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Bejah and Warrior
Title : Bejah and Warrior Bejah and Warrior
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Creator : Williams & Jackson, photographer
Date of creation : ca. 1896
Additional Creator : Calvert Scientific Exploring Expedition (1896-1897)
Format : Photograph
Catalogue record
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Description :

Camels used by the Calvert Expedition 1896-97.

Bejah Dervish, head cameleer for the Calvert Scientific Exploring Expedition holds the head rope for Warrior, which was the favourite riding camel of Larry Wells, leader of the expedition. There were both riding camels and baggage camels in the expedition and Bejah, together with Said Ameer were responsible for the camels.

After leaving Mullewa, the expedition headed north, exploring into the last remaining blanks on the Australian map. They were heading into the Little and the Great Sandy Deserts, and the year was already particularly dry and hot.

Camels are susceptible to poisoning by a number of Australian plants, and quite adept at finding them. Dosing them with Epson salts was generally effective, but they also needed access to reasonable water supplies as well. Water very quickly became in short supply, and increasingly difficult to find.
As the expedition advanced, Bejah and Wells became confident in each other's abilities at finding water supplies and feed. They would move ahead of the main party, locate the water, and then return and bring the main party forward. However by the end of the expedition many of the camels had died of thirst, heat, and poisonous plants.
Related names :

Calvert Scientific Exploring Expedition (1896-1897)

Dervish, Bejah d.1957

Wells, L.A. (Lawrence Allen), 1860-1938

Coverage year : 1896
Place : Mullewa (WA)
Further reading :
McKnight, Tom L. The camel in Australia [Melbourne]: Melbourne University Press, [1969]
Stevens, Christine, Tin mosques & ghantowns: a history of Afghan cameldrivers in Australia Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1989
Journal of the Calvert Scientific Exploring Expedition, 1896-7: equipped at the request and expense of Albert F. Calvert, Esq., F.R.G.S., London for the purpose of exploring the remaining blanks of Australia Perth [W.A.]: Government Printer, 1902
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. Taking it to the edge August 2004-



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