Thaks sd for your remarks , thought I should post this from the author Robert Travers.
It seems reasonably certain that Frank Butler was born Richard Ashe in Dorset , England in 1858.
Both his family name and birthplace have been matters of dispute , but officialdom accepted him as Ashe.
Much of his travelling was as a sailor in the Royal Navy , but before long Ashe was to desert his ship and change
his name for the first time. As a young seaman aboard HMS SULTAN "DARKEY ASHE " , as his shipmates called
him , was present at the bombardment of Alexandria . On that day in july 1882 he must have watched with fascination
the ceremony which preceeded the shelling ,as the navy took up its position all the foreign ships in port steamed out.
Ashe was not to be with the royal navy much longer , he was seen aboard HMS LIFFEY in San Francisco later in 1882
by a James Murphy , who also remembered that Ashe deserted earlier from either the PELICAN or TRIUMPH whilst in
the american port . San Francicso was to have a great attraction for Richard Ashe , for he spent several periods of his
life there , escaped from Australia and reached shelter there and was finally arrested in the Golden Gate. Ashe also
joined the american army under the name of " John Mcnight " within 3 months he had deserted and vanished again.
In regards to ASHE joining the mounties he only lasted a month before he deserted. He then decided to join the American
army again under the name of George Anderson. By May 1887 he had taken off again, and wandered back to San Francisco
where he signed on as a seaman under the name of J OHN Newman, sailing aboard Balclutha for Queenstown on 26 th Aug.
What happened next is unclear , officially Ashe did not appear again until he signed on the ULIDIA for sydney under his own name.
However during his imprisonment in San Francico in 1897 , Ashe was recognised by Capt Jones , who claimed he had shipped
aboard the FLINTSHIRE as Richard Pascoe. The rest of
the story goes on with him changing his name and vessels and jobs nearly as much as I change my underpants !!!!!!!. :lol!: