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» Charlie Gray (? -1861)

Charlie Gray (? -1861)

Born in Scotland, Gray had been a sailor before settling in Victoria, and came with a good recommendation as a bushman. Burke met and hired him in Swan Hill, one of the many impulsive hirings he indulged in during the early stages of the expedition.

Gray, with Burke, Wills and John King, made the journey from Cooper's Creek to Carpentaria, but suffering more severely from malnutrition, he died on the return. In the agonies of dysentery, he stole flour from the common store when all were on starvation rations, but Burke did his own reputation no good by 'thrashing' Gray for this offence.

The exhausted travellers spent a full day burying Gray when he died - had they not done so, they would have arrived back at Cooper's Creek in time to meet Brahe and be rescued.