FREDERICK WARD (alias "Captain Thunderbolt")
Frederick Wordsworth Ward was born at Wilberforce in the Windsor District of the Colony of New South Wales in about 1836. (As no record of his birth exists, the exact date is unknown) He was the son of former convict Michael Ward, who was transported to that colony in 1815, and his wife Sophia who followed him out to the colony two months later. Not much is known about Michael and Sophia's early married life, but they had ten children; William "Harry", Sophia Jane, Sarah Ann, Amelia "Emily", Edward B, Joshua, George E, Esther P, Selina Maria and Frederick Wordsworth (alias Thunderbolt).
Ward's career had seen him involved in more than eighty major hold-ups and robberies, which netted him almost £20,000. Much of this money, however, was in cheques and half notes, useless to a bushranger. It is interesting that the reward of £400, did in no way match the value of several of the race horses which Thunderbolt rode, which were in excess of £1000.
But questions have arisen as to the true identity of the man shot by Constable Walker. Family descendants have suggested that it was his half brother Harry, as it was he that had been shot in the knee during an exchange of shots with the police and not Fred. It was this injury that William Monkton used to positively identify the body as that of Fred Ward, and not the marking that Thunderbolt was known to have had such as the large mole on the back of the second finger of the left hand.
On the Saturday after Ward's supposed death, two troopers from Uralla were attending a race meeting at Glen Innes, when they noticed a horse that belonged to Thunderbolt tied up at the track. After watching the horse for some time, suddenly a man jumped onto it and left before they could stop him. The police gave chase and pursued him in a south-easterly direction, finally loosing him at a place called "Wards Mistake"near Guy Fawkes. (now called Ebor) This was incidentally only a few miles from his sister's home.
When the troopers reported back to Armidale, they were told to forget their report as the bushranger was already dead.