by Rev. Rex A E Hunt
(Rex Hunt is a former Victorian ‘living in exile in NSW’ and who lived in Ballarat and the District for 10 years)
Eureka Day is celebrated/remembered on 3 December each year. At around 3.52am on the Sunday morning of 3 December 1854, 276 troopers of the 12th Regiment, leave the Government Camp and attack the stockade (in Ballarat) at dawn.
The attack starts when a digger fires the first shot at 4.35 am. The battles finished by 4.55am.
In a letter to The Age following the uprising, Peter Lalor, leader of the miners, wrote asking why “nothing had been done to fix affairs before this bloody tragedy took place.”
He continued: “Is it to prove to us that a British government can never bring forth a measure of reform without having first prepared a font of human blood in which to baptise that offspring of their generous love?… Or is it to convince the world that where a large standing army exists, the Demon of Despotism will have frequently offered at his shrine the mangled bodies of murdered men.”
After the Eureka uprising, most of the miners’ grievances were redressed.
This fascinating talk can be read here.