Little Boy Lost – Johnny Ashcroft

Little Boy Lost Johnny AshcroftIn the video below are scenes from the movie “Little Boy Lost,” accompanied by the famous Johnny Ashcroft song of the same name. It is the true story of Stephen Walls, a young Australian farm boy, whose disappearance inspired a continent into action in 1960.

Stephen, aged four, wandered off from his father’s farm in the New England region of Australia, some of the most rugged and hostile terrain in the country. After the alarm was raised, the entire town spent the next four days combing the New England ranges.

A great scene in the movie is where the local cop walks into the local hotel to call for volunteers. He then closes the pub until the search is concluded, but no one complains. Everyone in rural Australia knows the seriousness of being lost in the bush. And the matter is made more serious by the boy’s young age.

Many tourists passing through also stopped and joined the search, including entire tourist buses. Television, only four years old in Australia at the time, broadcast the amazing scenes to every part of Australia, and national radio carried constant reports of the search. People travelled hundreds of miles to join the search, which involved thousands of people.

Later, it was revealed that the boy had heard the searchers, but had avoided them. Taught to be wary of strangers, the boy didn’t know that the boisterous hordes of volunteers were his saviours and not his enemies.

Brought up in the bush, he had good bush skills, and knew how to survive. This included finding water, and what berries and food in the bush were safe to eat. After four tense days, hope waned. At last, a group of searchers spotted young Stephen, and its members were able to convince him that they wanted to help him reach home and family.

The story has become become part of Australia’s folk lore, and the song was a huge international hit for Johnny Ashcroft.



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