Site Name Glen Helen
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Arrernte
Colony SA
Present State/Territory NT
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -23.400,132.673,0
Date 13 Nov 1884
Attack Time
Aboriginal People Killed 7
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Possibly more than 7.
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes
Attacker Category Police trackers, settlers.
Attacker Details MC Erwin Wurmbrand & trackers Dick, Jemmy, Tommy, Charley and two settlers, William Craigie and James Norman.
Motive Suspects for murder of McDonald & co. taken into custody by Wurmbrand & co. On the way back to Glen Helen, some allegedly tried to escape. Wurmbrand reported that 'prisoners are dead.' Four Aboriginal men shot dead at Mt Sonder.
Type Of Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Firearms
Narrative 7 Aboriginal men shot and killed. Following the attempted murder by Aboriginal warriors of Messrs McDonald, Schleicher and Miller, employees at Glen Helen station, 3 Aboriginal suspects were taken into custody by mounted constable Erwin Wurmbrand and native troopers at Hermannsburg and chained by the neck. On the way back to Glen Helen, they allegedly tried to escape, and Wurmbrand reported that ?prisoners are dead?. The party continued on to Mt. Sonder, where they shot four other Aboriginal men. A missionary from Hermannsburg, Schwarz, searched for and located the bodies of the victims still in their chains, saying that 'this made the troopers excuse that they [the Aborigines] were attempting an escape seem highly inadequate for the severe action he had taken.'
Sources Nettelbeck 2004: 28-29; Wilson 2000: 273; (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***