Tom Kilfoyle, a cousin of the pioneering Durack family, was Charlie Gaunt’s boss for much of the 1883-6 overland drive from the Channel Country in Queensland to Rosewood Station in the Kimberleys. Tom was born in County Clare, Ireland in 1842 but became a highly skilled bushman. Interestingly, he later married Catherine Byrne, a close relative of Joe Byrne from Ned Kelly’s gang.
Charlie Gaunt described Tom Kilfoyle as:
“a splendid bushman, stockman and of strict integrity: almost puritanically so; bluff, quick of temper but with the heart and simplicity of a child.”
Tom died in Port Darwin in 1908, leaving behind Catherine and his son Jack, who successfully ran Rosewood Station, becoming an important figure in Western Australian pastoral history.
Written and researched by Greg Barron