Four line infantry regiments with the numeral 96 were raised and disbanded between 1761 and 1818.A fifth 96th was raised in February 1824 at Salford Barracks, Manchester. It was later allowed to carry the battle honours awarded its predecessor – Peninsular, Egypt and the Sphinx.

Over the next decade, the regiment spent eight years in Halifax, Nova Scotia and two in the West Indies. It then garrisoned in Britain until 1839, when it was tasked with guarding its first of many convict ships bound for Australia. Some of these are profiled on this website’s Ships page. During the regiment’s time in Australia, the 96th served in Windsor, Sydney and Parramatta, New South Wales; Hobart and Launceston, Van Diemen’s Land; and Adelaide, South Australia. In VDL many of the troops were garrisoned at Port Arthur, the major convict prison. The Anecdotes page of this website will take you to a story of the ‘Military Outrage’ in Launceston in May 1845.

The 96th sent a detachment to New Zealand in 1844 where it remained during the New Zealand Wars until the end of 1846. Again, the Anecdote page will write of the regiment’s missing medal roll.

In February 1847, 111 officers and men arrived in Western Australia on Java from Hobart; a further two arrived on John Bagshaw in January 1849. Thirty seven of the Java men took their discharge and settled in Western Australia; one of them was this man featured on the right. Four of the men transferred to a detachment of the 99th Regiment to receive their final pay.

The 96th in Australia left for India in two waves. In February 1849 General Hewitt left Launceston and then in April the balance left Hobart on Ratcliffe, picking up the 96th detachment from Western Australia on its way to Calcutta.

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Charles Stuart, founder of the 96th (Queens Germans) Regiment during its fourth ‘life’.
NAME John BROWNName variations: See ‘Additional Details’ below.
Birth Date and PlaceChelmsford, Essex, England [WO12-9615-145].
Baptism Date and Place
Marriage Date and Place
OccupationsLabourer (prior to Army recruitment).
Convict Establishment: Assistant Warder, Night Warder, Cookhouse Duties, Road Party supervision, Gatekeeper –
variously from 1851-1865 [not verified, indistinguishable BARK p.25].
Land Acquisition in WA
Death Date and Place
Burial Date and Place
Death, Funeral, Obituary Notices
Will and Probate
Regiment96th Regiment of Foot.
Soldier No. and Rank#1858 Private [WO12-9620-334].
Enlistment Date14 Jan 1843 Chatham, Kent [WO12-9614-370].
Arrival Australia: Ship and DateHydrabad.   Embarked 29 Jun 1843, Gravesend, Kent. [WO12-9615-192 to 199].
Dep. 4 Jul 1843, Deal, Kent. Arr. 17 Oct 1843, Sydney, NSW.
Arr. 4 Nov 1843, Launceston, VDL [TROVE].
Arrival Western Australia: Ship and DateJava 24 Feb 1847 from Hobart, embarked 27 Jan 1847 [WO12-9620-334].
Medals, Clasps and BadgesGood Conduct Badge 1d. per diem from 2 Aug 1848 [WO12-9622-143].
Military Postings within Western AustraliaBunbury 26 Feb 1847 to 30 Jun 1848 [WO9620 & 9622].
On Guard 1 to 31 Jul 1848 [WO12-9622-143].
Perth HQ 1 Aug to 31 Dec 1843 [WO12-9622-171].
On Command 1 to 31 Jan 1848 [WO12-9622-199].
Perth HQ 1 Feb – 31 Mar 1848 including six days in hospital [WO12-9622-199].
Perth HQ 1 Apr to 27 Apr 1849 [deduced as WO12-9624 Musters are not extant in WA].
Courts Martial in Western AustraliaNone.
Discharge Date and Place

27 Apr 1849 Perth, Western Australia – Conditional [WO28-266-97].
15 Feb 1851 Horse Guards, Westminster, London.
1 Jul 1851 Commandant, Perth, Western Australia.
Purchased Discharge for £18 0s. 0d. [WO28-266-132].
[see right: General Orders WO28-266-132].

Age at Discharge
Length of Service6 years 3 months – deduced [WO12-9614-370].
There were THREE privates in the 96th Regiment in Hobart, VDL between 1841 and 1849 with the name John Brown: Regimental # 575, 1804, 1858. One of them has occassionally been found with the second given name ‘Loring’ in the Army Musters.  This has led to some confusion as to which of these men took his discharge in Western Australia. The Musters have been examined the the following information verified:

Private John Brown #575 did not serve in the Swan River Colony detachment from February 1847 to May 1849 [WO12-9620],  He was not serving in India (Lahore) in 1st Quarter 1851 [WO12- 9625].
Private John (Loring) Brown #1804 served in the Swan River Colony from February 1847 to May 1849 after which he left with the regiment on Radcliffe for India. He was serving in India (Lahore) in 1st Quarter 1851[WO12- 9625].
Private John Brown #1858 served in the Swan River Colony from February 1847 to 27 May 1849 when his conditional discharge was approved by the Commandant in Perth [WO28-266-97]. He did not leave the Colony with the regiment and remained in the Swan River Colony when he purchased his final discharge on 1 Jul 1851[WO12-266-132].  He was at the Swan River Colony in 1st Quarter 1851 awaiting discharge [WO12-9625].

Apart from his birthplace, found on a Pay List recorded in Launceston VDL, personal information relating to John Brown’s life is a ‘work in progress’.  There are 20 marriages, 20 deaths and 40 fathers of children for men named John Brown within likely timeframes.  I am hoping that publishing his Army details will bring me some leads to his personal life.