Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

James Poole's Grave - oil painting

Oil painting of James Poole's grave at Depot Glen between Tibooburra and Milparinka NSW. Poole was second in command of Charles Sturt's expedition and died in July 1845 from scurvy.

John Pooles Grave

Charles Sturt's expedition to central Australia in search of an inland sea left Adelaide in August 1844 with 15 men, six drays, a boat and 200 sheep. James Poole was second in command.  They were delayed at Depot Glen for six months due to drought and lack of water. Sturt recorded "-the heat as being so intense that his finger nails became brittle, and the ink dried on his pen almost before he had time to use it".  Some of the party contracted scurvy due to the poor diet and this included James Poole who became very ill. Sturt arranged for him and a third of the party to be taken back to Adelaide but Poole died on the day after they set off.

Poole's body was returned to Sturt's camp where he was buried under a tree described as a Grevillea striata -locally known then as "beef wood" - and a blaze was cut in the tree with " JP 1845" carved on it. 

The oil painting shows the tree and also Daniel George Brock who was a teamster on the expedition. On the back of the painting is the inscription "Presented to the Society by Mr A S Doolette (of Broken Hill) June 27th 1892."

In 1883 a sandstone cairn was erected at the site in memory of Poole.

Trove - Guide to the papers of Charles Sturt, Collection No.403, National Library of Australia

Proceedings of RGS Vol. XXIV 1922-1923 p.40, Dodwell G F BA FRAS, Government Astronomer of SA,

"South Australian Solar Eclipse, Expedition to Cordillo Downs, 1922".