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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Searle, Henry Ernest

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Searle, Henry Ernest, champion sculler of the world, was born at Grafton, N.S.W., on July 14th, 1866. He won a race at Chatsworth when eighteen, but his first public performance of any importance was at Grafton in 1888, when he won a two-mile race against Hearn, of New Zealand, and Christian Neilson, of his own colony. The same year he made his first appearance on the champion course at Parramatta, N.S.W., when he defeated both Wulf and Stanbury, the latter in 19 minutes 53 seconds. He repeated his conquest of Christian Neilson over the same course in Sept. 1888; and having challenged Kemp, who had succeeded Beach as champion of the world, beat him easily on Oct. 27th of the same year in 22 minutes 44 seconds. Hanlan having declined to tempt fortune by entering the lists against him, he went to England on May 9th, 1889, and met O'Connor, the champion oarsman of America, on the Thames championship course on Sept. 9th, and vanquished him easily in 22 minutes 42 seconds. After being generally lionised, he set out on his return voyage to Sydney. On the passage he sickened of typhoid fever, and died at Williamstown, Vict., on Dec. 10th, 1889. The reception which would have been extended to him personally was given to his remains on their arrival in Sydney, his funeral being one of the largest and most influentially attended ever witnessed in the colony.