the massacre



Thursday 7th June: William Hobbs leaves Myall Creek to check on the progress of Andrew Burrowes and Charles Reid who left a couple of days earlier to drive some cattle down to one of Dangar’s other stations down river.

That night Burrowes and Reid stop into Bell’s Station where there are a large group of stockmen gathered for the night. They are waiting for young squatter John Fleming to join them and then they are going off hunting any Aborigines they can find. John Russell, Bell’s head stockman, questions Burrowes and Reid about whether they know the whereabouts of any Aborigines. They reluctantly acknowledge there are some at the Myall Creek station.

Friday 8th June: Burrowes and Reid leave Bell’s station and continue to drive their cattle down river. They meet John Fleming riding towards Bell’s. Fleming says he has been “off chasing blacks” and his “mare is nearly knocked up”.

Fleming catches up with the rest of the stockmen and they commence searching the countryside for Aborigines as they go from station to station adding extra stockmen to their gang. James Lamb joins them from Cobb’s station and John Blake joins them from Glennie’s station where they spend the night.

Saturday 9th June: Thomas Foster and William Mace from nearby stations set out for Myall Creek to “borrow” some Aborigines to cut bark for them at their stations. Meanwhile Fleming’s gang continues to go from station to station looking for Aborigines. They arrive at Newton’s station and question the staff there about the whereabouts of any “blacks”. They confirm there are some at Myall Creek.

Foster and Bates arrive at Myall Creek in the evening and explain to Kilmeister they want to “borrow” about four or five young Aborigines to cut bark for them.

Myall Creek.

From this point the creek bends around to the left where the Station huts were located. The ridge on which the massacre occurred is to the right of this photo.

Sunday 10th June: Foster and Mace leave Myall Creek early in the morning with ten of the Weraerai led by King Sandy. The Aborigines are worried about allowing the young boys go off with strange, white men so King Sandy and a few of the men go with them to look after them, leaving the rest of their people under the protection of Kilmeister and Anderson. 

At the same time John Fleming and his gang of ten heavily armed convict and ex convict stockmen leave Hall’s station and began riding towards Myall Creek.

The Massacre

It was late in the afternoon when Fleming’s gang arrived on the ridge to the west of the Myall Creek station huts. Anderson and Kilmeister were in their hut while the Aborigines where gathering around their camp fire. As the gang came riding up to the station huts and into the Weraerai camp, the terrified Aborigines went hurrying into the convict’s hut pleading to Anderson and Kilmeister for protection. Two boys, Johnny and Jimmy, jumped into the creek and hid. Kilmeister went outside to speak to Fleming and his gang, many of whom Kilmeister knew. Anderson waited at the door of the hut and could not hear what was discussed between Kilmeister and the stockmen but shortly afterwards Kilmeister walked away to get his horse.

John Russell took a long tether rope from his horse and, followed by a couple of the other stockmen, went to enter the hut. When Anderson asked him what he was going to do Russell replied words to the effect, “take the blacks over the back of the range and frighten them.” Russell and the other stockmen with him then entered the hut and began tying the Weraerai’s hands together with whip cord. The terrified women and children were crying and pleading to Anderson to help them. When all the Weraerai were tied or handcuffed to the tether rope, they were led out to where the other stockmen remained mounted at the front of the hut. At the back of the enroped line of Weraerai was  a small girl who had remained untied. As she emerged from the hut Anderson grabbed her and hid her behind the door before going back outside where Kilmeister had now returned mounted on his horse and had joined Fleming’s gang.

As they were about to be led away, Davey, the young Aboriginal stockman spoke up and asked if they would spare “a gin” for him. They did so and cut a young woman free. Anderson then stepped forward and asked them to spare Ipeta for him. They refused and instead cut another young woman free for him. Anderson and Davey then stood and watched as the crying, pleading Weraerai including, Ipeta,, Daddy, Joey and young Charley and babies in there mother’s arms were led away towards the ridge to the west of the huts.

A short time later, as the sun set, Anderson heard just two shots. The rest of the Weraerai were then slaughtered and dismembered with the three swords that the gang had with them. This process would have obviously taken some time and one can only imagine the terror experienced by those men women and children as they waited their turn to be slaughtered.

The gang spared just one woman who they took with them as they rode off into the night. It seems clear she was spared to satisfy their sexual desires.

For the next few days the gang rode around looking for more Aborigines to slaughter. They were particularly keen to catch up with King Sandy’s mob which they did at McIntyre’s station. King sandy’s mob having returned there seeking protection after collecting the survivors from Myall Creek. When Fleming’s gang rode into McIntyre’s station King Sandy’s mob fled. Some were slaughtered as they ran but details of just how many were killed were not documented.