Headlines were released last year when the remains of Captain Matthew Flinders, the Royal Navy explorer who led Australia’s first circuit, were found in London’s Euston. Captain Flinders was discovered by archaeologists to help work on the HS2 project.
However, the scale of the findings is now set to be revealed in the documentary HS2 – The Biggest Dick on BBC Two on Tuesday, September 22nd.
Captain Blinders, commander of the HMS Investigator, was one of the greatest researchers of his generation, and the first European to circumnavigate Australia beginning in 1801.
Britain is also proud to have given its name to Australia, and there are many places in the antipode that refer to the researcher, such as Blinders Station in Melbourne, Blinders Limits in South Australia and the City of Blinders in Victoria.
The new documentary will reveal the moment when archaeologists discovered the remains of Captain Blinders and the silver coffin plate and coffin excavated.
Although it is known that Captain Blinders was buried in St. James Gardens Euston in 1814, his remains are not known exactly.
His helmet was removed in the 1840s following the expansion of the Euston Station westward as part of a burial mound, lost to explorers for the next 70 years.
However, experts were able to identify the remains of the examiner through a leading name plate set on the coffin lid known as the deposit box.
Mike Court, HS2’s leading archaeologist, said: “We were able to present this incredible discovery as part of this documentary, examining the discoveries made as part of HS2’s archeological work.
“The ability to document this, as it were, through the breast, was very exciting for the archaeologists working on the project.
“It’s particularly exciting to be CPD. Matthew Flinders, the grandfather of the famous Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, is commonly referred to as the ‘Father of Archeology’.”
Bill Lock of Lion TV, who produced the documentary, said: “It is significant that the remains of Captain Matthew Blinders were captured in Euston, and this has become the focal point of the second episode of the documentary.
“It allowed us to explore his story, which is of global historical significance and an attractive part of the project.”