History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: Constable recorded names of Bulli disaster victims

UPDATED March 16 2020: This year’s memorial service has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Looking Back

An artist impression of the Bulli engine shed, at the corner of today's Hobart Street and the Prince's Highway, where the bodies of the victims of the Bulli Colliery explosion were prepared for burial. This picture shows Constable Richard Trevillian recording the unfortunate men's names. An artist impression of the Bulli engine shed, at the corner of today’s Hobart Street and the Prince’s Highway, where the bodies of the victims of the Bulli Colliery explosion were prepared for burial. This picture shows Constable Richard Trevillian recording the unfortunate men’s names.

Sergeant "Dick" Trevillian Sergeant “Dick” Trevillian

POLICE officer Richard Trevillian had the unfortunate and difficult job of recording the names of the victims of the Bulli colliery explosion, which claimed the lives of 81 men and boys on March 23 1887.

Some of the victims were never identified because they were so badly disfigured and burnt.

The victims were laid out in a large timber shed located at the corner of what is today Hobart Street and the Princes Highway. From here the bodies were taken by horse and carriage to graveyards belonging to the Church of England in Park Road Bulli, the Presbyterians in Grey Street Woonona…

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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