1. List: Harry the Camel who "shot" J.A. Horrocks
    Harry the Camel who
    Public

    “CAMEL SHOOTS MAN”

    The camel's name was "Harry" and he belonged to (explorer) John Ainsworth Horrocks. Harry is the main actor in a modern joke: Horrocks is described as the only man to be killed by being shot by a camel.

    But the facts do get in the way of this good story. When did this joke begin? (It’s not so funny when we know what happened to the camel.) The incident on 1 September 1846 was one in which the three European expeditioners, as well as Harry, played a part.

    The obvious reason for the ultimately fatal accident was Horrocks' own lack of caution in his rush to shoot a bird specimen. Horrocks: “the camel gave a lurch to one side, and caught his pack on the cock of my gun, which discharged the barrel I was unloading”.

    The earliest reference I can find to the humorous twist of Harry "shooting" Horrocks is 1984 book "Memories in Stone ...". From then on, this theme has attracted eyeballs to books, articles, exhibitions and tweets. Harry was even styled as “murderous” in @StateRecordsSA (well-intentioned but misguided) tweet.

    But we only have to look at the several paintings by S.T. Gill to see Harry is not portrayed as murderous (if that were even possible).

    So what happened to Harry? A 1925 report says Horrocks ordered Harry's execution to prevent his men "wreak(ing) vengeance on the unfortunate beast". This makes almost no sense.

    "Camel shoots Man" is more attention grabbing than the reverse. But now you know that Harry was a scape-camel for Horrocks’ own impatience and carelessness.

    19 items
    created by: coombe.id.au on 2019-10-21 11:21:47.0
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  1. Web page: Invalid's tent, salt lake 75 miles north-west of Mount Arden
    http://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/agsa/home/Collection/detail.jsp?accNo=0.1253
    Web page
    Note

    2019-10-21 12:07:36.0

    This painting by S.T. Gill shows Harry - and also Gill himself reclined outside Horrocks' tent - on the day of the accident - 1 September 1846.

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  2. Camp in desert, Sept. 1st / S.T.G
    Gill, Samuel Thomas, 1818-1880
    [ Art work : 1846 ]
    View online
    At National Library
    Camp in desert, Sept. 1st / S.T.G
    Note

    2019-10-22 10:52:08.0

    Painting by S.T. Gill. Left to right: Gill, Kilroy, Horrocks' dog, camel, Horrocks side-on in background up a tree. Likely the morning of the accident - 1 September 1846.

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  3. [Salt Lake, N.W. of Mt Arden, Horrocks' N.W. Expedition]
    [ Art work : 1846 ]
    View online
    At State Library S Aust
    [Salt Lake, N.W. of Mt Arden, Horrocks' N.W. Expedition]
    Note

    2019-10-22 10:52:33.0

    Painting by S.T. Gill. Left to right: Bernard Kilroy, S.T. Gill, John Ainsworth Horrocks, one of Horrocks' dogs, Harry the camel.

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  4. EXPEDITION TO THE NORTH-WEST.
    South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register (Adelaide, SA : 1845 - 1847) Saturday 19 September 1846 p 2 Article
    Abstract: WE announced last week the unfortunate termination of the expedition to the north-west of Lake Torrens, under the direction of Mr J. A. Horrocks, Yes ... 1144 words
    Digitised article icon
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    2019-10-21 14:09:01.0

    Letter from J.A. Horrocks, Depot Creek, 8th September, 1846.

    In rounding this lake—which I named Lake Gill — Bernard Kilroy, who was walking ahead of the party, stopped, saying he saw a beautiful bird, which he recommended me to shoot to add to the collection. My gun being loaded with slugs in one barrel and ball in the other, I stopped the camel to get at the shot belt which couldn't get without his laying down. Whilst Mr Gill was unfastening it I was screwing the ramrod into the wad over the slugs, standing close alongside of the camel. At this moment the camel gave a lurch to one side, and caught his pack on the cock of my gun, which discharged the barrel I was unloading, the contents of which first took off the middle finger of my right hand between the second and third joints, and entered my left cheek by my lower jaw, knocking out a row of teeth from my upper jaw.

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  5. PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.—EXPEDITION TO THE NORTH-WEST.
    South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register (Adelaide, SA : 1845 - 1847) Saturday 10 October 1846 p 4 Article
    Abstract: We have been favored by Mr Gill the Artist, who accompanied Mr Horrocks on his decent [?] expedition to the North-west, with the following notes of t ... 4816 words
    Digitised article icon
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    2019-10-21 11:46:59.0

    S.T. Gill's expedition journal.

    Had walked about one hour when Kilroy, the man, called Mr H.'s attention to a bird which he saw in some scrub just before us; we stopped for Mr H. to prepare to shoot it. The camel knelt down for me to get at the shot-belt, while Mr H. drew his charge of slugs close by; the beast lurched with his load on the near side on which we stood, when the saddle hove down on the hammers of the gun; on its slipping off, the right-hand barrel, with the ramrod in it, went off, taking off the middle finger of Mr H.'s right hand, and lodging the charge in his left cheek. He instantly fell back, bleeding copiously.

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  6. Bill Skelton and his Gun.
    Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954) Friday 20 August 1880 p 4 Article
    Abstract: Before commencing my yarn about Bill, a glimpse of the country, at the time his mistake occurred may not be deem'd uninteresting. 1813 words
    Digitised article icon
    Note

    2019-10-21 11:21:47.0

    I may here mention that Mr. Horrocks had a camel, because that particular camel belongs or has a place in our history... He went exploring, and while camping or resting, his loaded double barrel, with its butt on the ground was leaning against the camel, the beast shook itself and somehow caused the gun to go off, the charge lodged in Mr. Horrocks head, he was brought back to Penwortham, and there died, the camel was shot over his grave by his brother Mr. Arthur Horrocks.

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  7. EARLY CLARE. INTERESTING LANDMARKS.
    The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) Thursday 21 October 1920 p 9 Article
    Abstract: The Clare Show—held on Wednesday—always recalls a host of former worthies in the district. Foremost comes Edward Burton Gleeson the founder of Clare. ... 1190 words
    Digitised article icon
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    2019-10-22 10:53:40.0

    In 1846 Mr. Gleeson shot the camel belonging to Horrock's expedition, which was the indirect cause of the explorers death. He did this by the dying man's request. He was so much affected by his friend's tragic ending that his hand was unsteady, and he missed his aim. The animal reared with the pain and bit the head of the blackfellow who was holding it. The coup de grace was given by the grandfather of J. G. Darmody, late of Anama.

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  8. THE FOUND OF CLARE. THE LATE MR. E. B. GLEESON.
    Blyth Agriculturist (SA : 1908 - 1954) Friday 6 June 1924 p 4 Article
    Abstract: A true specimen of the fine old Irish gentleman was Edward Burton Gleeson, known familiarly as Paddy Gleeson, the 1808 words
    Digitised article icon
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    2019-10-21 12:33:09.0

    In 1846 Mr. Gleeson shot the camel whose spiteful nature was the indirect cause of the death of the explorer J. A. Horrocks. He did this upon the dying man's orders, but was so upset over the tragedy which cost Horrocks his life that his aim was unsteady, and the bullet failed to find vital spot, and the job was finished by another man.

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  9. SOME NORTHERN CEMETERIES.
    Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931) Saturday 11 April 1925 p 16 Article
    Abstract: St. Marie's Church, Penwortham, which is in the seventy-fifth year of its existence, has a churchyard around it containing many interesting graves. W ... 1112 words
    Digitised article icon
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    2019-10-21 12:55:45.0

    [Horrocks] ordered the grave to be bricked in and told Theakston what he wished carved upon his tomb-stone. His friend, John Jacobs, of Woodlands, read the service at the funeral. Immediately after, the camel which was the indirect cause of his accident was shot by his orders because he feared that his men, in their grief for him, would wreak vengeance on the unfortunate beast. Mr. E. B. Gleeson undertook to shoot it, and Jimmy Moorhouse, the black boy, held the camel. Mr. Gleeson's hand was unsteady and he missed his aim. The animal reared with pain and bit the blackboy's head. Darmody, grandfather of J. G. Darmody, late of Anama, ran in and gave the coup de grace. Mrs. Gleeson nursed the blackboy, as he was bitten severely. Mrs. Ayliffe, Mrs. Gleeson's only surviving daughter, remembers the incident perfectly, though only a child at the time.

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  10. Memories in stone : a collection of plaques recording historic events and people of South Australia / Eric Gunton
    Gunton, Eric, 1911-
    [ Book : 1984 ]
    At 22 libraries
    Memories in stone : a collection of plaques recording historic events and people of South Australia / Eric Gunton
    Note

    2019-10-21 12:50:35.0

    Is this the beginning of "the explorer shot by his camel"?

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  11. Book review Historic events, people recalled
    Victor Harbour Times (SA : 1932 - 1986) Friday 11 January 1985 p 14 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: A collection of plaques recording historic events and people of South Australia...That is "Memories in Stone", the new book by Adelaide author Eric G ... 460 words
    Digitised article icon
    Note

    2019-10-21 13:30:38.0

    'Memories in Stone', the new book by Adelaide author Eric Gunton ... how explorer John Horrocks was 'the first and only Australian to have been shot by a camel, for the gun was jolted by the camel and Horrocks was fatally wounded.'

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  12. ART S.T. Gill, one of our greats S.T. GILL, THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN YEARS, National Library of Australia. Close April 30.
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Thursday 26 March 1987 p 18 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: AGAINST the dreary background of Australian painting of the 1840s, S.T. Gill emerges as a creative giant Born in Somerset, England, in 1818 to 607 words
    Digitised article icon
    Note

    2019-10-21 12:45:23.0

    [S.T. Gill] accompanied John Horrocks on his ill-fated expedition of exploration which ended tragically when the leader was "shot" by camel, Harry

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  13. Explorer shot by camel THE EXPLORATION OF AUSTRALIA. By Michael Cannon. Reader's Digest. 304pp. $39.95. AUSTRALIA: The Spirit of a Nation. By Michael Cannon. Penguin Books. 224pp. $45.00.
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Wednesday 17 August 1988 p 26 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: ON JUNE 4, 1823, Commander Mark Currie, RN, met some Aborigines near where Michelago now stands. He 689 words
    • Text last corrected on 23 February 2017 by elclare
    Digitised article icon
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    2019-10-22 10:57:28.0

    BOOK REVIEW: THE EXPLORATION OF AUSTRALIA, by Michael Cannon.
    ... the tragic drama of John Horrocks, the young South Australian who was shot by his own camel in 1846.

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  14. Climbing Mt Exmouth
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Radio National
    [ Sound : 2006 ]
    View online
    At ABC Radio National
    Climbing Mt Exmouth
    Note

    2019-10-21 13:14:33.0

    1:52 Peter Macinnis: "I rode camels in central Australia a couple of years back In part to work out how John Horrocks came to be shot by his camel."

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  15. Australia's pioneers, heroes & fools : the trials, tribulations and tricks of the trade of Australia's colonial explorers / Peter MacInnis
    Macinnis, Peter
    [ Book, Audio book : 2007-2010 ]
    At 104 libraries
    Australia's pioneers, heroes & fools : the trials, tribulations and tricks of the trade of Australia's colonial explorers / Peter MacInnis
  16. Web page: The Camels are Coming - Peter Maciniss' blog
    https://oldblockwriter.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-camels-are-coming.html
    Web page
    Note

    2019-10-22 11:11:00.0

    The issue at hand: how Harry the Camel shot John Horrocks ... It was agreed by all that Harry the camel must die for his part in the death of his master (Horrocks had recommended that it be done, but only in order that the good name of camels should be no further besmirched by Harry and his antics). When the first bullet did not kill him, Harry turned and bit the head of Jimmy Moorhouse who was holding him, but the second bullet settled his fate.

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  17. Web page: Tweet by State Records of SA (@StateRecordsSA) 7/5/18, 1:20 pm
    https://twitter.com/StateRecordsSA/status/993329698154266625
    Web page
    Note

    2019-10-21 12:14:43.0

    This is Harry the Camel, he is famous for shooting the explorer John Horrocks. Find out why art depicting the murderous camel was among the first collected by the @artgalleryofsa at our @historyfestival event Colonial Art Exhibitions in South Australia

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  18. Horrocks, John Ainsworth (1818-1846)
    Pastoralist; Explorer
    Note

    2019-10-22 11:03:57.0

    Trove person record for Horrocks.

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  19. Gill, Samuel Thomas (1818-1880)
    Artist; Photographer; Cartoonist / Illustrator; Printmaker; Painter; Draughtsman
    Note

    2019-10-22 11:04:15.0

    Trove person record for Gill.

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