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» William Brahe (1835-1912)

William Brahe (1835-1912)

Born in Germany, Brahe came to Victoria in 1852. He had worked on the goldfields and was an experienced handler of cattle, horses and wagons. When Burke set out from Cooper's Creek on his 'dash' to the Gulf of Carpentaria, he left Brahe in charge of the camp. After waiting more than four months, and with his own supplies running low, Brahe decided to abandon the camp on 21 April 1861.

When it was subsequently realised that Burke, Wills and King had arrived at the deserted camp some eight hours later, Brahe found himself at the centre of a furious controversy. Had he abandoned the camp contrary to Burke's instructions? In fact, Burke had failed to document his instructions to Brahe, and the conflicting accounts of these were never reconciled.