State Library of Victoria \ Dig: the Burke & Wills research gateway
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» John King (1841-72)

John King (1841-72)

King, like Burke, was an Irishman and a soldier. But unlike Burke he had seen action, having fought in some of the main battles of the Indian Mutiny (1857-58). He was recruited in India by Landells when the latter was buying camels and distinguished himself in the last stages of the Expedition by his stamina and good sense.

After Burke and Wills had died, he attached himself to the local Aborigines, and thanks to their hospitality, managed to survive another three and a half months until the arrival of Alfred William Howitt. He returned to Melbourne and was rewarded with a life pension. His health had been permanently broken by the hardships of the expedition, and he died at the age of 31.