The Amazing Story Of Halls Creek And Death

Halls Creek is a fairly modern town in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia and the only sizable town for 600 km on the Highway.

However, it's not the first attempt at a Halls Creek township. On Christmas Day 1885 prospector Charlie Hall found a 870-gram (28-troy-ounce) gold nugget at a site that would eventually be named after him. News of the discovery drew more than 15,000 people to what is now Old Halls Creek to try their luck however the gold rush lasted less than three months and the town was left with few inhabitants and little water.

In 1948 an airfield was built near the site of the present town and over the next decade the old town moved nearer to this new site. Except for the police station, which was finally relocated in 1961, the old town was abandoned by 1954.

Question: WHAT, or WHO, was the old police station policing for, weird!

So, that's where the story of the Halls Creek towns would fade away as a small mention in a local museum if it wasn't for Jimmy Darcy and the Reverend John Flynn.

Flynn's missionary work involved the establishment of hospitals in bush communities, but this did not help those who lived far from any major community. In his public speaking he would often retell the tragic circumstances that had befallen several bush settlers. The fate of Jimmy Darcy, in 1917, was one of these stories.
Darcy was a stockman at Ruby Plains, a remote cattle station in Western Australia. After being found injured with a ruptured bladder by some friends, he was transported over 30 miles (12 hours), to the nearest town, Halls Creek. Here, Darcy was met by FW Tuckett, the Postmaster, and the only man in the settlement trained in first aid. Tuckett said there was nothing he could reliably do for injuries so serious, and tried unsuccessfully to contact doctors at Wyndham, and then Derby, by telegraph. He eventually got through to a doctor in Perth. Through communication by morse code, Dr. Holland guided Tuckett through two rather messy bladder operations using the only sharp instrument available, a pen knife. Due to the total absence of any medical facilities, Darcy had been operated on strapped to the Post Office counter, having first been made insensible with whisky. Holland then travelled 10 days to Halls Creek on a boat for cattle transport, a Model T Ford, a horse-drawn carriage, and even on foot, only to find that Darcy had died the day before. The operations had been successful, but the stockman had died from an undiagnosed case of malaria and a ruptured abscess in his appendix.
Victorian pilot Lieutenant (John) Clifford Peel had heard Flynn's public speeches sent Flynn a letter explaining how he had seen a missionary doctor visiting isolated patients using a plane. Peel died in combat in September 1918, probably not even knowing the impact he had in the creation of an Australian icon, Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Jimmy Darcy's grave surrounded by a small fence. A large cutout metal sign highlighting both Darcy and the Rev John Flynn stands outside the desolate and sparse graveyard

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