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Berck, Robert O'Hara

( English explorer, traveler)

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Biography Berck, Robert O'Hara
English explorer of Australia. In the years 1858-1860 for the first time crossed the continent from north to south, worked his way from Melbourne to Gulf of Carpentaria. He died on the way back.

Burke was born in Ireland. Educated, until 1848 he served in the Austrian army, then returned to Ireland and there in the ranks of the Mounted Police. In 1853 he appeared in Melbourne, where he soon became head of the police department in the goldfields of the British colony of Victoria.

While reports from London, reached the South Australian with a delay of two months. If we could stretch out across the Australian continent is a wire line connection to London would take a few hours. In addition, opens the possibility to establish the north coast trade ties with Asia

. In 1858, the Royal Society in Melbourne and a group of individuals outfitted transavstraliyskuyu expedition, . which was supposed to cross the continent from south to north from Adelaide to the Gulf of Carpentaria and approximately the same route back to the southern shores of Australia,
. The chief of the expedition was approved by Burke. Deputy Burke - George Lendells. The expedition also included the Germans - a botanist and physician Hermann Bekler artist and naturalist Ludwig Becker. Cartographer became Officer Melbourne Observatory, William Wills. August 20, 1860 all came to Melbourne in the long march of Burke and his companions.

September 11 column crossed the Murray.

Judging by the beautiful watercolors of Becker, the expedition was divided into two columns, the camels were separated from the horses because the animals did not get along with each other. The loaded carts and rented vehicles trailed far behind the columns, getting stuck in the sand.

In January of 1860 from Adelaide, the capital of the colony of South Australia, launched another expedition - Jon Stewart. Traveler intended to reach the northern coast, moving along the route Sturt.

During expeditions of Burke and Stewart was closely followed in Australia. People make a bet who first reaches the goal. Newspapers called rivalry travelers, Great Australian race. "

In October, Burke moved Darling Lake Menindi. Here, he decided to divide the squad and lead the search party consisting of eight people. The rest were split near Lake Menindi base camp to wait for stragglers carts with food and then catch up with the advanced column. Burke took this step to get ahead of competitors.

Between Menindi and Coopers Creek, lying four miles saline steppe. Expanse of surface cuts through the soft contour of the rocky ridge Binguano, the celebrated gallery of rock art tribe vilyakali. Satellite Burke Wills first described "romantic gorge". In the future, none of the travelers did not pass over in silence this unique open-air museum.

11 November vanguard Burke reached one of the ducts Coopers Creek. In the first night of the expedition suffered a plague of rats. I had to find another place just downstream, here, near the source, and broke the notorious camp had won 65.

All attempts to break away Burke farther north failed. During the last attempt to run away three camels, and Wills in McDonough had two days to return to the camp on foot. Burke decides to re-divide unit. In the march through the remaining half of the continent with him were bound Wills, King and Gray. The head of the remaining base camp, he appointed Braga.

December 16 Burke left the camp to the north. Passing along the shore of Coopers Creek, the detachment turned to the north-west, to the area, then known as Sturt Stony Desert (now - Simpson Desert).

. Faced with a new, in 1861 the south-east of the modern lake Machatti, January 7, the expedition reached the Tropic of Capricorn
. Wills traced the route shows that they have moved north along the 140 meridian from 25 to 22 б╟ latitude.

In early February, the travelers came to a hilly upland, which Burke named in honor of his friend - the ridge Standish. Upstairs, they found lying to the north another, higher mountain range - Selwyn Ridge. Burke decides to go straight through him, though camels "wheezed and gasped for breath" is already at a low altitude.

They went to the big river Flinders. Moving northward, the expedition was in the tropics, in the edge of the torrential rains and humid stifling heat. In the latter, 119-meters in a row the camp, the water was salty, clearly felt the tide. Finally, 11 February 1861 Burke and Wills reached the Gulf of Carpentaria.

They first crossed the Australian continent. Six months and 1,650 miles separated them from the Melbourne. Now they were way back.

April 17, 1861 at Lake Kuidzhi they buried Gray. People are exhausted to the extent that the digging of the tomb took a whole day. Prior to Coopers Creek was only 70 miles ... On the morning of April 21 Brahe and his companions left the camp 65 and moved slowly along the channel Coopers Creek. Hope for the return of the detachment Burke had faded. He waited for an expedition 126 days instead of three months. Before leaving Braga buried supply of dried meat, flour, sugar, cereal and rice in case you still Burke returns to camp. Order Braga was only 14 miles and later the same day rose to a halt.

After nine and a half hours after the departure of Braga, Burke, Wills and King arrived at the camp 65. They broke the 2,400 miles. But the camp was empty! Gap of nine and a half hours proved fatal. Burke found a "dead drop" with provisions and a note Braga. The expedition decided to continue their journey towards Mount Hoples in the south-west of Coopers Creek. Burke did not expect to overtake the detachment Braga and knew also that the detachment Wright moves to the camp 65.

Meanwhile, Braga continued to go to the south-east along the river Coopers Creek through the desert toward the Bull. One day at dawn, he saw a column of Wright. Leaving the people for the day, Brahe and Wright, taking three of the strongest horses, rushed back to Coopers Creek. But travelers in the camp was. In the rush Brahe and Wright did not even notice the traces left by the expedition of Burke, who visited here ...

Whole month Burke and his companions were chosen from the surrounding Coopers Creek marsh. The first was to pass Wills. Realizing that he can not move on, he asked Burke and King to leave him in a deserted native hut.

. June 29 Burke and King left the dying Wills and went up the bank of Coopers Creek in search of natives, and they realized that the only way to salvation
. Until recently, Wills kept a diary: "King behaved nobly, and I hope that if he remained alive, he rewarded the. He stayed with me until the last possible and left me on my order, I ordered him to leave my body unburied, and before leaving put my hands on a gun. "

. On the morning of July 1 died Burke.

. King was lucky: he met Aborigines who fed him and gave a curative broth
. September 15 is one of the rescue teams came upon the camp and found among the natives of ragged, overgrown with white. It was King. Later, the remains of Burke and Wills moved to Melbourne.

Stewart's expedition reached the northern coast of July 24, 1862.

Stories have arrived in Melbourne Braga stirred the whole city. In various parts of Australia were organized rescue mission.

A search party. Houita, Y. Landsboro, J. McKinley sent in the footsteps of Burke, have made a considerable contribution to the history of Australian discovery.

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Berck, Robert O'Hara, photo, biography
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