Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/O'Halloran, Thomas Shuldham

O'HALLORAN, THOMAS SHULDHAM (1797–1870), major and commissioner of police in South Australia, was the second son of Major-general Sir Joseph O'Halloran, G.C.B., by his wife Frances, daughter of Colonel Nicholas Bayly, M.P., and niece of Henry, first earl of Uxbridge. He was born at Berhampore in the East Indies on 25 Oct. 1797; was a cadet at the Royal Military College, Marlow, in 1808; and was appointed ensign in the royal West Middlesex militia in 1809. In 1812 the college and students were removed from Marlow to Sandhurst. In 1813 he was gazetted ensign in the 17th foot, and joined his regiment in 1814. With it he served during the whole of the Nepaul war in the years 1814, 1815, and 1816. On 28 June 1817 he received his lieutenancy, and served during the Deccan war in 1817 and 1818. In 1822 he exchanged from the 17th to the 44th regiment, which he joined at Calcutta in 1823. In 1824 he was ordered with the left wing of the 44th to Chittagong, where he arrived early in June, and was appointed paymaster, quartermaster, and interpreter. On 30 Oct. he was made brigade-major to Brigadier-general Dunkin, C.B., who commanded the Sylhet division of the army during the Burmese war, and served on his staff until Dunkin's death in November 1825. He received a medal for war service in India for Nepaul and Ava. On 27 April 1827 he purchased his company in the 99th regiment, and exchanged into the 56th regiment in 1828. In 1829 he exchanged into the 6th regiment, and joined his father as aide-de-camp at Saugor, Central India. From June 1830 to January 1831 he served as deputy assistant-quartermaster-general at Saugor. He retired on half-pay in October 1834. In 1837 he was placed on full pay as captain in the 97th regiment, and in that year was sent, in command of two companies of his regiment and a troop of the 4th dragoon guards, to quell the riots in Yorkshire. In 1838 he retired from the army on the sale of his commission.

He sailed for South Australia in the Rajasthan, and, landing at Glenelg on 21 Nov. 1838, settled with his family at O'Halloran Hill, near Adelaide, South Australia. On 2 Feb. 1839 he was nominated a justice of the peace; on 26 Feb. 1840 was gazetted major-commandant of the South Australia militia, and on 8 June as commissioner of police. In 1840 when the Maria was wrecked at Lacepede Bay, and the crew were murdered by natives, O'Halloran was sent to investigate the matter, with the result that two of the natives were hanged, and no organised attack was ever made again by natives on Europeans in that part of the colony. On 17 Aug. of the same year he was sent in command of an expedition against the Milmenura (or Big Murray) aborigines. On 21 April 1841 he commanded an expedition against those known as the River Murray and Rufus natives. On 7 Nov. he was in command of an expedition to Port Lincoln against the Battara natives. On 12 April 1843 he resigned his appointment as commissioner of police. He maintained the force in a high state of efficiency, and, though a rigid disciplinarian, was much liked and respected by the officers and men. On 15 June 1843 he was nominated senior non-official member of the nominee council, and continued in that position for eight years, when the first instalment of representative government was granted. He contested the Sturt district in 1851, and Noarlunga in 1855, but without success, owing to his advocacy of state aid to religion. In 1854 he was gazetted lieutenant-colonel of the volunteer military force. When the present constitution was splinted in 1807, he was returned to the legislative council at the head of the poll against twenty-seven candidates. In 1863 he resigned his seat, and passed the rest of his life in retirement. He died at O'Halloran Hill on 16 Aug. 1870.

He married, first, on 1 Aug. 1821, Ann Goss of Dawlish, Devonshire, who died in Calcutta in 1823, leaving two children; secondly, in 1834, Jane Waring of Newry, by whom he had three sons and one daughter.

[South Australian Register, 17 Aug. 1870; Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1891, p. 82.]

J. S. O'H.