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  William John Wills: Pioneer of the Australian Outback
William John Wills: Pioneer of the Australian Outback

Our Price: AU$24.95 Inc GST
Media: BOOK - paperback, 168 pages
Author: J. Van der Kiste
Year: 2011
Other Data: b&w photos, sketches, bibliog, index
ISBN: 9780752458557

Availability: Not Carried
Product Code: THP023
Not Carried

In 1860 the Australian outback remained all but unknown to the European settlers. A prize of £2,000 was offered by the Exploration Committee of the Royal Society of Victoria for the first expedition successfully to cross the country from Melbourne to the north coast. The Burke & Wills Expedition, led by Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills, a Totnes-born surveyor who had emigrated to Australia at the age of 18 and worked as a shepherd, a gold-digger and an assistant surgeon, set out in August 1860.

The journey was arduous and slow, so much so that, once they reached Cooper's Creek, Burke, Wills and two others made a dash for the coast with only three months' food; they made it, but on the way back, after killing and eating their camels when their supplies ran out, they discovered that the men who stayed at Cooper's Creek had left only 9 hours earlier. Unable to reach civilisation, Wills died of exhaustion and malnourishment in June 1861; only one member of the expedition of made it back to Melbourne alive. John Van der Kiste's biography of Wills is the first full account of his life, including his upbringing in Devon as well as the expedition itself.

1. A Devon Childhood
2. Early Life in Australia
3. Exploration
4. The Beginning of the Exploration
5. From Cooper's Creek to Carpentaria
6. Return to Cooper's Crook
7. Into the Final Step
8. Aftermath

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