Sub-inspector Miles Blake Burns, one time stationed at Mudgee
Miles Blake Burns was born in a country village, Castletown, county of Donegal, Ireland, possibly in the year 1840, and followed the pursuit of farming.
Reading the lectures given by William Bede Dally, M.L.A, who at the time was Solicitor-General, on the expansion of the agricultural and pastoral industry in the Colony, he sold out the interest in his farm, in 1862, and emigrated for Queensland, taking with him two men.
When he arrived at Sydney, the account he heard of the gold diggings, caused him to alter his mind, and he went with his men to the Ten Mile Rush. He was unsuccessful, and lost everything he possessed. He then returned to Sydney.
Being a good horseman, and of a roving disposition, he joined the Mounted Police at the age of 20 years, in the year 1863. He was sent after the usual training to the Mudgee District.
Bushranging was rampart, and these desperadoes formed a band. Stations and stores were stuck up, and Alexander Musson, of Pyramul. and Cordell of Hargraves were shot by them.
Burns arrested both Edward McQuirk and Campbell, and this broke up the Mudgee gang.
Shortly afterwards (1865) Constable Ward of Coonabarabran was fatatally shot by Australia's only Chinese bushranger Sam Poo near Birriwa, north of Gulgong.
Several days later Byrnes came upon him in the scrub near Cobbora. Poo raised his gun, but Burns sprang at him and smashed his empty rifle on the head of the Chinaman. Poo recovered and was later hanged at the Bathurst goal.
At Mendooran his success in running down cattle stealers and arresting other offenders was proverbial. In late 1871, senior constable Byrnes made a remarkable and clever capture of a notorious rogue and vagabond named Shaw.
It appears that Shaw, went to a shepherd in the employment of F. Luckie, Biamble Station, and requested of the shepherd hospitality for the night which was granted.
On the following morning the poor shepherd, previous to taking out his flock, gave his guest the last shilling he had in his possession, and also half of his tobacco.
Shaw after parting with the entertainer, then returned to the hut, and robbed the poor shepherd of everything he could conveniently take away. One year previously, a murder had been committed at Caigain, near Mendooran, on the Castlereagh River.
A man named James Wakefield employed by Andrew Brown fatally stabbed a man named Harry with a pair of sheep shears. Burns arrested the murderer and prepared the field evidence for the court.
Information having been received at the Mundooran (old spelling) police barracks, body of Charlotte Shaw had been found by two young boys from Bidden when they were out hunting for wallabies.
Charlotte had been employed as a domestic for Mrs. John Byrnes, whose husband was the Mendooran hotel keeper.
The murderer was never found. In 1937, two young boys discovered in a nearby cave what were believed to be the bones of her husband.
Further details of the murders are contained in a booklet first published by Betty Bartlet of Gilgandra, in 1999, and called, "The Story of the Murdill Murder,".
During his time in the force Burns had been stationed at Mudgee, Mundooran, Gulgong and Orange.
As already stated he joined the police form in 1863; was made a senior constable in 1868, a second-class sergeant in 1872, a first-class sergeant in 1882, and a sub-inspector in 1885.
He retired on a pension in February, 1898. Miles Blake Burns died in June, 1916, at Lidcombe, age 76 years. He left a widow, daughter, four sons, two of whom were injured in the Great War.