Site Name Fitzroy River Valley Killings, West Kimberley
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Bunuba, Nyikina, Unggarangi
Colony WA
Present State/Territory WA
Police District Fitzroy Crossing -West Kimberley
Latitude -19.004
Longitude 123.846
Date 14 Aug 1896
Attack Time Day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 9
Victims Killed Notes
Attackers Colonisers: Police
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes
Transport Horse
Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Snider, Winchesters, Revolvers
Narrative In May 1896 police reported that groups of Aboriginal people, possibly the Unggarangi people on the flat Fitzroy River floodplains, attacked the manager of Noonkanbah Station, William Cox, and stole firearms, and that native ‘Albert’ (aka Noormandie) and Darbelin speared a boundary rider named Duncan. Sub Insepctor Ord, along with native assistants and PC Phillips, went after the offenders on 27 July 1896. PCs Pilmer and Nicholson from Fitzroy Crossing joined up later. After tracking them for over ten days they came upon the group and killed three unnamed individuals, the rest escaping into the ‘almost inaccessible stronghold in the St George Range’. They continued tracking the group until 14 August when they surprised them in a dawn raid and ‘dispersed the mob’, killing six and wounding two although the alleged ringleaders escaped punishment.' [Summary from Owen 2016; 324-26.]
Sources Native Troubles on the Fitzroy,' West Australian, Friday 21 August 1896: 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3098102. WAPD, Telegram to Commissioner of Police from Sub Inspector Ord. 7 August 1896, SROWA, Cons.430, File 2301/96; McGregor, 1985:103-122; McGregor, 1993: 63-82; Muecke, et. al. 1985:81-100; Owen, 2016: 326-330. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***