The stories of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events that made headlines. They may have lived in the same suburbs, streets, and even the same houses that still exist, but now lie in Australian cemeteries.
In cemeteries throughout Australia, gravestones hint at our history – tales of early settlement, unsolved murders, love lost, mystery, tragedy, health epidemics, scandal and sacrifice. Grave Tales reveals more than the headstone can ever convey by tracing the tumultuous journeys that lead to these final resting places.
Grave Tales Brisbane Vol. 1 visits five Brisbane cemeteries and features people who willingly or unwilling, were participants in events that made local and national headlines. They may have lived in the same suburbs, streets, and even the same houses as exist now, or unexpectantly came to rest in a Brisbane cemetery.
Meet the train driver who died on the Samford Range with 14 of his passengers; the working girl who caught the Pearl ferry and perished in the river; the Jack the Ripper suspect who had 20 wives, mostly all at once; the only woman ever hanged in Queensland; a boxer who should have been world champ but was a victim of the race card; a soldier who wanted to die with Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant; and more.More info →
In the second book in the exciting Grave Tales series, we begin the journey in Great Ocean Road Country and visit established cemeteries and burial places off-the-beaten-track to feature people who willingly or unwillingly were participants in events that made local and national headlines. They may have lived in the same suburbs, streets, and even the same houses as exist now, or unexpectantly came to rest between Geelong and Port Fairy.
Meet the ladies of the lighthouse who led an isolated life; the unionist shot in an affray; the stage actor whose career ended too soon; the men who sighted the fabled Mahogany Ship; the two survivors of a shipwreck that everyone wanted to see married, but it wasn’t to be; the inventor of the Ute and what inspired his unusual design; and the lady who rests in a ‘donated’ isolated beach grave.More info →
In the third book in the exciting Grave Tales series, journalists Helen Goltz and Chris Adams unearth Sydney’s interesting tales. Join them for a walk through some of Sydney’s oldest cemeteries to get an insight into the incredible lives of relatively unknown Australians. Using gravestones as their starting points they have meticulously researched a curated selection of headstones to uncover the secrets of the past.
Some highlights include –
- The story of Henry O’Farrell, our first would-be assassin – who in 1868 had tried to kill Queen Victoria’s son. He failed, but was nonetheless executed with indecent haste, despite the fact he had long been suffering from a mental breakdown.
- The story of the tragic deaths of all but one of the 122 passengers of the Dunbar, which crashed and sank as it pulled into Sydney Heads, right at the end of its long journey from London. The sole survivor, James Johnson was found two days later, clinging to the rock ledges of The Gap amidst the debris of body parts in the sea below.
- The unremarkable grave of Patrick Brady does little to reflect his life as an expert forger, or his close links to the Coogee Shark Arm Murders of 1935 which gripped the country and remain unsolved today.
Also featuring detailed reflections on more well-known Australians such as Juanita Nielsen, Dorothea Mackellar and Arthur Stace, the book paints an incredible picture of Sydney’s past.More info →
Take a journey along the Bruce Highway and enjoy these stories of trailblazers, heroes, victims and everyday people caught up in extraordinary events.
From the Sunshine Coast to Cooktown, read about how two nurses in Maryborough in 1905 gave their lives to save a town from an outbreak of pneumonic plague; the unsolved mystery of how Mollie Thompson’s body ended up in an impossibly hard to reach water reservoir; the migrant who created his dream and shared it with generations; the mother and her five children who lost their lives in the Mackay cyclone; how gold fever saved the state from going broke; why the first person to be hanged in Rockhampton goal was a bent cop; the inscription on a tree on the Sunshine Coast that reflects a tumultuous sea journey; and the 13 RAAF members who came to rest permanently in Townsville, to name a few.
‘Grave Tales’ features people who willingly or unwilling were participants in events that made headlines. These people may have lived in the same suburbs, streets, and even the same houses as exist now.More info →
What made them do it? What were they thinking? Was it nature or nurture, that is, were they born evil or were they the products of their environment? And why are we so fascinated with crime?
We are delighted to present the first volume in the Grave Tales: True Crime series.
As our nation developed, the bush prospered and the cities grew, there were the terrible crimes that took away our innocence, crimes destined never to be solved that live on in our history… crimes that confound us with their cruelty, stagger us with their brilliance and amaze us with their sheer audacity.More info →
In the sixth book in the exciting Grave Tales series, journalists Helen Goltz and Chris Adams head southwest to unearth some great tales from Ipswich to Augathella. Stories include:
- The Toowoomba Terror: the first Queensland-made car built by the Trevethan brothers;
- Gatton: Queensland’s oldest cold case, the murder of the Murphy siblings;
- Ipswich: The Babies of Walloon: young sisters, Bridget Kate and Mary Jane Broderick, immortalised by Henry Lawson in his 1891 poem;
- Nobby: the story of Victor Denton and the March of the Dungarees;
- Goondiwindi: The day that the town helped Albert Einstein;
- St George: Len Waters – Australia’s only WWII Aboriginal fighter pilot who nearly didn’t survive to tell the story;
- Roma: The Utopian Experiment and the families who took part;
- Charleville: The drowning of the Misses Switzer; and the best in the the West – Harry Corones;
- Augathella: The strange poisoning case of Mrs Margaret Roche;
… And 9 more in this exciting volume.More info →
In the seventh book in the exciting Grave Tales series, journalists Helen Goltz and Chris Adams visit Melbourne cemeteries to unearth some great tales. Stories include:
- Whelan the Wrecker – the man and name synonymous with the wrecking ball and recycling a lot of Melbourne’s history;
- Leo Rosner – as featured in the movie ‘Schindler’s List’ – the Jewish Holocaust survivor who made a life post-war in Melbourne;
- The Mornington Football Club disaster – the weekend a football team was tragically wiped out;
- Cyril Callister – Mr Vegemite!
- Beautiful Erica McMillan and the Moomba Queens – beauty and tragedy in a time before political correctness;
- Alice Anderson – the untimely end of one of our first female mechanics;
- Walter Lindrum – the Don Bradman of billiards;
- The murder of Alma Tirtschke and how the wrong man hanged;
… And 10 more stories in this volume.More info →
Grave Tales: Scenic Rim & Surrounds, Qld visits the many public and private cemeteries in Queensland's Scenic Rim and tells of the everyday people who - willingly or unwillingly – were participants in events that made local and national headlines. They may have lived in the same suburbs, streets, and even the same houses as exist now, or finished their days in this beautiful area. These stories hint at our history - tales of unsolved murders, love lost, mystery, tragedy, early settlement, health epidemics, scandal and sacrifice. Grave Tales reveals more than the headstone can ever convey by tracing the tumultuous journeys that lead to these final resting places.More info →
In the ninth volume in the exciting Grave Tales series, journalists Helen Goltz and Chris Adams visit Tasmanian cemeteries to unearth some great tales.
- Mark Jeffrey: a Port Arthur prisoner who lived with the 1100 or so deceased residents on the Isle of the Dead and should have been buried there…
- Sylvia McArthur: a girl who died young but made her mark documenting in letters to a newspaper’s children’s page what life was like in the mining towns.
- Frederick Thompson: was the last man hanged in Tasmania. His crime, the murder of young, Eveline Mary Maughan. He claimed his innocence to the end.
- Roy Cazaly: footy fans still sing the song about him, Up There Cazaly, but the champion moved to Tasmania where his life took him on a different track.
- John Joseph Sweeney: a Tasmanian soldier who joined the NZ forces as a tunneller, planting explosives under German trenches, but met a terrible fate.
- The Neva: the female convict ship that carried over 200 passengers and crew, but when it hit a reef, it was not women and children first.
- Thomas Nevin may have created the first mugshots in Tasmania, capturing poignant images of men who ended their days on Tasmania’s gallows.
- Martin Cash: has been described as a rarity – a bushranger who lived to retire.
… And 10 more stories in this volume.More info →
Format: paperback, ebook, audio book and podcast! Available from the Grave Tales store or Amazon.
Pages: 298 – 300pp
Publication dates: 2017 – 2022.
Category: Non-fiction, biography, true crime, Australiana, history, modern history.
Publisher: Atlas Productions.