The Battle of Pinjarra

Outline of Massacre
The Pinjarra massacre was a battle that took place in Pinjarra, Western Australia. The massacre took place on the 28th of February,1834. The conflict was between 60-80 Aboriginals of the Binjareb tribe, and 25 European soldiers and policemen who carried out the attack lead by Governor Captain James Stirling.

Reasons of Massacre
The attack on the Binjareb tribe was motivated by earlier attacks on white settlers. These attacks were carried out by the Binjareb tribe. According to the Aborigines, the white settlers were invading their land, which lead to conflict with the settlers. The Binjareb tribe was aggressive and they had a reputation for their attacks on other Aborigines and white settlers. Governor Captain James Stirling didn't want the Binjareb tribe and the Weeip's Wadjuk people to form an alliance. Governor Stirling didn't want these two aggressive tribes working together in order to kill white settlers. The Pinjarra massacre also happened because Governor Stirling wanted revenge on the Binjareb tribe for the earlier attacks on white settlers. Governor Stirling wanted to affirm his authority and power over the Aborigines.

Actions taken by both groups
The European soldiers and policemen, lead by Governor James Stirling, planned to surprise the Binjareb tribe by attacking them in the early hours of the morning. This was the time when the tribe would be at their most vulnerable. The Europeans also planned to cover off any escape routes, including the nearby river. The attack occurred at around 8:35am. When the tribe was notified of the attackers, the women and children ran towards the river, but there they met many soldiers and policemen. This group included Governor James Stirling. The women and children were the hardest hit by the attack, while the Aboriginal men battled courageously against the other European soldiers. After Governor Stirling and his men had fired their guns for an hour at the Aboriginals, they then searched the surrounding areas for any survivors for half an hour.

People held accountable

The Pinjarra massacre was a planed attack and was only carried out by soldiers and policemen. No settlers or members of the public were involved in the killings. This meant that the massacre was perfectly legal according to the law. Therefore nobody was held accountable for the 15-20 deaths of Aboriginal men. The amount of women and children that were killed is unknown, but it is estimated that around 30-40 Aboriginal women and children died. Eight women and a few children were taken as captives.