Site Name Bedford Downs (1) - East Kimberley
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Kitja, Worla
Colony WA
Present State/Territory WA
Police District East Kimberley
Latitude -17.302
Longitude 127.416
Date Between 1 Jan 1921 and 30 Nov 1921
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 10
Victims Killed Notes 10-20
Attackers Colonisers
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes
Weapons Used Rifles
Narrative In 1921, stockman Harry Annear was speared on Bedford Downs station, the reason, an Aboriginal witness called Lightberi, stated Annear was raiding camps and stealing young women. The police responded when Police Constable Cooney, a ‘volunteer’ Jack Wilson and five native assistants, proceeded to shoot and terrorise Aboriginal people at Mt Barnett to such as extent that they sought sanctuary in the Forrest River mission. This episode prompted missionary Ernest Gribble to write the first of many letters to Chief Protector of Aborigines A.O. Neville, alerting authorities to what was happening ‘…the native trackers [pursuing Annear’s killers] … after making themselves friendly to a large camp of natives, had suddenly shot them all in a ravine difficult to escape from. They further state no white police were there only ‘police boys’ [Native Assistants]…[Owen, 2016: 439]
Sources Green, 1995: 75. Owen, 2016: 439 (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***