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Charley is praised for his efforts
Title : Charley is praised for his efforts Charley is praised for his efforts
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Creator : Warburton, Peter Egerton, 1813-1889
Source : Journey across the western interior of Australia, p. 250
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Sampson Low
Date of creation : 1875
Format : Book
Catalogue record
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Description :

Explorer, Peter Egerton Warburton praises Charley, the expedition's Aboriginal guide for his efforts in finding water, without which the whole party would have died of thirst. He also records that Charley had nearly missed the expedition altogether.

In 1872 Warburton led the first crossing from the centre of Australia to the west across the Great Sandy Desert. The expedition left Alice Springs in April 1873 but almost perished in the severe heat and had to kill some of their seventeen camels for food. Warburton delayed departure as long as he could after Charley had left to search for water but had then decided he could wait no longer. On 5 November 1873 the group left camp to try to reach the Oakover River, 800 miles north of Perth.

Charley's acute hearing enabled him to hear the party's camel bells and he then changed his return route to catch up with the expedition. Charley had tracked some Aboriginal people to their water supply, which saved the lives of the explorers. This was not the only time that he would use his bushcraft to save the men's lives.

When they reached the Oakover River nine months later, Warburton was unable to walk, blind in one eye and near death. He attributed the expedition's survival to his Aboriginal companion Charley. Warburton received various honours for the achievement but always publicly acknowledged Charley's contribution in public appearances and in his journal Journey Across the Western Interior of Australia which was published in London in 1875.

Related names :

Charley (Aboriginal man)

Warburton, Peter Egerton, 1813-1889

Coverage year : 1873
Period : 1852-1883
Place : Great Sandy Desert (WA)
Further reading :

Dunn, Margaret The captain, the colonel and the bishop Adelaide: Crawford House Press, 2004

Kelly, Kieran, Tanami: on foot across Australia's desert heart Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2003

McLaren, Glen Beyond Leichhardt: bushcraft and the exploration of Australia South Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1996

Warburton, Peter Egerton, Journey across the western interior of Australia Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1968

Internet links :
Dictionary of Australian Biography: see Peter Egerton Warburton
Exhibitions and events :

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



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