In 1678, Charles Erskine, Earl of Mar, raised the regiment to help put down unrest within the Presbyterian (Covenanter) Scots churchmen. In 1688, as a fusilier regiment, it moved from the Scottish to the English establishment and was named for its various Colonel’s names. In 1707 the regiment was named the North British Fuzileers, not popular within the Regiment since it was bestowed in honour of the Union of England and Scotland.
The regiment maintained its ‘North British’ name in various forms throughout the 18th and early 19th century, fighting against the Jacobite rebellion including Culloden; engaging in the Seven Years War, the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars.
The 21st (Royal North British Fuzileers) Regiment first arrived in Australia in 1832 to 1833 as guards on board convict ships to New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. The regiment’s HQ was established in Hobart but soon a detachment was sent to the Swan River Colony to relieve the 63rd Regiment’s detachment which had arrived with Captain James Stirling some four years earlier. Most of the troops arrived on Jane in September 1833, but others arrived on Caroline (February 1835) and Sir John Rae Reid (July 1835). Most left the Colony on Runnymede in July 1840 to serve in India.
The troops of the 21st Regiment detachment bore the brunt of the clash of cultures between the settlers and the aborigines. Two corporals and eight privates were thought to have been present at the Battle of Pinjarra; three troops were killed by natives in other incidents in Beverley, Murray River and Upper Swan.
A total of 152 officers and men served in Western Australia between 1833 and 1840 and 21 of them took their discharge and settled there. One of them was this man featured on the right. Nineteen troops died while serving in the Colony.
It was not until 1877 that the regiment received a title befitting its origins when it became the 21st (Royal Scots Fusliers) Regiment of Foot.
|NAME: George WALLACE||Name variations: None encountered.|
|Birth Date and Place||1809 – not verified [deduced BLKB p.324].|
|Baptism Date and Place|
|Marriage Date and Place|
|Occupations||Farmer, Roelands, Western Australia [TROVE].|
|Land Acquisition in WA|
|Death Date and Place||21 May 1859 Roelands, Western Australia [WABDM Reg. #1291].|
|Burial Date and Place||May 1859 Bunbury Cemetery, Western Australia [FSLDS Film 007720548-90].|
|Death, Funeral, Obituary Notices|
|Will and Probate||None.|
|Regiment||21st (Royal North British Fuzileers) Regiment.|
|Soldier No. and Rank||#853 Private.|
|Enlistment Date and Place||10 Jul 1831 Edinburgh, Scotland [BLK p.324].|
|Physical Description||Height: 5 ft. 6 ins. [BLK p.324].|
|Medals, Clasps and Badges||None.|
|Arrival Australia: Ship and Date||Camden. Embarked Deptford 12 Sep 1832 [WO12-3802-74].|
Dep. 22 Sep 1832 Sheerness, Kent; arr. 18 Feb 1833 Port Jackson, NSW [ADM101-15-7].
Lavinia Dep. 6 Mar 1833 Port Jackson; arr. 20 Mar 1833 Hobart, VDL [TROVE].
|Arrival Western Australia: Ship and Date||Jane 9 Sep 1833 from Hobart [WO12-3802-107; TROVE].|
|Military Postings within Western Australia||Note: Where ‘On detachment’ is noted below, no location is recorded in the 21st Musters and Pay Lists|
Port Augusta [Augusta] Sep to 31 Dec 1833.
On detachment 1 Jan 1834 to 30 Sep 1837.
Augusta 1 Oct 1837 to 30 Apr 1838.
Vasse 1 May 1838 to 31 Mar 1840.
Perth HQ 1 Apr to 31 Jul 1840 when discharged.
All sourced from WO12-3802 TO 3809.
|Courts Martial in Western Australia||None.|
|Discharge Date and Place||31 Jul 1840 Perth, Western Australia [WO12-3809-65].|
|Age at Discharge||31 years [deduced BLKB p.324].|
|Length of Service||9 years [deduced BLKB p.324].|
George Wallace arrived in the Colony in his early twenties – probably single. There is no record of a marriage or children for him, and lacking any kind of death notice or obituary, we can perhaps assume he remained single.
We can place Wallace in Bunbury in March 1843 when he was witness at the marriage of James Blyth(e) to Comfort Stanton [WABDM Reg. #68], and in February 1850 when he was granted a dog licence [Perth Gazette 15 Feb 1850].
Nothing else is known of his life in Western Australia but for newspaper advertisements suggesting that he was a partner or employee of a farmer in Roelands, near Bunbury. A quantum leap may indicate that the farmer was John Fowler who arrived in the Colony in 1837 on Britomart [ERIC p.1108]. Fowler was farming in the Colony from 1848 and he and his wife Elizabeth had at least two children in Roelands in the 1850’s. Wallace died in Roelands in 1859 and Fowler moved on to other farming interests in southern Western Australia.
The advertisement (above) appeared in the Perth Gazette on the 21st/28th April and 12th May 1854.