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The Straight and Narrow Curve

David Rees (1821-?)

Transported on the Gilmore in 1843 for the ‘manslaughter of John Bolan in a row in Swansea’, David Rees stated his occupation as a ‘puddler’, a skilled craftsman who manipulated pig iron in a furnace to create wrought iron or steel. He was 5 foot 7 ½ inches tall, and he bore a tattoo that read ‘David Rees Sarah Gill’. Even so, he was recorded as being a single man.
In Tasmania David was assigned on the East Coast, first at Steiglitz, then in the Fingal Valley. In 1854 he married Ann Oliver, herself the child of a convict, the Londoner George Oliver who’d been transported for stealing £5. Two years later, and two weeks after birth of their first child William, David Rees received his Conditional Pardon. The marriage of David and Ann Rees produced twelve children.

Photo taken in 1919 of a ‘puddler’, which was the occupation listed on David Rees transportation record. This highly skilled job involved draining cinder from a puddling furnace after the extraction of balls of molten iron.
Photo taken in 1919 of a ‘puddler’, which was the occupation listed on David Rees transportation record. This highly skilled job involved draining cinder from a puddling furnace after the extraction of balls of molten iron.

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