Jandamarra was a Bunuba man, employed as a tracker by police.
Born in 1873, the settlers called him ‘Pigeon’ but he gave them little peace.
Forced to track and capture his own people, he turned hard against the law.
And organised armed insurrections against the settlers he worked for.
For three years he fought a against the police and settlers far and near,
His hit and run tactics were legendary, as was his ability to disappear.
It was first of April, eighteen ninety seven, in fading light of day.
He was trapped at Tunnel Creek, where he made his final play
Jandamarra knew the country and the layout of the cave,
But he faced another tracker who was equally as brave.
The police blocked off the exits on both sides of the range.
Then worked forward under lamplight in that underworld so strange.
A tracker working with police of the fugitive caught a sight.
And in the ensuing shoot-out, came out the victor in the fight.
Jandammarra’s family claimed his body and carried it home
His home was in the Napier Range, where he used to roam.
Buried inside a boab tree, to the Bunuba he was a legend.
They lamented for the warrior who bravely faced his end.
The story of Jandamarra is part of the history of the West.
The state of Western Australia of such stories is blessed.
‘Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance”; a non-fiction essay,
And The Battle of Tunnel Creek was written as a stage play.
Gordon Nightingale is an author and poet. Although no longer a Daylesford local, he continues to make occasional contributions to the Wombat Post. For more information about the Battle of Tunnel Creek see an ABC story at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-04/iconic-australian-landscape-home-to-fierce-warrior/9936054