Blog Archives

Another ANZAC day, nine years ago.

Dan Willis was my English teacher at school in England, back in the sixties. He was a nice man, also directing the school plays, and productions at an amateur theatre that I belonged to, The Medway Little Theatre, Rochester, Kent. Consequently, during my school years, and subsequently, when I became a professional actor,

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Posted in Blog, Books, The Durra Durra Trilogy


Durra Durra: Governor Macquarie and the naming of Campbelltown.

The southerly buster roaring around the chimneys of their house ‘Glen Alpine’, and being unable to sleep, Isabella Reddall, decides to read over her old journals, picking the 1st December 1820, and the momentous occasion when Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his wife Elizabeth, announced their intention to visit Meehan’s Castle on their way to Campbelltown,

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Posted in Blog, The Durra Durra Trilogy


James Baker Waldon: Murder or Manslaughter?

Hi John. Remember me? Marcia McIntyre of Gundagai (I now live in Wagga. My husband Barry died suddenly in Sept. 2013). I enjoyed reading your blog on our James Baker Waldon (which I have just found). Great to make contact with you again. Did you know that at Beechworth,Victoria in 1855,

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Posted in Blog, Books, The Durra Durra Trilogy


James Baker Waldon: The Real Life Story

 

Two months after his father James and mother, Elizabeth Mison are married in All Saints Church, Little Thurlow, Suffolk, James Baker Waldon is born in March 1811, in Great Wratting, a village close by.

There is very little is know about the family, until the late 1820’s,

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Posted in Blog, Books, The Durra Durra Trilogy


Durra Durra: Life and Times of a Convict Ship

Bound for Port Jackson, New South Wales, and two months at sea, the ‘Isabella’ is making good headway in the South Atlantic, with her human cargo two hundred and fifty convicts.  James Baker Waldon, wrongly accused of stealing a pocket handkerchief, is growing accustomed to life aboard a convict ship,

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Posted in Blog, Books, The Durra Durra Trilogy


Durra Durra: Intrigue and Injustice; a novel by J.A.Wells. Tom Fagan gets to the truth.

Through the fog, the gaslights shimmered emerald green. Tom Fagan knew he was beside the river because he could hear the slap of the waves on the granite wall below, and the creaking masts and rigging of the merchantmen moored along the quay. The fog was impenetrable, the foul stench seeping through the scarf wound tightly around his face.

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Posted in Blog, The Durra Durra Trilogy


What happened to James Baker Waldon’s mess mates?

What happened to James Baker Waldon’s mess mates?

It is November 1831 and convicted felon, James Baker Waldon, is on his way to the Colonies aboard the transport ship, Isabella, under master, Mr William Wiseman and Surgeon Superintendent, Thomas Galloway. Along with James are over three hundred convict men and boys,

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Posted in Blog, Books, The Durra Durra Trilogy


The Siege of Gunning

Gunning, New South Wales; a small town on the Old Hume Highway, south of Goulburn, and in the 1840’s, a frontier settlement. For the handful of pastoralists holding land grants in the vicinity, the little town was home to the general store,

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Posted in Blog, Books, The Durra Durra Trilogy


James Baker Waldon: From fact to fiction.

James Baker Waldon: From fact to fiction.

Had I not discovered this man, back in 2003, I would never have written my first novel ‘Durra Durra,’ since he is my principle character and inspiration. Last weekend I conducted a weekend workshop for the University of Sydney in Family History which has given me the idea to tell you the story of how I first became a fan of genealogy.

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Posted in Blog, Books, The Durra Durra Trilogy


How ‘Durra Durra’ got its name.

A sample chapter from Durra Durra by J.A. Wells: One evening, during their exploration along the river, Hume and Hovell happened upon a bend, where the stream was wide and strong, tumbling over rocks and boulders. It looked a likely spot to set up camp and they pitched the tents for the night. In the morning, Hume woke early and went to the riverbank to wash and shave. While he balanced his mirror on a rock, he caught site, in the reflection, a group of aborigines watching him.

Posted in Blog, Books, The Durra Durra Trilogy
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