DREURY John

NAME: John DREURYName variations: Drewry, Drury.
Birth Date and Placec. 1822/23 Bradwell, Braintree, Essex – not verified  [WO23-150 & WO12-9612-154].
Baptism Date and Place 
Marriage Date and Place28 Sep 1850 Guildford, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#339A].
SpouseSarah HITCHCOCK.
ChildrenElizabeth Ann b. 1851 Guildford, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#1666].
Clara Maria b. 1853 Middle Swan, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#2289].
Isaac John b. 1855 Toodyay, Western Australia – not verified [ERIC p.896].
OccupationsLabourer.
Constable Fremantle Government Gazette 12 Jun 1849  [& Bark p.59].
Land Acquisition in WANone.
Death Date and PlaceJuly 1857 Toodyay, Western Australia – not verified [ERIC p.896].
Burial Date and Place 
Death, Funeral, Obituary Notices 
Will and ProbateNone.
BRITISH ARMY
Regiment96th Regiment of Foot.
Soldier No. and Rank#1565 Private.
Enlistment Date and Place10 Nov 1840 Chelmsford District [WO12-9612-154].
Age 18 years. Bounty paid to recruit £3 5s. 0d.
Physical DescriptionHeight: 5 ft. 5 ins. Complexion: fair. Eyes: brown. Hair: brown [WO23-150].
Medals, Clasps and BadgesNone.
Casualty/MedicalUnfit for service in India and worn out [WO28-266-101].
Gunshot wound right hand by accident firing a tribute on H.M. birthday [WO23-150].
Arrival Australia Ship and DatePrince Regent. Embarked 1 Jul 1841 Gravesend.
Dep. 7 Aug 1841 Dublin. Arr. 3 Jan 1842 Hobart,  [WO12-9613-230 & DPS].
Arrival Western Australia: Ship and DateJava 24 Feb 1847 from Hobart, embarked 27 Jan 1847 [WO12-9620-334].
Military Postings within Western AustraliaYork 24 Feb to 30 Nov 1847.
Perth in custody 1 Dec 1847  to 5 Jan 1848.
Round House, Fremantle in prison 6 Jan to 30 May 1848. After trial at Quarter Sessions 6 Jan 1848.
Perth 1 Jun 31 Jul 1848 in hospital.
Perth HQ 1 Aug 1848 to 12 Mar 1849 inc. On Command Jan & Feb 1849.
Perth HQ 13 Mar 1849 confined after Garrison Court Martial (see below).
[All sourced from WO12-9620 TO 9622].
Civil Court Quarter Sessions6 Jan 1848 Perth, before His Honor W H Mackie.
Charged with stealing money from Peter Fraser, Shepherd. Found guilty; recommended to mercy on the ground of his good character. Sentenced 12 months’ imprisonment and hard labour. Good character testified by Major Bush 96th Regiment.
[Inquirer 12 Jan 1848 p.3].
Courts Martial in Western AustraliaGarrison Court Martial 13 Mar 1849. Convicted: Mutilation Accident [WO86-6-119].
Discharge Date and Place
See Additional Notes below
15 May 1849 General Order [WO-266-101].
9 Oct 1849 Examination of Invalid Soldiers [WO23-150].
31 Aug 1851 General Order [WO28-266-135]; Pay List 99th Detachment [WO12-9817-50].
Age at Dischargec. 27 years
Length of Servicec. 9 years.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS
Court Appearances
The character reference given by Major Robert Bush, Dreury’s 96th Regiment commanding officer, was probably genuine.  The evidence against Dreury at his felony trial on 6 Jan 1848 was not wholly convincing; everyone was under the influence of alcohol, it seems.  Dreury’s early release from his imprisonment was organised by a fellow soldier – Commandant of Troops, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick C Irwin, while in the position of de facto governor. [WO28-266-85].  It is interesting that Bush commented on Dreury’s ‘court martial-free status’ at this time, as this was about to change.On 13th March 1849, Dreury faced a Garrison Court Martial which was described as an ‘accident’; no sentence and no stoppages for this incident were described.  Errington did not have a record of Dreury being imprisoned in the Fremantle Gaol (Round House) and there were no comments in the newspapers in the relevant timeframe.  Nonetheless, the explanation can be found in the document  ‘Examination of Invalid Soldiers’ dated 9th October 1849 [WO23-150].  Dreury suffered a gunshot wound when firing at a tribute for H.M. birthday. It seems too obvious to suggest that March is not a month associated with the sovereign’s birthday (24th May). Supposition: Was this an Army cover-up for the fact that the wound was self-inflicted and Dreury wanted to ensure he stayed in the Colony and not sail to India with the regiment.  He was a man in his 20s, perhaps without any reason to discharge from the Army after only nine years’ service.  Perhaps the gunshot wound to his right hand guaranteed a discharge.  However, a court martial was held as a firearm had been discharged; the Army inflicted no punishment; the newspapers did not report the incident; Dreury’s service papers were ‘lost’; no pension was paid; but Dreury did not go to India!
Final Discharge
In General Orders dated 14th May 1849, Dreury was one of three soldiers whose service records were ‘lost’ [WO28-266-101]. 
In General Orders dated 25th August 1851, all three 96th Regiment soldiers – John Boag, John Drury, and John Sale, were finally granted their discharges, albeit at that time they were ‘attached’ (not transferred) to the 99th Regiment detachment in Perth.  It was confirmed that pay had been issued to 31st August 1851 but would cease from that date; they would be struck off; and receive their Parchment Certificates of discharge [WO28-266-135]. In the event, John Boag’s service records were ‘found’ and he received a pension. Dreury and Sale appear not to have been so fortunate. All were recorded as ‘non-effective’ in the Pay List of 99th Regiment for the quarter July to September 1851 [WO12-9817-50].