Dahlke and Doyle

Constable George Doyle and Albert Dahlke. Photo courtesy of State Library of Queensland
Constable George Doyle and Albert Dahlke. Photo courtesy of State Library of Queensland

Who has seen the graves of Albert Dahlke and Constable George Doyle in the Tamrookum Churchyard and not wondered who they are and why they should have been buried in a single grave? 

Albert Christian Dahlke came to Beaudesert as an assistant to the pastor of the Church of England.  It was here he met another parishioner, Robert Martin Collins, and was offered a position as stockman and later overseer on the Tamrookum Run. Robert and William Collins had recently purchased Carnarvon and Babbiloora Stations north of Augathella, an area of some 770 square miles. Dahlke was sent to manage these stations in 1899.

The Kenniff family had come to the area from New South Wales where they had already established a reputation as cattle duffers. Constable Doyle, based at the Upper Warrego Police Station, armed with a warrant for their arrest over the theft of a pony, proceeded to Carnarvon Station. Doyle was here joined by Dahlke, who knew the area better. 

The Kenniffs were sighted at Lethbridge’s pocket; the party then split up to give chase.  Having apprehended Jim Kenniff, tracker Johnson and his companions were unable to locate Dahlke and Doyle. Johnson rode for help; three days later charred remains were discovered in a saddle bag. 

The remains were taken to Rockhampton for examination, but were unable to be separated. Two Kenniff brothers were tried and convicted of murder. 

Because there was a possibility that the Kenniffs would appeal their sentence to the High Court in London, the remains were sealed in a lead container.  Robert Collins undertook to have them buried at Tamrookum.

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