From 1761 to 1818, five regiments of foot with the numeral 99 had been raised and disbanded. A sixth was raised in 1824 in Glasgow which in 1832, while serving in Mauritius and Seychelles, was formally granted its name 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment. In 1874, it became 99th (Duke of Edinburgh’s) Regiment.
The 99th was stationed in Ireland for five years, before being detailed to escort convicts to Australia in 1842. It remained in Australia until 1856, but also sent two companies to New Zealand during the Flagstaff War (or First Māori War) in 1845-46.
In 1850 a monument was erected in Hobart to commemorate twenty four men of the Regiment who were killed on active service in the New Zealand Māori Wars of 1845-46. The monument is unique as it was the first war memorial to be erected in Australia and also the only memorial to be erected by a British Regiment serving in Australia.
In 1849 a Company of the 99th arrived in Western Australia, and in 1856 joined with the regiment from Hobart to return to England. When it sailed for home, over 400 of its men stayed behind in Australia to transfer to other units.
|NAME John JONSON||Name variations: Johnson, Johnston, Johnstone|
|Birth Date and Place||c.1820 [ADM101-40-5-5]. Hacketstown, Carlow, Ireland – not verified [WO12-9084-16].|
|Baptism Date and Place||17 Jul 1821 Hacketstown, Carlow and Wicklow, Ireland – not verified.|
Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin [Ireland Catholic Parish Registers].
|Marriage Date and Place|
|Occupations||Labourer (in Ireland).|
Police Constable and Jailor at Guildford (1853) [BARK p.112; BENT p.40; PASH]. See Additional Details below.
|Land Acquisition in WA|
|Death Date and Place||1892 near Geraldton, Western Australia – not verified [WABDM Reg. #332].|
|Burial Date and Place||1892 Urch Street Cemetery (now Apex Pioneer Memorial Park), Geraldton, Western Australia – not verified [Midwest WA Heritage].|
|Death, Funeral, Obituary Notices|
|Will and Probate||None.|
|Regiment||99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment.|
|Soldier No. and Rank||#1136 Private.|
|Enlistment Date and Place||c. 1840/41 [deduced].|
|Medals, Clasps and Badges||Good Conduct Badge 2d. per diem awarded in New South Wales.|
|Arrival Australia: Ship and Date||Kinnear. Dep. 2 Jun 1842 London; arr. 15 Jun 1842 Kingstown, Dublin.|
Dep. 10 Jul 1842 Kingstown, Dublin; arr. 23 Oct 1842 Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land.
Dep. 29 Oct 1842 Hobart, VDL; arr. 10 Nov 1842, Port Jackson, New South Wales.
|Arrival Western Australia: Ship and Date||Ratcliffe 7 Apr 1847 from Hobart, VDL via Adelaide, SA [TROVE].|
|Military Postings within Western Australia||Pinjarrah 7 Apr 1849 to 30 Apr 1850.|
Perth HQ 1 May to 30 Jun 1850.
Fremantle 1 Jul to 31 Oct 1850. Perth HQ 1 to 30 Nov 1850.
Fremantle 1 Dec 1850 to 31 May 1852.
Perth HQ 1 to 30 Jun 1852 prior to discharge.
[All sourced from WO12-9804 TO 9817].
|Courts Martial in Western Australia||None.|
|Discharge Date and Place||30 Jun 1852 Perth, Western Australia [WO12-9817-128].|
Gratuity of £13 13s. 9d.[WO28-266-165].
|Age at Discharge||c. 32 years [deduced].|
|Length of Service||c. 11 years [deduced].|
John Jonson’s surname is indistinguishable from other Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone variables that have been recorded in Western Australia. His name spelt as John Jonson has not been encountered in sources outside War Office records except on the occasion of what I believe to be his baptism in July 1821.
Jonson has therefore been difficult to research – particularly when endeavouring to identify his date and place of death. Examples of the variable ‘Johnson’ are at left and right (above). Indeed, it was the Sick List record that first gave me some evidence of his birthdate in the absence of Army enlistment details (not extant in Australia).