James Stapleton & John FranksPrint Page Print this page

08-May-2009 (Diane Watson)
08-May-2009 (Diane Watson)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Henry Moulds

The headstone was erected over the grave of telegraph employees James L. Stapleton, stationmaster, and John Franks, linesman at Barrow Creek who were killed by Aborigines at the site in February 1874.  The headstone bears a Masonic symbol.

In February 1874 Mounted Constable Samuel Gason arrived at Barrow Creek and a police station was also opened. Eight days later Aborigines from the Katish Tribe attacked the station resulting in the death of two men and the wounding of Ernest Flint.

On 22 February Gason cabled to Adelaide, `This Station has been attacked by natives at 8. Stapleton has been mortally wounded, one of the men, named John Franks, just died from wounds. Civilised Native Boy has had three spear wounds. Mr Flint, assistant operator one spear wound in leg, not serious. Full particulars in morning`.

In Adelaide Dr William Gosse advised treatment for the wounded which was telegraphed back to Barrow Creek.


Address:Stuart Highway, Barrow Creek Telegraph Station, Barrow Creek, 0872
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -21.529705
Long: 133.889046
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:23-February-1874
Actual Event End Date:23-February-1874


Front Inscription

In memory of James L Stapleton Stationmaster


John Franks  Linesman

Killed by Natives

Barrow Creek

23rd February 1874.

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