'Brungal Tommy' Brest Plate

19 October 1910 The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser

A relic of 68 years ago.

The accompanying picture is a photograph of a symbol of Australian royalty, and was presented to 'Brungal Tommy' by John Keighrer in 1842.

This John Keighrer was the first owner of the Brungal Estate, and for some slight services rendered him by the aboriginal he had this shield made for him.

An old resident of Tumut who witnessed the presentation ceremony says that it was very ludicrous to see Tommy strutting around, clothed only in the shield, with the other blacks bowing down before him and his kingly symbol.

The shield was found some months ago in the hills behind Brungal, at a spot where Tommy was supposed to have been speared by blacks in making a raid from the Yass district.

Many years before bones had been found somewhere about the same spot.

When discovered, the 'medal' was quite black and quite unreadable, having passed through many bush fires; but by rubbing chalk into the lettering it was made to show up.

The blacks of Tommy's tribe regarded the shield with great awe and reverence, and absolutely refused to wear it.