Enthusiasm in the east for the virtually unexplored territory of the far north-west of Australia proved to be sadly misplaced.
Three vessels carrying 124 men, women and children and thousands of head of livestock sailed to settle the land around Camden Harbour, in the Kimberley.
They sought a Utopia. They found death and dismay.
The award-winning There Were Three Ships tells the story of the expedition.
The author makes use of diaries and official records found in British and Australian archives.
Some are listed below, with other records that have come to light since the book’s first publication.
Hi, I believe my G Grandparents John & Marjory Nolen(Nolan) subscribed to the Camden Harbour Settlers Association and arrived at CH in December 1864. Their names arent listed on either the Stag or the Calliance so can only assume they were on the Helvetia. They were accompanied by their 2 year old daughter & 1 yr old son.
I understand they left CH in early 1865 but have not yet confirmed this. John went on to be a successful farmer and local Councillor in Victoria.
Maybe CH was a good lesson in “if it sound too good to be true, then it probably is”.
Jennifer, Peter: Apologies for the incredibly late reply. I will have to look into the Nolens. I’m interested they later went to Charlton, Vic. My father’s father (no link to Camden Harbour) was manager of the Charlton flour mill from 1921 until the mid 1950s. He followed in Nolen’s footsteps by becoming a shire councillor. My father was raised in the town.