Here is a small yet vital piece of Australian history: Mrs. Mary Watson of Lizard Island became a heroine after her diary was discovered beside her skeleton on a lonely coral atoll in the Great Barrier Reef. She had been left on Lizard Island in September 1881 while her husband established a fishing station further north. For company she had only her three month old son and two Chinese manservants; for protection she had two rifles and a pistol. When Ah Leong was killed by Aborigines, Mary, Ah Sam and the baby escaped in an old tank. They floated at the mercy of the sea for ten days before coming ashore on the atoll where their remains were found four months later. Her diary not only tells of her desperate escape, but also of her childhood in Cornwall and the time of the Queensland gold rush.
Lizard Island – The Life of Mrs. Watson: Jillian Robertson
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