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Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A monument commemorates Charley Gray, who was a member of the Burke and Wills` Victoria Exploring Expedition in 1860 and 1861. 

Born in Scotland, Gray had been a sailor before settling in Victoria, and came with a good recommendation as a bushman. Burke met and hired him in Swan Hill, one of the many impulsive hirings he indulged in during the early stages of the expedition. Gray, with Burke, Wills and John King, made the journey from Cooper's Creek to Carpentaria, but suffering more severely from malnutrition, he died on the return. In the agonies of dysentery, he stole flour from the common store when all were on starvation rations, but Burke did his own reputation no good by 'thrashing' Gray for this offence.

The exhausted travellers spent a full day burying Gray when he died - had they not done so, they would have arrived back at Cooper's Creek in time to meet Brahe and be rescued.


Address:McCallum Street, James Belsar Reserve, Swan Hill, 3585
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.337956
Long: 143.562139
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:06-September-1860
Actual Event End Date:17-April-1861


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 17th April, 2011
Front Inscription

Charley Gray Was An Ostler At The
Lower Murray Inn, Swan Hill,
When He Was Recruited For His Bush Skills
And Horsemanship On The
Burke And Wills Expedition In September 1860.

Gray, Along With Robert O`Hara Burke,
William Wills And Survivor John King
Are Recognised As The First Explorers To Cross
The Australian Continent From Sth. To Nth.

Gray Died On The Return Journey
Of The Expedition On 17 April, 1861.

Unveiled By Councillor Greg Cruikshank
Mayor, Swan Hill Rural City Council 17 April 2011.
Swan Hill Genealogical and Historical Society Inc.

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