The Authors

Paul Kable AM joined the Royal Australian Naval College in January 1963 from Avalon Beach, New South Wales. As a junior officer he saw active service during Indonesia’s confrontation of Malaysia and in Vietnam; and he undertook two years professional training in the UK with the opportunity for  family history research.

  Commodore Kable served as the Navigating and Operations Officer of the destroyer HMAS STUART from December 1968 until 1971, when he proceeded to HMS DRYAD in England on a year’s warfare course. This gave him additional time for family history research. From April 1972 to May 1974 he was Staff Navigation Officer to Captain Mine Countermeasures and Fishery Protection, based in Scotland where he met his wife Anne. On return to Australia, he taught at the Navigation School, HMAS WATSON, before joining HMAS PERTH as Navigating and Operations Officer. His daughter, born in 1977 and baptised in the PERTH’s ship’s bell, was named Susannah.

  In January 1978, he commenced two years as Head of Professional Training at the Naval College at Jervis Bay. On promotion to Commander in December 1979, he served for 18 months at the Combat Data Systems Centre in Canberra before attending the Australian Joint Services Staff College. He was Captain of the frigate HMAS SYDNEY from commissioning in Seattle in January 1983 until her return to Australia in 1984. In June 1984 he took up a posting in the Naval Manpower Branch in Canberra and in November 1985, was promoted to Captain and joined the Military Staff Branch of the Strategic and International Policy Division in the Department of Defence.

  From January 1988 until October 1989 he was Captain of the frigate HMAS DARWIN and was then appointed the Director of Naval (Budget) Programs on the Naval Staff in Canberra.

  Promoted Commodore in July 1991, he assumed the appointment of Head Australian Defence Staff and Defence Adviser, London, in January 1992 for three years, and returned to Australia to become Director General Maritime Development at Defence Headquarters in Canberra.  His last position in the Navy was as Commodore Fleet Bases, with headquarters at HMAS STIRLING in Western Australia.  He became a Member of the Order of Australia on Australia Day 1999 for his services in London and the development of the surface fleet.  Between 2000 and 2007 he was Manager Naval Requirements for Tenix Marine Pty Ltd.

  Paul is descended from Henry Kable and Susannah Holmes through their son, William Nathaniel, and grandson, Henry Charlton.  Paul has been Vice-Patron of the Fellowship of First Fleeters since 1986.  Paul and Anne have two children, Andrew and Susannah

June Whittaker B.A.,  M.A. (History & Government) trained as a teacher at Wagga Teachers College, and returned to the College in 1959 as lecturer in Education.  She spent 1962 to 1964 teaching in England and Canada. The following year she was appointed lecturer in History and Government at the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA) on Middle Head, Mosman NSW, preparing Australians for service in Papua New Guinea; or as community advisers for service in Australian Aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory. 

  In 1974 she was appointed Senior Lecturer and Head Department of Development Studies at the International Training Institute on Middle Head, helping to update the professional skills of personnel from Third World countries.  From 1981 until retirement in 1993, she was Director of regional training aid programs for developing countries, and travelled widely as part of her work for AIDAB (later Ausaid) Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

  June was history consultant for Old Sydney Town for ten years. She has many publications to her credit including major works on Papua New Guinea.  In the 1980s she published two books on Henry Kable “The Raking of the Embers” and a sequel “The Flame in the Morning”. In 2002 she published “Kable. Convict Extraordinaire”, a trilogy comprising a reprint of the earlier books and a third sequel “The Fire in his Eye”. 

  June is a descendant of Henry and Susannah Kable through their son, George Esto, and grandson William.  June and husband Mervyn, have two children, Ingrid and Kristian.


14 responses to “The Authors

  1. Im trying to get hold of the book Kable and / or the third in the first series which I believe cover the Wilds etc. Can you please tell me how I can get hold of these.

    Ive been searching now for a couple of years and really ant to get hold somehow.

    Thank you

  2. The Kable trilogy, “Kable. Convict Extraordinaire”
    has been out of print for over 2 years. The third book of the trilogy, ‘The Fire in his Eye” was never published as a separate story. Several people have requested copies of the trilogy, so I am thinking of
    setting up a website from which readers may
    download a copy. This would be an option to a reprint of the whole, which would be enormously expensive for me – a cost which would not be covered in additional sales. When I have something to offer, such as a website, I’ll advertise the fact on this website.

    • Hi June, have you decided yet re the online access or reprint of either Kable: Convict extraodinaire or Fire in his Eyes? Im still searching without luck! Thank you, Kim

  3. I have had a copy of “Damned Rascals” since it first became available – it is well thumbed and has been used to assist in the preparation of a talk I have given about the two ‘rascals”. The book is a most valuable resource and I refer to it often. The maternal side of my family is descended from Frederick Meredith a working sailor of the First Fleet and a free settler who came back on the Second Fleet.

  4. toni nicole kable


  5. Hello I was op shopping the other day and I came across and purchased a signed copy of “The Raking Of The Embers” by June Whittaker. Inside was a paper clipping from 1981 re the write up of the launch of this book with June Whittaker’s photograph.
    Quite amazing find.
    Would this book be of interest to anyone?
    Cheers Susan

  6. Paul, chasing family tree Henry Kable with photo print outs of the first fleet. Believe you may help/ Looking for photos of mother and father(Maude Lee Kable(Smith) married William Clarence Kable. Me orphaned, never saw mother or father. Me private 1RAR(3RAR)(4RAR) Malaya Borneo 1963-64-65. Mother Maude Smith sons(2) Only daughter all dec.(Lionel, John, Mary-Violet Smith) Married Name Maude Kable had 2 sons(William George Noel & Alfred Thomas Stanley Kable). Would be very grateful for any photos of the family. Me now T.P.I. Pension, Tried to canotact you at Lieuwin W.A. Told you have retired. My Mob contact No:0400764676 Regards Alf Kable As you were Sir!!!

  7. I am vey interested in finding a copy of each of those books… My husbands sidenis descended from Dianna Kable, daughter of Henry and Sussanah…
    Just recently, my daughter had been given a school assignment on the First Fleet… Turns out, the teacher had given her Sussanah Holmes to work on… That after it came to light that she had married Henry, WOW!!!
    I would love to have a copy of these books for my girls, am so glad to hear that there is books to read about them… Thank you June and every one who has taken time to add so much and have helped make Henry and Sussanah such important people in Australian history… I am very proud:)

    • Martine,
      Thanks for your interest. The best book for school use is “Damned Rascals?” as it contains copies of all the original documents about Henry and Susannah back to 1699.
      The students can contact their own research within the book. Order forms are available at or from me at Box5703 Sutton NSW 2620.
      Regards, Paul Kable

  8. Hi Paul I have a copy of your order form on which the P.O.Box is 7503 or is it as above 5703.I am a decendant of Henry through John then Charles to my grandmother Caroline Kable who married William Pitt . I would be obliged if you could advise the most informative books to obtain Regards Mal Pitt

    • Mal,
      The PO Box at Sutton is correct as 7503. “Damned Rascals?” is the definitive factual book with original document printed from high quality photos. There are other books which are novels and of course have to introduce fictional characters to fill out story line. “Damned Rascals?” has been well received and reviewed; 550 copies sold so far. Paul

  9. Really looking for a copy of convict extraordinare. Electronic copy or otherwise.

    • Rhys, Not sure if you looking to buy a copy of Damned Rascals; if so there are order forms on this site which can be opened under”order a book”
      Regards, Paul

  10. hi looking for information on the Whittaker family, June is our relative, I am researching the family history in Australia and Tumbarumba, my email is, regards Sharon

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