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On this day ………… 28th February 1921

A sensational escape from custody occurred on this day in 1921. James Davis, committed for trial at Devonport, Tasmaina on the previous day on several charges or robbery, was being escorted to Launceston by train, with three prisoners. “When the train was passing the Launceston cricket ground, Davis took a header through an open window. The train was travelling at about 20 miles an hour, but, fortunately for himself, he landed on soft ground. After turning the bend, the train was pulled up, but when one of the escorting constables ran back, Davis was nowhere to be found.

 

 

After the official closure of the penal settlement on Sarah Island, twelve Convicts, under the supervision of several soldiers and Master Shipwright David Hoy, remained behind to complete the fitting out of the brig, Frederick. Although the specific orders concerning the fit-out had been mysteriously mislaid, the men dutifully carried out their tasks with ‘great propriety, executing Mr. Hoys’ orders with promptitude and alacrity’. The Frederick was launched in January 1834 and ten of the Convicts celebrated the occasion by seizing control. They sailed it to New Zealand and then onto South America. It was abandoned off coast of Chile and the Convicts rowed the ship’s whaleboat the remaining 80 km to shore. Passing themselves off as shipwrecked sailors, they assumed positions as shipwrights and became respected members of the community. Several married local women, while six of the men made a further escape to America and Jamaica. The four who remained in Chile were eventually caught and brought back to Hobart for trial as pirates. As the boat was seized from the harbour rather than the high seas, they escaped the charge but had to live out their days on Norfolk Island.

 

On this day ………… 28th February 1921

A sensational escape from custody occurred on this day in 1921. James Davis, committed for trial at Devonport, Tasmaina on the previous day on several charges or robbery, was being escorted to Launceston by train, with three prisoners. “When the train was passing the Launceston cricket ground, Davis took a header through an open window. The train was travelling at about 20 miles an hour, but, fortunately for himself, he landed on soft ground. After turning the bend, the train was pulled up, but when one of the escorting constables ran back, Davis was nowhere to be found.

 

 

After the official closure of the penal settlement on Sarah Island, twelve Convicts, under the supervision of several soldiers and Master Shipwright David Hoy, remained behind to complete the fitting out of the brig, Frederick. Although the specific orders concerning the fit-out had been mysteriously mislaid, the men dutifully carried out their tasks with ‘great propriety, executing Mr. Hoys’ orders with promptitude and alacrity’. The Frederick was launched in January 1834 and ten of the Convicts celebrated the occasion by seizing control. They sailed it to New Zealand and then onto South America. It was abandoned off coast of Chile and the Convicts rowed the ship’s whaleboat the remaining 80 km to shore. Passing themselves off as shipwrecked sailors, they assumed positions as shipwrights and became respected members of the community. Several married local women, while six of the men made a further escape to America and Jamaica. The four who remained in Chile were eventually caught and brought back to Hobart for trial as pirates. As the boat was seized from the harbour rather than the high seas, they escaped the charge but had to live out their days on Norfolk Island.

 

To escape from Port Arthur, Convicts had to pass across a narrow isthmus known as the Neck. This was guarded heavily by ferocious dogs and surveyed by stationed military personnel. A Convict named Billy Hunt disguised himself as a kangaroo in the hope making it through the Neck. The plan was working brilliantly until one of troopers decided to use the kangaroo as target practice. Billy was then forced to reveal his true identity.