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Photographs supplied by Bryan Hardy

The plaque commemorates Chipper's Leap which is the site of an attack by Aborigines during early days of Western Australian settlement. It was unveiled on the centenary of the event. 

John Chipper was one of the Swan River settlement`s first colonists, arriving in the Caroline on 12 October 1829 as an indentured worker to James Henty with whom he stayed for approximately two years. Just after Henty left for Van Diemen`s Land in January 1832, John was employed on a private contracting job at Greenmount in the hills outside Perth when he and a boy companion named Reuben Beecham were attacked by Aboriginals.

Chipper thought that the Aboriginals wanted to exchange a spear for some food, but when he put his hand out to accept the spear, he was stabbed in the right arm, and then speared in the back.  Chipper then ran down a steep hill away from the cart and escaped by leaping off boulders on top of a steep hill and ran seven miles to safety.   Reuben Beecham attempted to follow Chipper but was speared 12 times and died.

John Chipper`s escape was miraculous, and the site of the attack became known as Chipper`s Leap and for many years was a reminder to settlers of the days when Aboriginal - European relations were at their worst in the colony.

About 300 persons gathered at the base of a huge granite rock at the top of Greenmount, and listened with interest on the night of February 3, while speakers tried to recreate for them the life of a century ago, in particular the thrilling incidents of February 3. 1832 when John Chipper and Reuben Beecham were attacked by blacks. The occasion was the unveiling of a tablet placed by the Western Australian Historical Society on the rock known as Chipper's Leap. 

Carrying provisions to settlers, John Chipper and Beecham, a boy, were driving a cart over Greenmount when they were attacked by blacks. The boy was killed almost instantly, but Chipper, though wounded in one arm and having a spear sticking in his side, escaped by jumping over the rock that now bears his name. None of the blacks dared to follow him. The dedication of the tablet last week was performed by Mr. Steve Chipper, a grandson of John Chipper and a member of the council of the Historical Society.
Western Mail (Perth), 11th February 1932.


Address:Padbury Road, Greenmount Hill, Greenmount, 6056
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.899971
Long: 116.069081
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-February-1832
Actual Event End Date:03-February-1832


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 3rd February, 1932
Front Inscription

Chipper`s Leap

On the 3rd of February 1832, John Chipper and Reuben Beacham a boy of fourteen, while driving a cart from Guildford to York were attacked by natives near this spot.

Beacham was killed but Chipper, although speared, escaped and leaped from this rock now known as Chipper`s Leap, and eventually reached Governor Stirling`s house at Woodbridge.

This tablet was placed here by the Western Australia Historical Society.


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