Artefacts linking to British soldiers found on Tasmania

Excavations at Triabunna, second largest township on the east coast of Tasmania, revealed various items at a site that is believed to have once been British 51st Regiment’s barracks.

Excavations at the site (by Carol Rääbus)

The 51st Regiment was a British unit that took part in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The regiment was posted to Van Diemen’s Land decades after the battle, but until the recent finds there was no solid evidence for its presence. The discovery was made during the second season of excavations located next to the Spring Bay Hotel on the main road in the city.

A gunpowder sack (by Carol Rääbus)

Among the unearthed artefacts are such items like metal plates, lead, which fit on the gunpowder sack, painted ceramics, fragments of slate pencils, fragments of writing slates, ink bottles, poison bottles, whole gunpowder sacks, coins,  children toys, and many more.

Various artefacts: toothpaste jar lid, bone-handled toothbrush, toy soldier, Tasmanian haberdashery token, and fragments of a tea saucer (by Carol Rääbus)

According to the archaeologists some of the finds indicate that wives and children lived at the site with the officers of the regiment. Much of the material relates to children’s activities, such as toy soldiers. It is possible that whole families lived at the site during late 1800s. The pottery found provides a bit of a mystery, as it consist not the straightforward vessels brought from England, but was brought from other places, possibly on the route of the people to Tasmania, or possibly Japan or America. The researchers are planning to establish its point of origin.

(after Carol Rääbus & ABC)

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