In 1755 the 51st Regiment of Foot was renumbered (from the 53rd). It received a county designation in 1782, as the 51st (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding) Regiment of Foot. In 1821 the regiment received royal status, becoming the 51st (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding, The King’s Own Light Infantry) Regiment.During the early 19th century the regiment served in the Napoleonic and Peninsular campaigns and served at Waterloo in 1815.

Between August and December 1837, six convict ships left Britain with 51st Regiment guards on board bound for New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. The regiment continued to arrive in Australia as convict guards, and in larger numbers on troopships, during the decade that followed. Some of these ships are profiled on the Ships page. Arguably the most famous of the journeys made by 30 officers and men was on the ship Buffalo. That story can be read on the Anecdotes page.

In June 1840, a detachment of 145 officers and men arrived in Western Australia on Runnymede from Hobart; a further 46 men arrived on Eudora and Champion between 1841 and 1844. Thirty three 51st men took their discharge and settled in Western Australia; one of them was this man featured on the right.

The 51st in Australia left Hobart for India on Java in 1847. Its last port of call was on 15th March 1847 when the balance of the detachment in WA boarded Java on her way to Calcutta.

51st Regiment at Waterloo
NAME William BEARDMANName variations: None encountered.
Birth Date and Placec. 1816 Essex, England [deduced].
Baptism Date and Place
Marriage Date and Place10 Dec 1857 Toodyay, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.1103].
SpouseSarah HITCHCOCK (widow of John Dreury/Drury/Drewry) [ERIC p.176].
ChildrenElizabeth b. 1858 Toodyay, Western Australia. [ERIC p.176]
William b. 1860 Toodyay, Western Australia [ERIC p.176]
John Emens/Emons b.&d.1862 Toodyay, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.6323,2070].
OccupationsFarmer [Chambers Toodyay HS, ERIC p.176].
Land Acquisition in WATillage Lease No. 5537 Nunile 1859, Toodyay, Western Australia [Chambers Toodyay HS, ERIC p.176].
Death Date and Place20 May 1897 Toodyay, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.2577].
Cause of Death: Suicide by strangulation with rope – Coroners Inquest [TROVE].
Burial Date and Place20 May 1897 Public Cemetery, Telegraph Road, Toodyay, Western Australia,
Anglican Section [Chambers Toodyay HS].
Death, Funeral, Obituary NoticesWestern Australian 20 May 1897 [TROVE]. Click here.
Will and ProbateNone.
Regiment51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) The Kings Own Light Infantry.
Soldier No. and Rank#1292 Private [WO12-6202-199].
Enlistment Date and Place28 Dec 1838 Chatham HQ. Age 22 years.
Bounty paid to recruit £3 0s. 0d.  First Muster 01 Jan 1839 [WO12-6200-526 & 553].
Physical DescriptionHeight: 5 ft. 67/8 ins. [WO12-6200-526]
Arrival Van Diemen’s Land: Ship and DateHindostan. Embarked 1 May 1839, paid to 7 Sep 1839 [WO12-6201-8].
Arr. 12 Sep 1839 from London, England dep. 9 May 1839 [DPS].
Arrival Western Australia: Ship and DateRunnymede 25 Jun 1840 from Hobart [TROVE].
Military Postings within Western AustraliaEllensbrook Jul 1840-Oct 1841.
Variously Pinjarra, Ellensbrook, Leschenault and Bunbury Nov 1841-Mar 1843. 
Garrison Duty Apr-Jul1843. Pinjarra Aug-Nov 1843.
Variously On Command or Garrison Duty Dec 1843-Sep 1845.
Variously Regimental Duty, On Command or Garrison Duty Oct 1845-Jun 1846.
Bunbury Jul 1846-31 Mar 1847.[WO12-6202 to 6208] 
Discharge Date and Place31 Mar 1847 Swan River, Western Australia [WO12-6208-188].
Age at Discharge31 years [deduced].
Length of Service9 years 3 months [deduced].