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Dan Dempsey
Dan Dempsey

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

The monument marks the gravesite of Dan (The Cook) Dempsey who was speared by aborigines in the 1800s. Local Aborigines were massacred in retaliation for his death. 

Little Dan Dempsey, the cook, was killed 1841-45 by Aborigines on the banks of the Snowy River. Local tradition has it that he had caught a young Aboriginal girl and kept her prisoner in his hut for three days. His hut either caught fire or was set on fire, and as he stepped from his hut, he was speared by a group of Aborigines - so many spears that he was unable to fall over. The girl was taken back to the tribe. When word of the killing got out, a party of settlers was organised to hunt down the group, and retribution in the form of a massacre is said to have occurred at the Aboriginal camp at Milly, near the Brodribb River. Some of the surviving boys were captured and brought to Orbost station as station hands.
Information supplied by Victorian Heritage Database. 

Note: The date on the plaque states 1855 as the year of death. The Heritage Database report lists the year as between 1841- 1845.  




Address:24 Forest Road, Orbost, 3888
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.707222
Long: 148.451981
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:Conflict


Front Inscription

Dan the Cook


Killed here 1855


Source: MA, VHD
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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