Terre Napoleon. A History Of French Explorations And Projects In Australia By Ernest Scott














































































 -  During
his imprisonment in Mauritius, one of his men stayed with him voluntarily
for several years, enduring the unpleasantness of - Page 40
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During His Imprisonment In Mauritius, One Of His Men Stayed With Him Voluntarily For Several Years, Enduring The Unpleasantness Of

Life in confinement far away from home, out of sheer devotion to his commander; and did not leave until Flinders,

Becoming hopeless of liberation, insisted on his taking advantage of an opportunity of going to England.

There is a touching proof of Flinders' tender regard for his men in the naming of a small group of islands to the west of the bell-mouth of Spencer's Gulf. A boat's crew commanded by the mate, John Thistle, was drowned there, through the boat capsizing. Thistle was an excellent seaman, who had been one of Bass's whale-boat crew in 1798, and had volunteered for service with the Investigator. Not only did Flinders name an island after him, and another after a midshipman, Taylor, who perished on the same occasion, but he gave to each of the islands near Cape Catastrophe the name of one of the seamen who lost their lives in the accident. In a country where men are valued for their native worth rather than on account of rank or wealth, such as is happily the case to a very large degree in Australia - and this is a far finer thing than mere political democracy - perhaps nothing in the career of Flinders is more likely to ensure respect for his memory, apart from the value of his achievements, than this perpetuation of the names of the sailors who died in the service.

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