Spinifex and Sand by D W Carnegie

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Spinifex and Sand A Narrative of Five Years' Pioneering and Exploration in Western Australia

In 1896 1897, the Hon David Wynford Carnegie, born in 1871, youngest son of the Earl of Southesk, led one of the last great expeditions in the exploration of Australia. His route from Lake Darlot to Halls Creek and return took thirteen months and covered over three thousand miles.

Carnegie financed his expedition from the results of a successful gold strike at Lake Darlot. Arriving in Australia in 1892 with his friend, Lord Percy Douglas, he learnt the ways of the bush as a miner, prospector and engine driver, taking several small expeditions into unknown areas in search of gold.

Carnegie gives a first hand account of the Coolgardie gold rush, the suffering of the prospectors, great gold discoveries, his own long march with typhoid fever, the desert tribes, the constant search for water, the death of one of his men and the vastness of the surrounding desert.

All are woven together in one of the most readable accounts of exploration in Australia. David Carnegie returned to England in 1898, was awarded a medal by the Royal Geographic Society and in 1899 was appointed Assistant Resident and Magistrate in Northern Nigeria. On 27 November 1900 while on an expedition to capture a brigand he was shot in the thigh with a poisoned arrow and died minutes later. He is buried in Lokaja, Nigeria and a memorial to his memory is in St Georges Cathedral, Perth.