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Edmund Kennedy
Edmund Kennedy

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Russell Byers

The cairn commemorates the British explorer Edmund Besley Court Kennedy, who was killed by Aborigines on Cape York Peninsula in December 1848. Kennedy's exploratory work helped to open far north Queensland to pastoral settlement in the mid-19th century.

Plaques in honour of the last and most famous expedition of Edmund Kennedy, surveyor and explorer, have now been erected at Cardwell, Tully and Cooktown. The plaque at Cooktown was unveiled on September 25 by Mrs. Louise E. Boyd an 83-year-old pioneer of the Peninsula, who was the first white woman in the area north of Laura. Louisa Creek in the Peninsula has been named after her. Practically the whole of Cooktown's population, and passengers from the vessel Wandana, attended the unveiling ceremony. 

The cairn, which is 6 feet in height with a base of 6 feet is built of Cooktown granite. The foundation was laid by Mr. J. Hare, late foreman of the Cook Shire Council, and completed by two council employees, Messrs P. Boseler and F. Sykes. The cairn was draped with the Australian flag and Union Jack when Mrs. Boyd stepped forward to perform the ceremony
Cairns Post, Townsville Daily Bulletin (QLD), 30 September 1948. 


Address:Charlotte Street, Cooktown, 4895
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -15.463736
Long: 145.250056
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Monument Manufacturer:Cook Shire Council


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 25th September, 1948
Front Inscription

Edmund Besley Court Kennedy J. P.

Landed at Rockingham Bay 24 May 1848 on his memorable exploring expedition of Cape York Peninsula. 

Of the 13 members, the leader was fatally speared in December at Escape River within sight of his goal. 

Nine perished en route and two Europeans and the Aborigine Jackey-Jackey were rescued.

Unveiled 25 September 1948

W. C. H. Hodges, Chairman, Shire Council.

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