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Did you know?


1That, overwhelmed by the guilt of helping two prisoners in their futile escape attempt, Warder William Rawlinson took his own life?

2That the prisoner Burketown Peter, the missionary murderer, drowned because he had a haircut earlier that week?

3That the authorities were accused of committing ‘a horrifying and blood-curdling murder’ in 1900?

4That Warder Clements refused to help the drowning Mrs Bowden, wife of the Chief Warder, one morning in November 1901?

5That a prisoner later became Queensland’s Minister for Mines and President of the Legislative Council?

6That a grand plan was proposed, to build a railway on trestles across the waters of Moreton Bay, linking St Helena Island to the mainland?

7That the prison graveyard segregated the prisoners in death as in life?

8That prisoner William Archer set out to murder Warder William Downie – but killed the wrong man?

9That sick prisoners took a bath – but at risk to their own health?

10That, of the four school teachers employed by the Department of Public Instruction to teach the warders’ children at the island prison, three were sacked and the other resigned because, among other things, he couldn’t get his ironing done well enough?


You can read the full details of these captivating tales – and many more – in Jarvis Finger’s 296-page full-colour book, The St Helena Story.