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.
|NAME Francis MASON||Name variations: None encountered.|
|Birth Date and Place|
|Baptism Date and Place|
|Marriage Date and Place|
|Land Acquisition in WA|
|Death Date and Place|
|Burial Date and Place|
|Death, Funeral, Obituary Notices|
|Will and Probate|
|Regiment||51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding, The Kings Own Light Infantry) Regiment.|
|Soldier No. and Rank||#512 Private.|
|Enlistment Date and Place|
|Medals, Clasps and Badges||Good Conduct Badge 1 Jan 1838, 1d. per diem, Chatham HQ [WO12-6200-204].|
Forfeited Pay 5 Oct 1838 after name recorded in Defaulters Book [WO12-6200-528].
Restored 6 Oct 1839 1d. per diem, Hobart VDL [WO12-6201-133].
Good Conduct Badge Jun 1842, 2d. per diem, Swan River, WA [WO12-6204-183].
Forfeited Pay 5 May 1844, 1d. per diem after name recorded in Defaulters Book [WO12-6206-250].
Restored Jul 1845 2d. per diem [WO12-6208-44].
|Arrival Australia State: Ship and Date||Blenheim. Embarked 23 Apr 1839, paid to 30 Aug 1839.|
Dep. London to Kingstown, Dublin April 1839.
Dep. Dublin 19 May 1839; Arr. Port Jackson, NSW 27 Sep 1839.
|Arrival Western Australia: Ship and Date||Runnymede 25 Jun 1840 from Hobart [TROVE].|
|Military Postings within Western Australia||Canning 1 Jul 1840 to 30 Apr 1842. On Command May 1842.|
King George’s Sound 1 Jun to 30 Sep 1842.
Kojonup 1 Oct 1842 to 30 Sep 1843 (except April 1843 in KGS).
King George’s Sound 1 Oct 1843 to 31 Jan 1844.
Perth HQ 1 Feb to 30 Jun 1844 inc. Garrison Duty.
Kojonup 1 Jul to 30 Sep 1844.
King George’s Sound 1 Oct 1844 to 31 Jan 1847.
Perth HQ 1 Feb to 31 March 1847 when discharged.
[All sourcing from WO12-6202 TO 6208].
|Courts Martial in Western Australia||None.|
|Discharge Date and Place||31 Mar 1847 Perth, Western Australia [WO12-6208-190].|
|Age at Discharge|
|Length of Service|
The only records available for Francis Mason that I can find in print are:
MASON, FRANCIS No. 572 [sic] Private 51st. Stationed at Canning, Oct/Dec 1840 [Whiteley’s Military Establishment in Western Australia p.54.
MASON, (Pte) Francis, of 51st Regt. stationed in WA 1840-1847. At Canning 1840 [Erickson’s Bicentennial Dictionaries p.2147].
WO 12 51st Musters & Pay Lists from 1st April 1837 to 31st March 1847 [TNA via AJCP online].Seeking other records gave a negative response:
WO 12 51st Musters & Pay Lists prior to the dates above not extant in Australia make it impossible to track down a date or place of birth from enlistment details.
WO 97 Discharge to Chelsea Pension – not eligible.
WO 100 Medal Rolls – not eligible.
WO 28 General Orders for discharge period not extant.
BMD – none that can be verified in Australia when the benchmark of birthdate or birthplace are not available.
No records listed in police or warders/gaolers indices or books.
No records can be found in Family Search, Ancestry.com, Find My Past, Fold 3, Forces War Records, FIBIS, BISA.
TROVE – none identified as the serving or former 51st soldier.Only two other men in the Swan River Colony named Francis Mason have been found: one a recividist convict transported for theft who re-offended twice for forgery; the other a Surgeon practising in Perth.Please click on email in footer below if you have any information about this Redcoat Settler, or he will remain invisible both before and after his Army service in Australia.