Augustus Charles Gregory
Australian Explorer and Surveyor
Augustus C. Gregory was the most distinguished of three exploring brothers. Born in Farnsfield, Notts, on 1st August 1819, he was the second son of a retired army officer and joined the Western Australia Survey Department in 1841.
In 1846, with his brothers Francis and Henry, he explored the area to the north of Perth, discovered and named Lake Moore and found coal in the River Irwin. Two years later, while examining the pastoral potential of the country inland from Shark Bay, he discovered lead in the Murchison River.
On his expedition of !855-6 through Queensland and Northern Territory, he discovered and named Sturt's Creek which he traced for 300 miles.
In March 1858, he led an expedition to search for Ludwig Leichardt's party which had disappeared without trace in 1848. The party set out from Euroomba Station on the Dawson Ranges. After travelling for four weeks he found the letter 'L' cut into a tree and thus encouraged, he followed the Barcoo River to its junction with the Thomson River, and then proceeded along Cooper's and Stzelecki Creeks as far as Lake Blanche. He arrived in Adelaide without finding the missing expedition.
The information recorded by Gregory on this journey was, however, of great value. Gregory demonstrated that many rivers drained into Lake Eyre and thus solved the puzzle of Australia's inland drainage. It also revived South Australia's interest in the country north of Lake Torrens.
Gregory became Surveyor-General of the newly established state of Queensland in 1859, serving in several official postions until his death in Brisbane in 1905. He was knighted in 1903 for his contribution to Australian exploration.
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