FOLLOWING BURKE AND WILLS
In August 1860, two years before Morrison’s birth, Robert O’Hara Burke left Melbourne at the head of a massive expedition to cross the continent from south to north. Sponsored by the Royal Society of Victoria, the venture wanted for nothing. There were wild scenes as Melburnians farewelled the 15 officers and men with their 25 camels, imported cameleers, horses and wagons, abundant food for two years and lavish equipment, including six tons of firewood and 45 yards of green gossamer for veils to keep off the flies.
It was a tragi-comedy of errors. By the time they had reached the Barcoo River, about halfway to their goal, Burke had decided to make the rest of the trip with only the malleable William John Wills, Charles Gray and John King as his companions. The four reached the boggy area