desert_coverDesert, Drought and Death

The Border Exploration Syndicate Expedition to the Rawlinson Range 1899 – 1900

by Henry William Hill (edited by Mark Chambers and Peter J. Bridge)

ISBN 978-0-85905-383-9, (2009 new), case bound, dust jacketed, 158pp, illustrated, 465 grams

$70.00* + POST


Following reports of gold in the far-off Rawlinson Range an expedition was organized by the Border Exploration Syndicate. This book is the story of the expedition as written by the leader, Henry W. Hill.

Desert, Drought, and Death has all the hall-marks of a ‘ripping yarn’ – a lost gold reef of unparalleled proportions, hard men pitted against an inhospitable and unforgiving terrain, a deranged cameleer, blood lusting savages and triumph over adversity – yet is not.

Nine months after leaving the north East Goldfields town of Menzies in Western Australia in 1899 with a party of five seasoned adventurers, Henry W. Hill struggled into Oodnadatta in the centre of South Australia, with three of those men and with less than half the camels. What really happened?

Now the annals of this disastrous expedition are brought to light, to intrigue the reader and enthrall the student of Centralian life for the first time in over a century.

The book contains 26 appendices, on biographical notes on the expedition members, agreements and reports by members of the expedition, documents by Henry Hill on prospecting, documents on the death of Shannawaz, the Afghan camel driver including the names in facsimile of the Afghan petitioners, and indexes to the fauna and flora mentioned in the report.

Contains two maps – the confidential leaders map, and that submitted to the W.A. Department of Mines.

Published in association with Mark G. Creasy.