter, Brenda Ott (nee Snushall)


John Lindsay (1883-1959)
William Thomas (1884-)
Frederick George (1887-1975)
Leslie Loftus (1889-1973)
Francis (Frank) Roberts (1893-1967)
Cecil Wesley (1895-1958)
Lillian Pearl (1899-?)
Mabel Harriet (1905-?)