Site Name Waterloo NT
Aboriginal Place Name Unknown
Language Group Unclear
Colony SA
Present State/Territory NT
Police District Wyndham
Latitude -16.452
Longitude 129.258
Date Between 17 Nov 1886 and 21 Jan 1887
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 100
Victims Killed Notes
Attackers Colonisers: Mounted Police
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes
Transport Horse
Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Firearms
Narrative The name Waterloo is said to be a reference to the 'unrestrained slaughter' of local Aborigines by police after the spearing of 'Big Johnny' Durack near Mount Duncan in 1886 (Pollard, 1970: 30; see also Moore, nd.)... Michael Terry also heard about a fight between a group of white men and 100 Aborigines by Waterloo Hill'after the spearing of 'J Larry' Durack (Terry, 1928, entry for October 30th). Doug Moore also recounts that, 'Waterloo Station was named on account of the battle with natives there years ago. Ammunition ran out so there was wholesale slaughter of natives. This told to me by my boy Jerry who escaped; he hid in an ant-bed then sneaked away in the dark' (Moore, nd.: 6).' NTTG reported on 25 Dec 1886 that 'A party of six troopers has been sent out in search of the murderers of the late John Durack. Another party, including the unfortunate man's brothers and several other Europeans has also started after the offending tribe. We trust they will find them, and administer a lesson such as will not be soon forgotten.' Mary Durack noted that "the conspiracy of silence that sealed the lips of the pioneers added colour to the rumours that spread abroad so that whereas we know they took much rough justice into their own hands they were no doubt less devastating to the local tribes than was sometimes said. 'Punitive epeditions', like brumby musters, took a great deal of time and organisation...One lesson they learned from this chase, however, was that 'treachery' on the part of the blacks must be met with 'strategy' by the whites."
Sources Lewis, 2018, pp 51-52; SA Register, 9 Dec 1886, p 5 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45846815; North Australian, 10, December 1886, p 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47996152 24 December 1896, 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47996205 and 21 January 1897 p 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47996309; p 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47996318; NTTG, 11 December 1886, p 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3160525 and 25 Dec 1886, p2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3160570; Durack, 2018 (1959),pp 292-294. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***