Site NameWaterloo
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place NameUnknown
Language GroupNgarinman
Present State/TerritoryNT
Colony/State/Territory at the timeSA
Police DistrictWyndham
Latitude-16.452
Longitude129.258
DateBetween 17 Nov 1886 and 21 Jan 1887
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim Descriptions
Victims Killed100
Victims Killed Notes
AttackersColonisers
Attacker DescriptionsMounted Police, Pastoralist(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
TransportHorse
MotiveReprisal
Weapons UsedFirearm(s)
NarrativeDarrell Lewis (2018, pp 51-52) wrote: '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, p 30; see also Moore, n.d.)... 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 (n.d. p 6) 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"' . NTTG reported on December 25, 1886 (p. 2) 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 (2018 [1959] pp 292-294) 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 expeditions”, 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’.
SourcesLewis 2018; SA Register, December 9, 1886, p 5 ; North Australian, December 10, 1886, p 3 December 24, 1896, p 3 and January 21, 1897 p 2 ; p 3 ; NTTG, December 11, 1886, p 3 and December 25, 1886, p 2 ; Durack, 2018 [1959], pp 292-294. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***