MY DEAREST GENNIE is the story of the authors Great grandfather Staff Commander John (Jack) Thomas Ewing Gowlland R.N. (1838-1874) based on his naval logs1853-1874 and letters (1863-1874) to his wife Genevieve (nee Lord).
Passing out of the Upper Naval School at Greenwich in 1853 aged 15, Jack served in the Baltic Blockade in the Crimean War and then on surveying duties in South America, British Columbia and The Ionian Islands before coming to Australia.
He married Genevieve Lord who was the granddaughter of Simeon Lord, the “Merchant Prince of Botany Bay”, and daughter of Francis Lord M.L.C. Jack’s main contribution was his survey of the coast of NSW and the rivers up to the turn of tide.
The NSW Government appointed him to lead the Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1871 and the mission to rescue the survivors of the Brig “Maria” in 1872. He was tragically drowned while completing the survey of Sydney Harbour when his boat was overturned off Dobroyd Head in August 1874. He was just 36.