Aidan De BRUNE

Aidan de Brune journalist, author, and pedestrian was the first person in recorded history to walk around the perimeter of Australia, unaccompanied and unassisted.

He was born Herbert Charles Cull in London, England in 1874 to Charles James William Cull and Sarah Ann Eveleigh. He started his professional life as a printer. Herbert married Ethel Elizabeth Crofts in 1907 and a son, Lionel, was born in 1909.

He arrived in Fremantle, Australia in May 1910 on the ship Seydlitz. Herbert’s wife and son followed him to Australia and arrived on the Persic in November 1910.
His wife and son returned to England in 1912 and he remained in Australia for the rest of his life.

Herbert found work at the Bunbury Herald where he wrote several serial stories. He left the newspaper in 1920 and began a walk from Fremantle, leaving in November 1920 and arriving in Sydney in early 1921. By this time, he started using the name of Aidan De Brune.

Leaving Sydney on 20 September 1921 De Brune began his circumnavigation walk around Australia, eventually arriving back in Sydney on 4 March 1924. He was away from Sydney for 897 days, of which he walked on 572 days.

De Brune kept a diary during his walk, with daily entries detailing the distance he walked each day and the total distance to date. He also invited people he met along the way to certify his presence at the location he was at and to make comments. After he finished his walk, he donated the diary and a typescript of the contents of the diary to the State Library of New South Wales.

After he walked around Australia, Aidan de Brune settled in Sydney and began writing serialised mystery stories for newspapers based largely on life in the underworlds of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Aidan De Brune died in Sydney on 15 February 1946 and his death was registered as that of Aidan De Brune. His entry in the cemetery records is shown as Charles Francis Aidan DEBRONE.

Source: TROVE, National Library of Australia Newspaper Collection
Source: NSW Birth Death and Marriages
Source: Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park
Source: National Archives of Australia