Skip to Main Content

Study Guide : The Lieutenant: Character List

Year 12 : The Lieutenant

The Lieutenant : Character List

Character : Daniel Rooke


Rooke is born in Portsmouth in 1962. His father is a clerk, and Rooke is a very intelligent child. His interest in prime numbers attracts the attention of Dr. Adair, who sends Rooke to… (read full character analysis)

Character : Lieutenant Gardiner


Lieutenant Gardiner is Captain Barton's right hand man on board Sirius. Like Barton, Gardiner is exceptionally warm and kind. He's also not competitive about his sextant readings, and he and Rooke form a close friendship during the journey to New South Wales. Once there, Governor Gilbert sends Gardiner to capture two native men. Though Gardiner agrees and follows through, he later confides to Rooke that he regrets following the order. Not long after, the governor sends Gardiner to begin a new colony on a nearby island where the ground is more fertile. Rooke believes this order is truly an order of exile, and that Gardiner is being punished for his thoughts about capturing the natives.

Source :

Character : Captain Lennox


Captain Lennox is a member of the British Royal Marines, He feels superior to the Aboriginal people, advocating for increased violence and brutality.

Source : SASC VCE handout The Lieutenant

Character : Anne

Anne is Rooke's younger sister. She and Rooke are very close, and Rooke enjoys her company because she's clever enough to understand some of his scientific or mathematical concepts. He thinks about her often in New South Wales, and thinks that Targaran though much younger, is a lot like Anne: both are curious and fearless.


Character : Lieutenant Timpson


Lieutenant Timpson is a very young soldier who shows everyone his miniature painting of his love, Betsy. Rooke is often willing to indulge Timpson and allows him to talk about Betsy, but he recognizes that Timpson is too young to understand that nobody is interested in a painting of someone else's girlfriend.

 Source :

Character : Warungin


Warungin is an old Aborigine man, and is one of the men that Lieutenant Gardiner captures so that the Governer and Silk can learn the Cadigal language. Warungin is incensed by his capture, though he continues to have mostly friendly contact with the English settlers after he escapes. Occasionally, he teaches Rooke the words for different weapons, although Rooke realizes that Warungin doesn't like that Rooke writes down all the words. He occasionally brings a group of men to Rooke's hut, and Rooke listens to Warungin tell stories and imitate different Englishmen. Warungin attends the public whipping of a prisoner and instead of seeing the whipping as a just punishment, he sees it only as cruel. This causes Rooke to realize that English justice isn't fair.

Source :

Character : Talbot Silk


When Rooke is assigned to the ship Resolution during the American Revolutionary War, Silk occupies the hammock next to his. The two quickly become friends, though they're very different.

Silk is confident, gregarious, and skilled at storytelling. His confidence means that he's poised to quickly move up the ranks in the marines, though he's only a few years older than Rooke.

Silk later volunteers to go with the First Fleet to New South Wales and convinces Rooke to go as well.

When they get to New South Wales, Rooke learns that Silk has been commissioned to write a book of his adventures in the colony. This makes Rooke realize that Silk isn't necessarily a military man; the military just allows him to have the experiences that will help his career as a writer. However, Rooke soon finds that Silk's love of storytelling isn't as benign as he once thought. As Silk crafts his narrative, his desire for exciting things to happen (native attacks, prisoner uprisings) begins to disturb Rooke.

Rooke believes that Silk is more intent on crafting a compelling story than he is in telling the truth.  

                                    source :



Character : Surgeon Weymark


Weymark is a large, jovial man who acts as the surgeon for the First Fleet. He spends much of his time caring for Governer Gilbert, who is always ill and in pain. Weymark is part of the first group to meet Aborigines in New South Wales, and uses one of the native's shields as target practice to demonstrate for the Aborigines what guns  are capable of doing.

  Source :

Character : Brugden

Brugden is a convict transported to New South Wales with the First Fleet. He's an extremely large and imposing man. In England he'd been a gamekeeper on a rich man's estate and in New South Wales, Governor Gilber  promotes Brugden to the role of his own personal gamekeeper. This means that Brugden is allowed to carry a gun, something that technically, only soldiers are allowed. Brugden is also given a great deal of freedom to hunt in the forests unsupervised, and these privileges cause the soldiers to dislike Brugden. On several of his unsupervised hunts Brugden runs into natives and shoots at them, and Rooke suspects that Brugden's stories of being attacked unprovoked are far from the truth. Brugden dies when Caarangaray spears him, apparently unprovoked. 

 Source :

Character : Tagaran


Tagaran is a young Cadigal girl who lives in a camp near Rooke's hut. She's about twelve or thirteen years old, and she shares Rooke's love of language and learning. She and Rooke form a… (read full character analysis)

Character : James Gilbert/The Governor

Gilbert begins the novel as the commodore of the First Fleet. Once in New South Wales, he becomes the monarch by proxy and becomes the governor.
He sails on the Sirius with Rooke, though he's never particularly warm or friendly. Though Rooke can't be sure, he believes Gilbert is this way because he's in constant pain; Surgeon Weymark performs regular treatments to try to relieve the pain, but nothing seems to help. Though Gilbert initially appears to fully intend to carry out the king's command to initiate friendly contact with the natives, his approaches tell a different story. He first orders Lieutenant Gardener to forcibly capture two native men, and when a native spears Brugden, Gilbert sends out a punitive expedition. The expedition is tasked with capturing or killing six natives. When Rooke later informs Gilbert that he regrets agreeing to go on the punitive expedition, Gilbert sends Rooke back to England.

Character : Dr Vickery

Dr. Vickery is the Astronomer Royale, or the official astronomer for the British government. When Rooke visits him as a young teenager, Dr. Vickery introduces him to the possibility that Rooke isn't necessarily an extremely abnormal individual. Like Rooke, Dr. Vickery is awkward and avoids eye contact, and cares more for the stars than he does for people or for anything that happens during the daytime. While with Dr. Vickery, Rooke first reads about New South Wales. Dr. Vickery convinces Major Whyatt that Rooke should be the official astronomer of the First Fleet, and asks that Rooke record a comet in the southern hemisphere.

 Source :

Character : Boinbar


Boinbar is one of the Aboriginal men that Lieutenant Gardiner captures so the English can learn the Cadigal language. He's around 30 years old and seems just as interested in learning about his captors as his captors are in learning about him. He supposedly develops a taste for wine during his captivity, and even learns how to toast to the king of England.

 Source :

The Library is open 8.00 to 4.00 Mon-Thurs, 8.00 to 3.30 Fri. We also have a selection of games available to play during recess and lunch. Only games from the Library are to be played.