John Frimley (1824-1908)
On 20 August 1839 the barque 'Egyptian' discharged its cargo of runny-nosed runts from the London slums at the boys’ prison on Point Puer. Among them was a tiny 15 year old transported for stealing two pairs of trousers. Clearly a hardened crim, having already a 'prior' for 'apples', young John Frimley did his time (and more) true to such evident incorrigibility, chalking up several 'stripes' and 'hards' and 'solitaries' - once for the heinous offence of 'Most Gross misconduct and highly indecent language'. The mind boggles. But it earned him twenty-five 'Stripes on the Breach'.
Later, one of a 'nest' of Point Puer graduates, he would tenant farm near Port Sorell, then the farming frontier, and here he and native-born Sarah (nee Hulbert) raised a large family. They moved to Melbourne in old age, and John Frimley died there in 1908.
- Pete Hay, descendant of John Frimley, from ‘Myths Floating on the Tides of History’, first published in 42 Degrees South, 4, 1996