SCAB by Kendrea Rhodes*published in the Stringybark Short Stories anthology, Close to Heaven.
SCAB is the story of a young policeman caught up in the riots and police strikes of 1923 in Melbourne, Australia. This is Kendrea’s first award-winning historical fiction short story derived from family history research. Keep up with developments and follow KendreArt’s blog at the bottom of this post.
The Age headlines, November 5th, 1923:
Rioting And Looting In Melbourne
Police Strike Results In Unprecedented Scenes
Hoodlums And Criminals Smash Windows And Secure Valuables
Damage Amounts To Many Thousands Of Pounds
Ex-Soldier Brutally Murdered In Thronged Thoroughfare
Western Mail, November 8th, 1923:
… the Victorian police force has been seething with discontent, disputes continually occurring regarding working conditions and pay. Recently the Chief Commissioner (Mr. Nicholson) reinstituted a system of supervision, by which inspections of the night patrols and police in Melbourne were carried out by senior constables in plain clothes [spooks] The men strongly objected to this “espionage” … [and] the night quota refused to commence duty unless the plain clothes supervisors were withdrawn …
The Argus, December 15th 1923:
Police Who Stood Fast
Reward for Loyalty
Members of the police force in the metropolitan area yesterday received in addition to their ordinary pay, £6/4/10 each, portion of The Argus fund raised to reward the loyalty of men who refused to join the police mutineers …
634 Discharges from Force
In the Victorian “Police Gazette” issued Yesterday appear the names of 634 men who refused duty and have been discharged from the police force …