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Bilbarka, 4 October 1860.

"Memoirs of the Late Leaders of the Exploring Expedition", Age, 13 November 1861: 5.

Frederick Standish was Chief Police Commissioner in Victoria and Burke's commander, and later one of Burke's pall-bearers at his funeral. Standish was a founding committee member and Chairman of the VRC between 1879 and 1883 was responsible for the introduction of the Melbourne Cup. He was forced into retirement as a result of the findings of the Royal Commission held after Ned Kelly's trial.


Blue Background

On the Darling,
4th October 1860.

My Dear Standish,

I recieved your letter and was glad to hear of the safe arrival of your friend B-------. We have been resting here a few days, awaiting the arrival of our baggage, which has just come up. To-morrow we proceed on, and I shall not delay anywhere untill I reach Cooper's Creek - being an Irishman I must add, unless I can help it.

I leave the hired waggons and my own behind. The accursed implements, the ruin of so many expeditions, I am determined shall not ruin me.

We all march on foot three or four hundred miles at all events, and the horses and camels will have to carry our weight in provisions.

We have already done so for the last forty miles. You should have seen old Becker's face, upon my announcing that all the officers would have to act as working men, and that we should only carry 30. lbs weight of baggage for each man.

Loading camels and then marching twenty miles is no joke. The first two days nearly cooked poor Becker, and I think he will not be able to stand it much longer.

I am confident of success and willling to accept the alternative of success or disgrace, although faliure is possible. This self-imposed task (as you call it) is no sinecure, and I think it will take the sting out of me if I see it out.

Good-bye my dear Standish.

From yours, ever sincerely,
R O'Hara Burke.



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