" ...reputation as horse-breaker, drover, steeplechaser, polo player, drinker and womanizer, from 1891 he contributed bush ballads to the Sydney Bulletin as 'the Breaker'. When the South African War broke out in 1899 he enlisted in Adelaide in the 2nd Contingent, South Australian Mounted Rifles ..." [Australian Dictionary of Biography.]Click here for a video link (may not be available in all countries) in which an expert verifies the items as connected to Morant, included his bandolier which perfectly matches that shown in this photograph.
|The "Breaker", copyright Australian War Memorial|
Morant was famously (and very briefly) married to another controversial Australian legend, the anthropologist, Daisy Bates (see my companion blog about women, The History Bucket).
He was also the subject of a major Australian film Breaker Morant.
The Poetry of Breaker Morant
The last poem -
BUTCHERED TO MAKE A DUTCHMAN'S HOLIDAY
by Harry ("Breaker") Morant
In prison cell I sadly sit,
A d[amne]d crest-fallen chappie!
And own to you I feel a bit -
A little bit unhappy!
It really ain't the place nor time
To reel off rhyming diction -
Whilst waiting cru-ci-fiction!
But yet we'll write a final rhyme.
No matter what "end" they decide -
Quick-lime or "b'iling ile", sir?
We'll do our best when crucified
To finish off in style, sir!
But we bequeath a parting tip
For sound advice of such men,
Who come across in transport ship
To polish off the Dutchmen!
If you encounter any Boers
You really must not loot 'em!
And if you wish to leave these shores,
For pity's sake, DON'T SHOOT EM!
And if you'd earn a D.S.O.,
Why every British sinner
Should know the proper way to go
Is: "ASK THE BOER TO DINNER!"
Let's toss a bumper down our throat -
Before we pass to Heaven,
And toast: "The trim-set petticoat
We leave behind in Devon."
At its end the manuscript is described as The Last Rhyme and Testament of Tony Lumpkin.
First published in The Bulletin, 19 April 1902.
The closing credits of the movie are particularly moving, with Edward Woodward singing Soldiers of the Queen.