OUR MARITIME HISTORY
months into the voyage plans or amutiny were being hatched with theSkipper, Ariaen Jacobsz, being atthe oreront o the idea. The starto the plan saw the Batavia steeredaway rom the other ships in the feetand the idea was that when the shipwas suciently separated rom therest o the feet the captain and hisriends would be ed to the sharks. Butbeore any more could happen ateintervened.A ew hours beore dawn on June4 the boat struck Morning Ree, twomiles rom Beacon Island, in theAbrolhos Islands. Theboat held ast andater judging therewas no way it could beretrieved the evacuationbegan. Ater many tripsbetween the closestislands and the shipmost passengers andcrew were retrieved withonly thirty people drowning in theprocess o the rescue, which was anamazing eort considering the stormyweather and the number o people(340) people on the boat.The next days saw a survey o the islands take place and realisingthere was insucient water, ood andshelter the Fleet Commander, FrancoisPelsaert, and some crew members seto or Java in one o the Batavia’s 30oot long-boats. Leaving behind 280people they continued their journeyand on arrival in Java they sourced aship called the Saardam beore sailingback to rescue thesurvivors.What they ound ontheir return shockedthem to the core.
When Pelsaert and hismen had let or Java,Jeronimus Cornelisz wasset in charge o the people and theislands. Over the course o the eightweeks Pelsaert was away Corneliszbegan a vicious rule over the islandsand as ood and water began to runout he resorted to murdering hisellow survivors.Through the work o his henchmen,some o the original men who backedhis mutiny while the ship was stillafoat, around 125 men, women andchildren were massacred. Somewere clubbed to death, others werestrangled and some were drowned.On occasions a group o people wouldbe executed. Other times individualswere taken. Some o the women werekept alive only to service the menwhenever they needed it.This treachery saw the survivorsdivide into two groups on separateislands. One island housed Corneliszand his men with all the guns andswords. The other group, having noweapons, but on a separate island, set
“The event wastruly WesternAustralia’s Lordof the Flies.”
RIGHT: Golding’s originalcover – The Lord of the Flies.THIS PICTURE: The restoredsection of the Batavia’s hullin Fremantle.