Australia’s Longest Horse Chase: Wentworth D’Arcy Uhr Part II

By Frank Uhr Although the Native Mounted Police (NMP) were primarily tasked with putting down Aboriginal resistance on the frontier, the Force also did various “normal” police duties. These sometimes included road making, gold escort duty, finding lost or missing persons, and tracking down regular criminals. In the 1897 words of the Commissioner of Police, […]

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“I suppose I have had more experience amongst blacks than any other man of my age in this colony”[1]: Wentworth D’Arcy Uhr Part I

By Frank Uhr My name is Frank Uhr, and I am a 70-something historian living in Brisbane, following and thoroughly enjoying the adventures of the Archaeology on the Frontier team as they help open the veil on men who served in the Qld Native Mounted Police (NMP). You see, my great grandfather Wentworth D’Arcy Uhr (Figure […]

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“I am, Sir, &c., Tom Coward”

By Heather Burke Thomas (Tom) Coward was described as many things throughout his life: a ‘thoroughly good explorer’, an ‘experienced bushman’, ‘remarkable and interesting’, tyrannical, irascible, belligerent and domineering. He is one of the better documented NMP officers, chiefly because in his later years he seems to have told his life story to anyone who […]

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The Unwanted Arm: Westley Richards 20g Double Barrel Pinfire Carbine

By Tony Pagels This blog tells the story of a weapon purchased in 1867 specifically for the Native Mounted Police (NMP): the Westley Richards breech-loading, double-barrelled, 20 bore, Lefaucheux-action, pinfire carbine (Figure 1). This weapon possessed a number of advantages over the percussion single- and double-barrel, muzzle-loading carbines the NMP were using at the time. […]

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Archaeologist Nights: A Tale of One Thousand and One* Artefacts

By Uschi Artym *Actually, it’s a tale of 3600 artefacts, or thereabouts, and counting! I’m happy to report that, after 18 long months, the cataloguing of artefacts from the Boulia Native Mounted Police (NMP) site is almost complete. While the process has been lengthy — and at times tedious — cataloguing is arguably one of […]

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‘The Art of Cookery is in a Most Barbarous State’*: Food on the Frontier

By Heather Burke Jane Fyfe, who accompanied her husband Alexander to his large pastoral run on the Mackenzie River Central Qld in 1862, neatly summed up the state of food on the frontier when she complained in a letter to her aunt: … We have plenty of fish and game and splendid mutton but nothing […]

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