The Overseers, Chapter One

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The 95th Rifles during the Peninsular War by Richard Simpkin

I have long been fascinated by the story of the first European settlement in Western Australia ever since I was asked, some years ago, to research one of 23 convicts who were sent there. The convicts arrived at King George’s Sound from New South Wales with Major Edmund Lockyer of the 57th Regiment and 20 soldiers of the 39th Regiment on the barque ‘Amity’ in 1826. Although none of the Redcoats settled here in Western Australia, I could not ignore their existence and wrote of just one solider – Corporal John Shore – so that he and his comrades would not be forgotten. Then, in 2023 as a result of another research query, I wrote a page about Private William Hill. Less than a year later, Reg and Norma Binding of Melbourne, found William Hill’s webpage and helped me fill in the gaps of the life of Reg’s three x great grandfather, William. The Bindings and I then decided to follow the fortunes of two other serving soldiers in the settlement – the convict overseers Thomas and William Wood who once wore not red coats, but green jackets!

Chapter One

Research Difficulties

Despite today’s benefits of digitisation of official records and the attendant commercial database indices via the Internet, fleshing out the lives of the overseers had its share of research difficulties, red herrings and mis-directions – these will be referenced in the narrative as [rh*} with an explanation at the end of this page. Our first hurdle was the surname Wood, accompanied by the overseers’ common given names. The ‘Redcoats’ nominal era in Western Australia was 1826 to 1869 during which the surname Wood or Woods can be found as follows: eleven serving soldiers; three enrolled pensioner guards; thirty convicts; forty three free settlers; most of them with wives and children.

Early church records are difficult to locate and interpret. In the Church of England, baptisms and burials were recorded in the same register and often in a haphazard format and equally erratic handwriting; the mothers’ given and maiden names rarely appearing. Army records are subject to the same problems of legibility and interpretation and while discharge and pension documents are now available, anomalies in dates and ages are rife. The infantry musters and paylists are wonderful sources of information but at this time only army service in Australia has been digitised for the overseers; for the most part their time in the army in Britain and Europe is tucked away in the National Archives at Kew, London – out of our reach.

Our sources will show a range of books, journal and newspaper articles, academic dissertations and family histories. Many of these would have been published before the convenience and volume of material that we enjoy today via search engines and SQL databases.

Let us now begin to explore the lives of the King George’s Sound convict overseers, who were not blood brothers [rh1], but certainly ‘brothers in arms’ and true heroes.

War and Peace

William Wood’s Medal Clasps: Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthes, Toulouse [WO100-8-173]
Thomas and William Wood enlisted in the 95th (Rifles) Regiment of the British Army in 1809 and 1811 respectively; Thomas in the 3rd Battalion and William in the 2nd. They first served together in the North Pyrenees, Spain where the French Marshal General Jean de Dieu Soult launched an offensive during July and August 1813 in the hope of relieving French garrisons under siege at Pamplona and San Sebastián. The offensive failed when the coalition forces of Britain, Portugal and Spain, under the command of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, prevailed. The Coalition suffered almost half the casualties and losses of the French with 7,000 killed or wounded. Thomas suffered a gunshot wound in the thigh on 1st August and William was awarded a Pyrenees clasp for his Military General Service Medal (one of six clasps he was awarded). We have not been able to find a record of a medal and clasp for Thomas.

Battle of New Orleans – green jackets on the left – by Jean Hyacinthe de Laclotte

On 20th March 1814 – the penultimate battle of the Peninsular War – all three battalions of the 95th Rifles were present at Tarbes, although no medal clasp nor battle honour was awarded. Sir John Kincaid, an officer of the 95th Rifles, described the skirmish, in part, Our Rifles were immediately sent to dislodge the French from the hills on our left, and our battalion [the 1st] was ordered to support them. Nothing could exceed the manner in which the Ninety-fifth set about the business…. Certainly I never saw such skirmishers as the Ninety-fifth, now the Rifle Brigade. They could do the work much better and with infinitely less loss than any other of our best light troops. They possessed an individual boldness, a mutual understanding, and a quickness of eye, in taking advantage of the ground, which, taken all together, I never saw equalled. They were, in fact, as much superior to the French Voltigeurs as the latter were to our skirmishers in general. As our regiment was often employed in supporting them, I think I am fairly qualified to speak of their merits. Thomas and William Wood were both present at Tarbes; this time Thomas suffered a gunshot wound to his right arm.

Thomas Wood continued in the 3rd Battalion of the Rifles and was engaged at the Battle New Orleans on 8th January 1815, one of the last engagements of the War of 1812. Despite a large British advantage in numbers, training, and experience, the American forces, led by General Andrew Jackson, defeated a poorly executed assault in slightly more than 30 minutes. The Americans suffered just 71 casualties, while the British suffered over 2,000, including the death of the commanding general, Major General Sir Edward Pakenham.

95th Rifles at Waterloo 1815 by David Higham

Meanwhile, William Wood was with the 2nd Battalion at Waterloo. He was awarded the Waterloo Medal, and for his trouble was severely wounded in the face. All soldiers who fought at Waterloo were given an additional two years’ service to their pension entitlement. Britain and her allies, led by the Duke of Wellington, joined with the Prussian forces led by Gebhard von Blucher to defeat Napoleon’s army in Belgium. It was a devastating event for the armies involved as well as the village itself. The combined number of men killed or wounded reached nearly 50,000, with close to 25,000 casualties on the French side and approximately 23,000 for the Allied army. Between the belligerents some 7,000 horses were killed. These losses are somewhat ‘fluid’, differing source to source – but horrendous enough in these round figures.

Duke of Wellington & Napoleon British Museum Cartoon

After the Battle of Waterloo was done and dusted, the victorious allied powers created the Army of Occupation as part of the conditions imposed upon France by the Treaty of Paris, 20th November 1815. The army was a multinational peacekeeping force, consisting of troops from the four major powers, Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia, along with contingents from five smaller European nations. The mission of the army was to prevent further French aggression and aid in the establishment and preservation of European security. Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington was overall commander of the occupation army; his British Contingent’s field HQ was in Cambrai, and his administrative HQ in Paris.

It is possible that Thomas Wood was part of five companies of the 3rd Battalion serving in the Army of Occupation. However, his significant injuries may have precluded his active service in Europe. If this were the case, then he returned to Plymouth from America in June 1815 and remained in Britain. If fit enough to return to active duty, he could have been based in Kent, England or even deployed in the Netherlands from July to the end of 1815. From then on, his location is unknown until his discharge in Ireland in 1818.

William Wood served in the Army of Occupation with the 2nd Battalion, 95th Rifles commanded by 2nd Brigade’s Sir Manley Power.

It appears Wellington’s soldiers were well behaved and soon good relations prevailed in Europe. Within 12 months each contingent was reduced by one-fifth leaving a force of 30,000 men. In the autumn of 1818, a convention was signed to withdraw the entire force, and by the end of November – three years from the General Order for occupation – the last British troops were withdrawn. The men of all three 95th Rifles battalions (renamed the Rifle Brigade on 16th February 1816) remaining in the Army of Occupation had already left Calais for England in October 1818. The 3rd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade was disbanded on 11th January 1819.

Thomas Wood discharged from the Rifle Brigade at Birr, Kings County, Ireland on 12th December 1818. William Wood discharged from the Rifle Brigade at Dover Castle, Kent on 13th July 1818. Their time at War in Europe and/or America was the start of their ‘parallel lives’.

From Out-Patients to Veteran Battalions

In October 1679 King Charles II issued a royal warrant for the building of a Hospital for such aged and maimed officers and soldiers as might be discharged as unserviceable and to make a deduction of six pence in the pound from all military pay towards that project.  Building began at Kilmainham, Dublin in April 1680 and in March 1684 the first pensioners were admitted. The wars of the 1690s made it impossible to include all deserving cases in the system. Thus in 1698 most of the men on the rolls were being paid 18 pence per week as out-pensioners instead of being maintained in the hospital itself.

Royal Chelsea and Royal Kilmainham Hospitals

Meanwhile, the King had laid the foundation stone in early 1682 for a hospital to be bult in Chelsea close to the nation’s capital. Sir Christopher Wren’s work on the building and grounds was not completed until 1690 and the first in-pensioners, soldiers disabled by wounds or age, were admitted from February 1692. They numbered 476 and were balanced by out-pensioners: four companies of invalids still capable of serving in some capacity and who were armed and quartered as garrison troops at Windsor, Hampton Court, Teignmouth and Chester.

Fast forward a little over 100 years later and invalided veterans performing duties at various forts and garrisons across the country were enrolled into establishments which, although with different titles, served a similar purpose – the means of utilising out-pensioners. They would also be useful outside the United Kingdom in various parts of the British Empire, including New South Wales, Cape of Good Hope, Newfoundland, and the West Indies.

Over 61,000 veterans were receiving pensions by 1819. Potentially unruly or discontented former servicemen presented both a problem and a partial solution when arrangements for preserving public peace were inadequate. The ‘Peterloo Massacre’ in Manchester in 1819 caused a public outcry when poorly trained mounted yeomanry assaulted a crowd. British governments eventually decided that men with solid military experience were better options for law enforcement than enthusiastic amateurs. The post-Napoleonic War economic depression and social problems brought to mind my schoolgirl history classes full of the stories of Corn Laws 1815, the Spa Field Riot 1816, Luddite machine breakers 1811-16, and later the rise of the Chartist movement. Who better to help deal with civil discontent than veteran soldiers?

The Grand Old Duke of York he had ten thousand men, he marched them up to the top of the hill and he marched them down again… could well have applied to the Prince Regent’s brother, Frederick Duke of York and Albany, Commander-in-Chief of the Army during the Napoleonic Wars (except that the nursery rhyme predates this period).

In 1819, owing to the political unrest in the country, ten new Royal Veteran Battalions were formed from out-pensioners assembled under a proclamation by the Prince Regent of 28th October 1819 (three months before he became King George IV). The Supplement to the London Gazette, copied by newspapers all over Britain gave notice (extract left) that out-pensioners should make appearances at listed districts on certain dates in the following month of November. The Prince (if not the Duke) was looking for those ten thousand men to march.

The Royal Veteran Battalions comprised ten battalions, each with ten companies. 1,000 rank and file assembled at Chatham, Portsmouth, Plymouth, York, Shrewsbury, Edinburgh, Inverness, Newry, Birr, and Fermoy.

4th Royal Veteran Battalion : Formed at York.
Establishment : Ten Companies, 1000 Rank and File.
Colonel : Major-General William Nedham, 1st November, 1819.
Station : Ayr, from February 1820. Disbanded at Ayr, 2nd June, 1821 [White:164].

Thomas and William Wood – last found in their respective discharge locations – heeded the call and fell into step at York with one of the companies of the 4th Royal Veteran Battalion. Without access to the army musters, it is not possible to indicate if they served in the same company or not. But march they all did, to Edinburgh, then Stirling, and to Ayr in various tranches until an inspection of the troops was made at Ayr November 1820 (left).


We do know that William Wood’s Company had reached Stirling from Edinburgh but had not yet continued on to Ayr by 30th January 1820 because on that date William married Ann Pealey [sic] in the parish Church of the Holy Rude [rh2 & rh3]. Ann Payler/Paylor was the daughter of John Payler and Elizabeth Fotherby of Leeds. We do not know if Thomas Wood was present at the marriage or if Thomas himself was already married at that time.

William Wood’s Marriage to Ann Payler in Stirling’s Church of the Holy Rude

The 4th Royal Veteran Battalion’s deployment at Ayr was short-lived; it was officially disbanded (disembodied) on 2nd June 1821. Records show that Thomas and William’s discharge dates were 2nd July 1821 and 24th June 1821 respectively.

Back Home Again

Of Thomas’s whereabouts post-4th Royal Veteran Battalion discharge in July 1821 we have no clues. Is it in this period that he married Sarah? Where did they marry?

Well, at least William and Ann Wood returned ‘home’ – to Woodhouse – where William resumed his trade as a shoemaker. Their daughter Mary Ann was born on 4th April 1822 and a son James on 4th May 1825; both baptisms are recorded in the pages of St Peter’s Church registers, Leeds [pp. 490 and 722]. William had been born in Woodhouse Carr, son of Thomas and Mary Wood nee Kitson, one of six children of the marriage. His wife Ann also had family in Leeds.

A Darling Plan

On 12th September 1825 a Royal Proclamation was posted to the out‐pensioners belonging to his Majesty’s Royal Hospital, at Chelsea (including those transferred from Kilmainham Hospital). His Majesty having been pleased to approve of the formation of three veteran companies, for service in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. The pay and conditions were attractive (left).

Three of the Royal New South Wales Veteran Companies were formed in England and taken on the establishment from 25th September 1825. Their combined establishment was 168 other ranks, augmented in December 1826 to 231 and reduced on 31st December 1830, to one company of 77 other ranks. The Companies were disbanded on 1st April 1833 [White:166]. The three companies arrived on John Barry (July 1826), Orpheus (September 1826), Marquis of Hastings (July 1827) and Hooghly (February 1828) [ISTG Vol. 6].  About a dozen other rank and file veterans joined companies in Australia in small numbers on the convict ships Andromeda (1827), Asia, Borodino and Mangles (1828) [WO25-3503].

This plan was to offer land grants to the veterans to encourage settlement in the Colony. The newly appointed Governor Ralph Darling arrived in Port Jackson, NSW on 18th December 1825 on Catherine Stewart Forbes with the Royal Staff Corps as escort. Darling’s brothers-in-law Lieutenant Colonel Henry Dumeresq and Captain William Dumeresq were commanding officers in the Royal New South Wales Veteran Company No. 1 and the Royal Staff Corps respectively. The Dumaresq brothers were subjected to constant newspaper attacks during Darling’s term of office. The populace and even other officers had a lot to say about the brothers’ government appointments, perks, and neglect of their troops, especially of Henry Dumeresq who, never did one hour’s duty with his company nor once interfered with them. He held the Military situation of Aide de Camp and the Civil appointments of Private Secretary and Clerk to the Executive Council, worth £700 a year, besides having received, whilst on the full pay of these Companies, a free grant of upwards of 3000 of the best acres of Land in the Colony, with leave to purchase 10,000 more adjoining at £1 an acre and is at this moment one of the largest Stock and Land Proprietors in New South Wales [Captain Robison HRA Volume XV, Series I, p.199].



Thomas Wood enlisted in the Royal NSW Veteran Companies on 29th December 1825 at Chelsea, Middlesex. William Wood enlisted on 5th January 1826 but unfortunately the place of his enlistment is not stated on his service documents [rh4]. Both Thomas and William were recorded in the 1st Company’s Muster in Sydney from 26th July 1826 (see left). They had arrived on the immigrant ship John Barry on 12th July and remained in Sydney until the beginning of November [WO12-11230-1 to 10]. It is likely that they never encountered their senior officer Henry Dumeresq who, in the first three months, was absent from his command.

Westward Ho!

The Monitor10 Nov 1826

The story of Western Australia’s first military post at King George’s Sound has been explored elsewhere on this website. Click here for the journey of the ship Amity and the names of Captain Joseph Wakefield’s 39th Regiment detachment who accompanied Major Edmund Lockyer and 23 convicts (also referred to as Crown Prisoners) from New South Wales. However, it does not go into a great deal of detail about the other arrivals which included Major Lockyer’s son, Ensign Edmund Lockyer, assistant storekeeper; our convict overseers; Isaac Scott Nind, surgeon; John Browne, gardener. Three women were on board Amity: Anne, wife of Sergeant John Hale with their two daughters Maria and Elizabeth born in Ireland; Mary, wife of Private William Hill, mentioned above.The identity of the third woman on the voyage may have been Mary Smith nee Carmody, wife of Corporal James Smith; as Private Smith, he was one of the first 39th soldiers to arrive in New South Wales in April 1826. Sarah and Ann Wood, wives of the overseers, and Ann Wood’s two children did not accompany their menfolk. They would follow on a later voyage of Amity.

This narrative is primarily about the military background of the overseers, Thomas and William Wood, who were serving soldiers of the NSW Royal Veteran Company No. 1. What is difficult to determine is who (and when) appointed them as overseers of the convicts; what was their precise role; were they expected – as soldiers – to perform any other role at the King George’s Sound settlement? William Wood was described as ‘Governor of Convicts’ and Thomas Wood as ‘Overseer of Convicts’ [Sweetman:5]. Unfortunately no source reference is offered for this distinction*.

It could not have been an easy job for the shoemaker and labourer turned riflemen, 35 and 38 years old. The average age of the convicts was 26½ and all but the eight labourers were tradesmen of sorts: carpenters, sawyers, boatmen, a brickmaker, stonemason, blacksmith, tailor, shoemaker, gardener, baker, file-cutter and a horse dealer. All would become jack-of-all trades, including the overseers. Starting from nothing in a wilderness would require nothing less.

The first major activity upon arrival would have been to unload the considerable amount of stores for what was being termed ‘expedition’ more often than ‘settlement’ in those last days of December 1826 and into the New Year at King George’s Sound. The men would unload the tents that would be their temporary accommodation. The provisions were to last six months:
4,560 lbs. Salt Beef; 2,768 lbs. Salt Pork; 2,711 lbs. Biscuit; 12,563 lbs. Flour in Casks; 152 lbs. Tea; 869 lbs. Rice; 64 Pints Oatmeal; 1,110 Pints of-Pease; 220 lbs. of preserved Meat; 1,238 lbs. Sugar; 7 Dozen Wine in Bottles; 88 lbs. Lime Juice; 560 lbs. Raisins; 360 lbs. Salt; 150 bushels of Maize (15 of which are cracked) ; 672 lbs. Hay; 531 lbs. Soap; 56 lbs. Arrow Root; 597 lbs. Tobacco; 259 lbs. Tea, exclusive of the usual rations of the Amity’s ship’s crew with Master Thomas Hansen in charge. There is no list of livestock extant on arrival, but pigs, sheep, geese, ducks and fowl are mentioned in correspondence by Lockyer. There was an abundance of food from the harbour: whiting, snapper, salmon, shark, oysters, cockles. Lockyer commented, with a little trouble, a meal can never be wanting here. A considerable amount of plants and seeds from the Botanic Gardens in Sydney for the provision of fresh vegetables were also unloaded. [HRA:457, 467].

Within days of arrival, Major Lockyer, Lieutenant Festing (from the ship Fly), and Captain Wakefield had found a suitable location for the erection of huts for accommodation and for storage of the provisions. Every able bodied man – and more particularly the two convict sawyers -were charged with cutting wood and making a start on the buildings. These would also last six months until more permanent buildings were erected.

In the meantime, Lockyer returned to Sydney on the ship Success and was succeeded as Commandant by Captain Joseph Wakefield. In Wakefield’s Return for 3rd April to 10th July 1827, the soldiers’ 45 x 20 x 6 ft. Barrack similar to that in Sydney had been erected. A Store for provisions and another Engineer Store, totalling 30 x 18 x 5 ft. was complete. Three houses, each 21 x 12 x 5 ft. were available for married soldiers. The Commandant’s quarters were made more habitable. All comprised mud walls, windows where necessary with thatched roofs made of rushes [HRA:510].

The Wakefield Return also suggests that no more than the original three soldiers’ wives were at the Sound by July 1827; however the number of children had increased by two – clearly the first white children born in New Holland. Unfortunately we do not know the names and parents of these children at this point.

Tricky Bits

Tricky problems arose for Lockyer as a result of atrocities on both male and female aboriginal people by sealers. Lockyer investigated and dealt with the murder of an aboriginal on Green Island by sealers, and the subsequent spearing of Dennis Dinneen by an aboriginal dispensing his own misplaced justice (retaliation). There is no indication that the overseers were involved in any of this, but the Woods would have missed the services of Dinneen – the only blacksmith among the convicts – who sustained injuries rendering him incapable of work. Dinneen returned to Sydney, as did Lockyer, sailing on Success 3rd April 1827 [HRA:476].

Major Lockyer’s Journal, dated 25th January 1827, tells a tale of the only mention by name of the Wood overseers in the official documents that we have found:
at Half past nine o’clock this morning a number of Natives were reported to be seen on Mount Melville the Hill to the westward of the Settlement; on observing them with the Spy Glass, I saw Thomas Woods, Royal Veteran Corps with three prisoners apparently in a scuffle or an affray with the Natives; the latter forced their way through the former and I saw Woods almost immediately fire his Musquet [sic] at the runaways; on reaching the spot, to which I instantly repaired, I learnt that Thirteen natives, most of them had been at the settlement, were detected creeping down with their spears all ready shipped for action to attack the Sawyers whilst at Work and but for the chance of overseer William Woods of the Royal Veterans seeing them and calling out to Thomas Woods who was protecting the Sawyers, prevented the Party being speared. Conscious of doing wrong on being detected threw their spears into the Bush and their Womeras also; the Overseers wanted to bring down some of them to the settlement which caused the resistance, I saw made, and the Shot fired which I was glad to find had done no further mischief than frightening these Gentry, who ran off as fast as they could, and we have since ascertained that they are a Tribe from the borders of the Lakes and are very fierce, the other Natives pointing to the spot and shaking their heads and then pointing to Oyster Harbour as the place of their residence [HRA:477-478].

In another incident reported in Lockyer’s Journal on 28th January 1827, John Ryan, one of the sawyers whom Lockyer described as having a disposition to disobey and set at defiance all authority… from an idea that they could not be punished for want of a Scourger. The incident involved an alleged short ration of meat and Ryan refused to follow orders. Lockyer ordered Ryan to be punished on the spot. After he was tied up Lockyer ordered the overseers to inflict the punishment, which they both refused to do; and then a prisoner [convict] also said he could not. Lockyer then determined to inflict the punishment on him [Ryan] myself rather than submit to allow a Ruffian to get the upper hand. Sixteen lashes by Lockyer appeared to have the effect of putting down this spirit [of disobedience] [HRA:492:493].

Windy Family Reunions

A brig is a two-masted vessel with both masts square rigged. On the aft mast, the main mast, there is also a gaff sail (spanker).


Amity was a sturdy little brig of 148 tons launched at Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1816. She made a number of voyages from Sydney to King George’s Sound and return. We have already determined that Mrs Sarah and Mrs Ann Wood and the latter’s two children were not on board the 1826 voyage of Amity. They boarded Amity 19th May 1827 [Garden:23] on a long journey via the potential settlements of Port Essington, Melville Island and Raffles Bay and arrived at the Sound on 22nd July. However, a gale blew up and the anchor cable, not secured to the vessel, ran completely out and Amity disappeared out to sea, not seen again for another 17 days – on 8th August [HRA:513]. This delay meant that it had been nine months since Thomas and William left for King George’s Sound before they were reunited with their families.

Return to Sydney for Army Discharge

Brig Governor Phillip arrives at Port Jackson, NSW 31 Dec 1829 [Sydney Gazette 1 Jan 1829]
The overseers and their wives returned to Sydney on Governor Phillip on 10th December 1828 with Captain Wakefield, Ensign Reid and  Private William Hill.  Other 39th soldiers may have boarded the ship to take up duty at military settlements on the northern coast Fort Wellington, Raffles Bay and Fort Dundas, Melville Island.

On 29th July 1829 Thomas and William Wood received their Army discharges [WO12-11230-95].

* Sergeant John Hale who became storekeeper and the Wood overseers were employed without sufficient authority and thus not entitled to a salary, according to Colonial Secretary Alex McLeay’s letter to Wakefield of 12th August 1828. Nonetheless, Lieutenant George Sleeman – who succeeded Wakefield as Commandant – asked for, and was granted, a clerk/overseer named John Scott, whom he planned to pay 10d. per day [HRA:526,543]. Subsequently, Thomas Heegan/Keegan was confirmed by Governor Darling to receive the same salary when Scott returned to NSW. Both these men were Crown Prisoners [Stephens:35].

Red Herrings and Mis-directions

rh1 Thomas Wood was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire and William Wood in Leeds, Yorkshire. William did have a brother named Thomas who lived in the Leeds area. He died aged 39 in 1836 while Thomas Wood (KGS Overseer) was in NSW Australia.

rh2 In one story about William Wood, he had first married a woman named Sarah White in July 1811 in Leeds. The marriage record indicated the groom was in the 33rd Regiment. By that time, William had been serving in the 95th (Rifles) Regiment for two months and couldn’t be in two places at once.

rh3 Many sources have given the Wood-Payler marriage date and place as 11th November 1822, St Peter’s Parish Church, Leeds mistakenly believing the name Ann Taylor had been incorrectly written for the name Paylor. A further problem with this record is that William Wood’s occupation was stated as ‘coalminer’. The correct marriage record leaves no doubt as to the groom’s occupation, stated as ‘4thRVB’.

rh4 It has been suggested that William Wood joined the Royal Staff Corps and by implication arrived on the ship escorting Governor Darling. A Private 2nd Class William Wood did serve in the Royal Staff Corps during the same period that ‘our’ William was serving in the RNSW Veteran Company [WO12-11084-362]. Again, he couldn’t be in two places at once.

End of Chapter One… Click here for Chapter Two.

Sources and Bibliography

Books, Journals & Websites
Albany: A Panorama of the Sound from 1827, Donald S. Garden1977.
Albany, First Western Settlement’ No.1 in Series, Dorrit Hunt, undated.
Albany Unravelled, Stefan Silcox & Douglas R. G. Sellick, 2023.
As Cold Water to a Thirsty Soul, a collection of letters 1838-1882, ed. J M Bow, 1987.
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Melbourne University Press, 1966.
Biographical Dictionary of Australia (BDA) website, Keith A Johnson, Malcolm R Sainty and Michael Flynn.
British Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 95th Regiment of Foot, Steve Brown, The Napoleon Series website.
British Regiments of the War of 1812 and the Anglo-Allied Army of Occupation in France, 1815-1818, by John R. Grodzinski, The War of 1812 Magazine, Issue 22 May 2014.
Commandant of Solitude. The Journals of Captain Collet Barker 1828-1831, edited John Mulvaney and Neville Green, 1992.
Dictionary of Western Australians, Vol. 1 1829-1850, compiled by Pamela Statham, 1979.
Finding the family Redcoat: tracing your British military ancestors in Australia, Neil C Smith, 2013.
The First Hundred Years, Albany Western Australia 1791-1891, compiled by D A P West, Illustrations by J Campbell & E Bracy, 1968.
Garrison, Reserve and Veteran Battalions and Companies by A. S. White, Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. 38, No. 156 , pp. 156-167, December 1960.
Historic Records of Australia Series 3, Volume 6, Introduction and pp. 451-548, Frederick Watson Dec 1922.
Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild website, transcribed and contributed by Mike Boyd.
In my name: a genealogical history of William Wood from Waterloo to Rifle Farm and beyond, compiled by J M Bow, 1999.
Military Pensioners Origins and Military Pensioners Outcomes, Peter Conole and Diane Oldman, EPG Gazette, Vol.17, 2016.
The Military Establishment and Penal Settlement at King George Sound, John Sweetman 1989.
Passengers in History website, South Australian Maritime Museum.
Possessory Lien—the First European Settlement, King George’s Sound, New Holland (1826-1831), Robert Stephens,  Early Days, Vol. 6, Part 6: 23-59.
Royal Veteran Companies and Royal Staff Corps, Christine Wright, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society Vol. 95 Part 2., 2009.
The Settlement on the Sound: Discovery and settlement of the Albany region 1791-1831, D A P West, 1976.
Survey of English Place Names, University of Nottingham website.
Veterans at Bong Bong, Linda Emery, Wartime, Issue 43, August 2008.

Copies of letters to King George’s Sound, 4 November 1826 – 11 January 1831, Record NRS 977, Microfilm SR Reel 712, State Archives and Records, NSW, Notre Dame University.
Journal of Major Lockyer Commandant of the Expedition Sent from Sydney in 1826 to Found a Settlement at King George’s Sound, Western Australia, Battye Library, State Library of WA.
War Office Muster Rolls and Pay Lists WO12-5263 to 5264 (39th); WO12-11230 (NSW RVC);
War Office Embarkation and Disembarkation Returns 1815-1838, WO25-3503, National Archives, Kew.
War Office Medal Roll, 95th Rifles WO100-8-171-192, National Archives, Kew.
War Office Miscellaneous Discharge and Pension records WO97, WO119, WO121, WO22, WO23, National Archives, Kew.
War Office Officers’ Birth Certificates, Marriages, Wills and Personal Papers, WO42-HR15-Bundle 20, National Archives, Kew.
St Peter’s Parish Church, Leeds Registers, West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds.
St Mary’s Cathedral Archives, Sydney Registers of Baptisms 1820-1838.
Bong Bong, Plan of Eight Veterans Lots c. 1830, Robert Hoddle, SLNSW Mitchell Map Collection.

Newspapers & Gazettes
Supplement to the London Gazette 28 Oct 1819 – formation of RVB.
The London Star 9 Nov 1820 – inspection of troops at Ayr.
The London Star 11 Jun 821 – 4th Royal Veteran Battalion disembodied.
Sydney Monitor 24 Nov 1826 – Proclamation of 12 Sep 1825 (extract).
Sydney Gazette 12 Jul 1826 – John Barry.
The Monitor 10 Nov 1826 – Amity.
Colonial Times & Tasmanian Advertiser 8 Dec 1826 – Amity.
The Monitor 20 Apr 1827 – Success.
Sydney Gazette 23 May 1827 – Amity.
Sydney Gazette 1 Jan 1829 – Governor Phillip.

95th Rifles in the Peninsular War Richard Simpkin, Prints for Art’s Sake.
95th Rifles Battle of Waterloo, David Higham, Prints for Art’s Sake.
Battle of New Orleans, Jean Hyacinthe de Laclotte, New Orleans Museum of Art.
Bong Bong Veterans Allotments c.1830, Robert Hoddle, State Library New South Wales.
Church of the Holy Rude, Parish of Stirling, Scotland.
Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Cartoon, British Museum.
Prince Regent, Henry Bone.
Royal Hospitals Chelsea and Kilmainham, Wikipedia Commons.
The Brig, website.

© Diane Oldman 2024