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Huyghue. Samuel Douglas Smith (1815 - 1891)


S.D.S. Huyghue’s account of the events at the Eureka Stockade in 1854 was first published in full in the early 1990s. It began; ‘Chance, fate, or whatever name we designate the occult law which rules our destiny had so ordained it that, after a somewhat chequered career, the year of our grace 1854 found me a member of the government staff at Ballarat.’ A Canadian Clerk of Government Stores, Huyghue began writing his manuscript about Eureka on 4 December, the day after the stockade fell. Huyghue was not an eyewitness to the battle, though his textual and visual accounts of Eureka, laid down so soon after events, provide more than just the government soldier’s perspective.

The [diggers] were now forced to fly at the point of a bayonet and many of them took shelter in their tents where they surrendered at discretion. Others less fortunate remained in the shallow holes with which the place was dotted and which had been converted into rifle pits. There they met their death, either by bullet or bayonet thrust, for in the first heat of the conflict few prisoners were made and it was a scene of indiscriminate slaughter.

Ben Mountford