Adventures of the Famine Diver, William Campbell by Roy Stokes

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Adventures of the Famine Diver, William Campbell by Roy Stokes

This is the story of man who lived two lives. From his birth, in 1813, he spent the first fifty years of his life in Scotland and Ireland. To this day, none of his descendants have ever understood why he travelled to and spent the second half of his life on the other side of the world – down under.

However, the first half of the 19th century was also a period during which millions were on the move, crisscrossing the globe in emigrant ships in search of fortune, which for many simply meant a job and a life.

William Campbell would remain an obscure contractor until the Press began to flatteringly describe him as an ‘Accomplished Diver’ or ‘The Talented Diver’ and even as ‘The Celebrated Diver’. A salute to his abilities and profession, they were glowing compliments afforded to few divers of the period but, Campbell was more than just a diver.

Crossing paths with historical and well-known public figures of the time, and working first hand with technological innovations of the Victorian period, William Campbell experienced more than a fair share of danger and adventure. Travelling throughout Ireland during one of the darkest periods of its history – the Great Famine – and eventually becoming the Superintendent of Works at one of the biggest harbours in Europe, Kingstown Harbour, is Mr Campbell’s story: the first half of it at least.

The second half of Mr Campbell’s life began after the whole family, quite suddenly, upped stakes in Ireland and travelled, by various adventures, to the other side of the world. Although they were amongst the founding fathers, little personal history of this Campbell Clan and Streaky Bay, Adelaide, South Australia survive. Nevertheless, Campbell’s latter life is now well known, having been documented by his family, friends and by the communities in which he and his family lived.

Adventures of the Famine Diver, William Campbell by Roy Stokes
History, Irish history, Australian history, maritime history, diving
252 printed pages with illustrations (colour/black & white). Paperback.
First published in Ireland, in 2021, by The Manuscript Publisher
ISBN: 978-1-911442-30-1

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