Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary




The Royal Papua & New Guinea Constabulary Band


David Crawley

Doreen MacGowan 2011


MBE - Bandmaster, European Constabulary, New Guinea Police Force, Founder of the New Guinea Police Force Band

Born: 12 March 1906  London, England.  Died: 10 July 1966  Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

David (Dan) Crawley was born in London, England on 21 March 1906. At an early age he joined the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers Regiment of the British Army and trained as a Bandsman. During his years of service the cavalry regiment was stationed in Ireland, Egypt, Palestine and India.In early 1930 he took his discharge from the British Army and voyaged from India to Tasmania to try his hand at fruit farming. While there he joined the 22nd Light Horse Brigade. In 1935, in response to a recruitment campaign for the New Guinea Police Force, he travelled to Rabaul, New Britain. He joined the European Constabulary of the New Guinea Police Force on 15 May 1935 with the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2.When training buglers for ceremonial parades he became aware of the musical aptitude of the young Tolais from Nordup village, and sought permission to form a police band. His request was rejected - he was considered "a mad Englishman - impossible to teach music to the native people"! He determined to persevere and bought brass band instruments himself, and in his spare time taught the young Tolais to play.Their first public appearance in Rabaul in 1937 so impressed the Administrator Sir W Ramsay McNicholl that he recommended David Crawley be released from regular police duties to form a police band. The Police Band was officially formed in 1938. (A number of his original "Nordup boys" were still with the Band when David Crawley, then Senior Inspector, retired from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary in 1963).In Rabaul on 22nd March 1938 he married Kathleen Allen, from northwest Tasmania. A daughter and a son were born prior to the outbreak of war in New Guinea.

 Early in 1941 Lark Force, the Australian Army 2/22nd Battalion arrived in Rabaul and a friendship was formed during that year between David Crawley and their bandmaster Arthur Gullidge, formerly of the Brunswick, Melbourne, Salvation Army Band. He was renowned as a fine musician and a talented composer. (Sadly he lost his life on the Montevideo Maru, along with so many others who were taken prisoner). In late December 1941 with fears of an imminent Japanese invasion, David Crawley's wife and two small children were evacuated to Australia on the M. V. Macdhui, together with the other women and children of Rabaul .

David Crawley remained in Rabaul with the male civilians and service personnel. When Rabaul fell, after the brief courageous battle against overwhelming Japanese forces on 23 January 1942, and the order was given "every man for himself", he took to the mountains of New Britain to escape capture. Prior to leaving, he and the band members had buried the band instruments, along with his family's personal belongings. (None were ever recovered).

 A few loyal Bandsmen insisted on accompanying him, but as the danger became evermore evident, he persuaded them for their own safety to return to their villages. He travelled with a small group of Police officers and hacked his way through the undergrowth with his bush knife, which his family still have in their possession.

 After many weeks evading the Japanese, with little food, water or clothing, they escaped, with help from Keith McCarthy and Frank Holland, on the small vessel M.V. Lakatoi. After a hazardous voyage from New Britain through the Trobriand Islands they arrived safely in Cairns on 28 March 1942.

 He joined his family in Sydney where they had taken up residence to wait out the war. He enlisted in the Australian Army and after a short period of rehabilitation returned to Papua New Guinea with A.N.G.A.U.

 He was transferred to the Royal Papuan Constabulary, one of the units of ANGAU, as Lieutenant, M. I. D. He was stationed at Bisiatabu for much of that time, and was requested to form another police band. Some of his original New Guinea bandsmen who had been taken prisoner by the Japanese, managed to escape and returned to him.

 In 1945 he led his Band on their first tour of Australia to raise funds for the Third Victory War Loan, which proved very successful. Subsequent Australian tours he undertook with his Band were the Sydney Anzac Day March in 1950, Queen Elizabeth's visits in 1954 & 1963, and the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956.

 In early 1946 his family joined him at the Royal Papuan Constabulary & New Guinea Police Force Training Depot at Sogeri, in the foothills of the Owen Stanleys, some 26 miles from Port Moresby. In 1947 a second daughter was born.

 In 1945 David Crawley was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, London, in recognition of his skill in training two brass bands in Papua New Guinea. The award was given annually for the most outstanding musical work of the year, and it was the first time the honour had gone outside the United Kingdom. Studying externally through the Trinity College of Music, London, many of the bandsmen passed their Theory of Music examinations with honours and distinctions.

 In 1955 he was honoured by the Queen, receiving the MBE for his "outstanding contribution in pioneering the movement to introduce band music to the native people of New Guinea". The Investiture took place at Government House Port Moresby. He also received the Queen's Police Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, awarded for distinguished Police Service of 22 years or more.

 In 1963 he retired from the RPNGC as a Senior Inspector. On the tarmac of Port Moresby's Jacksons airstrip the Band played in farewell, and many of the bandsmen wept. He took his wife on a long dreamed-of visit back to England and met up with his old British Army friends before he died suddenly in Brisbane in 1966. Archbishop Philip Strong, the former Anglican Bishop of New Guinea, officiated at his funeral service.


New Guinea Police Force Band Rabaul 1938




  To enlarge click on photo 




The efficiency and disciplineof the police band ls a tribute tc the patience and assiduity of   Inspector J. Crawley, who  many years ago struggled  against adversity to establish ' the band. Pessimism dogged  his every move, but his own  optimism never faltered and in1938 the band was formed. The going was hard. Many frays   dropped out after a few lessons  and there was the constant difficulty of enlisting new personnel Inspector Crawley persevered and today he has a  band which is a credit to him.  At every public function in  Port Moresby the band is present  sent. Band practice is a dally  routine. Inspector Crawiey's ambition is to have a band   equal in efficiency to mainland , bands. That he ls on the way to  success can be judged from  the results of the theory examination,   of the London Trinity College of Music. A few  months ago a number of members were submitted for the examination, which was held under the direction of the Education Department of.Papua-N.G.The results were excellent. Four entered in the advanced intermediate division and all passed, two with honours. Two passed with honours in the, Intermediate division and two out of three gained honours in the advanced junior division. Twenty-four passed In the junior division, 16 gained honours   (one with 100 marks) and the remaining eight were awarded, merits. Inspector Crawley is an ex-soldier having served, with the 12th Lancers. 

Morning Bulletin Rockhampton Thursday 10 January 1952


The Royal Papua & New Guinea Constabulary Band in Rabaul post war 1944  playing for the troops and people and showing the colours
David Crawley conducting and leading the march


1945 Third Victory Tour

Taronga Zoo Sydney


Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, brass bands are primarily associated with the national police force. Since the late 1800s, they were probably heard in local ports, in the form of British and German naval bands. Their continuing indigenous use began in 1928-1929, when the Lutheran missionary Heinrich Zahn (1880-1944) received a donation of eleven instruments—flügelhorns, tenor flügelhorns, trombones, and a tuba—for use by his students at Hocpoi, a training school for Lutheran evangelists in Bukawac Village, Morobe. In 1925, he had begun an experiment to improve local singing by using tuned conchs to play hymns based on German chorales; eventually,

FIGURE 3 The Papua New Guinea Police Band performs. Photo courtesy of Word Publishing, Papua New Guinea. these arrangements were published (Zahn 1934, 1959). When the brass instruments arrived, his students were playing in four-part harmony, with one conch per note.

Though conchs and brasses are played with vibrating lips, brasses demanded the learning of new techniques and Western notation; nevertheless, Zahn's students quickly gained proficiency on their new instruments. The conch and brass bands performed separately and together, alternating with singing. After Zahn's return to Germany (in 1932), the brass band continued at Hocpoi, and conch bands spread to other parts of the province. The Pacific War interrupted such activities, but after 1945 conch bands were revived; they continue in three villages. Zahn's brass band did not continue, and attempts to revive it have not succeeded (Niles 1995).

In 1937, Inspector David Crawley began what is today known as the Papua New Guinea Royal Constabulary Band or, simply, the Police Band (figure 3). Impressed with a bugle band begun at a Methodist school in Rabaul, Crawley chose musicians from Nordup Village. He taught them to play instruments he provided. At the first public performance, the colonial administrator was so impressed that he urged Crawley to work solely on establishing a police band. A full set of instruments then arrived from Australia. In January 1942, Japanese troops captured Rabaul, and the bandsmen buried their instruments at Toliap Village. The band reformed in Port Moresby, and with new instruments toured Australia in 1945, playing arrangements of "Colonel Bogey on Parade," "Waltzing Matilda," and "God Save the King." Australians favorably received the performances, and more overseas trips followed (Kreeck 1991:136-142).

After Crawley's departure (in 1963), one of the original Nordup bandsmen, Sergeant-Major Tolek, directed the band until Thomas Shacklady arrived, in 1964. Experienced with military music, Shacklady added arrangements of local songs, like "Raisi, raisi" and "Papua, oi natumu," and made recordings with Viking and the National Broadcasting Commission (Guzman-Alaluku 1981). Between 1965 and 1972, police divisional bands were formed in Mount Hagen, Madang, Lae, and Rabaul; they achieved local renown.

In 1974-1975, a competition was held to seek contributions for a national anthem for the independence of Papua New Guinea, on 16 September 1975. Controversy swirled around the five finalists, but just a few days before independence, the national cabinet decided that "O Arise All You Sons," composed by

Shacklady, would be the national song, and deferred a decision about a national anthem. Shacklady continued as conductor until 1981, when he was replaced by Chief Inspector Bill Harrison, who led the band until his replacement in 1994 by the current conductor, Superintendent Keith Terrett.

The Police Band, with about sixty-five members, participates in major official functions, including visits by dignitaries, the opening of important sporting events, and national holidays. When marching, they prove to be particularly entertaining because of the cymbalist's antics.

Garland Encyclopaedia of World Music -DON NILES

Royal Papua & New Constabulary

 band in Rabaul c a 1970

Royal Papua & New Constabulary band in Sydney

c a 1950 Davit Crawley officer far right

                                                                                                                                                                                 1950 Anzac Day Tour

                                                                                                                   Brisbane                                                                                                                                                                  Sydney


Port Moresby ANZAC 1962 Ela Beach

Bandmasters of the RPNG Constabulary Band

1. Inspector David Crawley 1937-1963

2. Superintendent Thomas Shacklady 1964-1982

3. Superintendent William Harrison 1981-1994

4. Superintendent Keith Terrett 1994 - 1999


 Thomas Shacklady BEM MBE


Thomas Shacklady was born at Gateshead, Co Durham, on the 15th November 1917. Regrettably Tom was never to know his parents. His father, also named Thomas, a Corporal in the RMLI, died on the 20th July 1917 four months before his birth while on active service in France with the 1st RM Battalion RN Division.

For reasons unknown, shortly after his birth, Tom's mother Jenny passed him to a relative, a Mrs Liddle, who cared for Tom until her death aged 65 in 1927. Tom was then raised by her daughter Vera.Educated at the Church of England Victoria Boys School in Chester Street, Tom's interest in music began when he was taught to play the Flugel horn by a member of the Salvation Army.Enlisting in the Royal Marines on the 14th September 1935, Tom recalled that much to his surprise the recruiting officer must have known his father for on hearing his name the officer commented, 'I hope you'll be as good a soldier as your father'.

With the number CH/x1280, he completed his basic training at the Depot at Chatham and it was there, at the time of his passing out parade, that Tom was overheard to remark that a trombonist had played a few sour notes. The person who overheard Tom's comment was the Bandmaster who questioned young Tom regarding his remark and in the following days encouraged him to transfer to the Band Service. Tom, after some deliberation, applied for a transfer, was accepted, and re-mustered as a Musician with the number RMB/X907. Over the next two years he studied brass becoming proficient in trumpet, trombone and French horn and later studied percussion and violin.


In 1937 he joined HMS Resolution, a 15 inch gun battleship which was part of the Home Fleet. Then in 1938, Tom was drafted to the heavy cruiser HMS Kent and was on the China Station in time to celebrate his 21st Birthday at Wee Hai Wee, the China Fleet's base. With the declaration of war on the 3rd September 1939, Kent was engaged in patrols in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Japan searching for German shipping.


After Christmas 1939, they sailed to join the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean. Aboard Kent, Tom became MOA (Marine Officer's Attendant) to HRH Prince Phillip of Greece, then a serving Midshipman. He was to remain as the Prince's attendant for the six months that HRH was in the ship. (On several occasions in future years, Tom was to renew his association with HRH at various functions in Australia and in the Territory of Papua New Guinea where he was invited to meet with both Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth during Royal Visits). It was also during those early months of 1940, while at Alexandria, Tom attended a film show at a local cinema and met a young lady, Danae Varipatis, and fell in love. In August he took part in the bombardment of Bardia and in September was present at the attack on Bengazi. Then, on the night of the 17th/18th October, Kent, whilst on patrol, was attacked and hit by a torpedo dropped by an Italian torpedo-bomber, seriously damaging the ship.


At Alexandria on December 15th Tom and Danae announced their engagement.


In 1941, with the Kent undergoing repairs, Tom was drafted back to the School of Music for a few months, then on the 14th September he joined the newly commissioned aircraft carrier HMS Imdomitable, which in November sailed for the West Indies for working-up trials, after which she was to join Force Z in Singapore. During these trials Indomitable ran aground at Jamaica and had to proceed to the USA for repairs. Here, on the 7th December they heard of the attack on Pearl Harbour and America's entry into the war and later that HMS Repulse and the Prince of Wales of Force Z had been sunk. With repairs completed in January 1942 they sailed to join the Far East Fleet at Ceylon.


Back at Alexandria in late February Tom and Danae were married at the British Consulate but their immediate joy was overshadowed when following the ceremony, Tom was recalled to the ship which immediately sailed on patrol. It was to be a month before they finally managed one week's honeymoon in Cairo. In July, Indomitable was ordered to return to the Clyde. Tom, with most of the Band, were left at Durban, South Africa, to join HMS Afrikaner, a shore base, where he was to remain until January 1943 when he was drafted back to Egypt .


February 16th saw him again on the move, this time to the cruiser HMS Cleopatra, which sailed in support of the Anzio landings. Hit by a torpedo Cleopatra was badly damaged and suffered heavy casualties. Amongst those killed was Tom's best friend Dickie Lovett, while Tom himself was badly burnt. Evacuated to RNH Malta he spent many weeks recovering from his wounds, then, although not fully fit, in August he was released from hospital and sent to HMS St. Angelo, a land fort in Grand Harbour, Valetta. For the next month, during the fierce aerial attacks on the island, he was to help serve the AA batteries in their desperate attempt to protect the shipping in the harbour.


20th September and he was once more at sea in the cruiser HMS Penelope, but just five short months later, on the 18th February 1944, she was hit by two torpedoes fired by the U-410 and immediately sank. Tom survived and was picked up by a US PT Boat and taken to Naples where he took passage in the cruiser HMS Sirius which was returning to the UK to take part in the Normandy Landings.


At the end of the war Tom found himself at the Depot Deal where on the 5th October 1945, his first son Paul Thomas was born. On the 26th January 1948, having completed his engagement, he was discharged from the Corps. For his war service he received the 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, Africa Star, Defence Medal and War Service Medal.




Like thousands of others being discharged from the forces, Tom found that work was not easy to find and had several jobs over the next three years; night-watchman, butler, and working as a free-lance musician. He ran and worked with several private dance bands, while playing bass trombone with the BBC's Scottish Orchestra. A second son, Noel Liddle, was born at Chester Street, Durham, on January 10th 1949.


It was a couple of years after this while in London that Tom saw an ad in a newspaper calling for volunteers for the Australian Defence Forces and on the 21 September 1951 he enlisted in the Australian Army. The family took passage aboard the RMS Asturius sailing from Southampton on the 1st December for Melbourne, Victoria.


On arrival at Melbourne they spent four or five days being processed before being sent by train to Adelaide in South Australia where Tom joined the Kensington Central Command Band based at the Inverbrakie Camp, Woodside.


Over the next six years Tom trained three bands a year from the National Service intakes. In 1953 he was promoted Corporal and added the EIIR Coronation Medal to his awards. In early 1955 he was raised to the rank of Sergeant, and was awarded the British Empire Medal for his service to the formation of NS bands.

In 1957, Tom was transferred to the Papua New Guinea Army band based at Port Moresby and was promoted to Warrant rank. He returned to Australia in 1959 and for the next five years was Bandmaster of the Enogerra Base, Army band, in Brisbane. He also took on the unenviable task of managing the base's swimming pool.He was discharged from the Australian Army on the 6th March 1964 and on the 14th, commissioned into the Papua New Guinea Constabulary as Bandmaster with the rank of Inspector. One of Tom's fondest memories occurred at the Mount Hagen Show in 1965, an annual event involving the gathering of tens of thousands of New Guinea's tribesmen in the highland township. The event was officially opened by the Earl Mountbatten of Burma who was reported in the press as being highly surprised and delighted that the Band of the Papua New Guinea Police, in one of the most primitive and remote locations on Earth, was playing the Earl's personal march, the Preobrajenski. The official procedures were halted whilst the Earl walked over to the Band to congratulate Tom and comment that he had correctly assumed that the Bandmaster must be an ex Royal Marine. The RPNGC Band gained considerable recognition under Tom's direction, touring many countries from 1967 to 1975 including Australia on several occasions, New Zealand, the United States, South East Asia, other Pacific Islands and in 1970, the Edinburgh Tattoo in Scotland.In April 1970, he was transferred to general police duties at Rabaul on East New Britain for a year and then returned to Kila where he remained as Bandmaster until 1975.This was the year that PNG was granted independence from Australian administration and was to be the highlight of Tom's career. With Independence, Tom was promoted to Chief Inspector & Bandmaster and as such was responsible for transferring the Band to a new training establishment at Bomana, while the new independent nation of Papua New Guinea adopted 'Arise All Ye Sons Of The Land', composed by Tom, as its National Anthem.On June 11th 1977, for his services to PNG he was invested a Member of the British Empire (MBE), and received the PNG Police Service Medal and PNG Independence Medal to add to his other decorations. 1978 saw him promoted to Superintendent and Director of Music RPNGC.In 1979, Tom purchased some $A5.00 tickets in an Art Union (raffle) run by the Mater hospital in Brisbane, the grand prize being a fully furnished luxury home. The winner of the 1979 home in the brand new suburb of Springwood was one Superintendent Thomas hacklady

1980 saw Tom promoted to Chief Superintendent, Director of Music RPNGC, the position he held until 1982 when he retired from the police, returned to Brisbane and settled in his prize home at Springwood with his family. Three years later they sold the home at Springwood and moved to an ocean side home at Redland Bay.

Sadly, in September 1985, Danae his wife for 48 years, quietly passed away at their bayside home. With both his sons married and fled the nest, Tom sold the family home in 1991 and purchased the small but comfortable unit in the Forest Place retirement village at Durack, a southern suburb of Brisbane, where he now A long time member of the RMA Queensland, Tom can no longer attend meetings and take part in the social life of the association but is kept informed of its activities by their monthly journal and visits by another old member, Roy Leaney, who lives close by. He receives regular visits from his son Paul, with his three children Zoe, Katie and Suzie, when he visits Brisbane, and from Noel and his two children, David and Justine, who also live in Brisbane.a

Lieut. - Gen. Sir Edmund Herring will lead the Australian Services contingent at the Corona tion in England next June.

The Minister for Defence (Sir Phillip McBride) , announced the appointment today.

He said Sir Edmund had a distinguished record, not only as a wartime leader, but also in peace as Chief Justice of Vic- toria and in many other fields of public service.

As Director-General of Re-' emiting, Sir Edmund had ren- dered notable service to the Commonwealth. The "Govern- ment was fortunate in its choice.

A special contingent of the Royal Papua - New Guinea Constabulary would take an active part in celebrations sur-

rounding the Coronation, the. Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck) announced today.

Mr. Hasluck said the conting- ent would comprise two or three European officers and 25 native members of the constabuláry.

The Royal Papua-New Guinea Constabulary is an armed force, which parades with rifles. It has a distinguished record of fighting in the field and a large number of its members have war service ribbons and decora- tions.

The Closing Ceremony Royal Easter Show April 30th 1965 

 The Band at the South Pacific Games



Thomas Shacklady, the composer of the PNG National Anthem “O ARISE ALL YOU SONS OF THIS LAND” was born in Gateshead, County Durham, UK, in 1917. Enlisting in the Royal Marines in 1935, he subsequently became a musician studying for two years at the Royal Marines School of Music (Deal, UK). Tom was proficient in playing Brass, the Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Trombone, French horn and Percussion instruments. He was also an accomplished Violinist.

Tom saw service during World War 2 on a variety of Royal Navy ships in various locations. He survived burns from a torpedo strike on HMS Cleopatra and the sinking of HMS Penelope by a U-boat. Post World War 2, he enlisted in the Australian Army in 1951 and served in and trained various bands, including a posting to PNG in 1957. In 1964 he was appointed Bandmaster of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary band with the rank of Inspector. Under his direction, the Band toured Australia, New Zealand, United States of America and SE Asia. In 1970, the Band performed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

However, Thomas Shacklady will always be remembered as the winner of a competition conducted in early 1975 for a National Anthem, writing both the words and music to “O Arise All You Sons of This Land”. After an illustrious career in PNG, the much decorated Chief Superintendent Thomas Shacklady, MBE, BEM, retired in 1982 to Australia. Sadly, Tom passed away on 22 January 2006.

   Superintendent Thomas Shacklady with an American Admiral inspecting a
 Royal PNG Constabulary Guard of Honour circa 1975


Keith Terrett

Keith Terrett (b.1956), is a composer and arranger born in London.

Keith joined the British Army at the age of fifteen, studying cornet at the Army band school in Bovington. At 18 he became the principal CornetTrumpet to the 'Band of the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars' (a cavalry regiment), stationed in West Germany. He has toured the USA, Canada, Northern Ireland, France, Belgium and Holland during his service.During his time at Kneller Hall, Keith had the opportunity to study orchestration with Trevor Sharpe, and harmony and composition with Professor Gordon Reynolds and Peter Byrne. At Kneller Hall, Keith won the student march competition, and his march Class of '88 is now published in the USA by Echelon Music in Texas.As a composerarranger Keith started arranging and composing while in the army, since working with children in schools, Keith has developed flexible orchestrations to suit each group he has led. Several of his flexible wind band arrangements are now available through Phoenix Music; and range from grade 1 to 6.While living and working in Papua New Guinea as a 'Lecturer in Music' at the 'Faculty of Creative Arts', 'University of Papua New Guinea', and from 1994-99, 'Principal Director of Music' & 'Chief Instructor' to the world famous 'Band of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary', Keith collected folk songs from remote villages; and arranged them for band. Several of these works are now published in Holland by Dutch Music Partners.

After a brief spell teaching in the United Kingdom, Keith's interest in ethnomusicology took him to the Middle East for a year in 2000, to Kuwait City; giving him a chance to study Arabic music more closely.From 2001-2006, Keith worked in Norway, where he was the town band music director. His first piece of original music was published in Norway, entitled 'The Gypsy Violinist in New Orleans'; by the Oslo classical music publisher 'Musikk-Huset A/S'. Keith has the honour of being the only British composer working for this publisher, and now has music for guitar, vibraphone, brass quartet and wind band published by them.Keith's music is published in the United Kingdom, Canada, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, the USA, Sweden and Norway, and includes music for wind & brass band, music for brass & tuba quintet, flute & clarinet ensemble, to solo works for various brass, woodwind, tuned percussion and string instruments.Bruno Uetz in Germany has just released Keith's unique version of 'Czardas' for various brass, woodwind and string instruments.Keith has studied with, and gained academic musical qualifications from the Royal Military School of Music, Open University, Trinity College of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, London College of Music, and the Bandsman's College of Music in Manchester.

The Band of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary under the direction of Superintendent Keith Terrett in Japan 1998. The Band were the guests of the Osaka 21st Century Association, and performed a series of charity concerts, and also took part in the Midosuji Parade.

Funds raised from the performances were donated to the Aitape Disaster Relief Fund, through the PNG Red Cross.

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