My Royal Sappers and Miners website, on its ‘of interest’ page, already tells the story of my first visit to Toodyay in 2017, the exhibition in the Old Newcastle Gaol, the purchase of Alison Cromb’s book about the history of the Toodyay convict hiring depot and the article Alison subsequently wrote for the Sappers’ website.
Since then Alison and I have met on a number of occasions – most recently in May 2021 – when we discussed a collaborative piece, which Alison would write, about the Toodyay Military Barracks.
During the years from March 1843 to December 1850 this small town in Western Australia hosted just a handful of soldiers from the 51st, 96th and 99th Regiments of Foot, as they played out their role of upholding the law and protecting Toodyay’s citizens from the hazards of ‘frontier life’.
In the story of the Toodyay military barracks you will discover the close relationship between policing and soldiering, the names of the men who served in Toodyay, one of whom married a local lass. Alison’s article adds another dimension to the story of the military barracks within the pages of her book The Road to Toodyay.
Books by Alison:
The Road to Toodyay: A History of the Early Settlement of Toodyay and the Avon Valley of Western Australia, Alison Cromb, Dianella, WA, 2016.
The History of the Toodyay Convict Depot: A Tale of the Convict Era of Western Australia, Alison Cromb, Dianella, WA, 2010.
Diane Oldman 2021