On January 1st. 1915 at 10.00am, an overcrowded picnic train left Broken Hill carrying 1200 excited men, women and children to attend the annual Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows New Years Day celebration picnic at Silverton.
The long train consisted of two break vans and 40 ore trucks where people sat in rows, shoulder to shoulder on flat wooden benches.
Approximately a few kilometers out of town, by the railway fence on the northern line of the water main from Umberumberka, an ice cream cart flying a Turkish flag was noticed and two men later identified as Gool Mohamed and Mulla Abdulla, were seen crouched behind a mound of earth.
As the train drew level with the men, the ore trucks were swept by a hall of bullets as they opened fire on the passengers with their
Snider and Martini Henry rifles!
The firing continued as the train trudged slowly passed with 20 or 30 shots being fired. The picnickers panicked and thrown into confusion when they seen people falling around them.
Four Killed Six Wounded
The train was brought to a halt further up the line to determine the number of the passengers injured, if not killed. Two people were killed and six wounded on the train.
Alma Cowie aged 17 died instantly.
William John Shaw, a foreman in the Sanitary Department, was killed on the train, his daughter Lucy Shaw was injured.
Mary Kavanagh, George Stokes, Thomas Campbell, Alma Crocker and Rose Crabb were all wounded.
Three victims were removed from the train and taken to the pumping station at the reservoir, medical men were summoned from Broken Hill to their aid.
Alfred Millard, a pipeline inspector was killed when he received a fatal wound to the head as he was cycling beside the train.
Constable Robert Mills received two bullet wounds during the pursuit.
Jim Craig the fourth fatality, was chopping wood in his back yard at the rear of the Cable Hotel when a stray Turkish bullet killed him during exchange of fire.
Soon after the attack Gool and Abdullah withdrew towards the west. During their attempted escape they came across and murdered Millard. By this time the police were in full pursuit, when they sighted the two running assassins they fired their guns above their heads in order to force them to surrender, but Gool and Abdullah returned fire and wounded Mills.
The murderous pair made their last stand at the top of a hill where they found refuge behind large rocks a few hundred yards west of the Cable Hotel.
Local militiamen, police, members of the rifle club and citizens spread out on the adjoining hills, there was an hour and half of heavy gun fire poured into the enemy's position, the Muslims returning fire with spirit but without effect, the stronghold was rushed where it was found that Mullah Abdulla was dead and Gool Mohammed so severely injured that he died in hospital a few hours later.