BURKE AND WILLS' THIRD CAMP SITE in 1860. (VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.) :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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Journal by itellya

Wills was not originally Robert O'Hara Burke's deputy as explained in countless accounts of the expedition but his name is the one most often associated with Burke in references to the tragic endeavour.

Progress was going to be slow because of all the provisions that had to be carried but when, after numerous speeches, they finally left the spot marked by a cairn in Royal Park near the present Melbourne zoo (Melway map 2B, A2), they only made it about as far as Queens Park at Moonee Ponds.

On pages 9-10 of Andrew Lemon's THE STOPOVER THAT STAYED (A history of Essendon)is the following detail of the first camp. "...the ill-fated Burke and Wills overland expedition spent its first night at Moonee Ponds. Some early residents say the camp was somewhere between where St. Monica's Roman Catholic Presbytery stands and Queen's Park Lake, but a stone monument set in Mt. Alexander Road plantation opposite the park claims that is the spot. The 27 imported camels were tied at the water hole (Queen's Park lake) and the horses, terrified of the camels, were tethered at the corner of Napier Street and Fletcher Street."

In I.W.Symonds' BULLA BULLA, it is stated that the second night's encampment was near the Inverness Hotel (at Melway 177 J11.) Burke showed great will power in passing David William O'Nial's Lady of the Lake Hotel at 5 H12 without wetting his whistle and the publican's two daughters watched in awe through the Cape Broom hedge as the lengthy processION passed by. (As they told the late Colin Williams over half a century later when he was living on "Broombank".)

The reason for this post was the following, found in my Dictionary History of Bulla journal while I was looking for a reference to Ferdinand Lubecke, early vigneron of Vinegar Rd, Sunbury discussed in Symonds' BULLA BULLA, who may have been the man of that name who died at Greenvale in 1902. I have previously seen no reference to the third camp. The Constitution Hotel* was at Melway 383 A9.

William Fanning, his name wrongly recorded as W.Fannan on my paper copy of the parish map, was granted crown allotment 19B, Bulla Bulla (Sunnyside) on 29-1-1852. This was south of the Bulla-Diggers Rest road where it adjoins Loemans Rd on Tullamarine Island. See more on Kathleen Fanning's website:

SUNBURY. The death has occurred of Mrs. Michael Fanning, Powlett street, in the house in which her father and mother (Mr. and Mrs.J. Hogan) had lived and died before her. Mrs.Fanning had resided here for 63 years, having
come to Sunbury when 11 years of age. She was born in Flinders street, Melbourne, in 1842. She saw Burke and Wills, the famous explorers, when they camped near Bell's Constitution Hotel, on the Bulla road, and she used to relate how she saw Burke mounted in imposing style on his white charger. She also saw King, the only survivor of the Burke and Wills expedition, passing through Sunbury by rail on his return journey. (P.4, Argus, 6-2-1917.)

* 675 Sunbury Road, Sunbury_ 160614 - Amazon Web Services
Former Constitution Hotel. 675 Sunbury Road. SUNBURY.

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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2017-05-24 14:31:35

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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by itellya on 2017-05-24 15:09:41

Former Victorian Surveyor General, Raymond Eden Holmes, who grew up at Red Hill has done extensive research on the expedition (and found Burke's compass!)

by itellya on 2017-05-24 15:25:08

Apologies. Apparently the "compass" was a spirit bubble and belonged to Wills, not Burke. P. 2, http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/discovery-sheds-light-on-burke-and-wills/2008/06/12/1212863746022.html?page=2

"The hunt for the camp has sparked intense rivalry among Burke and Wills historians and items so far have been recovered by Dr Leahy, as well as by the former Victorian surveyor- general Ray Holmes, who Dr Leahy took to the site in 2005.

"To his credit and persistence, Ray Holmes returned several more times with his family and he uncovered the spirit bubble that was part of Wills's astronomical equipment," Dr Leahy said."

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