The Drowned Man
Brendan James Murray
Rating: 4 / 5
When Brendan James Murray entered a fish and chip shop in Queenscliff, Vic., to order lunch, it changed his life and put him on the track of a story that would go on to have serious consequences for the Australian military forces.
While in the shop he overheard some customers discussing homosexuality. “We didn’t put up with his type in the navy,” said one particularly outspoken man.
This man went on to say that he served on HMAS Australia during the war and recounted a story about a young man on the ship who was suspected of being gay. “Three of our blokes grabbed him and tossed him over the side,” Murray heard him say.
Murray left that fish and chip shop utterly shocked by what he’d heard. The Drowned Man is a search for the truth, which in turn not only led to identifying the victim and perpetrators of this incident, but also unearthed the extent of bigotry in the navy.