Eureka 46, 1900

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Newsworthy

Ballarat Star December 3rd 1900 Page 2, col 5.

At daybreak forty-six years ago to-day, the history-making contests between about 200 diggers and 267 regulars and troopers took place at the Eureka Stockade. The troops engaged in the encounter comprised 117 men of the 40th Regiment, 70 mounted police, 65 men of the 12th Regiment, and 24 foot police. As the diggers were strongly entrenched, though armed in a most primitive manner, Captain Wise, who was the officer in command, determined upon a surprise attack, and so successfully was this carried out that when the troops stormed the stockade there were only about 200 diggers within the enclosure. They fought stubbornly, but discipline, favoured by the unexpectedness of the onslaught, prevailed. From 30 to 40 of the diggers were either killed outright or died subsequently of their wounds, while there were 125 prisoners taken. Of the attacking force, three privates were killed, and one died subsequently of his wounds, while Captain Wise also succumbed to his injuries a few days after the fight. Whether the great injustice under which the diggers were then living would have been remedied without this evidence of determination, is a matter for speculation, but it is certain that many of the disadvantages were removed shortly afterwards. The supposed site of the contest – or a spot somewhere near the site – is now marked by an ornamental reserve, upon which obsolete cannon have been placed. As for those who took part in the memorable struggle are now few and far between, and soon the individual who can truthfully say, “I took part in the Eureka riots,” will be extremely difficult to find.[1]
  1. Ballarat Star, 3 December 1900