Two of the most widely-known figures from the convict era of Cockatoo island (1839 to 1869) are Frederick Ward, a serial horse thief, and his wife, First Nations Bush Ranger Mary Ann Bugg. In 1863, Ward cemented his place in Australian folklore when he escaped from Cockatoo Island with the aid of Bugg. Risking shark attack, Bugg swam to Cockatoo Island and left Ward a metal file, allowing him to shed his chains and paddle to freedom. Ward subsequently gained notoriety for bushranging and earned the moniker ‘Captain Thunderbolt’.
Image courtesy of McCrossin's Mill Museum, Uralla NSW