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An Ocean Away

Sick of poverty and wanting a better life for his family, James is determined to change his son’s future and tells him he must leave the village in country Ireland and puts the sixteen year old on a cart for Belfast.

Swept along by fate and determination, William, leaving his girlfriend behind, uses his wits in Belfast to obtain work. Hearing that gold is there for the taking, he finds his way onto the steam sailing ship Lady Grace bound for Australia – and the gold rush. Threatened onboard by bullies, and learning to cope with the unpredictable and savage elements during the voyage, his courage and patience are tested as he heads to the unknown new colony of Australia, and a new life.

Never easy, sometimes funny, and often dangerous, William’s adventures show how one determined man can change his future.



Peter Clarke is only one of many Australians who are intrigued by the stories of those immigrants who helped create a nation. Where did they come from? Why did they come? Why did they stay?

Born in Mudgee and raised in the Blue Mountains, Peter is familiar with the challenges of drought and fire, but these challenges are nothing compared to those faced by the early pioneers.

A working life in the computer industry has not in any way prepared Peter to write about the pioneers. However, a lively interest in early Australia and an adequate Irish heritage has contributed to a curiosity that has only been in part satisfied by several trips to Ireland, but also by an ability to use the new technology to surf world history and events and create a story of one man’s journey to reflect the difficulties of the time.