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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Copeland, Arnold John (Constable)

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1895
Place of birth Forest Range, SA
Principal occupation Mounted Policeman
Date of death 1947
Place of decease Moonta

Arnold John Copeland was born on 3 February 1895 at Forest Range, South Australia. His parents were Samuel Reid Copeland and Sarah Ann Copeland (nee Sitters). Samuel was a gardener, and the family were involved in their local community. For example, they contributed to the Australia Day celebrations in 1916. Arnold was the fifth child of a family of nine.

Arnold joined the Mounted Police on 1 July 1917, where his brother Harold was already serving. He served at Port Pirie; Mungeranie on the Birdsville Track; Farina; Willunga; Stirling West and Moonta. During his time at Farina, he married Ruby Gladys Irene Crombie (19/8/1924). He was 29 and Ruby, his bride, was 16 years. Ruby was one of the daughters of William and Susan Crombie who were well known on the Birdsville Track and in the Far North. Arnold and Ruby had four children:

Roger John (b. 27/06/1926 Tweedvale) Faye Lorraine (b. 18/6/1927 Tweedvale) Margaret Beth (b. 8/2/1931 Willunga) Joan (b. 1932 place unknown)

Arnold served at Willunga from 2 July 1929 to 8 February 1935. This meant that he had to transfer police operations from the almost derelict police station at 61 High Street to the new brick building at 3 Main Street in 1930.

The Copelands were active in the community. Arnold was a prize-winning bowls player and was an office-bearer with Willunga Football Club. Ruby was involved in croquet. It appears that they enjoyed living in the Willunga District and were popular with the other residents.

Upon Arnold's transfer to Stirling West in 1935, a farewell event was conducted and a presentation of an eight-day Westminster clock was made by the community.

Arnold died as a serving Police Office while he was stationed at Moonta. He was on duty when he complained of feeling ill and returned to his home in Ellen Street, Moonta. He died soon afterwards. His funeral was held at the Summertown Methodist Church and he was buried at the Summertown Cemetery.


  • GenealogySA Online Database
  • Reports from Rural Centres. Advertiser. 13 February 1935 p. 7
  • Mail. 5 March 1938. p. 27
  • Obituaries. Chronicle. 16 October 1947. p. 9
  • Advertising. September 22 1947. The Advertiser. p. 16

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