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Private Robert Bull (.........)

Scentenced to life inprisonment for Desertion fate as yet unknown

Back To . . . 28th Foot TheNorth Gloucestershire Regiment

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  • Date Arrived : 10 February 1838
  • Ship Arrived on : " Emma Eugenia"
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  • This information was kindly supplied Ron Ball
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    The following story was taken from "The Sun" 11th June 1984.   It writes of "Corporal Green"  but nowhere in the Muster Lists of the Rgt is he shown as a Corp.  (Duck Creek  = Granville)   Private Robert Bull got life sentences.  Privates William Croft and Private Emanual Taylor
    If life was meant to be easy fro Corp. George Green of the 28th Rgt of Foot it didn't make much effort to show it as fas as poor George could see     As at the month of March 1839 he had served King & Country for 10 years . He still had 15 to go and if he had served out that period his final reward would be a pension of 10 pence per week, provided of course he kept out of strife.    
    The prospect did not please George who was then stationed in a stockade at Duck Creek outside Sydney Town.He decided to mutiny and talked two other malcontents into deserting     It was planned that George's two mates should nip off and hide near Mr Hannibul Macarthur's vineyard where they would be joined by their leader Corp.George Green  when he had completed a session of guard duty. Then the trio would march onward to glorious freedom.    
    Alas, that apparently simple scheme came unstuck when George swore on guard duty and was placed under arrest by one Lt.Pacey.     The two chaps out behind the vineyard waited and waited until they became hungry. In search of food they jumped the fence into the vineyard and ran smack into Mr Beale, Mr Hannibul Macarthur's supervisor, plus three well armed friends.  Soon the two soldiers were back in the stockade getting a generous ration of the cat-o-nine tails.  They declared Corp George Green to be "a bragging coward" and to restore his  tattered reputation amongst the troops George set out to prove himself a real rebellious devil    
    Cockily he issued a general invitation for soldiers to join him in a mass walk-out from the Duck Creek stockade.  Eventually he managed to get three recruits in Ptes Robert Bull,  Thomas Croft and Emanuel Taylor     This time George cooked up a plan with no frills such as rendezvous points behind Mr Hannibul Macarthur's vineyard fence.  At an appropriate moment he led his three followers in a body out of the Duck Creek gate and into the adjacent foliage.     Thus was freedom achieved with pleasing simplicity.  So far so good.  What was the next move? Not even George had thought of such a question.        But there was no turning back. For a couple of days the party marched about in the bush growing ever dirtier and hungrier and finally they came to realise that if they wished to eat they would have to hold up a homestead like it or not.     How did one go about holding up a homestead?.  Corp Green applied his Military training and lined his men out in skirmishing formation.  With muskets at the ready the line advanced on the property of Mr Noble outside Blacktown.
    At intervals the men chanted in unison "Come out - and bail up"     The salvos of sound roused Mr Noble who first observed 200 metres away from his veranda four tatty redcoats moving towards him with obvious malica aforethought.  Mr Noble grabbed a gun and managed to wing Pte Croft and Pte Bull with buckshot before he was surrounded and captured.     Stores were taken from the homestead and carried away into the bush.  At the end of a week the four soldiers  were hungry again and were faced with the need to practice heavy handed banditry once more.  They began to think that the army hadn't been such a bad lurk after all.     Once that line of thinking started nostalgic floodgates opened until all four men began longing for a return to happy days at the dear old Duck Creek stockade.     While excercising his brain to the maximum George was suddenly rewarded with an idea of dazzling brilliance. It occurred to him that if he and his three men marched boldly back into the Duck Creek stockade and declared themselves to be deserters MAKING A VOLUNTARY SURRENDER a remarkable benefit would eventually result.    
    Of course there would be a court martial Desertion would be admitted. The volutary surrender would be taken into consideration.     Being free men out of the forces they would not have to serve the 15 years they had contracted to serve.     It was all so easy to see after a bright brain had worked it out.Corp Green was seen as a genius by his three followers     As predicted there was a court martial and the four soldiers were found guilty of desertion as anticipated.    
    In fact Corp George Green and Private Bull got life sentences.  Privates Croft and Taylor got 15 years each.     To make matters worse the whole pack were shot off to Norfolk Island
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    Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia
    Last revised: December 13, 2003.