LONELY GRAVES IN THE MURRAY VALLEY

THE HISTORY BEHIND SOME EARLY GRAVES ON THE RIVER MURRAY PLAINS.

Often, old graves provide a historical insight into the region in which they are located. Herein, are a few examples of graves, which have a close association with pioneer development on the River Murray. ... Also, some details of other graves, about which this writer knows little, but which "history buffs" may regard as well worth a visit.


TALES BEHIND SOME PIONEER GRAVES OF THE MURRAY PLAIN;

  OVERLAND CORNER     BOOKMARK/CALPERUM     CHOWILLA/BUNYIP REACH     CUSTOM'S HOUSE  
   
BORDER TO WENTWORTH     REEDY ISLAND     OTHER SITES  

OVERLAND CORNER

Overland Corner holds many graves. There were three known and marked graves behind the hotel and likely other unknown and unmarked ones, any trace of their whereabouts obliterated by years of perennial flooding. A little further up the hill, by the side of the Old Coach Road, there is a small group of four more. 

One of the earlier graves behind the hotel contains the remains of a nephew of the intrepid stockman and jack-of-all-trades, Mr John Theodore Schell. - As disclosed in the old man's memoirs, viz; Murray Pioneer, Friday, December 19, 1924; "About this time (1860s) Mr Schell's nephew Fred, aged 21, fell off the steamer Gem near Moorook and was drowned. Captain King and his wife were on board at the time; The body was found some time afterward by Captain Joe Egge of the Prince Alfred who tied it to a snag; It was then taken to Overland Corner and was buried just at the back of the hotel. Mr William Robertson J.P., signed the order for the burial, and William Brand put the fence up around the grave." 

The official "Overland Corner Cemetery", however, where several generations of the Brand family are buried, is by the side of the Goyder Highway, about 1-Km back from the river. The Brands were prominent in this district as builders and merchants. ... In an era when pioneers had to be tough and resilient, the Brands were both. One, Henry Brand, had an impetuous streak in him and was renowned for getting himself into some treacherously arid locations. Several times, only his superb bush-craft saved him from a parched death. 

John Chambers, who ran Cobdogla Station in those days, when it stretched from Springcart Gully to Overland Corner, contracted the Brand brothers, William, George and Henry, to build a hotel at the 'Corner'. ... In March 1860, William became the hotel's first licensee. George took it over in 1862 and stayed for a more than a decade, the hotel's busiest period. 

The first white woman settler at the 'Corner' is reckoned to be Martha Brand; she arrived by paddle steamer with her husband William after their marriage in 1861. - According to one popular tale; 'An incredulous group of Aboriginal women gathered to gaze at the first white woman they'd ever seen. Martha was so terrified by this mass reception committee "that the sheltered 16 year old" locked herself in her cabin and refused to budge.' - Whatever the facts (Martha was 20 when she married William), it does indicate how populous the Aborigines were in this region, at that time. ... Along with other of the district's pioneers, William and Martha Brand, and one of their children, are interned in the official Overland Corner Cemetery on the north side of the Goyder Highway. A row of fine marble headstones marks the Brands' graves. 

Some of these marked graves are of very young children, childhood diseases such as measles and whooping cough, which in a more populous zone would have been curable, proving fatal in these remote regions on account of poor nutrition and lack of any medical care.

In modern times a 'Walking Trail' has been established, with a brochure that shows the location of these various graves.

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BOOKMARK/CALPERUM

Murray Pioneer, Friday May 6, 1994; - COUPLE UNCOVER HISTORIC PLAQUE: - A brass plaque of historical interest has been discovered by a Berri couple. - Mrs Sue Laidlaw and husband, Tim, when cleaning a block of land north of Berri recently, came across a plaque which dated back to 1863. They communicated their discovery to Riverland historian, Ms Heather Everingham, who quickly realised the importance of the Laidlaw's find. The plaque reads - "Presented by EWIN RANKIN in memory of his beloved spouse, MARGARET GUNN, who departed this life at Bookmark on the second day of Sept 1863. Aged 41 Years. Oh Death where is thy Sting. Oh Grave where is thy Victory."
It had been stolen from the tombstone of one of the first woman settlers in the Riverland. Ms Everingham said the plaque had been missing from the grave site since the early 1950's. The historic grave was situated between Dishers Creek and old Calperum Station. About one and a half kilometres from the river, above the floodplain, in an area of red sand and hop bushes. The grave was originally enclosed by a wrought iron fence, which was also stolen more than a decade ago.
All that remains at the site today, are some chiselled stone blocks which once formed the base of the fence. The plaque discovery sparked an investigation into the identity of Margaret Gunn and her husband. Renmark Historian Mr Brian Glenie, obtained a death certificate, lodged at Adelaide, which stated the woman died of liver disease. Also, a newspaper report at the time read;- RANKIN, On September 1, at Bookmark, River Murray, Margaret Gunn, daughter of Daniel Gunn, Staxigoe, Wick, Caithness, Scotland, the dearly beloved wife of Ewin Rankin, of the same place, aged 41 years. Much regretted by all who knew her. - Ewin Rankin was apparently the overseer of Bookmark, at the time, when that property belonged to John Chambers.

The plaque has been restored by Ms Barbara Smith of the Renmark National Trust, and will take pride of place at "Olivewood", the Chaffey Brothers historic homestead/museum, at Renmark.

Figure 1; The brass plaque, and the grave as it once was:

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CHOWILLA/BUNYIP REACH

Controversy surrounds a lonely grave situated on high ground to the east of the River Murray in the vicinity of lock 6# some 50-odd Km upstream from Renmark SA. - Known locally as "The Bedstead Grave", on account of it being marked with an old iron bed-head, the gravesite lies within reasonable proximity to a section of river called Bunyip Reach, which got its name from a tragedy that occurred there in 1863, for it was on December 8th, 1863; that four people lost their lives as the P S Bunyip was consumed in flames at the southern end of this roughly straight 2Km section of river and where, though much of the wreckage was salvaged, remnants of the tragedy still remain beneath the waters held back by lock 6#. --- Based on the Bedstead Grave's proximity to the site of the Bunyip tragedy, local folklore has evolved associating the grave with victims of that tragedy, namely, that it holds the remains of a mother and infant who were both incinerated in the blaze.

The Bedstead Grave lies within the southern boundary of Bunyip Reach Station, which has been operated by the Stoeckel family continuously since the 1880s, and the Stoeckel’s are in possession of a portion of a tin plate that marked this grave in earlier times. Stoeckel family history relates how, in the early 1900s, a now deceased member of the family removed the surviving portion of tin plate to the family homestead for safe keeping, and marked the grave with the old iron bed-head that continues to marks the grave to the present time. The piece of tin plate retained at the homestead is perforated with series of "nail holes," which trace the outline of some words in script. The decipherable words appear to read ... jane ... born ... july I  ... th II A, with other marks less clear (see below).

 
- Popular though the aforesaid folklore may be. Meticulous research through the volumes of historic documentation, relating to the fire aboard the P S Bunyip, has failed to find any evidence, whatsoever, to verify the alleged "Bunyip Victims v Bedstead Grave" association: 
- A lady passenger know as Mrs Fraser and her infant child, were indeed incinerated in the blaze, but only charred fragments of adult human bones were ever found.
- Corporal Besley of the SA Mounted Police, submitted, on or about 11 Dec. 1863, a report to Headquarters that indicated some human remains, believed to be of a woman and child, were found; - However, on December 21st, aborigines assisting in the salvage operation, found a more substantial quantity of charred adult human bones, which were reported to be in an area of the wreck that coincided with the location of Mrs Fraser's cabin;
- Mr Jamieson SM who conducted an inquiry at the time, at the site, reported that no remains of the infant Fraser were ever found, stating, "but there could be no doubt that the infant had perished with its mother". He also reported that the fragmented remains, which were recovered, were placed in a bag and buried at Chowilla Station, on the West bank, adjacent to the wreck site. ... 
- At a later date, the deceased's husband, Mr Duncan Fraser, did make what appears to be a verbal request to Overland Corner Police, to have his family's remains removed to higher ground, above what he deemed to be "flood level". - The official response was that Mr Fraser would have to pay for any reinterment that took place, and a total lack of any further reporting suggests the matter was dropped at that point.

 

In addition: - A thorough scrutiny of SA & NSW Births, Deaths and Marriage records was carried out, as well as investigations into the Fraser family genealogy. The results verified that a Mrs Elizabeth Fraser did die about this time and that her husband, Mr Duncan Fraser, remarried about fifteen months afterwards. The factual evidence, therefore, very poignantly infers that the lady who died in the P S Bunyip fire was Mrs Elizabeth Fraser along with her 7-month-old infant daughter named Jessie. - There is, therefore, nothing to connect the name jane, as depicted on the Bedstead grave's tin plate, with any of the victims of the Bunyip tragedy. - The preponderance of documented evidence supports the noton that the person, or persons. interred in the Bedstead Grave, has nothing whatsoever to do with the fire that destroyed the P S Bunyip in 1863. - Rather, in the absence of any known surname, the person interred therein is a female known simply as Jane. Who, from the state of the grave, it appears was much loved, but whose more detailed identity remained a mystery.

All that changed, however, with the July 2000 release of the CD-Rom version of the South Australian Registry of Death 1842-1915: -- A simple computer search revealed the details of a very young child named Jane Elizabeth SMITH, a resident of Murtho, who died at Murthoo (sic) on 12 April 1887, aged only 1-year 9-months; which means she had to be born during July 1885. She is described as being the illegitimate child of William DEAN (woodcutter) and Emma SMITH of Murthoo.

As for the 'tin plate'!   The decipherable words appears to read jane , born , july , & the II A , with other marks less clear. ... Clearly, however, none of the decipherable words (apart from the word 'born') have anything whatsoever to-do with the deceased Mrs Elizabeth Fraser and\or her 7-month old daughter Jessie.

In the case of Jane SMITH, however, she was born in July 1885, which is the month cited on the tim plate. ... And her Death Certificate cites her "date of death" as 12th April 1887 !
Is it possible that the enigmatic - the II A ... on the tin plate. ... Is in fact the start of - the 11 April?
. ... The 'one-day discrepancy' the result of a minor human error perhaps?. - Or!, did the local Magistrate, Mr Robertson J P of Chowilla, sign the Death Certificate on the day after Jane died, perhaps?

- Jane's Death Certificate appear below.......

janedc.jpg

Surname: SMITH
Given Names: Jane Elizabeth
Date: 1887-04-12
Sex: F
Age: 1y9m
Status: C
Relative: William DEAN (F)

Relative 2: Emma SMITH (M)
Residence: Murthoo
Death Place: Murthoo
District Code: Bur
Symbol: S
Book: 162
Page: 461

CONCLUSION - In regards to the "Bedstead Grave". There is persuasive evidence to support the view that Jane Elizabeth SMITH, whose Death Certificate and details of same appear above, is the person interned in this grave, marked with an old iron bed-head and located near the southern boundary of Bunyip Reach Station.

Regarding the four victims of the fire that destroyed P S Bunyip. According to details contained in the reports of the Police, Magistrates and others, who inquired into the fatalities at the time, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary. ... The earthly remains of victims Mrs Elizabeth FRASER, wife to Duncan Fraser, and the 7-month old infant Jessie FRASER, who were both incinerated in the fire, are buried in an unmarked grave on the west bank of the Murray, in the vicinity of the wreck site, on land that forms part of Chowilla Station.
Victim Mr George GUNNER, who drowned while attempting to swim ashore and whose body was recovered downriver a few days afterwards, is buried in the Chowilla Station cemetery, which nowadays lies within the boundary of the Chowilla orange orchards.
The remains of Mr James MULLINS, who disappeared while attempting to swim ashore and is presumed drowned, has never been found, and likely remains lodged somewhere in the bed of the river thereabouts.

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CHOWILLA/BUNYIP REACH (contd.)

Contention also surrounds the eroded remnants of a low-level, oblong structure. Which likewise happens to be located in the region of Lock 6#. This structure consists of low dried mud walls, iron hoops and bars, and is roughly the size and shape of a single bed. From its size, some people believe this to be a gravesite.

There is another explanation, however. Others, who have lived in the region for upward of 70 years, have a much less dramatic tale to tell; - They claim the mud and iron remnants are not a grave, at all, but are simply an old "Camp Oven" from the early 1900s. Constructed, as they often were, of dried mud with a grating made from whatever iron was available. The fact that this one is roughly the size of a bed is purely coincidental. The heat from the cooking fire, "fires" the mud, rendering it more resistant to erosion than it would otherwise be; So it has outlasted its purpose to puzzle a younger generation, that knows little about early settlers' "Camp Ovens". The only thing odd about this particular oven is its size, which implies it was meant to cater for a large number of people. Could it be associated with the large workforce employed to construct Lock 6#, in the 1920s, perhaps? - Incidentally there is another, much smaller, but more intact, example of this type of "Camp Oven" on the riverbank about 500 metres downstream from the "training spurs" [677Km/421ml], below Devils Elbow. At least it was still there in 1994, near what appeared to be a rustic bush "race", which may have been used, for example, to load/unload live sheep from a barge. This example is closer to the size of a 200litre (44 gallon) drum, than a "bed", and it's on the shallow side of the river. So anyone attempting to moor a boat there for a look-see!, ought to proceed slowly! to minimise the effects of running aground:

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CUSTOM'S HOUSE

Murray Pioneer, Tuesday December 21, 1999; ... "An Image of Yesteryear":
BATTLER STARTED LOCAL DYNASTY; ... Ludwig A T Stoeckel was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1826 when that province was ruled by England. ... At 16 years of age he went into military training camp and saw active service when war was declared between Denmark and Germany. ... In 1847 he boarded the sailing ship George Washington on a journey to Port Adelaide, which took 19 weeks and 3 days. The voyage was not uneventful; 41 passengers died of cholera; several times the ship was nearly wrecked; and she sprung a leak.
Ludwig walked to Adelaide from the port, and found lodgings with the German proprietor of the Hamburg Hotel in Rundle St.. ... Though he could not speak English he found a job as a horseman (having had training in the military), with a cattle station owner on the lower Murray. ... Here he was introduced to bark slab hut quarters, rations, damper and 'natives'. ... After two years, and with his wife Elizabeth, he joined the rush to the Victorian goldfields where he struck gold at the Daisy Hill and Forrest Creek diggings. ... They returned to SA and bought a farm near Hamilton in the Kapunda district, but having no farming experience they soon went through their fortune. ... Ludwig then followed his trade as a millwright in the city, working for Mellor Bros. building reaping machines.
In the early 1890s he and his wife came up river to live on the properties of their sons Richard ('Border Cliffs') and Frederick ('Nelwood'). ... Another son, William, later held Paringa Station from 1900 onwards. ... Ludwig died in 1915 aged 89, his wife died in 1907, the graves are situated on a hill above the old Customs House in the district of "Murtho" and are the subject of much interest to tourists.

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N.S.W. BORDER/CUSTOM'S HOUSE

Murray Pioneer, Tuesday January 23, 1996; - THE LONELY GRAVE: - The history of a remote grave near the Custom's House, upstream from Renmark, has been the subject of much speculation in recent years. While checking through old copies of The Pioneer, as research for her book on the history of the Renmark Hotel, retired journalist Ms J. Gurr has now solved the mystery. The following is based on a report that appeared in The Renmark Pioneer; Feb.15, 1909: - It was February 6, 1909, the paddle steamer 'Victoria' was moored not far from the Custom's House, which, after Federation, had become the farmhouse of the Stoeckel family. The 'Victoria', owned by Captain Wallace of Goolwa and his son David, who was engineer, had been charted by the Government as a base for the survey party engaged in marking out the states' boundaries.
On that hot summer day, Saturday Feb.6, the surveyors were working some miles out in the scrub. Captain Wallace had crossed the river intending to get a horse from Mr Fred Stoeckel, and ride through to Renmark in company with Mr Williams, the second assistant surveyor. David Wallace, the skipper's son, rowed across the river at 10a.m. with a package for his father, then rowed back to the paddle steamer, where he had a drink of water and retired to his cabin. About 10 minutes later, the ship's cook, Mr Sellars, the only man on board the 'Victoria', apart from David Wallace, heard the report of a gun and, running around the deck, he found smoke pouring from Wallace's cabin. He called out and, when there was no answer, he pushed open the door where a shocking sight greeted him. His friend, to whom he was deeply attached, was in his death throes on the floor with blood pouring from his head, "which was much mutilated in a manner beyond description".
Sellars called out to Mr John Amey, who was on the bank attending to horse attached to the survey team, to come and see what had happened. Amey straightaway sent Sellars to carry the news to Mr Stuart, the head surveyor, who was with the survey team in the scrub. When told of the news, Stuart at once caused the necessary telegrams to be dispatched from the nearest Post Office, at Tareena, including one to Corporal Panton, the trooper at Renmark. Stuart then returned to the boat where, after viewing the gruesome scene, he locked the cabin pending the arrival of the police. The dead man's father shortly returned to the boat having been unable to obtain a horse from Mr Louis Stoeckel, who was away from his farm. After being told the news of his son's death, those on board would not allow him to see the body, and the distressed man was taken to Chowilla homestead by Mr Stuart, who left him there in the company of Mr Robertson.
The hours dragged on, as the party awaited the arrival of Trooper Panton and Mr H.S. Taylor, the Coroner, from Renmark. They, in turn, were having trouble locating the steamer and, when darkness descended on them, they stayed the night at Mr Arthur Wilkinson's farmhouse. The next day they set off again, and eventually found the steamer, arriving at the site some time during the afternoon. When Panton and Taylor examined the cabin, and the body, they found a 12-bore shotgun with an empty cartridge in the breech, lying on the bunk. The gun was owned by John Field, one of the survey team, who told the Coroner it must have been taken from a rack above his bunk, prior to the deed being committed.
Coroner Taylor recorded "the deceased had come to his death by self inflicted gunshot while in a state of severe mental despondency". Evidence showed that both he and his father had been in a state of agitation since the arrival of the mail, a few days previous. Wallace, the deceased, usually a kindly and genial man, had been greatly distressed and morose since receiving the mail, which, subsequent to the coronal inquiry, was shown to contain details of "some trifling monetary embarrassment which caused the depression".
Once the inquiry was complete, and Renmark being some 30 miles distant, it was decide to inter the body in a grave on the riverbank above the boat. Wallace's father acquiesced to this arrangement and a coffin was made from timber, procured by Mr Stuart from Chowilla Station, under direction of Mr Hullick the Cal Lal trooper.

The burial was attended by Mr J. Higgins J.P., of Kulcurna, and all the ship's company. The service was read by the Coroner, Harry Samuel Taylor, who "by request, spoke a few words expressing confidence in the loving and merciful judgment of the Heavenly Father". Mr Stuart undertook to have a decent railing erected around the grave, by his survey team, "who were all much attached to the deceased and all greatly saddened at the tragic ending of his life".
David Wallace was about 40 years old when he died, and left a wife and two children who were living at Goolwa. Captain Wallace was driven, the next day by Mr Robertson, to Renmark. Where he stayed with his old friend Captain Grundy, of the 'S.S. Industry', until the coach left for Morgan the following Tuesday afternoon. From whence he returned to Goolwa to console the Mrss Wallace. Captain Grundy, meanwhile, undertook to make the necessary arrangements to drop the 'S.S. Victoria' down river, as requested by the survey team.
Despite the ravages of time, Wallace's grave still stands eighty-seven years later (background photograph this page), surrounded by iron railings, with a small wooden cross and his name inscribed thereon. A lonely site and one of mystery for those who stumble across it, ... until one reads old copies of the "Renmark Pioneer":

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S.A. BORDER TO WENTWORTH N.S.W.

Even in modern times land on the north side of the Murray, in this section, remains remote and sparsely inhabited. It is, however, country of indelible historic importance to South Australia. For, it was through this country that, from as early as 1837, 'Overlanders' drove countless herds of cattle and sheep, without which the Colony of South Australia would have been unable to sustain-itself. Unfortunately, the remoteness of the region proved fatal for many. At a time when few European knew how to swim; when anything from a lacerated arm or leg; a broken bone; or a lightening strike; could be the death of a man. When whites and blacks were killing each other over purloined livestock; fouled water holes; or unpaid recompense for carnal-favours. Many men died here. Mostly they were buried where they fell, in unmarked graves, the location of which has long since been lost.

Pioneer, Mr John Theodore Schell, whose memoirs were published early this century, spoke of one such man, a Mr Britcher, viz; - Murray Pioneer, Friday, December 19, 1924; - "Mrs Mallyon was the widow of a man named Britcher, who was killed at the Rufus River massacre of the blacks. He had two sons, George and Harry."
The "Massacre" alluded to took place in 1841. Though no 'whites' were killed in the two-day "massacre" itself. Several were killed in events that lead-up to the incident. These slayings, though extensively documented, fail to mention any person named "Britcher". Nevertheless, Mr Britcher's remains are, perhaps, interred at some unknown spot within the Lake Victoria region.

One Overland Party that did suffer fatalities, however, was that of Mr Langhorne. The party's overseer, Mr Miller, reported the fracas thus; - On Sunday 20th (June 1841) at about half-past eleven o'clock, when nine men and myself had just crossed our provisions and drays over the Rufus, we were surrounded by a party of about 500 natives, and, when reloading the drays, the blacks rushed towards us and commenced throwing waddies. We had only six muskets with us, and two of them would not go off, the natives soon began to draw spears and we commenced firing amongst them. The fight lasted about twenty minutes, and the result was the death of four of our party and five blacks; ... Mr Miller, himself, sustained seven spear wounds in different parts of his body, and is alleged to have died within a year or two of the incident.
A Police Troop that was in the region, at the time, became involved in the aftermath of the incident, Viz; - (24th June; 1841) - were unable to make the River Rufus till half-past 3 p.m., when we discovered to our horror, that one of the four Europeans (Mr Martin) lately murdered, and all of whom had been placed in the river by their comrades, had again been hauled out of the water, his thigh bone taken out and a green bough placed in his hand. ... we lit a large fire over poor Mr Martin's grave, in hope that the blacks might not recognise it, and blazed some trees near the river and cut largely and deeply upon them "BEWARE OF BLACKS", to warn the next unhappy overlanders of their danger. ... This would indicate that Mr. Martin is one white man who is buried near the 'Massacre' site.

Another who lost his life in the region was Mr Hancock, after whom Hancock Hill is named. - James Allen Jnr., in his account of the P S Lady Augusta's voyage in 1853, recorded it as follows; ... Saturday, October 8, 1853; .. "At half-past five o'clock passed Mount Hancock near which Messrs Hancock and Jones's Station was formerly situated. It is styled a mount, but is merely a slight elevation, say about 100 ft above the level of the river. Mr Hancock was drowned some years ago in this locality in passing a billy-bong on horseback, and the station that was formerly situated here is now deserted." ... Hancock Hill is 800 metres n'east of the current Kulcurna woolshed and, though this writer hasn't had opportunity to inspect that site, Mr Hancock may be one of the first interred in the Cal Lal Cemetery.

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THE "REEDY ISLAND" INCIDENT.

Another unfortunate fellow who is buried on old Kulcurna Station, nowadays known as Cal Lal Station and so possible in the Cal Lal Cemetery, was the luckless Mr. William Thomas. ... A consummate bushman, Thomas came up river with his wife, Mary Dunn, in the early 1850s and worked on a number of stations. In 1879 the family took up residence at Kulcurna, nowadays Cal Lal. Thomas was an outstanding and much sought after shepherd and, in time, Mary presented him with seven children. One of his sons, James, later reminisced on the somewhat bizarre circumstances surrounding his father's untimely death in 1881; viz; "We were building a wool shed and father said he would go down to Reedy Island and cut canegrass for the roof of the building. He took the boat and pulled away taking his dog, Cur, with him. That evening Cur came home but, although mother waited up, father did not return. Next day John Higgins, then a smart active young man between twenty and thirty, and my brother rowed to Reedy Island to investigate.
Edwin pulled the boat round the little island and Higgins walked through the reeds; he found father dead. He lay on his back with a heavy bough, which had fallen from a dead tree, across his face. His death must have been instantaneous. The branch was about six inches through at the thick end. The day before, there had been a heavy thunderstorm with a high wind. Father was in a little clearing among the reeds."
Elsewhere the tragedy is reported to have occurred on the east side of Reedy Island, which exists due to the water cutting a channel across a hairpin bend in the river. It is located at the 659-Km/mark [409-mile/mk] ( GPS location 34° 03’20” S - 141° 01’18” E). - William Thomas was subsequently buried somewhere on Old Kulcurna Station. ... Also, Capt W. R. Randell, aboard the steamer Corowa at the time, recorded a slightly different version in the ships log; viz - April 1881. Thursday 7th, A.M. 5:40 started - got along first rate all morning. P.M. 1:00 came up to junction of Lindsay - found the "Ariel" heaving her barge off spit. She got away about 4:00 - took us till 10:00 to get "Corowa" and barges over; ... Held inquiry here relative to the death of William Thomas, who was found dead under a gum tree, a limb having fallen from the tree upon his head while sleeping, completely smashing in his skull. Had been searched for for over a week before he was found. (Ed... In view of the circumstances as described by James THOMAS, re his father's demise. RANDELL's logbook entry about the search taking 'over a week' seems somewhat incongruous! - Reedy Island is really a very small island.)

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OTHER SITES; Modern topographic maps of this region (eg. Cal Lal 7129-N 1:50,000 edition) do show the location of other lone graves; The following details will help locate some of the mapped graves which are close to the river; ...History enthusiast may find them worth a visit.
... For boat travellers the kilometre marks, as shown in post 1992 editions of Wright's "River Murray Charts", are herein represented thus [234km];

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  • [665km] Cal Lal Cemetery; - GPS location 141°04'25"E 34°01'26"S;
    The old Cal Lal Station is a history lesson in itself. The old cemetery is 3Km north of Lindsay Cliffs, about a 30min walk along a vehicle track that heads northwards from Kulcurna Station; ...The cemetery contains many imposing headstones relating to a number of the district's pioneers.

    [673km] Lone grave 1#; - GPS location 141°05'20"E 34°02'51"S;
    Approximately 1km upstream of Pollard's Cutting and 600-metres north of the river, it lies within 50-metres of a single lane gravel road.

    [689km] Lone grave 2#; - GPS location 141°10'45"E 34°04'33"S;
    Approximately 400-metres east of Lake Victoria Station's old riverside outbuildings, which are clearly visible from the river (decaying 'lime mortar' stone walls, degraded brush-thatched roofs, containing a collection of old horse drawn paraphernalia).

    [733km] Lone grave 3#; - GPS location 141°24'54"E 34°08'05"S;
    About 1.6Km (1-mile) above Lock 8#, slightly upstream of a palm tree, at a point, where the upstream direction of the Murray starts to turn slightly west of due-south. At that point the lone grave lies 400-metres east of the mainstream.

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