HerStory

Ethel Alma BURTON

Special Achievements:

17 Nov 1932 - First female to join New South Wales Police Force as a Special Constable No. 6 at Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), Sydney.


Resources

  • Image - Ethel Burton

    Cropped from the photo "NSW policewomen working in the Criminal Investigation Branch, Sydney, 1938".

    Photo used with permission of Sydney Living Museums.


  • Image - NSW policewomen working in the Criminal Investigation Branch, Sydney, 1938

    Title: NSW policewomen working in the Criminal Investigation Branch, Sydney, 1938 / photographer unknown Date: 1938 Format: 1 photoprint : b & w ; 14 x 16.5 cm. Inscription: Identified on verso in biro: Miss Armfield - Mrs Jeffrey [at back of room] / [left, from back to front?] Mrs Rosser, Mrs Ledger, Mrs Crook [Croke] / [right, from back to front?] Mrs Burton, Mrs Mitchell, Mrs Mooney Additional inscriptions in other hands: Miss Lillian Armfield / sitting at rear of photograph / One of the 1st police woman in 1915 / Criminal Investigation / Bureau 1938 Subject: policewomen, typewriters, desks, pigeonholes Armfield, Lillian May, 1884-1971. Rosser, Eva Elizabeth, 1894-1968. Croke, Geraldine Emily, 1902-1991. Ledger, Katie Grace, 1897-1970. Jeffrey, Margaret Lilian, 1896-1977. Mitchell, Nellie Kathleen, 1891-1966. Mooney, Nellie Houston, 1889-1976. Burton, Ethel Alma, 1896-1986. Description: Lillian Armfield, seated at rear, was one of the first women to be appointed as a police officer in NSW - and Australia - when she became a Probationary Constable on 1 July 1915. When Armfield was recruited in 1915 she had to sign a contract which specified that she would not to be given a uniform, would not receive superannuation or long service leave, and would not be entitled to compensation if she were injured in the line of duty. Women were classed as 'Special Constables', which meant that promotion was slow. The rate of female recruitment was also slow - only 4 policewomen appointed by 1921. This photographs depicts the entire complement of women police in NSW as it was in 1938. An intake of 6 new recruits (out of 400 applicants) in February 1941 brought the numbers up to 14. They formed a squad based at the Criminal Investigation Branch under the command of Sergeant Lillian Armfield. Six of the women were police widows. Source: JP87/148; Justice & Police Museum Rights: You may save or print this image for research and study. If you wish to use it for any other purposes, you must contact the Historic Houses Trust to request permission. Material Type: Picture Record number: 46540

    Photo used with permission of Sydney Living Museums.