NEW GUINEA DISASTER
It was a grande folie and one that could so easily have been fatal to the young reporter. For all his undoubted courage, physical stamina and mental toughness, Ernest Morrison had barely attained his majority when David Syme entrusted him with leadership of the New Guinea expedition.
He would later write of the hubris that had led him to accept the commission. ‘I could not believe in the possibility of my failing, and against the advice of my friends I accepted a responsibility for which I was unfitted. My journey was ill-conceived and ill-prepared.’
Ill-conceived it certainly was—and for that the older and more experienced Syme must take much of the blame—but at the time Morrison did all he could to prepare for the hazards of the ‘Last Unknown’, as New