image forrest j_western australia_plate 9
Image number: RS.12563
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Skirmish at Weld Springs

Date

1875

Creator

Henry Charles Prinsep (1844-1922, Australian), Artist

After

1st Baron of Forrest of Bunbury John Forrest (1847-1918, Australian), Explorer

Object type

Library reference

RCN39561

Material

Technique

Dimensions

height (print): 330mm
width (print): 228mm

Subject

Content object

nature
   > landscape

Description

Landscape view showing an incident in the Western Australian Exploring Expedition of 1874. A group of aboriginal Australians is shown in confrontation with the encamped expedition members, who are armed with rifles.

Figure 9 from the monograph Journal of the proceedings of the Western Australian Exploring Expedition through the centre of Australia…commanded by John Forrest (Richard Pether, Perth, 1875).

Inscribed ‘PLATE 9. H.C. Prinsep delt. H.G De Gruchy & Co., Liths. THE SKIRMISH WITH NATIVES AT PIERRE SPRINGS.’

According to the accompanying text, the view shows events of 13 June 1874: ‘About one o’clock Pierre saw a flock of emus, coming to water and went off to get a shot…I was surprised to hear natives’ voices, and looking towards the hill I saw 40 to 60 natives running towards the Camp, all plumed up and armed with spears and shields…the whole number made a rushing towards us with their spears shipped, and yelling and shouting. When within 30 yards I gave the word to fire; we all fired as one man.’ Forrest considered that at least two Australians were wounded, and possibly killed by the Expedition.

Forrest commented upon these illustrations: ‘Owing to my absence in England while Mr. Prinsep was engaged making the drawings from my rough field sketches, the names of some of the views were inserted erroneously…’ This view was captioned incorrectly: Forrest explains it as ‘Attacked by Natives at the Weld Springs.’

John Forrest, 1st Baron Forrest of Bunbury (1847-1918) Australian explorer and politician. Forrest became first Premier of Western Australia.

Associated place

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   > Oceania
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