Sydney Vol.1

In the third book in the exciting Grave Tales series, we unearth Sydney’s interesting tales.

Meet the people who were often unwilling participants in the events that made headlines. In cemeteries throughout Australia, gravestones hint at our history – tales of early settlement, unsolved murders, love lost, mystery, tragedy, health epidemics, scandal and sacrifice. ‘Grave Tales’ reveals more than the headstone can ever convey by tracing the tumultuous journeys that lead to these final resting places.

Chris and Helen have taken a walk through some of Sydney’s oldest cemeteries to get an insight into the incredible lives of personalities that may have lived in the same suburbs, streets, and even the same houses as exist now, or unexpectantly came to rest, in Sydney.

Using gravestones as their starting points, the fascinating lives retold include:
  • Edward Kelly – In 1900 Bubonic Plague that once killed a quarter of Europe’s population hit Sydney – it led to panic and demolition of hundreds of homes – but was there an upside?
  • Annie Egan – Controversy surrounded the selfless act of Nurse Egan who risked her life tending to those suffering a deadly disease, but on her deathbed could not receive spiritual comfort.
  • Eliza Emily Donnithorne – Was there a connection between the Sydney woman who became a recluse after she was jilted at the alter and a Miss Havisham in a Dickens’ novel?
  • Patrick Brady – Who was the owner of the human arm that a shark spat up in front of a crowd at a Coogee aquarium? The twisted tale of the Sydney’s strangest murder hunt.
  • Dorothea Mackellar – She wrote the ‘Great Australian Poem’ of which we all know at least one line – but her life was one of loss. Why and how was ‘My Country’ written?
  • The Dunbar tragedy & its victims – Was the Dunbar Australia’s Titanic? The appalling tragedy unfolded on Sydney’s doorstep, the victims beaten mercilessly by the sea.
  • Philip Cunningham – He was an Irish convict imported to Sydney who led the Irish rebels here and his quest to escape and return to Ireland was smashed by the British military.
  • Phil Garlick – The hero of the Maroubra Speedway crowd, Phil died one night when it all went wrong; his wife at home listening to the broadcast of his race on the radio.
  • Catharine Eather – The Eather family was no strangers to flooding, but no one was prepared for the impact of the 1867 Hawkesbury River flood, least of all Catharine’s family.
  • Kenneth Killeen – This is the tale of three Japanese midget submarines; an armada of Allied warships, their target; Kenneth, and the sailors who perished the night WWII came to Sydney.
  • Ben Lexcen – The winged keel wonder – Australia II and the rise of the mind behind it – Ben was the man who engineered the only win over the USA at their own game in 132 years.
  • Graeme Thorne – The Thorne family was the ecstatic winners of the lottery, until their 8-year old son, Graeme, was kidnapped for ransom and killed, and Australia lost its innocence.
  • Bee Miles – What’s the real story of the bohemian described as Sydney’s ‘iconic eccentric’ and known for her ability to quote any passage from Shakespeare for money?
  • Arthur Stace – AKA Mr Eternity – this is the story of the down-and-outer from a rough childhood who found redemption and spent his life writing the word ‘Eternity’ on Sydney streets.

It is history colliding with the now!

ISBN: 978-0-9943762-2-0
Price and availability:

  • $25  inc postage in Australia only, if purchased directly from the Grave Tales shop;
  • Available as an ebook and paperback from Amazon (postage cost determined by Amazon);
  • Also available through all good bookstores at the recommended price of $29.95.
  • Audio books available from Audible.

Pages: 302pp
Publication date: released 26 April 2018.
Category: Non-fiction, Australiana, history, modern history.
Atlas Productions