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Dost Mahomet : 24-December-2010
Dost Mahomet : 24-December-2010
Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson

A headstone on the grave, commemorates Dost Mahomet, the Afghan camel driver who was on the Burke and Wills expedition. The grave was restored in 2006.

In 1858 the Victorian Exploration Committee requested George Landells, who regularly accompanied exported Australian horses to India, to buy camels and recruit camel drivers on his next visit. Dost Mahomet was a Muslim cameleer who was recruited and arrived in Australia in 1860. Mahomet and three other cameleers set out from Melbourne with the Burke and Wills Expedition.

After returning to Menindee from the Dig Tree in 1862, Dost Mahomet was injured in a camel accident, which resulted in him losing the use of his arm. He was effectively disabled for life at the age of twenty-three. Despite his appeals to the Victorian Government he was awarded only 200 pounds compensation and was never to see his home again.  In the aftermath of the expedition when accounts were being settled in Melbourne, Dost Mahomet presented a claim to be paid the same as his European colleagues as had originally been promised. This claim was unsuccessful. He returned to Menindee and worked for some time for William Ah Chung in the bakery. Upon his death in 1881, he was buried outside the town on the spot where he prayed every day. A fence was erected around his grave and in 1952, the Menindee Progress Association erected the headstone.

The Menindee and District Progress Association recently took steps to preserve a historic grave in their district. They erected a substituted post and rail fence and small headstone on the grave of a camel driver-Dost Mahomet, a member of the Burke and Wills Expedition. The grave is known in the Menindee district as the "Arab's Grave" - and is situated about a mile from Menindee just off the Broken Hill road. Afghans from Wilcannia are thought to have erected the original structure round the grave. Later Mr. J. Cleary, of Menindee, looked after the grave site, but in recent years it has fallen into disrepair. Because of its historic significance the Menindee Progress Association decided to take steps to preserve it. The structure erected by the association is a fairly substantial one, and it will receive regular attention. The small headstone bears the inscription: "Dost Mahomet-Burke and Wills expedition, 1860-62. Erected by the Menindee and District Progress Association. 1952.". The book "Dig" dealing with the Burke and Wills with the Burke and Wills expedition, mentions the fact that Dost Mahomet, a camel driver, died and was buried at a spot about a mile from Menindee. Another popular legend is that the grave also marks the spot where mail drivers blew a blast on their bugles to announce their approach to the township. 
Barrier Miner (Broken Hill), 16 October 1952. 

Location

Address:Broken Hill Road, 1 kilometre West, Menindee, 2879
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.381389
Long: 142.410556
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Exploration
Monument Manufacturer:Menindee Progress Association

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1952
Front Inscription

DOST MAHOMET
Burke & Wills Expedition
1860 - 1862

Erected By Menidee & District 
Progress Assocation 1952

Central Darling Shire Council 2006

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