FOELSCHE , PAUL HEINRICH MATTHAIS (1831-1914) Police inspector, was born at Moorburg, Germany, on March 30th 1831, the son of Mathias Foelsche, about whom nothing is known, the Hamburg records having been destroyed during the second world war . apparently of lower middle class surroundings, Foelsche joined the Hussar regiment at the age of eighteen. In 1854 he sailed for South Australia, arriving in the brig Reihersteig on 26 October. He joined the South Australian Police Force in November 1856 as a trooper third-class and was stationed at Strahalbyn rising steadily through the ranks until promoted to Sub-inspector in December of 1869 as officer in charge of the first police detachment posted to the Northern Territory. Foelsche had spent the whole period of his service at Strahalbyn. He had married Charlotte Georgina Smith, daughter of a local man in 1860 and they had two daughters, Mary and Emma At Strahalbyn . Foelsche had established himself as a capable officer. A well-educated man, he was versed in the law and said to be the best lawyer outside the South Australian Bar. He was an expert on firearms and one of his hobbies was making rifle sights and gun stocks and colouring the barrels of weapons used by local volunteers. At Strathalybn he was also said to have acquired a considerable reputation as a dentist, possessing many instruments frequently used to relieve his neighbours of painful molars, a skill he later practiced in "Palmerston " (The original name of the settlement at Port Darwin later to be known as Darwin Named by John Lort Stokes for his friend Charles Darwin) He became a natuarlised British subject on 9th December 1869 and, on the eve of his departure for the Territory, was given a farewell dinner, at which the mayor of Strahalbyn praised him for his ' courtesy, tact, kindness and ability. With six troopers, Foelsche sailed with the first permanent party of government officers for Palmerston in Koh-I-nor, arriving at Port Darwin on 21 January 1870. Unlike many others at the time, Foelsche adapted well to the tropics and the deprivations of frontier life. He was given a two roomed tin hut as a residence at first, but late in 1870 to moved to new quarters in Mitchell Street. The house was small having two or three rooms, probably like a Police station, which was composed of poles and plaster and measured six metres by four. Foelsche set out establishing a garden and on his small plot of land to help meet the serious lack of vegetables, did all he could to beautify the place, then sent for his wife and family helped to make their house 'one of the most cheerful and comfortable homes in the settlement'. With the discovery of gold and the construction of the overland Telegraph Line, the number of police officers was increased , By 1873 it was eighteen-fourteen troopers, three water police stationed at Port Darwin and Foelsche himself ,who was promoted inspector. Originally he was responsible directly to the police commissioner in Adeliade, but the Government Resident was now given control of the police in the Top End. When police were later sent to central Australia, they remained under the control of the commissioner. Foelsche never travelled extensively in the Territory, but from the outset he took an interest in Aborigines. He set out to learn local languages and gathered some ethnological information. His notes on the Aborigines of Northern Australia were read to the Royal Society of South Australia in 1881. Unlike many others at the time, Foelsche adapted well to the tropics and the deprivations of frontier life. He was given a two roomed tin hut as a residence at first, but late in 1870 to moved to new quarters in Mitchell Street. The house was small having two or three rooms, probably like a Police station, which was composed of poles and plaster and measured six metres by four. Foelsche set out establishing a garden and on his small plot of land to help meet the serious lack of vegetables, did all he could to beautify the place, then sent for his wife and family helped to make their house 'one of the most cheerful and comfortable homes in the settlement'. In the same year he sent material on the Larika of the Palmerston district and the Unulla of Raffles bay to E.M.Curr, who included them in his The Australian Race, published in1887.Foelsche had developed an Early enthusiasm for photography and after 1873 was the Territory's chief photographer. He continued with his photography, plates were sent to many private persons in Australia and used by the government in overseas promotion of the Territory . Many of his anthropological studies are held by the South Australian Museum . He took some interest in local flora and corresponded with F. von Mueler in Melbourne who named a tree, Euc. Foelscheana, in his honour. A small river, a mountain and a headland in the Territory all carry his name, as does a small street in Darwin. He received a gold medal from the kaiser for his contributions to natural science ans was honoured by King Edward VII with the imperial service medal. Foelsche retired from the police force in January of 1904. He maintained his connection with freemasonry during the long years in the Territory and was foundation master of Port Darwin Lodge. Foelsche lodge named after him in 1962. The founder of the Northern territory Police force. A sound administrator and resourceful detective noted for his intelligence, civility and calmness in all situations, Foelsche died in Darwin 31 Janurary 1914. He was buried in the old Goyder Road cemetry, Darwin. Further Reading:- P. Foelsche Notes on the Aborigines of North Australia, TRESSA vol 5, 1881 . .