This Halls Creek, at the top
of the Tanami Track, was the site of the first gold rush in W.A.
in about 1885. The gold rush only lasted about 4 years. Old Halls
Creek was more or less abandoned about 50 years ago when a "new"
Halls Creek was built on the main road between Kununurra &
Derby, The road from new Halls Creek to old Halls Creek is stony
dirt but is passable with care by two wheel drive vehicles as
well as caravans providing it is not wet!
There appears to have been 65 burials between 1895 and
1954 with at least one later burial in 1976.
The most well known grave would be that of Jimmy Darcy whose
death in August 1917 moved the war from the front pages of newspapers.
Darcy had been thrown from his horse on Ruby Plains Station.
It had taken 12 hours by buggy to get him the 75 kms to Halls
Creek. The nearest doctors were normally at Wyndham and Derby
but both were unavailable. Fred Tuckett the postmaster had some
first aid knowledge and by Morse code contacted Dr. J. Holland
in Perth. Holland diagnosed a ruptured bladder and convinced
Tuckett he must operate or Darcy would die. Without anaesthetic
or proper instruments and with all communications by Morse code
Tuckett took 7 hours to perform the required operation. Complications
set in and Holland decided to come to Hall's Creek by ship to
Derby, by T-model Ford to Fitzroy Crossing then a smaller car
which expired about 20 miles from Hall's Creek. These last 20
miles were covered in a sulky. Upon his arrival Holland learnt
that Darcy had died the day before! He then performed a post
mortem and found that the operations performed by Tuckett were
satisfactory and that the cause of death had been the supervention
of malaria and a chronic abscess on the appendix. The wide press
coverage made city people aware of the need for hospitals and
doctors in the outback and contributed to the establishment of
hospitals not only at Hall's Creek but at other remote locations
by John Flynn ($20 note) and the Australian Inland Mission. This
tragedy no doubt helped in the establishment, in 1928, of what
is now the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Jimmy Darcy's young brother Charles was also buried in
an adjoining grave in 1944.