Sunday, October 14, 2018

Featured Title Release: “Ready Aim Fire: Major James Francis Thomas - The Fourth Victim in the Execution of Harry 'Breaker' Morant”

Featured Title Release: “Ready Aim Fire: Major James Francis Thomas - The Fourth Victim in the Execution of Harry 'Breaker' Morant”


Author: James Unkles

Title Details

ISBN-13: 978-1-925230-50-5


235 pages

Australian History

Sid Harta Publishers Melbourne Australia


The Book


In 1902, three Australian volunteers who served with the British Army during the Anglo Boer War were tried and sentenced for executing Boer combatants. Lieutenants Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant and Peter Handcock were executed and George Witton sentenced to life imprisonment.
The manner in which these men were treated remains controversial, shrouded in protest that they were scapegoated for the war crimes of their British superiors.
The book is dedicated to the memory of Major James Francis Thomas who was relegated to history without an understanding of who he was and the part he played in the dynamic development of the town of Tenterfield in New South Wales, Australia, as a property owner, solicitor, newspaper proprietor, historian, poet, proponent for Australian nationalism, volunteer soldier.  How he came to serve in the Boer War, yet destined to die alone from malnutrition, destitute having suffered from the stress of what he experienced in representing Morant, Handcock and Witton as their trial lawyer.
This book acknowledges Thomas’ sacrifice he made in acting for his clients, a task that took a terrible toll on his mental and physical health and his life in Tenterfield.


Author bio


James Unkles is a military and civilian lawyer who began researching the 'Breaker' case in 2009 and had serious misgivings about the legality of the trials of Morant, Handcock and Witton.
James has conducted significant research into the Morant case. His work has included petitioning the British and Australian Governments. In 2018, he succeeded in securing a motion in the Australian House of Representatives that provided an apology to the descendants of these men and an expression of sincere regret that they were not tried according to the law of 1902 and suffered a fatal injustice.
Ready, Aim, Fire! James seeks justice for Thomas and to highlight Thomas’ place in Australian history.


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