First Impressions - The Soldier

Ronald Hannah

Big Bear Lake, United States

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Wall Art

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Artist's Description


One of the sculptures that make up the First Impressions monument in the historic Rocks district of Sydney.

The plaque on the right reads:

The First Fleet arrived with 211 Marines whose primary duties were to protect the settlement and preserve good order among the convicts. Recognising the need for a permanent body of troops adaptable to the conditions of the new penal colony, the British Government raised the NSW Corps of which the first 100 strong detachment arrived with the Second Fleet in June, 1790. The Soldier represented here is modeled on the NSW Corps.

The “Rum Corps”, as they later came to be known, and their commanders administered the settlement between Governor Phillip’s departure (1792) and Governor Hunter’s arrival (1795). The Corps officers began to receive land grants and farm land in 1793. Shortly thereafter the colony achieved self sufficiency in its grain production.

The Corps members embodied the first cohesive, large group of freely come settlers with the rights, privileges and duties of British citizens not limited by criminal conviction or exile. They strongly influenced the colony’s political development asserting their rights as both soldiers and citizens.

Twenty seven British line regiments served in Australia between 1810 and their complete withdrawal in 1870. The original George Street Barracks were the largest Army Barracks in the British Colonial empire at that time. All governors between Captain Phillip (1788) and Major- General Bourke (1837) were of Naval or Military background.

Taken during my awesome Australian Adventure, late November through mid-December, 2010.

Nikon D60
converted to B&W
cropped slightly
mild processing

Artwork Comments

  • Susan McKenzie Bergstrom
  • Ronald Hannah
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