DID you know that one of Australia's most noted artists was born in Dorchester?

Thomas William 'Tom' Roberts was born into the hurly-burly of early Victorian Dorchester on March 9 1856, but laid to rest in the colonial soil of Tasmania. Tom attended Dorchester Grammar School, and after her father, who was editor of newspaper the Dorset County Chronicle, passed away, Tom's mother resolved to seek a new life in the developing colony of Australia.

After attending design school in Melbourne, Roberts returned to England to study at the Royal Academy. His two most famous paintings are thought to be Shearing the Rams and The Big Picture, a depiction of the first sitting of the Parliament of Australia.

Last year in the BBC series Fake or Fortune, a 'lost' painting by Roberts called Rejected was featured and was determined by experts to be genuine, dating from his student years in London.

Roberts was widowed and married for a second time. He died aged 75 on September 14, 1931, in Kallista, near Melbourne, and requested his body be returned to Tasmania, where he had made his home.