Ronald Bernard Hill

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Ronald Bernard Hill

Birthplace: Wales (United Kingdom)
Death: May 25, 1969 (22)
Shannon, Manawatū-Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand (Murdered - drunk driver)
Place of Burial: Palmerston North, Manawatū-Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Son of Ronald Hill

Occupation: Detective Constable
Find A Grave ID: 202679064
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Ronald Bernard Hill

After questioning a witness to a burglary, Detective Constables Hill and Daysh were driving her back to Shannon when their patrol car was struck by an oncoming vehicle. Detective Constable Daysh and the witness survived but Detective Constable Hill died instantly. The offending car was not warranted or registered and was driven by an unlicensed and intoxicated youth who also died at the scene. Source:

Bernie was the eldest of seven siblings, the first three, Bernie, Carol and Glyn, were born in Wales before their parents migrated to New Zealand in 1952. Ronald Hill, their father, had joined the New Zealand Airforce and was posted to the Taieri, near Dunedin. Two more children followed before the family were posted to Ohakea. With the final two children arriving it was a happy family of nine. Bernie attended Rangitikei College and achieved his School Certificate. His first job was with the Bank of New South Wales at the branch in Bulls. Bernie loved music, and played guitar in a local band called The Astranaughts. They emulated The Shadows and were pretty good too, playing shows and dances around the Manawatu. Bernie met Faye, who he would later marry, and he changed his career. He joined New Zealand Police at 18 years of age and belonged to section one of the Quarterly Wing beginning 24 January 1966. His pen picture in the Wing book states “Anyone for judo or a session on the guitar?” His brother Glyn was really impressed with Bernie’s superior strength after he left Trentham, he described his vice-like grip and enhanced judo technique. Being posted to Palmerston North, he soon earned a reputation as an accomplished policeman and it wasn’t long before he joined CIB. Looking forward to surprising his wife with a new coat for her 21st birthday, he took an extra shift so he could get it off layby in time for her celebrations the following weekend. On the morning of 25 May 1969 Bernie had arrested a burglar in Shannon, and after questioning a witness that evening he was taking her back to Shannon when, just out of Palmerston North, a car crossed the centre line and hit the police car head-on. Bernie, who was in the front passenger seat died instantly. The driver, Constable Rex Daysh and the witness were injured.

The Coroner’s Inquest states: 1. Ronald Bernard HILL died from massive injuries as the result of a head-on collision 2. The Police patrol car EE1166 was on the correct side of the road, confirmed by Sergeant Maxwell Hollis JONES who carried out the serious crash investigation 3. The other vehicle BK3991 was travelling on the wrong side of the road when the crash happened 4. The driver of the other vehicle BK3991 was a disqualified driver at the time of the accident 5. The driver had been drinking as sworn and witnessed 6. The car BK3991 did not have a current warrant of fitness as reported by Senior Vehicle Inspector Norman William PORTER of the MoT

Because the offender also died at the scene, no criminal charges were laid. Bernie’s funeral was held at the All Saints Church in Palmerston North, with a large Police presence. The Guard of Honour did him proud. His ashes were sprinkled on the Rose Garden of the Kelvin Grove Cemetery. He is remembered as a loving husband and a great brother and son. He was a successful young police officer whose life was taken too soon and for that we all mourn. Source:

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Ronald Bernard Hill's Timeline

April 21, 1947
May 25, 1969
Age 22
Shannon, Manawatū-Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand
May 25, 1969
Age 22
Palmerston North, Manawatū-Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand