"He has no bad habits and is strictly temperate and will give good service."

Lasseter's reference from A. S. Cotton. The Search for Harold Lasseter. Murray Hubbard. pg 71. 


The Christmas season seems to have had a profound effect on Harold Lasseter, with a notable number of incidents and correspondence occurring at this time, There is his letter of reference from Mr. A. S. Cotton at Clifton Springs dated Christmas eve 1908, and his unexpected arrival at his Sisters door over Christmas 1909, he had just returned from America. He pegged his reef on Christmas Day (his camels bolted two days later) and his 1915 Yuletide diatribe to the Minister for Defence.

There is not one word of good cheer in four pages of angst and frustration, although Lasseter's solution to an intractable problem may have had the unintended result of causing a great deal of mirth in the Ministers office. Lasseter had earlier proposed digging a canal across the narrowest part of the Gallipoli Peninsula, sail the Navy through to the Sea of Marmora and from there bombard Constantinople, thus knocking Turkey out of the First World War. Lasseter considered that he had not been given a fair hearing.


Given the Gallipoli Peninsula's strategic location, the idea of a canal from the Gulf of Saros to the Sea of Marmora had been considered since Classical times although Lasseter probably lifted his inspiration from a remarkable book, nearly 150 years ahead of these times, by George Perkins Marsh, titled Man and Nature. where Marsh outlines the difficulties and benefits of the Saros Canal. Over the years Lasseter pestered the Authorities with numerous ideas schemes and proposals, not one of them was original and several have been gleaned from 'Scientific American' although Lasseter claimed on many occasions that he was the first and others had stolen his innovations, radio controlled aircraft and the Sydney Harbour Bridge come to mind.


R.Ross. 1999-2006

George Perkins Marsh, Man and Nature Or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action, pgs 445-446. National Archives Australia. Title, Suggestions for Forming Shotgun Brigade and Bridge Building Brigades.  Series number MP367/1. Control symbol, 514/7/78. Barcode, 353954.