Site Name Chinese Garden - West Kimberley
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Yiiji, Ngarinyin
Colony WA
Present State/Territory WA
Police District East Kimberley
Latitude -15.482
Longitude 128.122
Date Between 1 May 1899 and 13 Jun 1899
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 9
Victims Killed Notes 9-50
Attackers Colonisers: Police, Aboriginal assistants
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes
Transport Horse
Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Winchesters, Revolvers
Narrative On 1 November 1898 a 'Chinese gardener’ on the King River south of Wyndham by the name of Ah Sing was killed by a group of Aboriginal people (Yiiji/ Ngarinyin) lead by a man called Nalmurchie. A month later it was reported that the wanted men were camped on the Durack River. A patrol lead by PC’s Farley and Mills went to arrest them but did little more than allegedly fire shots in the air to frighten them. The following May (after the Kimberley wet season when police could travel again) they attempted to arrest Nalmurchie again. He camped near Goose Hill but only managed to arrest 27 men who had no involvement in the crime. Neville Green suggests that many had been killed here but no record was made. (Green 1995; 95.) On 13 June 1899 Farley (with five Native Assistants) and PC Evans again attempted to arrest Nalmurche though it is clear Farley (illegally) sent his assistants to arrest or shoot Nalmurchie. Farley recorded (though he was clearly not there) that the Assistants raided a camp of 100 people and though they fired shots made no arrests. Corporal Buckland (later implicated in the 1926 Forrest River Massacre) wrote another report (that he telegraphed to the Commissioner of Police) placing Farley and Evans in charge of the police party. Here the police were positioned as victims of an attack and fired in self defence. Here 9 Aboriginal people were recorded as shot dead though the number was likely much higher. [Green 1995; 95. See also earlier incident here 'The police dispersed the mob and returned to Wyndham.' ‘News from Wyndham. Native Depredations’, The Inquirer and Commercial News, 28 September 1894: 8 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/66250855/6586787]
Sources CSO, ‘Clerk of Court, Wyndham – Murder of Ah Sing by Blacks – Reporting Supposed’, SROWA, Cons. 527, File 2773/1898; WAPD, ‘Police Constable Farley (305) and Others Report of the Murder of Aboriginal Assistant, Dicky, Speared by Hostile Natives at Durack River While Trying to Apprehend Murderers of Ah Sing’, East Kimberley District, Wyndham Station, July 1899, SROWA, AN 5/1, Cons. 430, File 2873/1899; Owen 2016: 371; Green 1995: 94-95; ‘News from Wyndham. Native Depredations’, The Inquirer and Commercial News, 28 September 1894: 8 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/66250855/6586787. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***