Application - George Landells
Application - George Landells.
Royal Society of Victoria, Exploration Committee Records: Part IV: Applications to join the VEE received by the EC.
Original item held at the State Library of Victoria, SLV MS13071, Box 2076/5.
State Library of Victoria
George Landells was originally appointed second in charge of the Burke and Wills expedition. He was also in charge of the camels and had brought them to Australia from India in preparation for the expedition.
The expedition party departed Melbourne with 26 camels. As the expedition progressed, Landells and Burke disagreed over the treatment of the camels and Landells resigned two months later in Menindee. William Wills who had been appointed as surveyor and astronomer for the expedition replaced him as second in charge.
He asks that he should be “entirely charged with all matters relating to the treatment of the camels” and that if “some calamity befall me” his wife should be paid his salary for two years.
18th July 1860
Hearing that the Exploration Committee desire to have in writing from me a statement of the terms and conditions on which I would be willing to undertake the duties of second in command with the special charge of the camels and their Indian attendants, I beg to say that I am willing to go at a yearly salary of six hundred pounds sterling and on the understanding that if I lost my life during the time of service two years salary should be paid to my wife E R Landells, or that if such could not be definitely promised it would answer my purpose as well if the claim be recognised as one which the authorities would as honorable men recommend to be paid if such calamity befall me or if no news of me had been received here for four years.
I should be entirely charged with all matters relating to the treatment of the camels and be responsible for their health. I would also habitually ride 50 or 60 miles ahead of the party on a swift camel when it was necessary to explore the route when the nature of the country would admit of my doing so.
My knowledge of the treatment of the animals in health and sickness and in taking charge of this part of the Expedition would be supplemented by great personal labor for all which I believe the above pay to be a fair and moderate rate for less than which my prospects in India and duty to my family would not allow my undertaking the service.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient servant,
George J Landells