Captain Collet BarkerPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Russell Byers / John Huth

The marble tablet was erected in memory of Captain Collet Barker of His Majesty`s 39th Regiment of Foot who was killed by the Aborigines while exploring Lake Alexandrina and the Gulf of St. Vincent.

Collet Barker (31 December 1784 – 30 April 1831) was a military officer and explorer. He explored areas of South Australia, Western Australia and Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory. He joined the British Army in 23 January 1806 as an ensign by purchase in the 39th regiment of foot, becoming a lieutenant in 1809 and captain in 1825.

On 13 April 1831 Barker and his party arrived at Cape Jervis on the Isabella. He examined the coast and found that there was no channel. Barker discovered the Onkaparinga River on 15 April. He then explored the ranges inland, north of the present site of Adelaide, and climbed Mount Lofty where he sighted the Port River inlet, Barker Inlet and the future Port Adelaide, his most important discovery.

He then moored Isabella near present Yankalilla Bay and went overland to explore the area around Lake Alexandrina and Encounter Bay. On 29 April the mouth of the Murray was reached. Barker swam across the narrow channel the next morning, went over a sandhill, and was never seen again. A few days later the party learned that Barker had been killed by the local indigenous people who had mistaken him for a whaler or sealer.



Address:173 King Street, St James Anglican Church, North Wall No 137, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.869486
Long: 151.211172
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:30-April-1831
Actual Event End Date:30-April-1831


Front Inscription

     To The Memory Of, 
Of His Majesty`s 39th Regiment Of Foot,
Who Was Treacherously Murdered By
The Aboriginal Natives
On The 30th April 1831
While Endeavouring In The Performance Of His Duty,
To Ascertain Communication Between
Lake Alexandrina And The Gulf Of St Vincent
On The South West Coast Of New Holland.

In Token Of Esteem For The Singular Worth
And In Affectionate Remembrance Of The Many Virtues
      Of The Deceased,
This Tablet Is Erected By 

Colonel Lindesay C.B. And His Brother Officers.

Source: MA,SJ,H, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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