The remains of an explorer discovered during the clearance preparations for HS2 at Euston is to be reburied in his home town.

Earlier this year, archaeologists working on the HS2 project behind Euston station, discovered the remains of Captain Matthew Flinders, the explorer who is credited with giving Australia its name. He was buried at St. James’s burial ground on 23rd July 1814. Following the expansion of Euston station westwards into part of the burial ground in 1840s, Flinders’s headstone was removed and it was thought that his remains had been lost.

For a long time, there was an urban myth that Cpt. Flinders was buried under platform 15 at Euston station.

In January his burial place was discovered, and identified thanks to the surviving breast plate on top of his coffin, and that in turn triggered a request from the descendants of the Flinders family and the local community for his remains to be returned to the village where he grew up.

His final resting place has now been announced and he will be reburied in at the Church of St Mary and the Holy Rood in Donington, near Spalding, where he was baptised, and where many members of his family are buried. There is currently no set date for when his body will be reburied in at the church, however, the diocese of Lincoln has given consent to the reburial and the Parochial Church Council is working on the details of a suitable memorial.

This will be the final voyage for Captain Matthew Flinders.

Captain Flinders made several significant voyages, most notably as commander of H.M.S. Investigator which he navigated around the entire coast of Australia. This made him the first known person to sail around the country in its entirety, confirming it as a continent.

He is also credited with giving Australia its name, although not the first to use the term, his work popularised its use. His surname is associated with many places in Australia, including Flinders Station in Melbourne, Flinders Ranges in South Australia and the town of Flinders in Victoria.

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6 comments on “HS2 triggers the final voyage for Australia explorer
  1. Susan Cooke says:

    Good to hear Matthew Flinders is going home. It’s a pity so many other graves of our pioneers and also the Aborigines who were taken to England as curios are now lost.

  2. Maurice Reed says:

    I’ve seen the memorial to him at the front of Euston and wondered why it was located there.

  3. Andrew says:

    Flinders Street Station to be precise, in Flinders Street. It is surprising that I don’t know about this, or perhaps I have forgotten.

  4. ChrisC says:

    There is also a Flinders electorate in the State of Victoria that sends an MP to the Australian Parliament named after him – they name constituencies after both people and places down under.

  5. Colin Mansell says:

    “This will be the final voyage for Captain Matthew Flinders”
    That’s what they said the first time they buried him……

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