Site Name Fighting Waterholes
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Wulluwurrung or Nundadjali
Colony PPD
Present State/Territory VIC
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -37.491,141.646,0
Date 1 Apr 1840
Attack Time
Aboriginal People Killed 20
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M 20 F; Probable: M F; Possible: M - unconfirmed F;Wounded: M F
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed:M F;Wounded:M F
Attacker Category Stockmen
Attacker Details Station hands of the Whyte brothers
Motive Reprisal for stock theft
Type Of Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Firearms
Notes Aboriginal people stole sheep
Narrative Following the earlier incident, the Aborigines returned and stole a number of sheep. After unsuccessfully searching for a trail, the Whyte brothers and their stockmen separated; the Whytes rode to the nearest station to "drown their disappointment" and the station hands, including Henry Skilton, William Fox, and two others, Henry and Bassett, returned to the home station. En route they passed the waterholes, at which were camped some old men, women and children. They shot the entire camp. According to local historian Moodie, the bodies of those killed at the Fighting Waterholes were buried in a mass grave on the bank of the overflow creek, below the present embankment of the reservoir. In 1946, following heavy rain, a number of skulls and other bones were uncovered. It is not known what happened to them.
Sources Fyans 1842 and 1845, NSW Government Despatches, vol.51 MLA ; Memoirs of W. Moodie, typescript, copy in La Trobe Library, ms 9157; Massola 1969; Clark 1995:152-5. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***