Here are the Top 10 stories from History Out There in 2021 as judged by the number of readers.
#10 Injustice exposed after 102 years
Private Ernest Weeks was still serving in the Australian Army after he arrived home in 1919 and his life ended in mysterious circumstances. More mysterious was why he wasn’t included in the Australian War Memorial’s Roll of Honour of our war dead. This story was picked up by the mainstream media and was the tenth most popular story for History Out There in 2021.
#9 Mystery of 19th century chemist William Lale
Chemist William Lale was a magnet for disaster. In ten short years in Australia, he lost four children, two wives, and one shop. He then decided to throw in the towel and return to England. But the 1890 maritime strike was in full swing and he courted disaster one more time.
#8 Metal detecting unearths a gruesome connection
The clandestine life of Christian Fricke, alias Peter Hansen, alias Christian Nugent, a mistaken death and dead body, were among the unexpected discoveries from metal detecting around this 1923 house.
Miss Emma Ferrier was one of the most prominent charitable workers in the history of the city. When she died it was claimed that her grandfather was a boy on the Endeavour when Captain Cook made his historic voyage of discovery in 1770. If true, this would rewrite history by placing a previously unknown person on board Cook’s famous ship.
No one was ever charged over this 1922 murder, and yet there were the obvious suspects of Benjamin Foote and John Eccles. But they had strong connections to leaders in commerce and city mayors. The police magistrate was relocated, detective promoted, and Eccles was posted far away, to lend support to a possible conspiracy.
Frederick Turley was famous for his bougainvillea and uniquely he met the three oldest sons of a king. He and his wife bore witness to a unique event in 1934. He should be better known.
August Bussian went to the 1905 dance with murderous intent. Two deaths and thirty years later, it was love that overcame a deep-felt urge for revenge.
#3 Shocking events at the asylum
Among a string of shocking events and the local asylum, in 1913 Thomas Timperley was the first to show that lightning can strike twice.
#2 Last woman sentenced to death
In 1905 Amelia Linke was the last woman to be sentenced to death in this historic Queensland town. Seventeen years later, the sentence was outlawed entirely making the state the first in Australia to abolish the practice. But it took tragic stories like Amelia’s before that moment arrived.
In 1871 two pupils were killed at this prestigious school. The story was forgotten over the ensuing 150 years, as were the heroic actions of young James Sydes. With this tale, his name is re-entered into history as the hero that he truly was. This story is the most popular History Out There story for 2021.
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Saint Mary’s Ipswich – my own