John Scanlon

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The Eureka Stockade.
‘ Dhudeen” writes:—The Eureka stockade conflict, which occurred in Ballarat, Victoria, in the digging days, between the miners and British troops, is revived in the memories of Australians by the death, the other day, of Dr. John Scanlon at Mardella (Vic.) at the age of 70. Dr. Scanlon was one of those who was under arms when Peter Lalor and Verne raised the famous Southern Cross flag, and he fought beside Lalor when the troops made their surprise attack. The history of the Eureka stockade is well known. The diggers resented the methods of the police in regard to the supervision of diggers’ licences, and, failing redress, the diggers took up arms against the authorities. The attack made by the soldiers was disastrous to the rebels. Their leader (Lalor) fell wounded, but lay in concealment until he effected his escape to Melbourne. He lost an arm in the fight, but the Government was not satisfied with that, and sought to get possession of his bead, offering a substantial price for it. Later on, Lalor was pardoned, and eventually became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria. Dr. Scanlon, whose death is now chronicled, was one of the little remnant of surviving diggers who escaped after the conflict. The site of the Eureka Stockade is now marked by a massive monument erected to the memory of the fallen diggers by appreciative colonists.
I have every reason to remember the locality of the Stockade. It was there I passed the best period of my life, my term of boyhood, amid the stirring incidents of the early days of Ballarat. And it was there that I made a hero of myself, in my own eyes, at any rate, by emptying an old blunderbuss into a Chinaman, accidentally in self-defence. When a man's career is accompanied by bad luck the common remark is, "You must have shot a Chinaman.” I plead guilty to the soft impeachment, and my Jonahistic characteristics are therefore explained in one act.[1]


  1. Hobart Critic, 11 June 1910