Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Norman Clark in the news

My great uncle Norman Clark died at the age of 18 when he was taken by a shark off Middle Brighton Pier on Feb15th 1930.  He was the first swimmer to be killed by a shark in the bay for over 50 years, and was killed in full view of hundreds of people as there was a boating regatta taking place at the time.  The incident was reported in numerous papers around Australia - not just the Melbourne Argus but papers like the Rockhampton News, Launceston Times, Adelaide Advertiser, Brisbane Courier and Western Australian Mail.
Just looking at the language is fascinating - I doubt it would be allowed today to describe a young man's death in a shark attack as a "thrilling struggle".
I have over 20 newspaper articles reporting the attack and subsequent hunt for the shark, which was never found.  All the articles were found in about an hour while searching Trove, the website of the National Library of Australia, which has been busily digitizing newspapers for some time now.  What will you find there?

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