The names of the party were as follows:

  • John McDouall Stuart, Leader of the Expedition.
  • William Kekwick, Second Officer.
  • F.W. Thring, Third Officer.
  • W.P. Auld, Assistant.
  • Stephen King.
  • John Billiatt.
  • James Frew.
  • Heath Nash.
  • John McGorrerey, Shoeing Smith.
  • J.W. Waterhouse, Naturalist to the Expedition.

Besides these, there were at starting, Woodforde and Jeffries; but at Finniss Springs, the latter struck one of his companions, and, on being called to account by his leader, refused to go any further.

As to the former, when quitting Mr. Levi's station on January 21st, it was arranged, in order to lighten the weak horses, that the great-coats of the party should be left, but Woodforde objected to this, and said he would not go unless he had his great-coat with him.

Mr. Stuart had very properly decided not to take any man who refused to obey orders, and he therefore started without him.

The next day Woodforde rejoined the party near Milne Springs, but did not accompany them many days longer; for on February 3rd, shortly after starting, he asked McGorrerey to hold his gun while he returned to get something he had left behind at the previous night's camp.

About an hour afterwards, McGorrerey discovered a piece of folded-up paper on the nipple of the gun, and on examination this proved to be an insolent note, addressed to his leader, stating that he had gone back, taking with him a horse, saddle, bridle, tether-rope, and sundry other things not belonging to him.

Mr. Stuart had been much dissatisfied with his conduct for some days, and had made up his mind to send him back, believing that he was doing everything in his power to discourage the party, and bring his leader's authority into contempt.