A Letter from Alice — Outback Australia Stories

Rob George

Frank Rees George, was a government geologist around the turn of last century and took part in a number of explorations in the west and north of the state. In the summer of 1906 Frank was in an exploring party in the Peterman Ranges area when they were attacked by aborigines and the leader of the group was speared through the eye. Frank George took over leadership of the team and managed to get them all safely back to Alice Springs but after a day or so Frank collapsed and died – he was in his early 30s. – it is assumed from peritonitis. He was buried in the cemetery at Alice Springs and a road is named after him. It’s a sad story but there is a particularly poignant element to it. After his death the team’s camel driver, George Edginton, wrote a long letter to Frank’s mother in which he detailed the events leading up to Frank’s illness and then describes Frank’s final hours. It’s a beautifully written letter, sensitive, heartfelt and moving – an extraordinary achievement especially given that the writer was a camel driver.

Photo taken on expedition by Frank Rees George.  I assume the person in the photo is George Edginton who wrote the letter to Frank’s mother on his death.

Frank Rees George



Photo taken of the expedition by Frank Rees George.

Photo taken of the expedition by Frank Rees George.

Photo taken of the expedition by Frank Rees George

Frank’s grave in George Crescent Alice Springs


Filed under Australian culture, cultural transmission, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, photography, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, working class conditions

2 responses to “A Letter from Alice — Outback Australia Stories

  1. Anne Scherer

    Is it possible to view this letter? I am currently (Sept 2022) documenting the people who have cottages named after them at The Old Timers Home in Alice Springs and George Edginton is one of these. He was one of the first to live there.
    Anne Scherer
    Alice Springs NT

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