The Attack Creek Historical Reserve is a memorial to the explorer
John McDouall Stuart. The creek is the point from which Stuart turned
back from his 1860 expedition to cross the continent, after an
encounter with hostile Warumunga Aboriginal people. The memorial
recalls that 'On 25 June 1860 John McDouall Stuart and his two
companions William Kekwick and Benjamin Head reached Attack Creek the
most northerly point of that expedition. Hostile natives and illness
forced the party to return'.
Location: 74km north of Tennant Creek along the Stuart Highway.
The Reserve site does not have any direct physical association with
Stuart or the events of June 1860 at Barrow Creek (see below). The site
was chosen as a memorial road-stop and rest area. A short walk down the
creek from the monument you can see where the old Stuart Highway once
ran to the east of the current road.
Barrow Creek killing
In June 1870 some 3,000 sheep from the Lake Hope area in South
Australia were overlanded to the Northern Territory, for the men
working on the line at Roper River, by Ralph and John Milner. Near
Wauchope Creek they lost 900 sheep which had eaten poisonous herbage.
John Milner was killed by the Aborigines and Ralph arrived at the Roper
River with only 1,000 sheep.
Constable Shirley Memorial
Located at the reserve is a plaque commemorates Constable John
Charles Shirley , the first policeman to lose his life in the
Northern territory. In October 1883, Harry Redford was reported
missing from Brunette Downs Station in the Northern Territory. A search
party was mounted under the direction of Mounted Constable John Charles
Shirley. The party was comprised of eight men and eighteen horses.