|287. WEST AUSTRALIAN STOCK ROUTE.|
|"carried him to the surveying camp on the Western Australian Stock Route".|
"An Afghan camel driver carried him to the surveying camp on the Western Australian Stock Route. Surveyor Harding nursed him back to life;" it's a moot point to argue the location of the Western Australian Stock Route and for some time it was assumed to be the Canning Stock Route where the Afghan found Lasseter. The matter may have rested there except the Canning Stock Route was not surveyed until 1906, some seven years after Lasseter, (or is it Idriess ?) alleged he was saved by the Afghan. The answer came to light when researching the fate of Johanson and the fortunes of Michael Terry's third Endeavor expedition.
The Western Australian Stock Route was being surveyed for the West Australian Lands Department in 1931 by Chief Surveyor Paine. The route was to run from Laverton to the Warburton Ranges to open up pastoral country recently leased by Sam Hazlett. Some held the hope that the route may continue to the rail line at Oodnadatta, such didn't come to pass, but the location of the route fits in neatly with Idriess's version of Lasseter's salvation, down to the sandalwood gatherers. Hazlett was in the sandalwood business and he also had something to do with that furphy about the murder of two white men in the Rawlinson Ranges, (Idriess infers that one of the two murdered men was Lasseter's mate, Johansen). Hazlett was also out there in the Warburton's at the same time as the Quest Expedition, (the expedition that Basedow apparently confused with the C.A.G.E. Expedition in his foreword to Lasseter's Last Ride) and one can't help thinking that the word gets back to Basedow this way and then to Idriess if not direct from Gall or Hazlett to Idriess.
In any event the Canning Stock Route wasn't surveyed until 1906 and the Western Australian Stock Route in 1931 and this is almost certainly the route that Idriess is alluding too, and somebody involved with the survey of that route gave details to Idriess, or Idriess saw Press releases if there were any.
© R.Ross. 1999-2006