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The signal gun

The signal gun

Not long after the prison on St Helena Island was established, in 1867 one of the 24-pounder cannons in Queens Park in Brisbane was dragged by bullocks to the Queens Wharf and shipped downriver aboard the government steamer Mary to the island.

The gun was placed on the high ground near the Superintendent’s quarters and, in the early days of the island prison, was used on numerous occasions to warn the authorities on the mainland that prisoners had escaped or that help was urgently needed.

In later years, with the coming of the electric telegraph to the island in 1879, the gun was used less frequently, although it was always on hand for those occasions when the telegraph failed.

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