The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Warburton, Major Peter Egerton
Warburton, Major Peter Egerton, H.E.I.C.S., C.M.G., fourth son of the Rev. Rowland Egerton Warburton, of Arley Hall, Cheshire, by his marriage with Emma, daughter of James Croxton, was born on August 15th, 1813, at Arley Hall, and was primarily educated in France. In 1826 he entered the royal navy, and in 1829 proceeded to Addiscombe College, preparatory to entering the East India Company's service, in which he remained from 1831 until 1853, when he retired with the rank of major. He emigrated to Western Australia, arriving at Albany in July 1853; but went to Adelaide in September, and at the end of the year was appointed Commissioner of Police. This position he held till 1867, and in 1869 he became Colonel Commandant of the South Australian Volunteer Force, a position from which he retired in 1877. He was subsequently placed in charge of the Imperial Pension Department. Between 1856 and 1874 Major Warburton conducted several exploring expeditions. In April 1873 he started from Adelaide on an expedition across the continent with seventeen camels, three Europeans and two Afghans. His route lay across the sandhills that baffled the brothers Gregory; but with the aid of the camels, and by his own indomitable energy, he succeeded in reaching an out-station in Western Australia. Nine months and a half had been occupied in making the terrible journey of nine hundred miles. During the latter part of their wanderings the party subsisted on the flesh of the worn-out camels, and on rare occasions on a few wallabies which they got from the natives. For his services as an explorer Warburton obtained the Royal Geographical Society's medal, with a vote from the South Australian Parliament of £1000 for himself and £500 for his party. Sir Thomas Elder sent him to England, and published the narrative of his explorations, and he was created a C.M.G. in 1875. Major Warburton married, in Oct. 1838, Alicia, daughter of H. Mant, of Bath. He died on Dec. 16th, 1889.