The Victoria River District
"The Victoria River District Doomsday Book" by Dr Darrell Lewis
Free to Download
If you enjoy Ord-Victoria (Rivers Region - Kimberley & NT) - A short history of each station, with biographies on Managers, Stockmen & others, from woe to go for each station, people, places and events, then get "The Victoria River District Doomsday Book," (FREE) Compiled as a PDF, with information from hundreds of people, written by Darrell Lewis. If you have not seen this then you must (as a free download). Look up your favourite stations or characters and read about what really did happen - truth telling in action.
Because there has been some confusion with older versions of this that remain online at ANU and NT Library, Darrell has placed the latest version (2nd online edition 2021) of his compilation, with additional photographs and updated information, at his own link.
Download the LATEST version Here!
"The Victoria River District Doomsday Book," (2nd online edition 2021) from here. https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/kfmnz/
Since 2010 the Kununurra Museum has been contributing information for Darrell to update entries and so mentioned in acknowledgements at back of this book, which will likely continue to evolve.
Make sure you have the latest version. Lewis, Darrell. 2022. “The Victoria River District Doomsday Book.” SocArXiv. December 9 2022.
2009 & 2010 - Field Trips - BFTA (with KHS & HSNT)
In 2009 and 2010 the Kununurra Historical Society was meeting up with the Historical Society of the NT to go on field trips in each of those years, to Timber Creek. We were allowed access across the gated bridge the Defense Department had made across the Victoria River to access their "Bradshaw Field Training Area" (BFTA) - They were letting us in for the long weekend, to survey historic sites on Bradshaw. This had been successful in 2009 and in 2010 we were allowed to stay in some of the Officer's quarters accommodation.
In preparation for the 2010 field trip, I had started transcribing the hand-written diary of Joseph Bradshaw. I had completed about five pages, when I realised that a copy at NT library stated it had been transcribed by Darrell Lewis. So I emailed Darrell (attaching my five transcribed pages) to ask if he had transcribed all, is there any chance of saving me some work and emailing me a copy. Within a matter of no time at all Darrell had sent his entire transcription and promised to drop in later in the year.
2010 - Duncan road - Ord-Negri Junction Field Trip with DL
When Darrell came into Kununurra Museum, he enjoyed seeing what was being done and later joined up as a financial life member of KHS. That year we travelled up and down the Duncan road, looking for explorer marked trees and any historic sites. Visiting the old Ord River station, and its lonely cemetery, where we cleaned up the graves of Tudor Shadforth and his mate, "the Scrub Bull," Duncan McCauley, who had wanted to be buried near his mate, Tudor Shadforth, who he had carried back after he'd been speared in the Osmand Valley.
2010-07-26 - Ord River Station - Ord-Negri History Field Trip - AB's Montage - Below - Ord River Station Cemetery on the same day - Showing the grave markers of Duncan McCauley and Tudor Shadforth. - Ord-Negri History Field Trip - Photographs by Darrell Lewis donated to the Kununurra Historical Society Archive No. KHS-2017-82
So it was back in 2010 that I first saw Darrell's "Victoria River District Doomsday Book," and it was not a PDF but a hard copy that Darrell had printed out, and although it has changed and been added to since 2010, the gist was there. It amazed me to be able to look up a station to read a short history, or look up a person, known from history. As well as that he also had a print-out version of his manuscript for "A Wild History - Life & Death on the Victoria River Frontier" - We'd be sitting around, out bush, after dinner and Darrell would say, "Aren't you going to read another chapter?" Being keen for any feedback on his about-to-be new book. So I would get the head torch on and read another chapter, picking typos, or adding info in the wide margins, as suggested by the author. It was wonderful to be reading a book that was about to be published. The corrections and notes I had made must have been worth something as Darrell does give me an acknowledgement in this book and in his book, "Where is Dr Leichhardt? - The Greatest Mystery in Australian History"