Frederick Ward – 'Captain Thunderbolt'
Ward was born in 1835 in Wilberforce, near Windsor, though there is no official
record of his birth. He worked as a drover and horsebreaker at Tocal Station
on the Paterson River until his arrest in 1856 for receiving seventy-five stolen
horses. He was sentenced to ten years hard labour. He was released in 1860,
but he returned to Cockatoo Island to complete his sentence after being tried
for horse stealing.
Ward escaped in 1863 with the help of his wife, Mary Ann. They lived on the Culgoa River near Bourke until Ward adopted the name 'Captain Thunderbolt in 1865. With associates, Ward carried out armed robberies near Bourke, Moree and Gunnedah. Alone and with a reward of 200 pounds on his head, Ward held up a mailman in 1867 and was almost captured while drunk near Manilla. In November that year his wife died of pneumonuia.
Ward then worked with William Monckton, a 13 year old runaway, until October 1868. On 25 May, 1870 Ward was surprised while testing a horse, chased and shot by Constable Alexander Binney Walker at Kentucky Creek near Uralla. A Protestant, he was buried in Uralla cemetery without religious rites.
Ward's career as a professional bushranger is attributed to his horsemanship, choice of horse, never taking on armed guards or police and popular sympathy due to his gentlemanly behaviour.
Frederick Ward's Death Registration