This poem by Elizabeth Adams is reproduced with permission from the October 2023 issue of Cook’s Log, the journal of the Captain Cook Society (   

Captain Flinders Goes Home 

If Dampier had lived in time to meet Cook,[1] 

Would they have realised they both had stood 

At opposite ends of the same landmass? 

I like to think so, but doubt that they would. 

For it wasn't until twenty years after Cook 

That Captain Flinders sailed all the way 

Round the vast, seemingly endless coast

And gave it the name we use to this day. 

Most 'Brits' never took much notice of Flinders 

Until, when digging for the country's new train, 

His coffin was found in old burial ground 

Where for two hundred years he had quietly lain. 

He refused to live a life mediocre, 

And now that for his body we no longer search, 

He need fear no more to "rest .... unnoticed", 

For he'll be taken back to his Lincolnshire church.   

Reference [1] William Dampier was the first recorded Englishman to set foot on Australia, some 80 years before Cook.