Constable George Doyle and Albert Dahlke
Constables George Doyle and Stephen Millard, and Aboriginal Tracker Sam Johnson staffed the lonely Lethbridge Pocket Police Station. Their task was to check the seemingly endless cattle duffing and horse stealing exploits of the locally based, gun-toting brothers, Patrick and James Kenniff. In mid-March 1902, a warrant was issued for the brothers’ arrest. Constable Doyle, Johnson and local property manager Albert Dahlke made up one party searching for the men. On Easter Sunday morning 30 March 1902, Constable Doyle and his men found the Kenniffs leaving an isolated pocket in the ranges. Within minutes Doyle and Dahlke were both dead, shot by the fugitives. Tracker Johnson, although chased by the killers, managed to escape, ride to Mitchell and raise the alarm. Four days after the killings, Doyle’s troop-horse was found with his saddlebags draped across its back. In the bags were found the burnt remains of George Doyle and Albert Dahlke.
The Kenniff brothers evaded capture for three months. The largest manhunt in Queensland history ended on 23 June 1902 when they surrendered after being surprised in a rough bush camp. Both brothers were sentenced to death for murdering Constable Doyle and Albert Dahlke. Patrick Kenniff was hanged in Boggo Road Jail, Brisbane, on 12 January 1903 but his brother’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
The charred remains of Constable Doyle and Albert Dahlke are entombed in the Tamrookum Anglican Cemetery near Beaudesert. The memorial for Doyle and Dahlke had started to lean and the FQPM undertook its restoration.
The memorial for Constable George Doyle and Albert Dahlke after restoration.