Thunderbolt's exploits may soon be heritage listed

Posted by barbara on July 5, 2012


Captain Thunderbolt's hide out on the road from Tenterfield NSW to Warwick QLD

A percentage of so-called dinki di Australians have always loved an under dog, especially when they take the law into their own hands. Think Ned Kelly, think Ben Hall.

Right up there with these bushranging outlaws was one Fred Ward who went by the 'stage coach' name of Captain Thunderbolt. Such were his 1860s exploits in NSW's New England district that over 150 years later, the physical legacy of his exploits, including Thunderbolt's Rock (a cluster of granite boulders near Uralla); the site of his death, and his grave site, are being considered for State Heritage listing.

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When it came to housing his all important means of transport, Fred Ward relied on the local geology to furnish a natural shelter where his horses could be coralled and looked after.

Fred's audacious exploits weren't confined to NSW. He was also active in the Tenterfield district of NSW, and one of his haunts, once again an outcrop of granite boulders, was positioned just west of the stage coach route from Tenterfield to the goldfields of Warwick in Queensland.

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