CROSS Joseph

St Mary’s Church, Woolfit, Suffolk
12th Regiment Colours
Arrival in Hobart
Joseph Cross arrives in Western Australia [Inquirer 13 Feb 1856]
Cross Leaves for Sydney
[Inquirer 11 Mar 1863]
Joseph Cross’s Parchment Certificate [Acc 1349A SLWA]
Funeral Notice [Western Mail 27 Aug 1904]
NAME Joseph CROSSName variations: None encountered
Birth Date and PlaceDecember 1835 Woolpit, Stowmarket, Suffolk, England [SLWA Acc 1349A].
Baptism Date and Place
Marriage Date and Place11 Aug 1857 Perth Wesleyan Church, Western Australia [SLWA Acc 1349A].
SpouseSarah HILL.
Birth/Baptismal entry for the only Cross child born outside Western Australia

William Edward b.1859 Perth, Western Australia
[WABDM Reg. #4679].
Emily Elizabeth b.1861 Perth, Western Australia
[WABDM Reg. #6176].
Minnie Malvina b.1864 Paddington, New South Wales
[WABDM Reg. #3828].
George Edward b.1866 Canning, Western Australia
[WABDM Reg. #9686].
Sarah Josphine b.1869 Perth, Western Australia
[WABDM Reg. #11723].
Joseph Ernest b.1871 Perth, Western Australia
[WABDM Reg. #13584].
Eliza Ann b.1873 Perth, Western Australia
[WABDM Reg. #15208].
Evaline Harriet b.1873 Perth, Western Australia [WABDM Reg. #17315].
Alice Constance b.1878 Perth, Western Australia [WABDM Reg. #19707].
Philip Francis John b.1881 Perth, Western Australia [WABDM Reg. #22066].

Foreman of Works and Supervisor, Perth City Council.
Building Contractor.
Land Acquisition in WA
Death Date and Place20 Aug 1904 Woodlupine, Canning, Western Australia [WABDM Reg. #401].
Burial Date and Place21 Aug 1904 East Perth Cemetery, Western Australia.
Church of England Section [EPCEM].
Death, Funeral, Obituary NoticesSunday Times 21 Aug 1904 [TROVE].
Western Mail 27 Aug 1904 [TROVE].
Will and ProbateNone.
Regiment12th Regiment (East Suffolk) Regiment.
Soldier No. and Rank#3321 Private [WO12-2971-13].
Enlistment Date and Place28 Oct 1853 Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk .
Bounty: £4 0s. 0d. Age: 17 years, 10 months [SLWA Acc 1349A].
Physical DescriptionHeight: 5 ft. 7½ ins. Complexion: fresh. Eyes: hazel.  Hair: brown (at discharge 1865).
Scar over right eyebrow from burn.
Service/CampaignsAustralia: Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, Sydney [SLWA Acc 1349A].
Medals, Clasps and Badges1st Good Conduct Badge 1d. per diem 31 Dec 1858 [WO12-2977-90].
2nd Good Conduct Badge 2d. per diem 31 Dec 1861 [WO12-2983-305].
Arrival Australian State: Ship and DateGloucester dep. 31 May 1854 Cork, Ireland; arr. 20 Jan 1854 Hobart Town, VDL [WO12-2971-13 &TROVE].
Iron Tasmania dep. 9 Aug 1854 Hobart; arr. 12 Aug 1854 Melbourne, Victoria [SLWA Acc 1349A & TROVE].
23 Oct to 31 Mar 1855  on detachment in Castlemaine, Victoria [WO12-2971-122/167/214].
Arrival Western Australia: Ship and DateWindsor 7 Feb 1856 from Hobart, Tasmania. Disembarked 10 Feb 1856 [WO12-2972-449].
Military Postings within Western AustraliaThe Musters and Pay Lists of the 12th Regiment (WO12 series) do not indicate if and where its troops were posted outside of Perth. Similarly the Monthly Returns showing Distribution of Troops (WO17 series) do not indicate the number of troops present at Military Posts for the period 1856 to 1863.
Courts Martial in Western AustraliaNone.
Departure to New South Wales: Ship and DateMerchantman 7 Mar 1863 from Perth to Sydney arr. 29 Mar 1863 [TROVE].
Discharge Date and Place31 Dec 1865 Sydney, New South Wales [SLWA Acc 1349A].
Age at Discharge30 years.
Length of Service12 years.


The 12th Regiment’s involvement in Australasia started in 1854, when one Company sailed from Cork on 20 January 1854, for Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania). There are no records available in Australia for the 12th Regiment earlier than 1 April 1854, but fortunately Joseph Cross’s Army Account Book is available in Western Australia’s Battye Library Acc 1349A which indicated that he was part of this involvement.

Arrival of Gloucester

Joseph was serving in Belfast in early 1854 and was thus part of the regiment’s first foray into Australia. Further research has indicated he was under the command of Captain W J Hutchins when he, a Lieutenant H Cole, Surgeon W Dick, four NCOs and 100 other ranks made their way from Cork to Van Diemen’s Land on Gloucester [WO12-2971-5 to 30] arriving in Hobart on 29 May 1854 [Hobarton Guardian 31 May 1854]. According to his Account Book, he was in mainland Australia by 12 August that year.

Joseph and his comrades joined three more Companies of the 12th Regiment who arrived in Melbourne in October 1854 on Camperdown also from London via Cork; they remained under the command of Captain Hutchins at Castlemaine. Other Companies of the 12th arrived at Melbourne in November.

Eureka Stockade Riot
[J B Henderson Mitchell Library NSW]
The movement of troops to Victoria was all about the unrest and later riots in the goldfields of Ballarat. On 1 December 1854, two Companies of the 12th and one of the 40th attacked the Eureka Stockade. Not all the troops in Melbourne were present, and it seems that Joseph was one who missed the action. He remained in Castlemaine until his arrival in Western Australia in February 1855. His service in Western Australia also ensured that he missed the involvement of 12th Regiment troops in New Zealand’s Maori Wars from 1860 for several years.In 1857 Joseph Cross married Sarah Hill who had arrived in WA with her parents in 1852 [ERIC p.724]. Sarah and their two children accompanied Joseph back to New South Wales with the 12th Regiment detachment in early March 1863. Nearly sixty officers and men of the detachment returned to HQ Sydney on the ship Merchantman after she had disembarked 192 convicts and 50 pensioner guards on WA’s shores the previous month.

Captain Thunderbolt

When Joseph arrived in Sydney, he was posted to Cockatoo Island one of the islands in Sydney Harbour to which troops were consigned. Between 1839 and 1869 Cockatoo was used as a penal establishment. One of the prisoners who was there in 1863 was the infamous Captain Thunderbolt (Frederick Wordsworth Ward) the bushranger who escaped from the prison in September 1863. The Army Musters for September show that Joseph was in hospital for 24 days during this period – almost certainly once again missing the action [WO12-2986-71].

Joseph was serving in Victoria Barracks, Paddington during 1864 when their third child was born in September of that year. Joseph’s Parchment Certificate, part of the WA State Library’s collection of his papers, shows that he discharged from the Army on 31 December 1865 after 12 years of service, most of which was in Australia. This cannot be verified on the Musters & Pay Lists which are not extant in Australia for the period April to December 1865. Joseph’s Parchment Certificate also indicates he intended to reside in Western Australia after discharge. The couple were back in Perth in 1866 when their fourth of ten children was born.

Joseph made a good life for himself and his family in Western Australia – both as a public servant for Perth City Council and in the building industry with his own business.