Antipodean War of Independence

The Australian Territories' unilateral declaration of independence in 1891, closely followed by that of New Zealand, prompted a swift and merciless response from Imperial military forces stationed in the Pacific.

The short-lived rebellion saw the formation of the Republican Defence Force, including the Air Corps. Pictured above is Captain Shaun Heyes at the controls of a "Dingo" fighter aircraft, one of the few that could be cobbled-together from limited supplies by the Sydney Airworks Company in the face of Imperial blockade.

Captain Heyes became the first Australian "ace", downing twelve Imperial aircraft before disappearing over the Pacific. Tales of his exploits were to become an inspirational rallying point for the Australian Insurgency which continued the armed struggle against Imperial rule following the suppression of the rebellion in the Summer of 1892.

With victory in the second Antipodean War, the town of Victoria was renamed "Heyesville" in honour of this legendary flyer.

A rare colour image of the "Dingo" in flight can be viewed here.