Site NameMission Beach (1)
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place Name
Language GroupDjurun
Present State/TerritoryQLD
Colony/State/Territory at the timeQLD
Police DistrictCardwell
Latitude-17.944
Longitude146.091
DateBetween 12 Mar 1872 and 31 Mar 1872
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim Descriptions
Victims Killed8
Victims Killed NotesKilled Men WomenC
AttackersColonisers
Attacker DescriptionsMilitary
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
TransportHorse
MotiveReprisal
Weapons UsedFirearm(s), Carbine(s)
NarrativeSailors led by Lt Sabben RN and another officer were sent with a detachment of sailors from Brisbane to Mission Beach to recover any survivors of the brig Maria which had been wrecked on Bramble reef on 26 February 1872. Some survivors had reached the British settlement at Cardwell but the captain and 13 crew were killed by Djuru at present day Mission Beach. Sabben and his men landed at Mission Beach and were confronted by about 120 Djuru. According to Moresby: "Suddenly there was a yell, and about 120 natives, making hostile demonstrations, rushed from the mangrove bushes 300 yards off the boat, and made for her; Mr. Sabben and his men ran also, gained her first, and opened fire on the blacks at eighty yards, who returned it with a volley of spears, and took to their heels after a while, leaving eight dead and eight wounded behind them." (Moresby, 1876, n.p.)
SourcesQueenslander, April 13, 1872, p 8 ; Bottoms 2013, p 134-6; Moresby, 1877 (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating**