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Commonwealth Government Records about the Northern Territory


Nemarluk (circa 1911–40)

Nemarluk was born about 1911 in the central Daly River region of the Northern Territory, west of Darwin.

In July 1931 he and several followers killed several Japanese fishermen who had anchored their boat near Port Keats. It was alleged that the fishermen had attacked a group of Aboriginal women.

Nemarluk was captured and tried in Darwin in April 1934. The group was sentenced to death, but all sentences were ultimately commuted to life imprisonment.

Nemarluk died in Darwin in August 1940.

Selected records relating to Nemarluk
National Archives, Canberra
Nemarluk – (1) escape from Darwin gaol – (2) death sentence commuted to imprisonment for life, 1933–34 A1, 1933/8560
National Archives, Darwin
Fanny Bay gaol – escape of prisoners – improvements to gaol, 1933–36 (includes escape of Nemarluk) F1, 1936/548
Darwin criminal trials – The King versus Nungaburra and Charlie – murder; The King versus Oo–Mu–Tell and Lollylegs – murder; The King versus Nemarluk – murder; The King versus Natchelina and others – murder, 1934 E72, DL847

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Chapter 16
Territory Personalities