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.
|William ROBINSON||Name variations: Not encountered.|
|Birth Date and Place||Note on Bolton Le Moor Pay List April to June 1839: Chatham, Kent. Labourer. This could indicate birthplace or enlistment place.|
|Baptism Date and Place|
|Marriage Date and Place||NOT Marriage 1849 to Eliza Rowland in Perth.|
Possibly 1853 to Catherine Stundon in Pinjarra Reg. #570 – not verified, further research required.
|Land Acquisition in WA|
|Death Date and Place||NOT Death 11 Mar 1896 (a convict).|
|Burial Date and Place||NOT Burial 13 Mar 1896 (a convict).|
|Death, Funeral, Obituary Notices|
|Will and Probate|
|Regiment||96th Regiment of Foot.|
|Soldier No. and Rank||#1020 Private.|
|Enlistment Date and Place||Before April 1839 (per regimental service number sequence).|
|Arrival Van Diemen’s Land: Ship and Date||Hindostan.|
Dep. 7 Oct 1840 Sheerness. Arr. 19 Jan 1841 Hobart
(disembarked 30 Jan 1841) [WO12-9612-290].
|Arrival Western Australia: Ship and Date||Java 26 Feb 1847 from Hobart, embarked 27 Jan 1847 [WO12-9620-334].|
|Medals, Clasps and Badges||Good Conduct Badge 1d. per diem from 13 Apr 1847 [WO12-9622-12].|
|Military Postings within Western Australia||Perth HQ 24 Feb to 31 Oct 1847 inc. hospital 14 days March & 3 days October.|
Rottnest 1 Nov 1847 to 31 Jul 1848.
Perth HQ 1 Aug 1848 to 31 Mar 1849 inc. On Guard October 1848 March 1849. Hospital 4 days.
[All sources WO12-9620 TO 9622].
|Courts Martial in Western Australia||None.|
|Discharge Date and Place||27 Apr 1849 Perth, Western Australia – Conditional [WO28-266-97].|
1 Feb 1851 Horse Guards, Westminster, London.
1 Jul 1851 Commandant, Perth, Western Australia.
Discharge with Gratuity of £13 13s. 9d. [WO28-266-132].
|Age at Discharge|
|Length of Service||At least ten years [deduced].|