Victoria, BC– Today, we remember the sacrifice of Cst. John Curry, who was killed on duty on February 29th, 1864.
Cst. John Curry was born in Durham, England and had only joined the Department in 1863. On the night he was killed, Cst. Curry was on Patrol in the Johnson Ravine area. That night, nightwatchman Thomas Barrett, an armed special constable was attacked while on patrol to look out for burglars. He had located a burglar inside Mrs. Cooperman’s store, located in an alley behind Store street. As he attempted to intervene, Barrett was attacked. The burglar was then joined by a second person. Although injured, Barrett followed the two men, blowing his whistle and calling for help. Hearing the commotion, Cst. John Curry ran to help.
Believing the figure rushing toward him in the dark to be the burglars coming to attack him again, Barrett raised his weapon and called out “Stand back or I’ll shoot!” The figure kept coming, so Barrett pulled the trigger.
Cst. John Curry was struck once in the chest. He died a few minutes later. Cst. John Curry and Thomas Barrett knew one each other, having been acquainted through work. He was the second VicPD constable to die in the line of duty.
An inquisition into the tragedy made recommendations including the adoption of a standard police uniform and the use of passwords to identify police officers.
Today, we remember Cst. John Curry.