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.
|NAME: Henry WOODS||Name variations: WOOD|
|Birth Date and Place||c. 1806 – 1809 Castleblayney, Monaghan, Ireland [WO97-1043-098].|
|Baptism Date and Place||Not extant until 1835 [Diocese of Clogher NLI].|
|Marriage Date and Place||1st unknown – UK before 1838.|
2nd 30 May 1864 & 7 Jul 1864 Bunbury, Western Australia [WABDM Reg. #2130 & 2160].
|Spouse||1st Ann PITTS – not verified.|
2nd Elizabeth BEALE (Widow of Mr James BROWN).
|Children||James Hamilton b. 1841 Combana Farm, Bunbury, Wellington District, Western Australia [FSLDS Film #7720548].|
Charlotte b. 1844 Bunbury, Western Australia [WABDM Reg. #389].
|Land Acquisition in WA||None.|
|Death Date and Place||30/31 Dec 1875 Up and Down Rocks, Grey District, South Australia [SABDM Reg. # 71/106].|
|Burial Date and Place||1 Jan 1876 Lake Terrace Cemetery, Mount Gambier, South Australia.|
Location: Section G, Plot 251 [C Ward].
|Death, Funeral, Obituary Notices|
|Will and Probate||None.|
|Regiment||51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding, The Kings Own Light Infantry) Regiment. 1 Apr 1847 transferred to|
96th Regiment of Foot [WO12-9621-36].
|Soldier No. and Rank||#655 (51st)|
#2017 (96th) Note discrepancy in records – Musters & Pay Lists record #2017; Discharge to Pension (WO97) records #2020.
|Attestation Date and Place||21 May 1827 Armagh, Monaghan [WO97-1043-098]|
|Physical Description||Height: 5 ft. 7 ins. Complexion: fair. Eyes: hazel. Hair: light brown.|
|Service/Campaigns||Australia 12 years.|
|Medals, Clasps and Badges||Four Good Conduct Badges with pay per diem1836 (1d.), 1843 (2d.), 1845 (3d.), 1847 (4d.) [WO97-1043-098].|
|Casualty/Medical||Worn out and unfit for service in India.|
|Regimental Courts Martial||None.|
|District Courts Martial||None.|
|General Courts Martial||None.|
|Arrival Australian State: Ship and Date||Lord Lyndoch. Embarked 24 Mar 1838 at Deptford. Paid to 31 Jul 1838.|
Dep. 4 Apr 1838 London. Arr. 8 Aug 1838 Port Jackson, NSW. [WO12-6200-?].
|Arrival Western Australia: Ship and Date||Runnymede 25 Jun 1840 from Hobart [TROVE].|
|Military Postings within Western Australia||51st Regiment|
Leschenault 25 June 1840 31 Dec 1842.
Bunbury 1 Jan to 30 Sep 1843.
Perth HQ 1 Oct to 30 Nov 1843.
Bunbury 1 Dec 1843 to 30 Jun 1846.
Perth HQ 1 Jul 1846 to 31 Mar 1847 including Garrison Duty Aug & Oct 1846 & Jan 1847.
[All sourcing from WO12-6202 TO 6208].
1 Apr 1847 to 15 May 1849 when discharged to pension.
[All sourcing from WO12-9624]. Note: WO12-9624 Pay List not extant in WA.
|Courts Martial in Western Australia||None.|
|Discharge Date and Place||15 May 1849 (conditional) [WO28-266-101].|
31 Aug 1849 (approved) [MSJ p.841].
|Age at Discharge||43 years.|
|Length of Service||21 years 345 days.|
|Chelsea Pension Reference||WO97-1043-098.|
|Pension District||Western Australia.|
|Pension Amount||1s. 0d. per diem.|
|Notes on Pension Payment||Paid by Regiment to 31 May 1850.|
Paid by Commissariat to 30 Jun 1851.
Thereafter, transferred to Captain Bruce’s Pay List.
There is nothing to suggest Woods was taken onto EPF strength, this was merely a means of receiving his pension entitlement as a military pensioner once Perth became a Pension District with the arrival of Captain John Bruce and the EPF men [WO22-248-43].
Henry Woods’ first wife died in 1862 in Western Australia [not verified].
Henry married widow Elizabeth Brown, nee Beale, in 1864. The couple, with an unnamed child, left Fremantle on Ann Saunderson on 2 Mar 1865 and arrived in Adelaide on 26 Mar 1865. The voyage is substantiated by Elizabeth’s record in Adelaide Hospital Admissions Volume 3 Number 652 [courtesy Chris Ward].