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Blog post from Monday, 25 May, 2015

On this day, 25th May 1870, Australian bushranger Frederick Wordsworth Ward, also known as Captain Thunderbolt, was shot dead. Ward was the last professional bushranger in NSW and the longest roaming bushranger in Australia’s history, when he was killed by Constable Alexander Walker.

Ward had escaped from Cockatoo Island in 1863, while serving a sentence for horse theft in 1856. He then began bushranging around the New England region and over the following six-and-a-half years, Ward robbed mailmen, travellers, inns, stores and stations across much of northern New South Wales.

On 25 May 1870, after robbing travellers, Ward was shot and killed by Constable Alexander Binney Walker at Kentucky Creek near Uralla.

These photographs are from the State Library of New South Wales.


Cadaver of Frederick Ward, the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, ca. May-June 1870 / photographer A. Cunningham, Armidale

Constable Alexander Binning Walker, who killed the bushranger Thunderbolt, ca. May-June 1870 / photographer A. Cunningham, Armidale