June 28, 1861

Australian explorer Robert O’Hara Burke, born in Co. Galway, died on this day in 1861. Burke, who had migrated to Australia in 1853 after a short military and police career, and was appointed to lead the Victorian Exploring Expedition in 1860. He partnered with William John Wills as surveyor and the party set out with the goal of discovering a south to north route through Australia. Burke was inexperienced in bushcraft, and ultimately the expedition failed with the death of seven members including himself.

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