I was writing earlier about a book club my mum belonged to, and the books she received through the post, and one I mentioned because I remember reading it so vividly was ‘Exploration Fawcett’, about Colonel Percy Fawcett who was convinced there was a secret city hidden in the depths of the Amazonian jungle.
It is a fascinating story, compiled from his papers by his son Brian… because Fawcett himself, and his other son, Jack and another young man, set off on an expedition into the Matto Grosso in 1925… an expedition from which he never returned. Rumours and stories abounded, that he was living with a native tribe, that he had secretly returned, but the truth probably was that the three men died deep in the jungle.
I suppose one of the reasons the story so captivated me was that my grandfather had also explored the Amazonian basin, travelling nine hundred miles up the mighty river in the early 1900’s; I wonder if he ever actually came across Fawcett who would have been about fifteen years older than him? When Fawcett set out on his 1925 expedition, what would grandpa have thought as he read about it in the papers, and subsequently when it became apparent that the explore was missing, and then disappeared altogether?
Percy Harrison Fawcett was born in Newton Abbott in Devon, in 1867; his parents, Edward and Myra were both born in India, in 1840 and 1841. By the time little Percy was born, the family had been living in Devon for several years and there were three other children, Blanche, Edward and Myra, and after him Beatrice arrived… Percy married Mina or Nina Prichard in 1901, who he had met in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and had at least two sons… He seems to have led an extraordinary life, and the mystery of his death still raises speculation and theory of what actually happened to him!
My featured image is not of the Colonel, but of my grandfather, another interesting man, who did come home to tell his tales.