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Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

New find – footage of the Third Fleet convicts

Yes, you heard it here! This unexpected discovery was unearthed during a recent building demolition in Sussex Street, Sydney. Almost destroyed before it was found this precious piece of history was buried below ground-level and was very nearly torn to shreds by construction vehicles.

The film footage is in such good condition it was initially thought to date from around 1910; it was only during the first viewing that the age of the film was actually determined. Early Colonial expert, Irma Frawde, identified the footage as the embarkation of Third Fleet convicts using the names of the ships present in one of the scenes (naturally, no footage of the First Fleet convicts exists, being before the technology was available).

A spokeswoman from the Department, Susan Leeding, noted her astonishment and surprise at the footage she saw. Ms Leeding says that the footage is “an historic, visual glimpse of early life in Sydney, of the convicts who were transported here and the harsh conditions they faced”. She went on to say that “this find is as important to the history and heritage of Australia as the recent discovery of new Neanderthal species is to the world”.

Category: General
  • John Kerrison says:

    Very, very funny. Well done. This made my day. Lucky I didn’t request the vision hey?
    John Kerrison.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:53 am
  • jenni says:

    Irma Fraude and Ms Leeding!!!!

    Very cute

    April 1, 2010 at 10:43 am
  • Anthea Brown says:

    Glad you liked it ;-)

    April 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm
  • Pam Hayes says:

    Good one . Irma Fraude and Ms Leeding . Well done

    April 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm
  • Patricia says:

    I was perplexed as to how and what sort of footage.
    Yes, I was conned. WONDERFUL though. Very clever.

    April 2, 2010 at 8:52 am
  • Michael says:

    Its good to see that there are still people with a sense of humour. The april 1 story was a lost art until you revived it.

    Now………Am I being serious?

    April 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm
  • donna says:

    i cant beleive i just fell for it! Lol

    July 15, 2011 at 11:21 am