Site Name Mistake Creek - East Kimberley
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Kitja, Worla
Colony WA
Present State/Territory WA
Police District East Kimberley
Latitude -16.927
Longitude 128.242
Date Between 1 May 1915 and 30 Jun 1915
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 7
Victims Killed Notes 7-10
Attackers Colonisers
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes
Transport Horse
Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Snider, Winchesters, Revolvers
Narrative In 1915 Constable John Franklin Flinders reported that telegraph linesman (and former East Kimberley Policeman) Mick Rhatigan and his two Aboriginal workers, Nipper and Wyne, ‘shot and burned five or six Aborigines’. The ‘charred remains’ of two bodies were found at Mistake Creek and the bodies of five others named ‘Hopples, Nellie, Mona, Gypsy and Nittie’ were found some distance away. This was supposedly in reprisal for allegedly killing Rhatigan’s cow. [ Owen, 2016:438.] The Sisters of St Joseph erected a small monument at the foot of the old boab tree at Mistake Creek to mark the place where the massacre occurred.
Sources WAPD, Aboriginal Native Tracker 'Nipper'. From C.of P. SROWA, Cons.430, Item 1854/1915. Clement 1989: 17-18; Ross and Bray 1989: 73-5; Western Mail, 2 April 1915:18 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44758490; The Advertiser, 2 April 1915: 8 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/5455967/970938 WAPD, ‘Aboriginal Native  Tracker  'Nipper'. From C. of P.’ SROWA,  AN 5/2, Ace 430, File 1854/1915; Smith, Mistake Creek Massacre Site, Flinders University, http://www.flinders.edu.au/ehl/archaeology/research-profile/current-themes-and-projects/environment-and-society/kimberley-frontier-archaeology-project.cfm; Clement 2003: 199-214, Owen, 2016: 438. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***