Research & Updates during August 2022
Four profiles for 96th Privates have been added to the site. This completes all the profiles for the men of this regiment who took their Army discharges in Western Australia.
During the month I noticed that a soldier was missing from the shipping list of 99th Regiment soldiers who came to Australia as convict guards. Then I recalled a query from his descendant Robert Innes some years ago – before I started researching the Redcoat Settlers. This is a new page with images for Private George Innes. Thank you, Robert, for the benefit of your research over the past four years. And now you can see a page for the ship on which he arrived in Australia – North Briton.
Pandora Web Archive
This is a national web archive for the preservation of Australia’s online publications, established by the National Library of Australia in 1996 (coincidentally the same year as the Wayback Machine or Internet Archive). The provision for legal deposit of digital format publications was added to the Australian Copyright Act 1968 in 2016 so NLA may copy Australian websites without acquiring permission. Nonetheless, the State Library digital curators did ask me if I wished them to Licence my websites under the Copyright Act. Now all three of my websites are snap-shotted every now and again and are available on Pandora, TROVE and the Wayback Machine after I have long gone. To date 720 billion websites have been snapped internationally in this way.
FHWA Military Special Interest Group
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the date women of the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) first arrived on Rottnest Island. They were followed by other branches of the services including the Women’s Royal Australian Navy Service (WRANS), the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) and the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service. The Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association (RVGA) will celebrate this event on Rottnest over the weekend of 8 and 9 October 2022. Mike Murray from the RVGA outlined the plans for the weekend and related some of the stories of these women. It was a great presentation and I have already booked my ferry ticket for 8th October.
New WA Colonial Military website
Luca Muir Anderson has delivered an impressive new resource which covers WA’s Defence Force 1861 to 1901. This era was a hole in our Colonial military story, the breaching of which will be welcomed and applauded by military and family historians. It takes us from 1861 and the start of the volunteer rifle corps (infantry and mounted) to the conclusion of the Boer War. Take a look now at https://wacolonialmilitary.com/.
This Website was launched 10th June 2019.
Minor Design changes occurred on 13th April 2022.
It currently comprises 207 pages and 880 images.
Redcoat Settlers in Western Australia 1826-1869
God and the soldier we both adore
When at the brink of ruin, not before
The danger over, both are alike requited,
God is forgiven, and the soldier slighted.
[A rhyme popular in the days of Marlborough]
The first British Redcoats to garrison in Australia wore red tunics and white trousers, but these were not the Army but the Marines who arrived with the First Fleet in 1788. The first red-coated soldiers to arrive, in 1790, were in the New South Wales Corps, formed in Britain, very soon after to be known as the Rum Corps. The first line regiment to arrive in Australia was the 73rd Regiment of Foot (1810) and, of course, its soldiers wore redcoats. However, this website is dedicated to Redcoats in Western Australia and the first of these came not from Britain, but from New South Wales.
The French are coming, the French are coming!
Due to the presence of French survey ships in the seas around the Colony of New South Wales, it was feared France may lay claim and settle the deserted West Coast of New Holland, motivating the British Government to consider establishing a settlement there to protect its interests. In a letter dated 11th March 1826 Earl Bathurst instructed Governor Darling that if found suitable, a settlement should be established at King George’s Sound as it was located on the shipping route between Britain and Port Jackson. Despite his reluctance Darling complied with Britain’s wishes and ordered an expedition to be dispatched.
The King George’s Sound Penal Settlement
Major Edmund Lockyer, 57th Regiment of Foot arrived in King George’s Sound on Christmas Day 1826 on the brig Amity. The original military post comprised Captain Joseph Wakefield, one sergeant, two corporals and 16 privates of the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment; Ensign Edmund Morris Lockyer, 57th Regiment on detachment to 39th (Storekeeper); William and Thomas Wood, Royal Veterans Corps (Convict Overseers). A surgeon, a gardener and 23 convicts made up the balance of that first settlement. Major Lockyer was appointed Commandant. Over the next four years or so, there would be three other Commandants, all of the 39th Regiment: Captain Joseph Wakefield, Lieutenant George Sleeman and Captain Collett Barker. During their term in ‘Frederickstown’ (the name of the settlement declared by Lockyer on 21st January 1827), other Redcoats and civilians came and went; more convicts arrived from NSW and some escaped.
The Swan River Free Settlement
Meanwhile Captain James Stirling had arrived on Parmelia to proclaim the Swan River settlement a free Colony (free of convicts, that is). On 8th June 1829 Sulphur arrived in Fremantle with the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment of Foot comprising five officers, two sergeants, three corporals, one drummer and 46 privates. By the end of 1829 more ships, carrying Swan River settlers, further 63rd Regiment troops, and some 39th Regiment relieving troops bound for King George’s Sound, arrived in Fremantle.
Not only did the settlers of Swan River object to the presence of convicts within the Colony, but Captain James Stirling was unhappy about having a military outpost in the West under the command of the Governor of New South Wales. It is likely that even had the KGS settlement been successful, Stirling would have intervened.
The Redcoats are coming, the Redcoats are coming!
A new detachment of Redcoats of the 63rd Regiment had arrived in Frederickstown on Isabella on 19th March 1831. It was this ship that took the 39th Regiment detachment back to Sydney, along with the civilians and convicts who had settled there over the previous four years. The region was now declared to be under the control of the Swan River Colony. One convict was officially allowed to remain at his own request; others had escaped and not been captured; none of the 39th Regiment of soldiers took a discharge from the Army in the new Colony. But at least one of the original complement was left permanently on Frederickstown soil: Private William Banks who had died and was buried on 8th March 1827. On 1st January 1832, Frederickstown was renamed Albany.
Thus we begin the story of the Redcoats whom, after serving in many parts of Western Australia,
discharged from their various regiments and settled in this Colony/State.
For further information about the scope of the Project and how the website works, click this link to About.
Website Author and Administrator
1st September 2022