Navy

Final Voyage For Royal Navy Captain Who Named Australia

The remains of Captain Matthew Flinders, the first to circumnavigate Australia, will return to Lincolnshire.

A Royal Navy explorer credited with giving Australia its name has returned to rest in Lincolnshire village where he was born, it has been announced.

The remains of Captain Matthew Flinders, who led the first circumnavigation of Australia, were discovered by experts excavating St James' burial ground in London for the new High Speed rail project.

Following requests from descendants of the Flinders family and the local community, they will be reinterred in his home village of Donington - more than 200 years after his death.

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Mark Thurston has written to the family to say he can be buried there.

Archaeologists were able to identify Captain Flinders' remains from the ornate lead nameplate placed on top of his coffin.

Watch: Archaeologists found Capt Flinders' remains earlier this year in central London.

Capt Flinders' most notable voyage was as Commander of H.M.S. Investigator which he navigated around the entire coast of Australia - a name he is credited with.

His journey, circumnavigating the entirety of Australia's land, confirmed it as a continent.

Helen Wass, HS2 Ltd Head of Heritage, said it is "fitting" that the "last voyage" of the explorer will be back to Donington. 

"This local boy from Donington put Australia on the map due to his tenacity and expertise as a navigator and explorer," she said.

"The Flinders name is synonymous with exploration, science and discovery."

Flinders Station in Melbourne, Flinders Ranges in South Australia and the town of Flinders in Victoria are examples of the Captain's enduring presence in Australia.