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Hell Ship

By: Michael Veitch
Narrated by: Michael Veitch
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Publisher's Summary

The riveting story of one of the most calamitous voyages in Australian history, the plague-stricken sailing ship Ticonderoga that left England for Victoria with 800 doomed emigrants on board.  

For more than a century and a half, a grim tale has passed down through Michael Veitch’s family: the story of the Ticonderoga, a clipper ship that sailed from Liverpool in August 1852, crammed with poor but hopeful emigrants - mostly Scottish victims of the Clearances and the potato famine. A better life, they believed, awaited them in Australia.  

Three months later, a ghost ship crept into Port Phillip Bay flying the dreaded yellow flag of contagion. On her horrific three-month voyage, deadly typhus had erupted, killing a quarter of Ticonderoga’s passengers and leaving many more desperately ill. Sharks, it was said, had followed her passage, as the victims were buried at sea.    

Panic struck Melbourne. Forbidden to dock at the gold-boom town, the ship was directed to a lonely beach on the far tip of the Mornington Peninsula, a place now called Ticonderoga Bay.   

James William Henry Veitch was the ship’s assistant surgeon, on his first appointment at sea. Among the volunteers who helped him tend to the sick and dying was a young woman from the island of Mull, Annie Morrison. What happened between them on that terrible voyage is a testament to human resilience and to love.    

Michael Veitch is their great-great-grandson, and Hell Ship is his brilliantly researched narrative of one of the biggest stories of its day, now all but forgotten. Broader than his own family’s story, it brings to life the hardships and horrors endured by those who came by sea to seek a new life in Australia.

©2018 Michael Veitch (P)2018 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Hell Ship

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A must read of history interests you

I enjoyed this real story of the difficult and agonising ordeals people went through to come and settle here in Australia. So many brave souls.

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Excellent

For those researching family history, this is a great example of the grit required to make the voyage to Australia. This story unselfishly focused on all of the passengers and crew of the Ticonderoga and not only the efforts of his ancestor to manage the disease and death of those aboard. Well worth the read!

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Quite a trip...wow

Well written and read, excellent book, highly recommend a listen.
What a rough start those poor people endured.

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the saddnes

liked it all was a wonderful window into a sad chapter of our history

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Fascinating

I absolutely loved this book and was shocked that something like this happened so close to home. The crime is that it has not been dramatised for television yet.

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A fascinating story

I wasn’t sure what I was in for and for me found the start a bit slow. The start was important and it sucked me in hearing about the clearances and other factors that led to this period of mass migration to Australia.
The more the story went on, the more I was captured, the conditions, loss, grief and perseverance defies comprehension.
I am glad I gave it a chance.

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A Harrowing Account

My own ancestors made the journey from England to NZ in the mid 1800’s. I knew it was a long, hard voyage but never considered the trials and tribulations these poor people went through both in their home countries and then on these journeys to an uncertain future. My heart goes out to all the unfortunate souls involved in this book and the thousands who we have to thank for our own existence.

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Riveting

I sent a hard copy to my father who could not put the book down and on his recommendation listened on audible and have to agree a most enjoyable listen so relevant todays cruise liners and the transmission of co vid and gastro bugs.

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A very fine book.

Wonderfully written and narrated. A sad tale told sympathetically and with heart. Well worth listening to.

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Well written. Well Read

This book is riveting as a history of migration to Australia. The author is also a great narrator.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.