Forgotten Australia

History - As You've Never Heard It Before

From the desperate struggle against Spanish Flu in Sydney and the weekend Melbourne was ruled by anarchic mobs, to Brisbane’s most puzzling murder mystery and the Lord Howe Islander who tried to save passengers on the Titanic, each episode of Forgotten Australia brings you an incredible true story that you didn’t learn in history class. Forgotten Australia is created by Michael Adams, a Sydney-based writer, author and television producer.

Another missing woman, more illegal operations and alleged murders, along with scandalous affairs and amnesiac witnesses. In the final part of this episode, the full extent of Nurse Hannah Mitchell's trials and tribulations is revealed.

murder true crime court trial 1920s Melbourne Australia history


In 1923 Nurse Hannah Mitchell faced trial, charged with the murder of Bertha Coughlan and the attempted murder of her ex-husband Frank Bonfiglio. The evidence was sensational, as were the verdicts.

murder true crime trial court 1920s Australia history


While many bushrangers are celebrated as rebel leaders, the one man who might really fit the bill—Ralph Entwistle, leader of the Ribbon Boys—is all but unknown. It was his naked swim that led to Australia’s biggest convict uprising—1830’s The Bathurst Rebellion—and resulted in one of the largest mass hangings in our history. Yet the entire tragedy wouldn’t have happened if it not for a police magistrate’s fondness for handing out brutal punishments.

It was the Teacher’s Pet-style mystery that gripped Australia 80 years ago. Brisbane socialite Marjorie Norval disappeared in November 1938 under bizarre circumstances, sparking the biggest search in Queensland’s history. In the days and months to come, four heroic rescuers would die, one of her rumoured lovers would commit suicide, and a light would be shone on the city’s shady characters, from illegal abortionists to peeping Toms.

Brisbane Australia True Crime History Marjorie Norval Murder Cover-up