Educational Resources

Booklets

Captain Sturt & Captain Barker; Brothers in Arms – In life and Death

This booklet tells the story of the important journeys of exploration by Captain Charles Sturt & Captain Collett Barker, who were brother officers in the 39th Regiment of Foot. It records their separate discoveries, how they influenced the future course of Australia’s colonial history and ended with fame for one of them and and death for the other.

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Imperial Regiments In South Australia

The founding fathers of South Australia may have rejected a colony based on convict labour, preferring a planned settlement for freemen established on the principles of egalitarianism.  Nonetheless, the presence of a military force was welcomed as a means to maintain the peace, good order and advance the prosperity of the Province.  From 1841 to 1870 various regiments of British Imperial troops were stationed in Adelaide.  The ”Lobsters”  nicknamed by the Adelaide boys for their red coats, were initially better known for their drunken riots, forcing the police numbers to be increased to keep them under control.  However by their departure on 1st August 1870 the Governor was happy to praise their orderly and soldier-like behaviour and their ability to uphold the character of the British Army.

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Sturt's Forgotten Journeys Of 1838

In May,1838, Captain Charles Sturt, now a settler in New South Wales, set out to drove 300 head of cattle from New South Wales to the new Province of South Australia which had been proclaimed in 1836. He reached Adelaide in August, 1838, at a time when its administration was locked in a dispute as to whether the site of Adelaide should continue to be the Capital City of the Province. This booklet tells the story of that cattle drive, how it was to change the course of his life and the history of South Australia.

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The Forgotten Mt Bryan Expedition -
November 22 to December, 1839

This booklet recalls the almost forgotten story of Governor Gawler’s expedition from ‘Currency Creek’ in ‘Lake Alexandrina’, to the ‘Great Nor-west Bend of the ‘Murray River. It was to end in tragedy with the death of young ‘Henry Bryan’, whose body was never found and had it not been for the intervention of Captain Sturt, might have also resulted in the death of the Governor himself.

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Articles

A Fatal Mirage

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Captain Charles Sturt

A memorial to the life of Charles Sturt who numbered amongst those intrepid explorers of the 19th century whose discoveries opened up the continent of Australia and thereby shaped its future history.

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Charles Sheppey Sturt

Charles Sheppey Sturt was the second son of Capt Charles Sturt and born at Varrowville in New South Wales when his father was absent driving cattle to South Australia in 1838.  Returning to England in 1853 to complete his studies, he subsequently joined the Indian Army, Native Infantry in 1858.  He was mentioned in despatches in the Abyssinian campaign and rose to the rank of Major General before retiring in 1893.  A keen hunter in his youth,  he turned to photography in retirement when living at Newport Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

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Evelyn Pitfield Sturt

Born in England on 25 October, 1815, he was the ninth son and the last of the 13 children born to Thomas Lennox Napier Sturt and his wife Jeanette (nee Wilson). He arrived in the Colony of New South Wales in October 1836, aged 21 years, like many young men of his era, seeking fame and fortune. He went on to become a pioneer and pastoralist, attain high public office and in 1854, to play a major role in the events associated with the Ballarat riots and the subsequent rebellion at the ‘Eureka Stockade’, thereby earning his place in the colonial history of Australia.

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Fort Grey Stockade

The second base camp for Sturt’s party enroute to Central Australia, Lake Pinnaroo proved to be a haven of freshwater in a landscape of desert. Sturt erected a small stockade and stockyard and arranged for a garden to be established.  They were to remain there for four months, making three exploratory forays to the north before abandoning the stockade due to diminishing supply of good water.

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George Davenport

George Davenport remains an enigmatic figure because the alleged reasons for his transportation to the penal colony at Norfolk Island do not seem to accord with the military history of the time. This coupled with the confusion in the spelling of his name, suggests that something is missing. Recent research supports this hypothesis because it reveals he was transported for ‘Highway Robbery’, not military cowardice. He was to prove a constant and resilient man who survived the harshness of the convict system, endured the dangers of Sturt’s 1844-1846 Central Australian Expedition, and died at age 69, a prosperous and respected citizen of the City of Adelaide.

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Memorium To Mary Anna Marten

Reflecting on the life of the prominent  daughter of the 3rd Lord Alington, Hon. Napier George Henry Alington Sturt and Lady Mary Sibell (Ashley-Cooper) who as a child played with Princess Margaret at Buckingham Palace and married Lt. Commander George Marten in the presence of the King and Queen and the Royal Family. She rose to prominence in a public fight, known as “the Crichel Down Affair”, with Churchill’s government over the compulsory acquisition of farmland during the war.  She became a Trustee of the British Museum and brought her passion for Russian and Persian culture and archaeology to the position. She chaired the Buildings and Development Committee for the Great Court which was completed for the Millennium.  In 1980 she was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset and was awarded the Order of the British Empire, followed by the appointment of High Sheriff of Dorset in 1989.

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The Gardener's Son Herbert Berry

This is the story of a remarkable man who as a 5 year old child arrived in the colony of South Australia in December 1849. His father was John Berry, who in 1850 was employed by Captain Sturt as his gardener at “Grange’, the home built by the explorer in 1840. Here the Berry family were to live until 1853 when the Sturt family returned to England. Henry was to prove himself a man of many talents and unshakeable integrity. He married well and had 9 children. When he died in 1933, at the ripe old age of 88, he had outlived all his sisters and brothers, his wife and all but 3 of his children. He was also by repute the last person alive in South Australia who had personally known Captain Charles Sturt, his wife and their children who had been his playmates.

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Joseph Clayton

A carpenter and wheelwright by trade but transported to New South Wales for life for his involvement in the handloom weavers riots of 1826, he became a crucial participant in the success of Capt Sturt’s  River Murray Expedition.

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The Gardener's Son Herbert Berry

This is the story of a remarkable man who as a 5 year old child arrived in the colony of South Australia in December 1849. His father was John Berry, who in 1850 was employed by Captain Sturt as his gardener at “Grange’, the home built by the explorer in 1840. Here the Berry family were to live until 1853 when the Sturt family returned to England. Henry was to prove himself a man of many talents and unshakeable integrity. He married well and had 9 children. When he died in 1933, at the ripe old age of 88, he had outlived all his sisters and brothers, his wife and all but 3 of his children. He was also by repute the last person alive in South Australia who had personally known Captain Charles Sturt, his wife and their children who had been his playmates.

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