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Frank Jardine - Cape York pioneerFrank Jardine - Cape York pioneer

His name will forever be linked with Cape York Peninsula. Described as tough - some say ruthless - Frank Jardine opened up the far northern tip of Australia, and left behind a legacy that still touches people today.

Story and photos Ron and Viv Moon

The settlement of Somerset, near the tip of Cape York Peninsula and a popular destination for adventurous travellers today, was founded in 1864. Established as a government outpost and a supply station for passing shipping trade, it was also seen as a place of refuge and as a garrison town in a wild and remote region of the relatively new colony of Queensland. It was even described, rather grandiosely, as a new ' Singapore of the south', by the governor of the day.

Frank Jardine - Cape York pioneerPolice magistrate John Jardine was sent to Somerset with a small detachment of marines and other government officials to establish the settlement. He commissioned his sons, Frank and Alec, then 22 and 20 respectively, to bring a mob of cattle up from the family property Carpentaria Downs, near Rockhampton, to the fledgling settlement, which was in need of fresh supplies. Story end

Full story Issue 34 April/May 2004

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