Trooper James DuffPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Paul Barry

The monument was erected by the residents of Millie to commemorate James Duff who lost his life in the South African (Boer) War.  It is a fenced granite structure surmounted by a stone urn located in the former village of Millie.

James Daniel Duff, son of James and Catherine Duff, was born on 3 October 1875 at Tringha, New South Wales. His father was a well-known resident having spent forty years in the rural district of Millie, some 60 kilometres north-west of Narrabri. James and his brother, Eric, enlisted with the New South Wales Bushmen’s Contingent and prior to their departure from home, were given a banquet by the residents of Millie. On that occasion each of them was presented with a gold medal and a purse of sovereigns.

The Duff brothers sailed with the contingent on 28 February 1900, arrived in Capetown on 2 April and then proceeded via Marandelles to Bulawayo, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). ‘A’ Squadron served under General Plummer in the engagements at Mafeking and Rustenburg. Then the squadron, assisted by about 50 men of other details, defended Eland’s River for 13 days refusing to surrender on any terms, against the Boer commander De la Rey with 1,000 men and guns. They were eventually relieved by Lord Kitchener’s force on 15th August, and Lord Methuen’s column which arrived from the north on 18th August, 1900. However, James Duff, considered to be one of the most accomplished horsemen in the contingent, was killed on 4 August 1900 by a shell wound to the chest during the battle at Elands River.

The Hon. T. H. Hassall, Minister Of Lands, and party, consisting of Messrs. Hugh Ross (Member for the district), Nelson, Sleath, Richards, and G. A. Cruickshank, Ms.L.A., A. E. Collins (Mayor of Narrabri), Jno. Gately (Mayor of West Narrabri) D. E. Hall (Private Secretary), and Killian (official) were met at Woolabra on the of 19th inst., on the arrival of the mail train from Sydney. After a deputation representing the Progress Association of that village had been introduced and received (the object being to point out their local wants), the Ministerial party was conveyed in a drag, under police escort kindly provided for by Superintendent Day of Narrabri, to Millie, with other vehicles supplied by the committee bringing the remainder of the guests, while several buggies, etc., brought up the rear of the procession. Millie was reached by 1 p.m., after a quick but sultry drive, the journey, 18 miles, occupying but two hours. After luncheon the ceremony of unveiling the memorial was proceeded with. 

The monument reflects great credit on its designer and builder, Mr. G. P. Lock, monumental merchant, Newcastle, who was represented by Mr. D. L. Meldrum, supervisor of the erection of the work. It is built entirely of Peterhead granite, stands 20 foot in height having a base 4ft 6in square, on which are two sub-bases, richly moulded with a die, having a raised panel on either side. The monument, the total weight of which is twenty five tons, rests on a solid concrete foundation, and is enclosed by a Melbourne bluestone kerbing, with wrought iron railing. The price at Newcastle was £200, but the actual cost of erecting the monument as it now stands at Millie, a little over £300. 
Excerpt from Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), 28 January 1901. 

Note : This monument is best accessed from Bellata which is about half way between Narrabri & Moree on the Newell Highway. Turn into Millie Road and drive 27 kilometres with the last section of a kilometre being very loose gravel. 


Address:Millie - Bellata Road, Approximately 27 kilometres west of Bellata, Millie, 2397
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -29.819045
Long: 149.564791
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1900
Actual Event End Date:04-August-1900
Monument Designer:Mr G. P. Lock (Newcastle, NSW)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 19th January, 1901
Front Inscription


Australian Bushmens Contingent

Killed in Action at Elands River
South Africa 4th August 1900
Aged 25 Years

The Lord Knoweth Them That Are His

This Monument Has Been Erected By The Residents Of Millie And District In Grateful Recognition Of Valuable Service To Queen And Country


Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design