In 1914, Richard Richards abandons his comfortable life as a science teacher in Australia, to join a support party for Ernest Shackleton, in a very unfamiliar place; the Antarctic. Due to unforeseen circumstances Richards and a number of his companions become stranded in the Antarctic. However, despite his comparative youth, and inexperience in polar conditions, Richards adapts and survives, unlike some of his companions. He becomes more than an integral member of the team; he takes over a leadership role. He demonstrates what humans can do to stay alive, against near-impossible odds.
The Boy from Long Gully provides the reader with a thrilling insight into the mind-blowing and harrowing ordeal of twenty-two-year-old Richards. It is an utterly riveting story, one of the most amazing tales from a bygone era; the so-called Heroic Age in the Antarctic. Richard Richards is awarded the Albert Medal in 1923, for his heroism and gallantry in saving life in the Antarctic, the only Australian ever to be so honoured. However, with the Australian public today he is almost unknown. He is an unsung hero, but he ranks alongside Douglas Mawson in any yardstick of famous Australians from the early 1900s 'Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration'.