DEATHS AT EUREKA
An extract from her book Deaths at Eureka
Martin Diamond owned a store on 'Eureka'. On December 3rd, 1854 he was shot by troopers inside his store and in front of his wife. Alpheus Boynton wrote in his diary.
"The conduct of the soldiers generally through the whole has been anything but that of men, and some have brought upon themselves everlasting disgrace, for what true soldier would discharge his musket at an innocent and helpless female standing in front of her tent? and yet such was the case with some of the brutes clothed in uniform."
Martin's wife, Anne applied for compensation from the government for property (to the value of 600 pounds) destroyed by the Military and Police at the time of the attack and stated in her application that her husband had been shot inside his store.
Martin was born in Castle Clare, Co Clare, Ireland and was only 23 years old when he died of gunshot wounds and was buried at Ballarat. His death was not registered until 20th June 1855 at Ballarat by the Deputy Registrar, William Thomas Poole.
There have been many 'lists', (Lalor's is one), about those who were killed and wounded at the Eureka Riots but some consecutively entered deaths found at the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages are, I believe, the only official listing of all those killed at the Eureka Riots. There were 27 names registered by William Thomas Poole in the Ballarat District Register on 20th June 1855. The reason for the late registration (7 mths after the riots) is not clear, but could be due to the fact that Martial Law was proclaimed in Ballarat and its environs after the attack on Eureka. The insurgents were accused of treason. Many fled to the surrounding bush and most likely a good many more died a lonely death or suffered the agony of their wounds, hidden from the authorities for fear of repercussions.
At least five soldiers died of wounds inflicted. Private William Webb, 19 years, died on the 5th December from gunshot wounds. He had been in Victoria one month! He was a member of the 12th Regiment that had arrived in Melbourne aboard the Empress Eugene on 6th November 1854 and had left for Ballarat on the 27th November. Henry Christopher Wise, only 26 years old, born in Rome and Captain of the 40th Regiment died 18 days after the event and is interred at the Ballarat Cemetery. In eyewitness accounts he is portrayed as gallantly leading his command in the attack on the Stockade and being shot in the leg, but, it was thought, not dangerously! He continued his assault on the stockade and was then fatally wounded. Privates Joseph Wall, aged 20 years from Westmore, Somerset, and Michael Roney, aged 21 years from Ireland, were both in the 40th Regiment and who gallantly fighting were killed on the same day, that fateful third of December, 1854. Felix Boyle, a private in the 12th Regiment, aged 32 years from Monagh, Ireland, died of gunshot wounds on the 10th January, 1855.
The establishment was worried when the funeral procession for the diggers wound its way to the Ballarat Cemetery and would not allow it to pass near the Camp. However, it proceeded in an orderly fashion and was one of the largest funerals seen for its time. According to Alpheus Boynton, a carter, who resided in Geelong,
"A number of dray loads of dead bodies were taken to the burying ground about a mile on Sunday. Many have died since of their wounds, both diggers and soldiers. We were on our way to Ballarat and met coffins, and men with broken limbs returning to Geelong."
Although the name of Thaddeus Moore appears on the Eureka Monument, in the Ballarat Old Cemetery he was buried at Geelong on the 4th December, 1854. He was only 21 yrs old and the informant on his death certificate, Patrick Smyth (Roman Catholic Priest, St Alipius, Ballarat), described him as a miner, his birth place being Co Clare, Ireland. Eleven miners came from Ireland, others from Canada, Wurtemberg, England, Novia Scotia, Petersburg, Wales, Scotland, Elberfeldt, Prussia, Rome and one from Goulburn, NSW.
This mixture of humanity was:
"surprised by the government troops in the morning 3rd Dec, and completely routed after a spirited fight of fifteen or twenty minutes. The number kill(sic) on both sides abot(sic) 30- & many wounded- 130 prisoners were taken by the victors, who committed all the brutalities of the darker ages; numbers of innocent persons fell victims to their blood thirstyness. Martial law was proclaimed by the governor and the prisoners were to be tried by court martial, but were subsequently examined and all discharged but 11, who were committed on ? of treason, they were tried by jury and found "not guilty"- a complete defeat of the government. This outbreak has produced good effects. It has opened the eyes of government, shown that the people are not satisfied with the law on the diggings, as it was continually represented, by its advisors and led to the appointment of a "Committee of investigation" who visited the different gold fields and advised the abolition of the License fee and the substitution of an export duty on gold, besides many more excellent reformations."
Dorothy Wickham 1998
Ballarat Heritage Services
P O Box 2209, Ballarat Mail Centre, 3354
List of Those Killed at Eureka
REGISTERED 2OTH JUNE 1855
BY WILLIAM THOMAS POOLE
|3244||CAPTAIN CHARLES ROSS|
|3260||HENRY CHRISTOPHER WISE|
The above names are entered consecutively in the Victorian Death Register and occupy about four pages.
My sincere thanks to Mr John Scarce for his kind permission to extract burials for the Ballarat district in order to complete our cemetery listings. Also a special thank you to Ian Willcox who patiently deciphered names from the register so that it was possible to discover the deaths that occurred at 'Eureka'. Thanks must go to Elaine Stevens too, without whom this would not have been possible.
The proud faces of the veterans of Eureka stare at us from the photograph, taken in 1904, at the Jubilee Celebrations. They are so upright, so honest, and wearing the blue ribbons presented to them on this auspicious occasion so proudly.
Eureka Jubilee Celebrations, Eureka Monument, Ballarat 1904.