White Rocks Historic Site



This rocky outcrop of quartz, known locally as White Rocks, was the site of a gun battle between two Turkish sympathisers and police and members of the Volunteer Rifles during World War 1.

On New Year's Day 1915, a picnic train carrying 1200 people to Silverton was fired upon by the two men on the outskirts of Broken Hill. The attackers were an ice cream vendor, Gool Mahomed, and a butcher, Mullah Abdullah.

The two men took refuge at this site as they headed back towards the Afghan camel camps. They were mortally wounded in the ensuing three-hour gun battle, the only hostilities on Australian soil during World War 1. Four citizens were killed and seven wounded during the incident which ended in the evening with the burning of the German Club.

The site displays a full-size replica of Gool Mahomed's ice cream cart. This cart, with a Turkish flag affixed, was seen near the picnic train just prior to the attack.

Both men were muslim, from the area now known as northern Pakistan, and were apparently sympathetic to the Turkish cause against the Australian government during World War I. Hence they have generally been referred to as 'Turks' although neither man was a Turkish national.


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