Massacre sign does not tell full story

This information sign at the entrance to the Wills graves does nothing to aid reconciliation.

As astounding as it is today to read the words above, they are understandable given the context in which they were written. Image Sharyn Moodie 2021

It was commonly known as the Wills massacre, but the history of the battle which took place at Cullin-la-ringo near Springsure in Central Queensland is being slowly reshaped.

The 1861 attack, in which 19 European men, women and children were killed, was the single largest massacre of colonists by Aboriginal people in Australian history.

But those numbers are nothing compared to the extermination of up to 370 members of the Gayiri tribe in the following weeks. It was also the start of many more battles in the Frontier War.

There have been many words written about the event, easily accessible on line.  

But with the hindsight of history, surely the information sign at the entry to the site could acknowledge the full story. It gives no context to the attack being a reprisal, or the much larger magnitude of the new settlers’ response.

You can follow well-marked signs to find the graves about 30 kilometres from Springsure.

Image Sharyn Moodie 2021
Springsure, QLD

Published by Sharyn Moodie

Travelling around Australia for work, I've found so many amazing headstones. But what is more amazing is the stories behind some of these deaths, and the way newspapers of the day reported them.

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