The attached photograph was kindly provided by Matt Howard whose grandfather was a policeman at Taree in the early 1900s. The inscription tentatively identifies the subject as George and dates the photograph to approximately 1912. According to official records, trackers were not employed at Taree in 1912 or at any time in the 20th century. Pathfinders invites members of the public to contribute information that may assist in identifying the tracker in the photograph. One possibility is that the subject may be George Thorpe who was born at Surveyors Creek near Walcha in 1879 and was part of the team who pursued Jimmy and Joe Governor in 1900. The following year George Thorpe was the tracker at Blackville on the Liverpool Plains. He later moved to Purfleet Aboriginal Station near Taree where he passed away in 1950.Papers re Jimmy and Joe Governor SARANSW 4/8582; Police Salary Register 1901 – Trackers SARANSW 3/2993 Reel 1973; Death Certificate of George William Thorpe 1950/006628.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Papers re Jimmy and Joe Governor SARANSW 4/8582; Police Salary Register 1901 – Trackers SARANSW 3/2993 Reel 1973; Death Certificate of George William Thorpe 1950/006628.|
This website explores the history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW from 1862 when the current NSW Police Force was established through to 1973 when the last tracker, Norman Walford, retired. You can read about the lives of individual trackers and some of the incredible tracking feats they performed. There is also information about the police stations where they worked and...Learn More ►
There were over 200 NSW police stations that employed Aboriginal trackers between 1862 and 1973. Many were concentrated in the central-west and north-west of the state, the agricultural and pastoral heartland of NSW. This is because one of the main jobs of trackers was to pursue sheep, cattle and horse thieves. Trackers sometimes lived in small huts out the back...Learn More ►
Early History Since the beginning of the colony, government agencies, explorers, surveyors and members of the general public called upon the tracking abilities of Aboriginal men and women. First Fleet officers and early land-owners sometimes made use of Aboriginal men to track and capture escaped convicts. Alexander Berry, for example, relied on an Aboriginal man known as Broughton (or Toodwick)...Learn More ►