Fifteen Young Men

Fifteen Young Men

Australia's Untold Football Tragedy

By  Paul Kennedy

Fifteen Young Men is the true story of a doomed adventure.

Fifteen Young Men is the true story of a doomed adventure.

It was a maritime tragedy that unfolded one sad, dark hour at a time. A cold, cruelly blustery night revealing – with agonising slowness – that fifteen young men of the Mornington Football Club would never make it home. As dawn broke and families began to mourn, a nation was to learn the full extent of one of the world’s worst sporting disasters.

The sinking of the Process in catastrophically rough seas off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in 1892, with the loss of all on board, horrified Australia. ‘Such an accident has no parallel in our land’s history,’ reported The Argus. Yet somehow, for more than a century, this calamitous event slipped from Australia’s consciousness.

In Fifteen Young Men, journalist Paul Kennedy reveals the stories behind the tragedy. In his compelling evocation of a spirited Australian town on the cusp of a new century, he captures the trauma of families and friends suffering almost unbearable loss, but also the irrepressible optimism of the times, and the mateship, love and resilience that would come to define a budding nation.

Format & Editions

Trade Paperback

9780857989826

August 29, 2016

William Heinemann Australia

RRP $34.99

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EBook

9780857989833

August 29, 2016

RHA eBooks Adult

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Extract

Like Rev. Caldwell, the first Europeans to arrive at Port Phillip adored its splendour but were cautious of its dangers and moods, so white settlement came slowly. Also, it took a while for them to find the place.

The British Empire started mapping the southern coast of Australia in the late eighteenth century. By then, the penal settlement of Sydney (Port Jackson) was brimful of convicts; colonial chiefs were starting to worry about the population’s morale and morality. A second settlement was needed.

Among the best explorers at that time was a handsome surgeon called George Bass, who took six volunteers in a banksia- timber boat to explore the theory among seamen that a treacherous passage of water separated the Australian mainland and Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land). He proved it right.

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