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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Albert Wilde Thornton

Born: 1878; Died: 1959; Married: Florence Ruth [Smith]

Albert Wilde Thornton was born in Cooma in 1878, the son of Henry Thornton and Sarah Mitchell. He became the Police Constable at Ginninderra Police Station, 1908 – 1915.

When his predecessor Senior Constable Albert Hallett received notice in September 1908 of his transfer to Galgrogin, after five years at Ginninderra, the community held a farewell banquet in his honour. It was held in the Farmers Union Hall where the President of the Union, Everard Gregory Crace, made a presentation on behalf of the residents. His replacement was Constable Albert Wilde Thornton.

With his wife Florence, Albert lived at the Police Residence, Ginninderra, on the western side of the Yass Road.

Albert and Florence had four children, one son, Cecil, dying whilst an infant. The children were:

In the Enrolment Register at Hall Public School Thelma Thornton is shown as the 28th girl to be listed. She was enrolled on 19/01/1914 aged six years. As her siblings were younger, they would not have attended Hall School.

At this time Albert joined the Hall Football Club and played matches on the One Tree Hill and away grounds. On one occasion, on the home ground, the Hall and Queanbeyan match was a draw, with neither side scoring. Other matches were held against Yarralumla and the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

To raise funds for the Roman Catholic Church building fund, various social activities were held in the Farmers Union Hall. It is recorded that 'A.W.Thornton' provided some of the musical entertainment at a function in late 1910. St Francis Xavier's Roman Catholic Church in Hall was opened in April 1910.

Thornton was also active in the community, taking on the role of Secretary for the Ginninderra School of Arts in 1911. That year E.G.Crace was re-elected President and George Harcourt elected Treasurer. The financial statement showed the organization was in a good position. The Farmers Union Hall, built in 1906, served as a School of Arts, gymnasium, library, entertainment centre and lecture room.

Thornton appears in the photograph of the 1915 Ginninderra Farmers Union Show Committee but it is unknown for how long he was involved.

After seven years service as Ginninderra's police officer, Constable Albert Wilde Thornton, was promoted to Gundaroo and left in February 1915. He was replaced at Ginninderra by First Class Constable D. Coyle


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