Index to Candidates for the Victorian Police 1894-1920


Compiled by Helen Doxford Harris OAM

During the latter half of the 19th century thousands of men applied to join the Victoria Police Force.  In the great majority of cases these applications were unsuccessful and thus, in theory, the police department has no record of them. In fact however, many of these applications were retained within police correspondence files of the period, and are now held at the Public Record Office of Victoria. Until now this material has been unindexed, and therefore virtually inaccessible.

Microfiche indexes of these applications were prepared and sold from 2014; the remaining stock is only for the latter period.

Part 1 – 1853-1872; Part 2 –   1983-1893; Part 3 1853-1893 (All sold out)

Part 4 – 1894-1908 and Miscellaneous 1870s
The fourth Index relates to material found in a different Series of police correspondence files, VPRS 807, and covers the period from 1894-1908. Included within this Series were a number of letters which have been misfiled from the earlier correspondence series  (VPRS 937) and date in the 1870s. These applications are included here, because more than 50 of them concern men anxious to join the hunt for the Kelly Gang. This index contains the names of over a thousand people.

Part 5 – 1909-1918
The fifth Index differs from the others in that it is a listing of names and any other details given, in the Index and Registers of Inwards Correspondence to Victoria Police, for the period 1909-1918. This Index gives the reference number necessary to access the file within  VPRS 807, the actual correspondence files.

Each microfiche Index also contains two alphabetical lists of cross references. The first gives the names of other people mentioned in the applicants’ letters, whether they be relatives, friends or employers. The second list shows the various places from which they wrote, [Canada, New Zealand, New South Wales etc.] and the various topics mentioned in their applications.  Many of the men gave their previous and current occupations – some had seen military service in distant countries, others had served in other police forces.

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