First Land Rover Overland


book chronicles first overland to Australia. With a Land Rover of course

No doubt many of us wish we had the time, money and TV good looks to do a Ewan McGregor (and his mate) and embark on a motorised mega trip to lands far away and adventures extreme.

In 1955, when an Oxbridge degree still carried more weight than the Jedi mind trick, Tim Slessor and five other graduates persuaded Rover and the BBC to back them on just such a jaunt. The result was the first journey between London and Singapore, using only a Land Rover to move them.

Tim Slessor was the chronicler of the journey, helping work camera and penning the narrative of the trip, resulting in his 1957 book ‘First Overland’ which has become a seminal work for expedition literature.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Slessor went on to have a career at the BBC and later became a freelance writer.

In a great quote at the end of the preface of ‘First Overland’ he exonerates all adventurers that have gone after him, Ewan (and his mate) included:

“Whatever else the reader is tempted to think that we did, there is one thing that we did not do. We did not ‘gallivant’ – please. The Expedition has a deep and particular aversion to that verb.”