The Church of St Luke -people and places

The Church of St Luke (Anglican)  – Trafalgar by Fr Edward Doncaster

Church of St Luke, Trafalgar

Trafalgar townsite was gazetted in 1899 and is mentioned in the Boulder service register in 1902 and evening services were commenced in May 1903 by lay reader Mr A E Nadebaum. A building committee of messrs Ginbey and Monkhouse formed in early 1904, and a tender from messrs Wills and Co was accepted. The timber and iron church on Block 47 cost about £170 to erect. It was dedicated by Bishop Riley as the Church of St Luke, Lake View (former name) on the 27th May 1904. A chancel was added in 1906. In 1908 there were 380 houses in Trafalgar, the last of which was destroyed by vandals in 1978. The area has now disappeared and is now part of the Super Pit.

The Stipendiary lay reader gave ‘Religious Instruction’ twice a week in the Lake View school and once a week at Lakeside, instructing an average of 78. It appears that the last service held in the church was on the 5th Dec 1926 when four people attended an 8am service.

It was reported that the building was destroyed in the cyclone od 10 Feb 1928, yet the hall at Wamenusking near Quairading, is reputed to have come from Trafalgar and bears a striking resemblance to the former church.
Clergy Responsible for ministry at Trafalgar:- (all were assistant curates at Boulder)
1903-1904  –  W T Strahan
1904 – 1905 – E W Watts
1905               Lay preacher M A Richards
1905 – 1908    G R Holland
1908 – 1909    E A Jones
1909               H Vine
1909 – 1914    A G Kelsey

Church records held at Battye Library, Perth
Baptismal registers  –  1905 to 1924
Marriage registers   –   1907 to 1914

St Lukes Trafalgar

Hasty’s Grave

Hasty’s Grave

This grateful country cherishes the fine courageous band
Who pioneered the wilderness, and founded our great land
And so it is appropriate that the name of one so brave
Be printed on our outback maps, marked simply ‘Hasty’s Grave’

And for those who wished to go there, and find the grave, perhaps
Longitude and latitude are listed on the maps
With Youanmi to the Eastwards, and Mt Magnet North of West,
Out there beyond the vermin fence, is where he’s laid to rest

Its a lonely and scheduled spot, where roos and emus roam
Where man is hardly ever seen, and the dingo makes its home.
Through this rugged country, in eighteen fifty four
Austin and his party had set out to explore

And had overcome the dangers, the heartache and dispair
Could this be one of Austin’s men, who died and now lays there?
For want of better knowledge, and to put a mind at rest
A search produced this answer, that no one could have guessed

For probing and researching along an erratic course
Reveals to us that Hasty, was Austin’s favorite horse!
By what perculiar circumstances did the mappers long ago
Raise Hasty to glory that fe mortalsd never know

A gesture that true horse lovers will solidly commend
Why not salute a gallant horse – clearly ‘mans best friend’.
by S Hopkinson ‘Hoppy’

From the diary of Robert Austin (Explorer) on his expedition to the Eastern Interior of WA:-

Robert Austin, Explorer

Aug 28 1854 – Getting the horses together early this morning, we resumed our journey towards the camp. At 10am, 6 miles from the camp, I left Lightfoot, Jailor and Hasty, on a patch of grass near pools of water that had been formed since we passed here before, to which I determined to shift the camp in the afternoon. On reaching the camp I found seven of my strongest horses lying dead, namely Joker, Snake, Yussif, Blackbird, Simon, Barber and Punch, and the other horses in a very precarious way namely; Vinden, Billy, Button, Cecer and Darkie, the latter horse especially was evidently on his last legs.
R Buck was feeding the sick horses with gruel and J Edwards was in charge of the camp. Mr Thomas Whitfield was away with Narryer, rat hunting, and did not return till 2pm. He reported having used 20 pounds of flour in making gruel for the horses. Poor Punch got lock jaw and had to be shot.
Under these circumstances it was necessary to leave much of the equipment behind. The remaining horses were too weak to travel far so he pushed on without resting to Recruit Flats, 40 miles distance, he set out three parties in search of grass. Once found the men would turn up the bushes so that the horses could get at the grass that has grown up under them. This was done constantly over the coming weeks, so desperate for the lack of feed for the horses.
A patch of green grass at Farmers Flats was found 10 miles east and all the horses were moved there excepting Hasty and Lightfoot, neither of which could travel. On the 31st August, Austin returned to find Hasty in a hopeless state and he had to shoot him. Hasty is referred to in Austin’s diary as ‘ a well bread and spirited horse’
Hasty’s Grave is marked on maps to this day. It pays tribute not only to this fine horse, but to this noble equine companion, which was never far from man and his achievements in those early days.

If you would like to know more about the expedition:-

The Finest Goldfields in the World   –   The Austin Expedition to the Murchison in 1854

Edited by Peter J Bridge, Kim Epton, Marion Hercock and Sheryl Milentis, with the members of the Western Australian Explorers’ Diaries Project, and with an introduction by Professor J.M.R. Cameron.

ISBN 978-0-85905-018-0, (2009 new), casebound, dust jacketed, 240pp, illustrated, 610 grams

Published in association with Mark G. Creasy.


In 1854 Robert Austin led an expedition east and then north to the Murchison River. Disasters from a gun accident, poison plants, and thirst assailed them. After many tribulations they reached the Geraldine Mine on the Lower Murchison over two months later. Their exploration inspired others to prospect the desert for both grass and gold, culminating in the opening of the area in the 1880s, and the finding of rich goldfields. More than 150 years after his difficult and perilous journey Austin is now placed among the premier explorers of the Australian outback.

Contains the 1855 journal, republished for the first time, colour plates by the expedition artist that have remained unknown for over 150 years, new lithographs and new information on the artists – with a few surprises. Also has appendices on Austin’s Sharks Bay expedition, lists of subscribers to the expedition, biographical notes on all associated with the expedition, including the Aboriginal assistants, correspondence between Austin and John Forrest documenting Austin’s 1854 discovery of gold, and details of the flora and fauna seen on the expedition by Alex George and Ian Abbott. Also reprinted is the rarely seen paper by Roth on Austin’s reminiscences of the South West Aboriginals.

Austin’s map is included in a rear pocket.

A magnificent addition to the exploration literature of Australia.

Michael Brennan – grave tales

Michael Joseph Brennan    12th June 1875 – 30th March 1900 a family history by Cheryl Benson:-  gbenson@iinet.net.au Michael Joseph Brennan was the son of Patrick Brennan and Mary Dougherty born the 12th June 1875 Reefton, Buller, New Zealand. He … [Continue reading]

A Gallant Young Hero

The Knickerbocker Hero - The Little Lennonville Hero, were some of the words used to describe Vincent Atkinson, a young boy of just ten years of age, who was to inspire West Australians with his presence of mind and his 'heart of a lion' after he … [Continue reading]

John Reside – grave tales

Westralian Worker (Perth, WA : 1900 - 1951), Friday 3 October 1902, page 2  JOHN RESIDE.   -    The sudden death of John Reside, M.L.A. for Hannans, which took place at Kalgoorlie last Sunday evening, came as an absolute shock to the whole … [Continue reading]

CLOSE
CLOSE