Search billions of records on
The 63rd Regiment of Foot
(West Suffolk)
In Australia 1829 – 1833

(A Work in Progress)
Unpublished manuscript by Edmund D.H. Flack © 2003
PO Box 204
Margate Beach. Queensland 4019.
The 63rd Regiment of Foot
(West Suffolk)
In Australia 1829 – 1833
Section Page
1 The 63rd Regiment’s Record
2 The British Army and the situation in Van
Diemens Land
3 The Movement of the 63rd to New South Wales
4 Order of Battle and Personnel
5 Arms and Equipment
6 Garrison Duties
7 The “Black War”
8 No 2 Company in West Australia
9 Departure for India
Appendix “A” Brief History of 63rd Regiment of Foot
1758 – 1881
Appendix “B” Regimental Muster Roll
Appendix “C” Bibliography


My father, Dr Henry Edmund Douglas Flack, told me that his Great Grandfather “Billy Flack” had served in the British Army most of his life and that he had served “on garrison duties in Van Diemen’s Land in the 1830s.” Interested in both military and family history, I searched the local library for information about the British Army in Australia and the nature of the garrison duties that my father had mentioned. When I began this research in the early 1980s, I could find little on these subjects. Most of
Australian history it seems has been written from the point of view of the early settlers and the very significant contribution of the British armed forces to the establishment and early development of the Australian colonies has largely been ignored. My research confirmed the family oral tradition of Billy Flack’s service in Van Diemen’s Land and added some of the details about the nature of the garrison
duties in which he took part.
Private William Charles FLACK enlisted in the 63rd Regiment of Foot in London in September 1831 aged twenty years. He had the briefest of training at the Regiment depot at Chatham before being drafted as a guard aboard a convict ship “Isabella” bound for New South Wales in October that same year. The vessel arrived in Sydney on 15 March and continued to Hobart Town, arriving 29th March 1832.
Interestingly, Private James FLACK (not closely related) had enlisted four years earlier in the same Regiment and had sailed aboard ‘HMS Sulphur’ in 1829 bound for the newly established settlement at Swan River on the west coast of Western Australia.
Private ‘Billy’ FLACK and Private James FLACK left Australia with the Regiment, bound for Madras India, in February 1833. Pte ‘Billy’ William Charles Flack was serve 21 years with the 63rd Regiment of Foot (West Suffolk Regiment) rising to the rank of Sergeant Major, before transferring to the 5th Royal Lancashire Militia and rising to the rank of Captain before retiring with almost 40 years in the British Army.
This short history is the result of the author’s efforts to collect details of the service in New South Wales and Swan River of the 63rd. Regiment of Foot and of the officers and men who served with the Regiment. It is hoped that this brief account will be of interest in military historians, as well as those interested in family history.
The 63rd Regiment’s Record
Upon arrival in New South Wales the 63rd Regiment of Foot would have been considered by the other Military units stationed in NSW as an ‘unfashionable’ Regiment. The British Army in 1829 was still very much Wellington’s Army and the merits of individual regiments were often judged on their conduct in the great continental battles of the Napoleonic Wars. By contrast, the 63rd had spent most of this time in the West Indies where it had nevertheless, performed meritorious service against determined French garrisons.
(A detailed summary of the history of the 63rd Regiment of Foot is included at Appendix ‘A’)
From 1820 – 1826, the 63rd Regiment of Foot was stationed in Ireland. In 1826, the corps was stationed at Windsor where the officer commanding, Major Thomas Fairtlough (not to be confused with Major J. W. Fairtlough, later Lt. Col Fairtlough, who was subsequently to command the 63rd Regiment temporarily in Van Diemen’s Land) died. A monument commemorating his death can still be seen in St George’s Chapel at Windsor. In February 1826 the Regiment had received a warning order that it would shortly leave for New South Wales, but tensions between Spain and Portugal caused the War Office to change its’ mind.
 In December that year the Regiment left Portsmouth aboard H.M.S “Melville”, “Gloucester” and “Warspite” bound for Lisbon, Portugal. On 1st January 1827 the Regiment took up quarters at the Convent de Grazer under the command of Sir William Clinton, K.C.B. The mission of the Regiment was described as “part of the army of occupation”1, and “took part in raid in Portugal”2. In April 1828 the Regiment returned to England and the following year proceeded to New South Wales.
Lt. Col. E. Bourke, who had commanded the Regiment in Portugal, relinquished command prior to embarkation, and Lt. Col. J. Logan took over as Officer commanding.
1 Badges Mottoes and Badges of the British Army, by H.M. Chichester and G. Burgess, pub 1895.
2 History of the late 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment, by May J Slack, pub 1884
The British Army and the Situation in Tasmania
The 63rd Regiment of Foot was typical of the Line Regiments of Foot of the period. In the British Army little had changed in the fifteen years since the Napoleonic wars. However, these fifteen years had been years of neglect and cuts in expenditure. The British Army of 1828 was a far cry from Wellington’s victorious army. First, the grim economic climate of the post-war years had meant that the traditional source of recruits, the young men from the small farms of England, had been severely depleted. The Poor Laws, the Corn Laws and the introduction of mechanisation in farm machinery meant that there had been a massive migration to the cities. The traditional recruit from the countryside was replaced by the product of the slums. The army itself was badly administered during this period. Treasury officials saw their
sole task as saving money.
Food, clothing, accommodating and equipment were all under extremely tight budgetary control. At a time when the Australian Colonies were expanding rapidly, the British Government was keen to cut or a least hold the cost of maintaining the Army in New South Wales.
In 1825 the British Army numbered about one hundred and twenty thousand men. About fifteen thousand were on the European continent or in the former French colonies. About thirty-five thousand were in Ireland, another thirty-five thousand were in India and about twenty thousand formed the home garrison. The rest were scattered in small garrisons or detachments around the world, notably in Canada,
South Africa and Australia.
Upon arrival in New South Wales in 1829, there were three other Regiments in the colony; the 40th Regiment (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment, who were to be replaced by the 63rd; the 57th Regiment (West Middlesex) and the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment.
The military establishment towards the end of the 63rd Regiment’s tour of duty in Australia in late 1832 was as shown in the following table:
Commanding the Forces in NSW
His Excellency Major General Richard Bourke,
Major of Brigade
Lt. Col. Snodgrass, C.B., H.P. Sydney
Regimental Commanders
Lt. Col. J.K. Mackenzie – 4th Regiment of Foot
(Kings Own)
HQ Parramatta
Elements at Parramatta
Norfolk Island
Cox’s River
Emu Plains
Port Macquarie
Detachment – Mounted Police
Lt. Col. H. Despand – 17th Regiment of Foot
HQ Sydney
Elements at Sydney
Moreton Bay
Port Stevens
Detachment – Mounted Police
Lt. Col. J. Logan – 63rd Regiment of Foot (West
HQ Hobart
Elements at Hobart
King George Sound
Swan River
Mounted Police
Commander Capt. T. Williams, 4th Regiment of
HQ Sydney
The military situation in Van Diemen’s Land on arrival was critical, and Lieutenant- Governor Sir George Arthur, in a letter to Governor Darling in Sydney dated 18th November 1829, outlined those difficulties. He thanked Darling for delaying the departure of the 40th Regiment and explained that the danger from aboriginals and bushrangers was intense, with atrocities against outlying settlements and stock runs almost daily occurrences. Arthur continued by asking that the Depot Companies of the 63rd be sent on (from Sydney), and that 2nd Company detached at Swan River be relieved by additional troops from the “Cape” or the “Isle of France” (so that the full Regiment could take over from the 40th without a reduction in overall numbers).
He concludes:
“I wish it were in my power to state that the animosity of these savages
was abated and that, with a prudent regard for the public safety, a
diminution of the force was practicable.”3
Several attempts had been made by Governor Arthur to try to stop the guerrilla war between the settlers and the blacks. As far back as January 1810, Colonel David Collins, the then Lieutenant-Governor, had issued a general order warning settlers that murder of the natives would be treated as murder, and the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on any who should be convicted. In June 1824, Arthur had issued a similar proclamation, warning those that continued to mistreat the blacks. He said simply that natives were to be considered as under the protection of the British Government, and protected by the same laws that protected the settlers.
The ‘war’ however escalated, and by April 1828 violence between the settlers and blacks occurred daily. The newspapers were full of terrible stories of farmers, women and children speared to death. On 15th April, Lt. Governor Arthur issued a further proclamation, in which he proposed to create a series of reserves where the aboriginals would be encouraged and, if necessary, forced to go and into which
areas the white population would not be permitted. However, the nomadic nature of the tribes made such a plan unworkable and the violence continued. Finally, on 1st November 1828 the Lt. Governor declared martial law.
(a) “Proclamation – Whereas, at and since the primary settlement of this Colony, various acts of
aggression, violence and cruelty have been, from different causes, committed on the
Aboriginal Inhabitants of the island by subjects of His Majesty.
And Whereas, for the preventing and punishing of such sanguinary and wicked practices,
it was, by a certain General Order, made by Colonel David Collings, then Lieutenant
Governor of this Island and its dependencies, at Government House, Hobart Town, on
the 28th day of January 1810, declared, “That any person whosoever, who should offer
violence to a native, or should, in cold blood, murder, or cause any of them to be
murdered, should, on proof being made of the same, be dealt with, and proceeded
against, as if such violence had been offered, or murder committed, on a civilised
person.” And, it was also, by a certain Proclamation, made and issued by me, as such
3 Despatch from Governor of Tasmania to R. Darling, 1829, 1205 p 888 CY Reel 538, Mitchell Library.
Lieutenant Governor, as aforesaid, at Government House, Hobart Town, on the 29th of
June 1824, - after reciting the command of His Majesty’s Government, and the injunction
of His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief, that the Natives of this Colony and its
dependencies, should be considered as under British Government and protection,
declared, that every violation of the laws, in the persons or property of the Natives, should
be visited with the same punishment, as if committed on the person or property of any
settler; and all Magistrates and Peace Officers, and others, His Majesty’s subjects in this
Colony, were thereby strictly required to observe and enforce the provisions of that
And Whereas, the Aborigines did not only defend themselves, and retaliate on the
offenders; but did also, subsequently to the Order and Proclamation aforesaid, and notwithstanding
the recital, declarations, and requisitions mentioned, perpetrate frequent
unprovoked outrages on the persons and property of the settlers in this Island, and their
servants being British subjects; and did indulge in the repeated commission of wanton
and barbarous murders, and other crimes; for the repression of which, as also for the
prevention of further offences by either of the said parties, instructions, directions, and
injunctions, were promulgated for general information, and for the especial guidance of
the Civil Authorities, and the Military forces, by the Government Notices of the 29th
November 1826, and 29th November 1827, respectively.
And Whereas, those several measures have proved ineffectual to their objects, and the
persons employed in the interior of this Island, as shepherds and stock-keepers, or on the
coast, as sealers, do still, as is represented, occasionally attack and injure the Aboriginal
Natives without any authority; and the Aborigines have, during a considerable period of
time, evinced, and are daily evincing, a growing spirit of hatred, outrage and enmity
against the subjects of His Majesty, resident in this Colony, and are putting in practice
modes of hostility, indicating gradual though slow advances in art, system, and method,
and utterly inconsistent with the peaceable pursuits of civilised society, the most
necessary arts of human subsistence, or the secure enjoyment of human life.
And whereas, on the one hand, the security and safety of all who have entrusted
themselves to the country on the faith of British protection, are imperatively required by
the plainest principle of justice; and on the other hand, humanity and natural equity,
equally enforce the duty of protecting and civilising the Aboriginal inhabitants.
And Whereas, the Aborigines wander over extensive tracts of country without cultivating,
or permanently occupying any portion of it, making continual predatory incursions on its
settled districts, a state of living, alike hostile to the safety of the settlers, and to the
amelioration of their own habits, character and condition.
And Whereas, for the purpose of protecting all classes and orders of persons in this
Island and its dependencies; - of bringing to an end, and preventing the criminal and
iniquitous practices hereinbefore described, by whomsoever committed; or preserving,
instructing, and civilising the Aborigines – and of leading them to habits of labour, industry
and settled life; - it is expedient, by a Legislative Enactment, or a permanent nature, to
regulate and restrict the intercourse between the white and coloured inhabitants of this
Colony and to allot and design certain specified tracts of land to the latter, for their
exclusive benefit and continued occupation.
And Whereas, with a view to the attainment of those ends, a negotiation with certain
chiefs of aboriginal tribes has been planned; but some prompt and temporary measure is
instantly called for, not merely to arrest the march, but entirely cut off the causes and
occasions of plunder and crime, and to save the further waste of property and blood; and
it is therefore become indispensably necessary to bring about a temporary separation of
the coloured from the British population of this territory, and that therefore the coloured
inhabitants should be induced by peaceful means to depart, or should otherwise be
expelled by force from all the settled districts therein.
Now, therefore, I, the Lieutenant Governor aforesaid, in pursuance and in exercise of the
powers and authorities in me vested in this behalf, do hereby notify, that for the purpose
of effecting the separation required, a line of military posts will be forthwith stationed and
established along the confines of the settled districts, within which the aborigines shall not
and may not until further order made, penetrate, in any manner, or for any purpose, save
as hereinafter specially permitted. And I do hereby strictly command, and order all
aborigines immediately to retire, and depart from and for no reason, or on no pretence,
save as hereafter provided, to re-enter such settled districts, or any portion of land
cultivated, and occupied by any person whomsoever, under the authority of His Majesty’s
Government, on pain of forcible expulsion there from, and such consequences as may be
necessarily attended on it.
And I do hereby direct and require all magistrates and other persons by them authorised
and deputed to conform themselves to the directions and instructions of this my
Proclamation, in effecting the retirement or expulsion of the aborigines from the settled
districts of this territory. And I do further authorise and command all other persons
whomsoever, His Majesty’s civil subjects in this Colony, to obey the directions of the civil,
and to aid and assist the military power (to whom special orders adapted to situations and
circumstances will be given) in furtherance of the provisions thereof, and to resort to
whatever means, a severe and inevitable necessity may dictate and require for carrying
the same into execution; subject, however, to the following rules, instructions, restrictions
and conditions:
1st – Lands, the property of the Crown, and unlocated or adjoining remote and scattered
stock-huts, are not to be deemed settled districts, or portions of land cultivated or
occupied, within the meaning of this Proclamation.
2nd – All practicable methods are to be employed for communicating and making known
the provisions of this Proclamation to the aborigines, and they are to be persuaded to
retire beyond the prescribed limits, if that be possible.
3rd – On failure of the expedient last mentioned, capture of their persons, without force, is
to be attempted, and if effected, the prisoners are to be treated with the utmost humanity
and compassion.
4th – Whenever force cannot be avoided, it is to be resorted to, and employed with the
greatest caution and forbearance.
5th – Nothing herein contained, shall authorise, or be taken to authorise, any settler or
settlers, stock-keeper or stock-keepers, sealer or sealers, to make use of force (except
for necessary self-defence) against any aboriginal, without the presence and direction of
a magistrate, military officer, or other person of respectability named and deputed to this
service by a magistrate; of which class, a numerous body will be appointed in each
district – and any unauthorised act of aggression or violence, committed on the person or
property of an aboriginal shall be punished as hereinbefore declared: and all aborigines
are hereby invited and exhorted to inform and complain to some constituted authority, of
any such misconduct or ill-treatment, in order to its coercion and punishment.
6th – Nothing herein contained shall prevent the aborigines from travelling annually,
(according to their customs), until their habits shall have been rendered more regular and
settled, through the cultivated or occupied parts of the island to the sea coast, in quest of
shell-fish for sustenance, on condition of their respective leaders being provided with a
general passport under my hand and seal, arrangements for which, form a part of the
intended negotiation.
George Arthur.”
This, then, was the situation in Van Diemen’s Land into which the newly arrived 63rd
Regiment of Foot was committed.
The Movement of the 63rd Regiment to New South Wales
Having received a warning order to make preparations for movement to New South Wales, the 63rd Regiment began by sending an advance party from the Regimental Depot at Chalthan. It seems likely that this advance party had already sailed for New South Wales before the return of the rest of the Regiment from it short tour of duty in Portugal in April 1828. A summary of the details available on the movement of the 63rd to New South Wales as guard detachment – aboard various convict
transports appears on Table 1.
There is little doubt that detachments arrived aboard other convict transports not listed in Table 1, and that many would have disembarked in Sydney. A significant number must have arrived in Sydney by January 1829 since a notice placed by the Commissariat office in the Sydney Gazette dated 20th January 1829 sought private tenders for the conveyance to Hobart of these detachments, their families and baggage. Towards the end of May that year, the transport “Alice”, with Commissary Maddox and his son, Lt. Erskine and a part of 56 other ranks, 10 women and 12 children, sailed for Hobart. There must have been several such trans-shipments, as many small detachments arrived in Sydney aboard the convict transports.
From September 1828 to February 1830 a varying number of officers and men of the 63rd would have spend some time in Sydney awaiting onwards movement to Hobart. It seems likely that these troops would have been put to good use by the Government of New South Wales. Since there was a full establishment of troops in Sydney during this period and some accommodation shortages for the units posted to Sydney had already been mentioned, it seems that these ‘drafts’ awaiting transhipment to Hobart would have been encamped in and around Sydney and Parramatta. ‘Lancer Barracks, Parramatta’ is mentioned in regimental records as having been home to the 63rd at one time during the Regiment’s stay in NSW.
Meanwhile in England, part of 2 Company was detached from the Regimental Depot in Chatham and directed to join HMS Sulphur at Portsmouth for duty as Marines. On 8th February, HMS Sulphur, under command of Capt. W. T. Dance sailed for Swan River on the West Coast of New Holland, in company with HMS Challenge under Capt. Fremantle. Having arrived at Swan River on 2nd May 1829, they were joined 13 in June 1829 by Lt. Governor Stirling, a party of settlers, and the remainder of No. 2 Company aboard ‘Parmelia’, to form the new colony.
Lord Fitzroy Somerset to Under Secretary Twiss, Horse Guards, 24/1/1828
Having submitted to the General Commander in Chief your letter of 23rd inst. I am directed to acquaint
you that immediate orders have been given to limit the Detachment of 63rd Regiment to one hundred
and that accordingly it will consists of:
One Captain, one Lieutenant, two Ensigns, one Assistant Surgeon, three Sergeants, three
Corporals, one Bugler, fifty-six Privates and thirty-two women and children.
As soon as you shall notify me of the day on which it is desired that the troops shall embark, the
necessary orders will be given. The names of the Officers are:
Capt. F. C. Irwin (Commanding)
Lieut. William Pedder
Ensign Donald Hume MacLeod
Ensign Robert Dale
They have no families requiring accommodation’; but the Medical Officer attached to the Detachment,
Assistant Surgeon Tully Davy, has a family consisting of five ladies, for whom passages should be
I have, etc.,
Fitzroy Somerset
PS By information obtained from the Navy Office it is understood that two or three vessels are fitting
out in the River for the New Settlement, in one or other of which Assistant Surgeon Davy and his
family might be allowed to take passage.
Because of the limitations imposed by the size of the available convict ships to carry bodies of troops, and the long delays between receiving orders and arrival of suitable ships and weather to enable the execution of these orders, most movements could only be accomplished over many months. It seems to have been normal then for delays of as much as 18 months between the receipt of orders to move to New South Wales and the arrival of the main body of the Regiment.
4 Historical Records of Australia. Series III, Vol. 6 page 599 and 600
The 63rd received its final orders in April 1828 but the Regimental Headquarters did not arrive in Hobart until March 1930. The tour of duty of Regiments in Australia should therefore be seen as a continuing stream of movements over many months rather than a simple date of arrival and date of departure.
The following table provides an outline of the sequence of movements by ship of the 63rd Regiment of
Foot to Australia.
Table 2 Sequence of Movements of 63rd Regiment of Foot
Date of
Detail of Movement
9 May
Order to proceed in detachments to NSW
14 May HQ of Regiment disembarks from Portugal
20 May Small advance party already left for NSW Wylly
21 May Regiment marched to Chatham
21 May Lt Col Bourke and Detachment of 63rd departs
for NSW in “Melville”
8 Sept Convict ship “Countess of Harcourt” arrives
Sydney with Detachment of 63rd Major W.
Harrison sailed 3 May 1928 London
Sydney Gazette
16 Jan
Convict ship “Governor Ready” arrives Sydney
with Detachment of 63rd
Sydney Gazette
17 Jan Convict ship “Vittoria” arrives Sydney with
Detachment of 63rd
Sydney Gazette
17 Jan Convict ship “Roslyn Castle” arrives Hobart with
Detachment of 63rd
Sydney Gazette
20 Jan Convict ship “Wave” arrives Hobart with
Detachment of 63rd
Sydney Gazette
8 Feb HMS Sulphur sailed from England for Swan
River with Detachment of 63rd
25 Mar Convict ship “Governor Ready” arrives Hobart
with Detachment of 63rd
Colonial Times
26 Mar Convict ship “Ferguson” arrives Sydney with
Detachment of 63rd
Sydney Gazette
26 Mar Convict ship “Lang” arrives Hobart with
Detachment of 63rd
Colonial Times
17 Apr Convict ship “Tigress” arrives Hobart with
Detachment of 63rd
Colonial Times
2 May HMS Sulphur arrives Perth with Detachment of
63rd (2 Coy)
30 May Transport “Alice” departs Sydney for Hobart with
2 officers, 56 men of 63rd and 22 members of
their families (arrives Hobart 19 June)
Colonial Times
Jun “Parmelia” arrives Perth with Detachment of
63rd (2 Coy)
5 June Ship “Georgia” departs Hobart for Sydney with
Capt. Wentworth and Lady of 63rd on
‘Government business’
Colonial Times
14 Oct Regimental headquarters leaves Portsmouth
England aboard “Catherine Stewart Forbes” for
18 Feb
“Catherine Stewart Forbes” arrives Sydney
22 Mar Headquarters arrives in Hobart Wylly
Order of Battle and Personnel
Before departure for New South Wales, the 63rd Regiment would have been brought up to full strength by recruiting and transfers from other Regiments. Conditions for the other ranks in the depot barracks in Chatham were atrocious, and the prospects of a voyage to New South Wales and of adventure at the other end of the world would have lured many to join the 63rd.
It appears that with the earlier departure of No. 2 Company with H.M.S. Sulphur expedition to Swan River, an additional two companies were added to the normal eight-company structure. Several additional personnel were also added to the Regimental Headquarters staff, including a School Master Sergeant, a civilian paymaster and an additional Commissary.
It was to take more than a year for the Regiment to finally muster its’ full strength in Van Diemen’s Land and the first full Pay List dated 25th March 1830, indicates that the Regiment consisted of ten companies, nine in Van Diemen’s Land and one in Swan River. Each Company had two subdivisions or platoons designated the ‘Right’ and ‘Left’ of each Company. The muster rolls show that there were:
Majors 2
Captains 9
Lieutenants 12
Ensigns 8
Staff 6
Sergeants 41
Corporals 37
Privates 644
Drummers 15
On 25th March 1830, the Regiment was deployed as shown on Table 2.
As indicated, the structure appears to have been based on ten companies as
Colonel of Regiment Col. W. Dyott (in England)
Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Joseph Logan (arrived 22 March 1830)
Executive Officer Major Sholto Douglas
Company Commanders No 1 – Capt J Briggs
No 2 – Capt F C Irwin
No 3 – Capt P Baylee
No 4 – Lt T Grove
No 5 – Capt J Mahon
No 6 – Capt D Wentworth
No 7 – Lt F Aubin
No 8 – Capt M Vickery
No 9 – Lt J Gibbons
No 10 – Capt R Fry
Depot Company Capt W Wilson *
Sub-Division Commanders Lt W M Carew
Lt A Erskine
Lt R Lane
Lt H Crowley
Lt C Dexter
Lt H W Barrow
Lt W Pedder
Depot Company Lt Alt
Ensigns A C Pole
W T N Champ*
D M C Stockman
W J Darling
J P Jones
D H MacLeod
R Dale
R.S.M. Sgt Maj Henry Mayne
Headquarters Staff:
- Paymaster H P Forster
- Paymaster’s Clerk Sgt W Thomas
- Adjutant T Montgomery
Quartermaster R Cust
Q.M. Sergeant James Kene
Surgeon W Bohen
Assistant Surgeon J J Russell*
Assistant Surgeon T Davey
Hospital Sergeant Charles McCarthy
Schoolmaster Sergeant Daniel Shaw
Armorer Sergeant William Morris
Drum Sergeant Major Samuel Bowyer
Because the Detachment in Western Australia was so far removed from any other settlement and indeed helping to forge a new settlement, No 2 Company appears to have been above establishment in a number of ways. On 30th January 1830, in a “Supplementary List of Persons no listed in the General Muster Book” for the settlement at Perth, Mr P Brown, Secretary to the Government, reported that there were:
“64 officers and men
22 women
19 children comprising the Detachment of the 63rd Regiment.”
In letters between Lord Fitzroy Somerset and the Navy commissioners during December 1828, special arrangements were made to draft married soldiers from the 63rd to take part in the expedition to the West. Normally army regulations limited the number of wives accompanying their husbands’ Regiments to six wives to every 100 men.
In addition to the normal establishment, No 2 Company was assigned its own Medical Officer, Assistant Surgeon Tull Davy, who was accompanied by his three daughters, aboard “Parmelia”. A summary of what is known of the officers of 63rd Regiment appears in Appendix B.
 Arms and Equipment
With the exception of Light Infantry and Rifle Regiments, the India Pattern Musket known as the Brown Bess, was the regulation musket for the Infantry of the Line stationed in the colonies in the 1820’s and 1830’s until the advent of the Patern 1839 and 1842 musket. The India Pattern Brown Bess was a .75 smooth bore flintlock weapon with a 39” barrel. It was fitted with three ramrod pipes and was fitted with a
triangular socket bayonet.
(“Australian Service Longarms” by Ian D Skennerton)
Since this is the weapon with which the 63rd Regiment was equipped it is appropriate to briefly examine its characteristics. Essentially, the Brown Bess Flintlock was only truly effective as an infantry weapon when used in volleys with a number of men or ranks firing in disciplined volley fire. The procedure for firing was as follows: the soldier took a cartridge from his pouch, (the British Army pouch contained 60) bit off its end and poured a small quantity of the powder from it into the pan over the touch hole. He then rammed the cartridge – which contained the bullet as well as the gunpowder – down the bore of the musket with his ramrod, cocked the lock and was ready to fire.
The effectiveness of a single shot can be summarised by stating that the effective range was between 100 and 200 yards and its bullet followed a trajectory that became excessively curved and erratic at all but very short range. W.W. Greener, in his book entitled “The Gun and Its’ Development” states that the bullet dropped five feet vertically over a distance of 120 yards from the muzzle.
As a result of these characteristics, the India Pattern Brown Bess was just possible for a good marksman to hit a man at 100 yards, a volley could be fired with some chance of obtaining hits on a body of troops at 200 yards, but at 300 yards the volley would be completely ineffective and the bullet no longer lethal. Equipment
Since there does not appear to be any prints or drawings available of members of the 63rd Regiment during the period 1825 to 1835, it is possible only to make deductions from the available information and from the records of other infantry of the Line Regiments as to their dress, arms and equipment whilst in Australia. A composite sketch of a private soldier as he would have been dressed in 1830 appears
Field Dress of a private soldier of the 63rd Regiment of Foot circ.1830.
63rd Regiment of Foot, Levee Dress circa 1826
Infamous “Trotter Pack” carried by the soldiers
of the 63rd Regiment of Foot circa 1830
Cartridge pouch carried by soldiers of the 63rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1830
Essentially, there was little change in the dress, arms and equipment of the British Regiments of Foot from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the Crimea War in the 1850’s. The 63rd then, would probably have arrived in Australia dressed as follows:
Waterloo pattern shako. A cylindrical, flat-topped black cap of felt fitted with a false front and small peak. There would have been a seven inch plume fitted to the left side and plaited cord draped across the front. The shako plate would have been an eight-pointed star topped with the Imperial Crown with the number 63 at its’ centre. (In 1829 and new “Bell” style shako was introduced, made from japanned leather with a small peak, it was fitted at front with a central plume. It is possible that the
63rd was re-equipped after their arrival in New South Wales.)
Single breasted red jacket without lapels, buttoned from the waist to the collar. The soldiers’ jackets would have had a three-inch cut-away collar, whilst the officers would have worn their collar fastened up to the chin. Soldiers’ jackets had padded wings standing out at the shoulder and plain lapels. The 63rd wore green facings on their collars and cuffs.
Overall lined trousers reaching to the ankles. In the field these would have been a light grey, and on parade white linen.
A short black boot, over which most regiments wore a short “spatterdash” gaiter covering the front of the boot and part way up the shin.
Most of the infantry, both regular and volunteer, wore wide double cross-belts made of white leather supporting a cartridge pouch and bayonet. The soft pack or knapsack worn during the Napoleonic Wars was replaced in 1829 by the infamous “Trotter Pattern” pack. Made of canvas with a wooden frame, it had leather reinforcement at the corners, and was lacquered black. The pack was secured by narrow white should straps and a chest strap. Canteens would have been the wooden cask type, and mess tins would have been the very efficient “D” Section design, which was to last until after the Crimean War. The Greatcoat would have been the only bedding issued, and this was carried neatly rolled on top of the pack. A haversack was standard for portage of rations. It is interesting to note that dress regulations were first issued in 1822. During the period the 63rd Regiment spend in Australia, there was only one ‘order’ of equipment – “full”. In an article appearing in the Colonial Times dated 16th December 1830, recently proclaimed dress regulations were reprinted in full.
From a contemporary soldier’s pay book, the following statement of account, in pounds, shillings and pence, gives details of the standard issued:
Bounty for which enlisted £3.00.0
Proportion of Bounty received in cash 2/6
Proportion received in necessitatis £2.17.6
Knapsack 14/6
Shell jacket 9/11
Pair bots 7/9
2 pairs white trousers 9/-
Pair of cloth trousers 8/6
2 shirts 8/-
3 pairs of socks 3/3
2 towels 1/5
2 F. belts 14/8
Comb 5d
2 S. Brushes 1/3
Knife, fork and spoon 2/-
Mitts 10d
Haversack 1/3
Razor 1/-
Sponge 5d
Button stick and bruch 5½d
Messing necessities 1/5½
Blacking stock 1/1
Forage cap 3/-
(From a manuscript A334 and A1269 in Mitchell Library.)
Garrison Duties in Van Diemens Land
By July 1829 most of the various detachments of the 63rd Regiment had arrived in Hobart Town. The military tasks in the Colony were to be shared with the 57th Regiment (Wet Middlesex) and the 39th Regiment (Dorsetshire). Essentially, these tasks were:
• To provide guard detachments for the prisons in Hobart, Port Arthur, Maria Island and Macquarie Harbour.
• To provide garrisons for Hobart, Launceston and the other smaller towns.
• To provide guards and sentries in the countryside to protect settlers from aborigines and bushrangers.
From the muster rolls and pay records of the 63rd Regiment, it appears that the 63rd’s share of these duties was primarily the rural garrison duties with two companies being detailed town duties and the other seven in country areas.
Some understanding of the nature of Tasmania in 1830 is essential to an examination of the role of the British Army in the Colony.
By 1830 there were 10,000 convicts in Tasmania or about a third of the entire population. The convicts, arriving at a rate of about 1,200 per year, were classified on arrival into seven classes as follows:
• Ticket-of-Leave men, approximately 1000
• Assigned Servants, approximately 5000
• Assigned to public works, approximately 900
• Road gangs, approximately 900
• Chain gangs, approximately 500
• Hand labour penal settlements and in chains at penal settlements,
approximately 500
Invalids, hospital cases and absconders represented a further 200. There were in addition approximately 500 women in detention in two ‘Houses of Correction’ situated in Hobart and in Launceston.Lt. Governor Arthur administered the colony on a strict disciplinarian or military basis with each of the following officials reporting directly to him.
Colonial Secretary – handled all government correspondence and issued orders by His Excellency’s command.
Colonial Treasurer - handled all public monies
Naval Officer - supervised shipping, customs, prevention of escape by sea
Survey General - handled all land grants except those of free settlers carrying letters of recommendation
Principal Superintendent of Convicts
- responsible for destination and employment of convicts
Chief Police Magistrate - responsible for policing the colony, including house patrols, field police and constables
Major of Brigade - responsible for all military matters, including the Commissariat Department which regulated the provisions of all stations of troops and of penal settlements
Engineer - Responsible for all public works and the oversight of convicts assigned to that department. Tasmania was divided into nine police districts and placed in charge of each, a salaried magistrate. Each district had a police clerk, an efficient police staff, a salaried surgeon and a small detachment of soldiers. These district staffs were under the control of the district police magistrate who administered law and order quite summarily in respect of convicts.
The police manpower was in the main comprised of constables drawn from ticket-off leave men who had won their appointments by merit and good conduct.
The army’s role then was essentially as a garrison. Its’ presence was an essential instrument of coercion in a frontier colony where more than a third of the population were convicts or former convicts. Added to these duties was the need to provide security from an increasingly hostile aboriginal population. The 63rd Regiment would have had its’ share of the formal tasks in the military establishment of the Colony. Guards were required for important government buildings including Government House, the Court House, the Wharf and Government Stores; and regimental duties required a basic establishment of officers and men. There were administrative posts for some officers. The colonial Times noted on Friday 3rd April 1829 that Lt. Lane was appointed a magistrate.
Work patrols of convicts required guard and escorts as they moved about the Colony and small detachments were frequently sent on search parties to recapture ‘runaways’.
There are frequent references to officers of the 63rd being sent to investigate ‘bushranging’ incidents and violence involving aborigines. There are many entries in the muster rolls which refer to non-commissioner officers and private soldiers being ‘detailed as mounted police’.
As can be seen from the table on page XXX, the bulk of the Regiment spent most of its’ time in small detachments all over the countryside providing ‘protection’ for the outlaying settlements. Such duties were not without their hazards and several soldiers were ‘speared by natives’. Incidents of this kind occurred in both Tasmania and the new-formed Colony at Perth. The Regiment would also have shared in the provision of guards to the three penal institutions and two jails of the Colony. It appears that one company at a time was rotated in this role and posts included Hobart Jail, Maria Island, the infamous Macquarie Harbour, Port Arthur and the jail at New Norfolk. One of the more unusual tasks was the guard at Eagle Hawk Neck. This narrow isthmus joined the Tasman Peninsula to the Forestier Peninsula and so on Eagle Hawk Neck, the only land exit, a row of dogs and guards effectively prevented
runaway convicts from escaping onto the mainland.
The Colonial Times in September 1830 noted that there were four or five government brigs coasting to Macquarie Harbour and there were at least two recorded instances of 63rd’s guards’ details aboard having trouble with the convicts aboard.
“Piratical Seizure. – The ‘Cyrus’ was on her passage to the penal settlement of Macquarie Harbour,
conveying 31 prisoners under sentence of transportation to that place; and having on board a large
supply of provisions for the settlement; when the prisoners mutinied and took possession of the
vessel and carried her out to sea.
The Cyprus went into Research Bay on Monday 9th August in consequence of the wind then being
four, which prevented her from proceeding on her voyage round the coast to Macquarie Harbour; the
  evening being very calm, Lieutenant Carew, Mr Burn, the mate, Mr Williams, one soldier and one
prisoner, went into the small boat to fish in the Bay leaving the Captain, the soldiers and sentinels on
board together with the ship’s crew. This was about six o’clock in the afternoon, some time before
dark. At the moment the fishing boat was distanced from the vessel about two hundred and fifty yards
there were no persons on the ship’s deck, except the two sentinels on duty, each having a musket
with fixed bayonets and a soldier without arms – the rest of the soldiers and the sergeant (together
with all muskets and ammunition), being between decks taking supper; and the master of the vessel
and Mrs. Carew in the cabin; at this moment there were five of the prisoners on deck likewise. They
had been allowed to come up on an indulgence as was granted to all the other prisoners in their turn,
to take the benefit of the air. These prisoners consisted of Walker, Pennel, McKan, Jones, Fergusson
and a carpenter (with the exception of the latter) who assisted the ship’s carpenter at his work, all
these men were double ironed!! This man together with Walker and Wood, who assisted the sailors
to work, was therefore allowed to sleep with them, and of course to walk the decks, and were so
doing at this period! Fergusson here availed himself of the opportunity which presented itself by
calling on his fellow prisoners walking the deck, and saying that if they did not embrace that
opportunity, he would discover their previous plots; for that they had six favourable opportunities
already and did not avail themselves of either. They instantly rushed upon the two sentinels and
knocking them down, released the prisoners, who jumped upon deck, and fastened down the
hatchway on the soldiers, and knocked down Captain Harris who had come up to see what was the
matter. The soldiers instantly fired shots up through the hatchways, at the prisoners, and one of the
balls passed through Walker’s jacket. The pirates then poured down boiling water on the soldiers,
and threatened to throw down a kettle of lighted pitch to smoke the ship, unless they immediately
surrendered. The soldiers could not stand up in the little place they were in; and, being deprived of
light or air, and threatened with being instantly smothered, had no other alternative then to surrender
their arms; upon which they were let on deck one by one; when they were put into a boat, and
guarded by another boat, containing armed prisoners, until they were put on shore, when they
repeated the same means, until they put the forty-five persons on the land. The whole time, from the
first attack, until they shouted, “the ship’s our own”, did not occupy more than eight or ten minutes!!!
One of the sentinels, named Scully, had his heat cut in four several places.
When Lieutenant Carew came alongside, to go on board, they refused to admit him and Pennel
leveled his piece at him, but it missed fired several times, the soldiers having wet the powder in the
muskets before giving up the arms. They then demanded Lieutenant Carew’s commission, which, in
order to satisfy them, he said was on board. Upon the whole of these unfortunate persons being
landed, the pirates sent on shore only 60 lbs of biscuit, 20 lbs of sugar, 4 lbs of tea, 20 lbs of flour and
8 gallons of rum; together with a lighted stick and a tinder box, one musket and a few rounds of
ammunition; but, although many were the entreaties, they refused to give them their trunks of clothes,
or other necessaries; even Mrs. Carew’s or her children’s things, who were left so destitute that Mrs.
Carew would not come on shore, on the return of the Oppossum in the Harbour, until after dusk.
These persons, forty-four in number, remained thirteen days on that desolate and forlorn part of the
island, exposed to all the inclemency of the weather, both night and day, upon such a very scanty
allowance, which did not, of course, last them many days. Thus seventeen prisoners voluntarily went
off in the Cyprus, besides Brown, one of the sailors, whom they handcuffed, and forced to go with
them; all the rest of the prisoners they forced on shore, not knowing there was so large a quantity of
provisions on board as actually was.
Walker was appointed Captain, Fergusson, who dressed himself up in Lieutenant Carew’s uniform,
and put on his sword, was appointed Lieutenant, and Johns the Mate! They purposed making
regulations when they got out to sea, and to make canvas clothing for the sailors, as they supposed
there was a considerable quantity of canvas on board. Morgan and Knight, two more of the sailors,
were also pressed, and ordered by Walker to remain on board until next morning. They, however,
treated them very well, and endeavoured by making them drunk to prevail upon them to go with them;
but they sternly refused, and were therefore put on shore next morning. McKan, one of the
ringleaders, first picked out ten men, as they were determined to take no more; but the remaining
seven prevailed upon them to take them, as if they were put on shore, they said they would all suffer,
for having assisted in capturing the vessel; upon which they were permitted to remain on board,
though they apprehended they would come short of water. Walker, Fergusson and Jones, promised
to give Morgan and Knight (the two sailors whom they pressed) the jolly boat, to go on shore in the
morning; but a James Cam refused, saying that they might be becalmed off the coast, and wisely
added, that the jolly boat might enable the Lieutenant to send an express to Hobart Town, and cause
them to be retaken. Pennel, Jones and Watts became quite intoxicated the same night; and, at half past
five on Saturday morning, they gave three cheers, and sailed with a fair wind, and were out of
sight in two hours, blowing hard from the North-west, and it was supposed that they bent their course
for Valparaiso. – Colonial Times”
Add pictures … also check spelling Pennel or Pennel
(Lt Carew was later court-martialled in Hobart, charged with:
“Neglect of duty in allowing a convict vessel to be seized and carried off by the convicts.”
The Courts Martial met on 20 October 1829 and after several days taking evidence, cashiered Lt Carew. The matter was referred finally to the King who later pardoned the young officer.) Yet another incident of this kind occurred in late 1833, as reported by the ‘Colonist’ on 11th February 1834.
H.M.S. ‘Frederick’ seized by convict crew. One corporal and three privates from 63rd Regiment were
guards over 12 convicts sailed bound for Macquarie Harbour under the command of Captain and
accompanied by local trader. The bridge was seized and guards overpowered. The Captain, his
passenger and the guards were put ashore at Wellington Head with provisions.”
Later a Royal Navy Frigate set out in pursuit. The chase led from Hobart to New Zealand and later to Fiji. No reference is made as to what happened or as to whether the mutineers were ever captured.
The growing Colony included those who were critical of the privileged position of Military. The Editor of the colonial Times, Henry Melville, in the editorial wrote on 11 September 1829.
“An Officer of the 63rd Regiment who lately fixed himself upon a grant of land, under the new regulations, for Military Officers, in a sister colony, has brought out with him  several pure rams, goats and five cows. No doubt he means to make a fortune from his connection.”
In an article headed “Chief Justice Pedder” on 18 December 1829, Melville wrote
Capt. Pedder of 63rd, the brother of our Chief Justice, now at Swan River, is soon likely to join Headquarters at Hobart Town.”
‘The Black War’ or ‘Black Line’
During the period July to November 1829, there were numerous incidents involving outlying settlements and ‘marauding’ aboriginals. The Hobart Town Courier claimed that 18 settlers had been killed, including one incident in which a settler’s wife and two children had been brutally murdered. The settlers clamoured for more military protection.
From a military point of view, the ‘threat’ had altered quite dramatically during the last half of 1829. Increasingly frequent reports had been coming in to Hobart, indicating v that the aborigines were now being led by runaway convicts in their attacks on outlying settlements. The usually cautious blacks were becoming more adventurous and daring. For the small detachments of soldiers in the bush, this meant that they now faced a much more formidable and unpredictable ‘enemy’. There have been many authors who have written about the causes of the animosity between the Tasmanian aborigines and the white settlers and probably all the explanations have a measure of truth. However, the Tasmanian experience is complicated by the special nature of the penal settlement there and the problem of ‘runaways’ or ‘bolters’ on the island. In any examination of the role of the military a short description of the situation in Van Diemen’s Land is important.
The first settlement in Van Diemen’s Land was founded in 1803 when a penal settlement, to deal with the worst cases from Sydney, was founded on the banks of the River Derwent.
The early conditions in the colony appear to have been favourable to bush ranging. In 1805 there was such a shortage of food owing to the non-arrival of stores from Sydney that a famine appeared likely. To relieve the situation, the Lieutenant- Governor Davey ordered the convicts set free to catch their own food. When ships arrived with food, attempts to recall the convicts were only partially successful. From 1805 to 1829 more and more ‘runaways’ supported themselves by robbery and extortion. In 1814 the infamous ‘Whitehead Gang’ was involved in a shoot out with soldiers sent to track them down and Whitehead was shot and killed. Michael Howe took over leadership of those who managed to escape. Howe had been transported from England for highway robbery and was soon re-transported to Hobart for his violent behavior. Having bolted from a chain gang soon after his arrival his superior education and his previous experience as a footpad soon helped him to become a leader of a particularly brutal gang. One of his earlier achievements was to organize a raid on a tribe of aborigines for the purpose of obtaining wives for himself and his companions. This is said to have been one of the first acts in the tragedy, which was to close with the complete annihilation of the Tasmanian Aborigines. The natives resisted Howe’s raiders, many were shot down and the women were forced away to the bushrangers’ camp. In revenge the natives attacked not the bushrangers, but the outlying settlers in the area. This incident marked a change in the mood of relations between blacks and settlers and there were to be many reprisal raids over the next few years.
There were to be many skirmishes between the military detachments ‘sent in search of bolters’ and the bushrangers, and although the soldiers were at a disadvantage in the heavy bush, many of their quarry were shot or captured. Howe met his end in a hand-to-hand fight with a soldier named William Pugh, known as ‘Big Bill’.
Such was the situation then that the soldiers of the 63rd faced in late 1929.
On 1st October, Lt. Governor Colonel George Arthur published the following Proclamation:
Whereas, by my proclamation, bearing date the 1st day of November 1828, reciting (amongst other
things) that the black or aboriginal natives of this Island, had for a considerable time carried on a
series of indiscriminate attacks upon the persons and property of His Majesty’s subjects, and that
repeated inroads were daily made by such natives into the settled districts, and that acts of hostility
and barbarity were then committed by them, as well as the more distant stock runs, and in some
instances, upon unoffending and defenseless women and children, and that it had become
unavoidably necessary for the suppression of similar enormities to proclaim Martial law, in the manner
therein hereinafter directed, I, the said Lieutenant Governor, did declare and proclaim, that from the
date of that my proclamation and until the cessation of hostilities, Martial Law was and should
continue to be in force against the said black or aboriginal natives within the several districts of this
Island, excepting always the places and portions of this Island in the said proclamation after
mentioned; and whereas, the said black or aboriginal natives, or certain of their tribes, have of late
manifested by continued repetitions of the most wanton and sanguinary acts of violence and outrage,
an unequivocal determination indiscriminately to destroy the white inhabitants, whenever
opportunities are presented to them for going so; and whereas, by reason of the aforesaid exceptions
so contained in the said proclamation, no natives have been hitherto pursued or molested in any of
the places or portions of the island so excepted; from whence they have accordingly of late been
accustomed to make repeated incursions upon the settled districts with impunity, or having committed
outrages in the settled districts, have escaped into those expected places, where they remain in
security; and whereas, therefore, it hath now become necessary; and because it is scarcely possible
to distinguish the particular tribe or tribes by whom such outrages have been in any particular
instance committed, to adopt immediately, for the purpose of effecting their capture, if possible, an
active and extended system of military operations against all the natives generally throughout the
Island, and every portion thereof, whether actually settled or not. Now, therefore, by virtue of the
powers and authorities in me in this behalf vested, I, the said lieutenant Governor, do by these
 presents declare and proclaim, that from and after the date of this my proclamation, and until the
cessation of hostilities in this behalf shall be by me hereafter proclaimed and directed, Martial Law is
and shall continue to be in force against all the black or aboriginal natives, within every part of this
island (whether exempted from the operation of the said proclamation or not) excepting always such
tribe, or individuals of tribes, as there may be reason to suppose are pacifically inclined, and have not
been implicated in any such outrages, and for the purposes aforesaid, all soldiers and other His
Majesty’s subjects, civil and military, are hereby required and commanded to obey and assist their
lawful superiors in the execution of such measures as shall from time to time be in this behalf directed
to be taken. But, I do, nevertheless, hereby strictly order, enjoin and command, that the actual use of
arms be in no case resorted to, by firing against any of the natives or otherwise, if they can by other
means be captured, that bloodshed be invariably checked as much as possible, and that any tribes or
individuals captured or voluntarily surrendering themselves up, be treated with the utmost care and
humanity. And all officers, civil and military, and other persons whatsoever, are hereby required to
take notice of this my proclamation, and to render obedience and assistance herein accordingly.
Given under my hand and seal at arms, at the Government House, Hobart Town, this first day of
October in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty.
George Arthur
By command of His Excellency,
J. Burnett.”
Detailed orders were then published in the newspapers so that the whole community would know their part for it was to be an operation involving both the military and civilians.
“ Colonial Secretary’s Office, September 25, 1830.
1. The community being called upon to act en masse on the 7th October next, for the
purpose of capturing those hostile tribes of the natives which are daily committing
renewed atrocities upon the settlers; the following outline of the arrangements which the
 Lieutenant Governor has determined upon, is published, in order that every person may
know the principle on which he is required to act, and the part which he is to take
individually in this important transaction.
2. Active operations will at first be chiefly directed against the tribes which occupy the
country south of a line drawn from Waterloo Point east, to Lake Echo west, including the
Hobart, Richard, New Norfolk, Clyde and Oatlands Police districts – at least within this
country, the military will be mainly employed, the capture of the Oyster Bay and Big River
tribes, as the most sanguinary, being of the greatest consequence.
3. in furtherance of this measure, it is necessary that the natives should be driven from the
extremities within the settled districts of the country of Buckingham, and that they should
subsequently be prevented from escaping out of them’; and the following movements are,
therefore directed, first to surround the hostile native tribes; secondly, to capture them in
the county of Buckingham, progressively driving them upon Tasman’s Peninsula; and
thirdly, to prevent their escape into the remote unsettled districts to the westward and
4. Major Douglas will, on the 7th October, cause the following chain of posts to be occupied,
viz. – from the coast near St Patrick’s Head, to the source of the St Paul’s River, and by
that river and the South Esk, to Epping Forest and Campbell Town. This line being taken
up, the parties composing it, will advance in a southerly direction towards the Eastern
Marshes, and will thoroughly examine the country between their first stations and the
head of the Macquarie, and on the afternoon of the 12th October, they will halt with their
left at a mountain on the Oyster Bay Tier, on which a large fire is to be kept burning, and
their right extending towards Malony’s Sugar Loaf. To effect this movement, Major
Douglas will reinforce the post at Avoca, and this force, under the orders of Captain
Wellman, will be strengthened by such parties as can be dispatched by the Police
Magistrate of Campbell Town, and by the roving parties under Mr Batman, and will
receive the most effectual co-operation from Major Gray, who will, no doubt, be warmly
seconded by Messrs Legge, Talbot, Grant, Smith, Gray, Hepburn, Kearney, Bates and all
other settlers in that neighborhood.
5. Major Douglas will also, on the 7th October, form a chain of posts from Campbell Town
along the southwest bank of the Macquarie, to its junction with the Lake River. These
parties will then advance in a southerly direction, carefully examining Table Mountain
range on both its sides, and the banks of Lake River and they will halt on the afternoon of
the 12th with their left at Malony’s Sugar Loaf, and their right at Lackey’s Mill, which
position will already be occupied by troops from Oatlands.
6. In this movement Major Douglas will receive the cooperation of the Police Magistrate of
Campbell Town, who will bring forward upon that portion of the line extending from the
high road, near Kimberley’s, on the Salt-pan Plains, to Malony’s Sugar Loaf, the force
contributed by Messrs Willis, W. Harrison, Person, Jellicoe, Davidson, McLeod, Leake,
Clarek, Murray, Horne, Scardon, Kermode, Parramore, Horton, Scott, Dickenson, R.
Davidson, Cassidy, Eagle, Gardiner, Robertson, Hill, Forster, with any other settlers from
that part of his district, while that portion of the line extending from Lackey’s Mill to
Kimberley’s, will be strengthened by Messrs. G. C. Clarke, G.C. Simpson, Sutherland,
Ruffey, Gatenby, G. Simpson, C. Thompson, H. Murray, Buist, Oliver, Malcolm ,Taylor,
Mackersey, Bayles, Stewart, Alston, Bibra, Corney, Fletcher, Young, O’Connor, Yorke
and any other settlers resident in that part of the district who will on their march have
examined the east side of the Table Mountain.
7. In order to obviate confusion in the movements of this body, the Police Magistrates will,
without delay, ascertain the strength which will be brought in to the field, and having
divided it into parties of ten, he will nominate a leader to each, and will attach to them
experienced guides for directing their marches, and he will report these arrangements to
Major Douglas, when completed. The remainder of the forces under Major Douglas will,
on the afternoon of the 12th take up their position on the same line, extending from the
Oyster Bay range to the Clyde, South of Lake Crescent, over Table Mountain. Its’ right
under the command of Captain Mahon, 63rd Regiment, resting on the Table Mountain,
passing to the rear of Michael Howe’s Marsh. Its’ left under Captain Wellman, 57th
Regiment, at a mountain in the Oyster Bay Tier, where a large fire will be seen. Its’ right
centre under Captain Macpherson, 17th Regiment, extending from Malony’s Sugar Loaf to
Captain Mahon’s left, and its’ left centre under Captain Bailie, 63rd Regiment, extending
from Maloney’s Sugar Loaf to Captain Wellman’s right.
8. Major Douglas’s extreme right will be supported by the roving parties, and by the Police of
the Oatlands district, which, together with the volunteer parties formed from the district of
Oatlands, will be mustered by the Police Magistrate, in divisions of ten men, and he will
nominate a leader to each division, and will attach experienced guides for conducting the
march, and he will report his arrangements, when completed, to Major Douglas, in order
that this force may be placed in the right of the line, to which position it will file from
Oatlands, by the pass over Table Mountain.
9. Between the 7th and the 12th October, Lieutenant Aubin will thoroughly examine the tier
extending from the head of the Swan River, north, down to Spring Bay, the southern
extremity of his district, in which duty he will be aided in addition to the military parties
stationed at Spring Bay and Little Swan Port, by Captains Maclaine and Leard, Messrs,
Meredith, Hawkins, Gatehouse, Buxton, Harte, Amos, Allen, King, Lyne and all settlers in
that district, and by Captain Glover and Lieutenant Steel, with whatever force can be
collected at the Carlton, and at Sorell by the Police Magistrate of that district.
10. Captain Wentworth will also detach the troops at Hamilton township, under Captain
Vicary, across the Clyde, to occupy the western bank of the Ouse. For this service every
possible assistance will be afforded by the parties formed from the establishments of
Messrs. Triffith, Sharland, Marzetti, Young, Dixon, Austin, Burn, Jamieson, Shone,
Riseley and any other settlers in that district together with any men of the Field Police
who may be well acquainted with that part of the country.
11. A small party of troops under the command of Lieutenant Murray, will also be sent up the
north bank of the Derwent, to scour the country on the west bank of the Ouse. This
detachment will be strengthened by any parties of the police or volunteers that can be
supplied by the police magistrate of New Norfolk, and from Hobart Town.
12. These three detachments, under the order of Captain Vicary, Lieutenant Croly and
Lieutenant Murray, after thoroughly scouring the country, especially the Blue Hill, and
after endeavouring to drive towards the Clyde whatever tribes of natives may be in those
quarters, will severally take up their positions on the 12th October as follows: viz. Lieut
Croly’s forces will rest its’ left on the Clyde, where Major Douglas’s extreme right will be
posted, and its’ right at Sherwin’s. Captain Vicary’s left will rest at Sherwin’s and his right
at Hamilton, Lieut Murray’s left a Hamilton and his right on the high road at Allanvale and
his whole line occupying that road.
13. In occupying this position, the utmost care must be taken that no portion of this or any
other force shows itself above the tiers south of Spring Bay, before the general line
reaches that point, and the constables at East Bay Neck and the general line reaches that
point, and the constables at East Bay Neck, and the settlers on the Peninsula must
withdraw before the 7th of October in order that nothing may tend to deter the native tribes
from passing the Isthmus. On the 12th Lieutenant Aubin will occupy the passes in the tier
which the natives are known most to frequent and will communicate with the extreme left
of Major Douglas’s line, taking up the best points of observation, and causing at the same
time a most minute reconnaissance to be kept upon the Schoutens, in case the natives
should pass into that Peninsula, as they are in the habit of doing, either for shell-fish or
eggs, in which case he will promptly carry into effect the instructions with which he has
already been furnished.
14. Captain Wentworth will on the 4th October push a strong detachment under the orders of
Lieutenant Croly from Bothwell, towards the Great Lake, for the purpose of thoroughly
examining St Patrick’s Plains and the banks of the Shannon, extending its’ left on retiring
to the Clyde, towards the Lagoon of Islands and its’ right towards Lake Echo. This
detachment will be assisted by the roving parties under Sherwin and Doran, and by the
settlers residing on the Shannon.
15. The parties of volunteers and ticket-of-leave men from Hobart Town and its’
neighborhood will march by New Norfolk, for the purpose of assisting Captain
Wentworth’s force in occupying the Clyde; and they will be rendering a great service by
joining that force in time to invest the Blue Hills which will be about the 10th October.
16. The police magistrate of New Norfolk will reserve from amongst the volunteers and ticket of-
leave men, a sufficient force to occupy the pass which runs from the high road near
Downie’s by Parson’s Valley, to Mr Murdoch’s on the Jordan, and on the 9th October he
will move these bodies by the Dromedary mountains which he will cause to be carefully
examined towards that pass, which, on the afternoon of the 10th he will occupy, taking
care so to post his parties, as to prevent the natives from passing the chain on being
pressed from the northward.
17. Captain Donaldson will, with as little delay as possible, make arrangements for advancing
from Norfolk Plains towards the country on the west bank of the Lake River, up to
Regent’s Plains and Lake Arthur, driving in a southerly direction any of the tribes in that
quarter. He will also push some parties over the Tier to the Great Lake, so as to make an
appearance at the head of the Shannon and of the Ouse; and on the 12th October, his
position will extend from Sorell Lake to Lake Echo, by St Patrick’s Plains. In this
important position he will remain, with the view of arresting the flight of any tribes towards
the west, which might possibly pass through the first line. And as the success of the
general operations will so much depend upon the vigilant guard to be observed the
utmost confidence in Captain Donaldson’s exertions, in effectually debarring the escape
of the tribes in this direction; for which purpose he will withdraw, if he thinks proper, the
detachment at Westbury, and will concentrate his forces on the position described. In this
service Captain Donaldson will be supported by all the force that can be brought forward
by the Police Magistrates of Launceston and Norfolk Plains, in addition to that which can
be contributed by the settlers in those districts.
18. it may be presumed that, by the movements already described, the natives will have been
enclosed within the settled districts of the county of Buckingham.
19. On the morning of the 14th October, Major Douglas will advance the whole of the northern
division, in a south-easterly direction, extending from the Clyde to the Oyster Bay range:
Captain Mahon being on his right, Captain Macpherson and Bailie in his centre, and
Captain Wellman on his left, while Lieutenant Aubin will occupy the crests of the tiers.
The lift wing of Major Douglas’s division will move along the tier due south, to Little Swan
Port River, the left centre upon Mr Hobb’s stock-run, the right centre upon the Blue Hill
Bluff, and the right wing to the Great Jordan Lagoon. Having thoroughly examined all the
tiers and the ravines on its’ line of march, the divisions will reach these stations on the
16th and will halt on Sunday the 17th of October.
20. A large fir will be kept burning on the Blue Hill Bluff from the morning of the 4th, until the
morning of the 8th as a point of direction for the centre, by which the whole line will be
21. On Monday the 18th Major Douglas’s division will again advance in a south-easterly
direction, its’ left moving upon Prosser’s Plains to Olding’s hut, its’ right upon Musquito
Plain and the north side of the Brown Mountain, which stations they will reach
respectively on the evening of the 20th and where they will halt for further orders, taking
the utmost care to extend the line from Prosser’s Bay so as to connect the parties with
the Brown Mountain, enclosing the Brushy Plains with the hills called the Three Thumbs,
in so cautious a manner that the natives may not be able to pass them.
22. From the morning of the 22nd to the 28th a large fire will be kept burning on the summit of
the Brown Mountain to serve as a point of direction for Major Douglas’s right and Captain
Wentworth’s left.
23. On the morning of the 14th October, the western division, under the orders of Captain
Wentworth, formed on the banks of the Clyde, will enter the Abyssinian Tier, and after
thoroughly examining every part of that range, will move due east to the banks of the
Jordan, with its’ left at Bisdee’s, Broadribb’s, and Jones’s farms. Its’ centre at the Green
Ponds, and its’ right at Murdock’s farm at the Broad Marsh, which stations they will
severally gain on Saturday evening, the 16th of October and where they will halt on
Sunday the 17th.
24. Whenever Captain Wentworth’s force moves from the clued to the eastward, those
settlers who do not join him will invest the road of the Upper and Lower Clyde, and will
keep guard on it during the remainder of the operations, extending their left through
Miles’s Opening to Mr Jones’s farm.
25. On Monday the 18th the western division will advance its’ left which will connect with the
right of the northern division by Spring Hill, the Lovely Banks and the Hollow Tree Bottom
to Mr Ree’s farm on the west of the Brown Mountain, its’ centre over Constitutions Hill,
and the Bagdad Tier and by the Coal River Sugar Loaf to Mr Smith’s far at the junction of
the Kangaroo and Coal River which stations they will respectively reach on the afternoon
of the 20th, and where they will halt till further orders.
26. Whenever the right wing of Captain Wentworth’s division shall have reached Mr
Murdoch’s, on the Jordan, Mr Dumaresq will abandon the pass at Parson’s Valley and will
extend itself on Captain Wentworth’s extreme right, advancing with that force, until it
occupies the coal River from Captain Wentworth’s right to the mouth of the river. A post
of observation will be stationed on the mountain called “Gunner’s Quoin”, near the Tea
Tree Brush.
27. The assistant Commissary General will provide rations at the under mentioned stations,
Waterloo Point Green Ponds
Malony’s Sugar Loaf Bisdee’s farm
Lackey’s Mill Richmond
Under the Bluff at Table Mountain Mr Ree’s, Kangaroo River
Bothwell Olding’s, Prosser’s Plains
Hamilton Captain McLaine’s Spring Bay
New Norfolk Lieutenant Hawkin’s Little Swan Port
Murdoch’s (Jordan) Oatland
Brighton Tier, west of Waterloo Point
Cross March Jones’s hut, St Patrick’s Plains
Hobb’s (Little Swan Port River) Captain Wood’s hut, Regent Plains
Mr Torlesse’s Mr George Kemp’s hut, Lake Sorell
Nicholas’s on the Ouse Michael Howe’s Marsh
28. The arrangements at the different depots, for the conveyance of rations and stores to the
parties employed, will be undertaken by Mr Scott, Mr Wedge and Mr Sharland; and as the
leader of each party will be a respectable individual, he will keep a ration book, in which
he will insert his own name, and the names of all his party, which, on his presenting at
any of the depots, stating the quantity required, the respective storekeepers will issue the
same, taking care that no greater quantity than seven days’ supply, consisting of the
following articles per diem, viz., three ounces of sugar, half an ounce of tea, two pounds
of flour, and one pound and a half of meat, for each person, shall be issued at the time to
any party.
29. The inhabitants of the country generally are requested not to make any movements
against the natives within the circuit occupied by the troops, until the general line reaches
them, and the residents of the Jordan and Bagdad line of road, will render the most
effectual assistance by joining Captain Wentworth’s force while yet on the Clyde.
30. The assigned servants of settlers will be expected to muster, provide each with a good
pair of spare shoes, and a blanket and seven days’ provisions, consisting of flour or
biscuit, salt meat, tea and sugar; so, also, prisoners holding tickets-of-leave; but these
latter, where they cannot afford it, will be furnished with a supply of provisions from the
Government magazines.
31. It will not be necessary that more than two men of every five should carry firearms, as the
remaining then can very advantageously assist their comrades in carrying provisions, Ac.,
and the Lieutenant Governor takes this opportunity of again enjoining the whole
community to bear in mind that the object in view is not to injure or destroy the unhappy
savages against whom these movements will be directed, but to capture and raise them
in the scale of civilisation, by placing them under the immediate control of a competent
establishment, from whence they will not have it in their power to escape, and molest the
white inhabitants of the Colony, and where they themselves will no longer be subject to
the miseries of perpetual warfare, or to the privations which the extension of the
settlements would progressively entail upon them were they to remain in their present
unhappy state.
32. The police magistrates, and the masters of assigned servants will be careful to entrust
with arms only such prisoners as they can place confidence in, and to ensure regularity,
each prisoner employed will be furnished by the police magistrate with a pass, describing
the division to which he is attached, and the name of its’ leader, and containing the
personal description of the prisoner himself.
By his Excellency’s command,
J. Burnett.”
There can be little doubt that the ‘sweep’ was, from a military point of view, a singular failure. Lt Governor Colonel George Arthur in Government Order No 13, dated 26th November 1830, congratulated those involved in the sweep but alluded to the future of the enterprise in its’ task in rounding up the Aborigines. Henry Melville, editor of ‘The Colonial Times’ did not spare Governor Arthur in the cutting remarks he made on the operation in that newspaper.
“The Lieutenant Governor cannot allow the forces to separate without observing that although the
expedition has not been attended with the full success which was anticipated, but which could not be
commanded, yet many benefits have resulted from it, amongst which may be enumerated, the control and unanimous feeling which has distinguished every class of the community, in striving for the general good.”
“The whole scheme proved a most complete failure, as any reasonable man might have anticipated.
The loss on the part of the troops amounted to some four or five killed by accident, whilst but one
prisoner of was as brought as a trophy into town, and even this one afterwards escaped into the bush.
His Excellency, however, to finish the farce in all due form, issued a Government Order, thanking the Colonists for their exertions.”
It is an interesting quirk of fate that two years after the ‘Black War’ one of the 63rd’s most promising young officers, Lt William J Darling was to take up the post of Commandant of the Flinders Island Aboriginal Settlement where the last of the Tasmanian Aboriginals were encase rated.
In October 1832 George Washington Walker and James Backhouse, two members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) visited Flinders Island and in Walker’s Journal the following entry appears.
“At this time, however, they (the aboriginals) were under the care of a commander who threw himself
into the work before him with an unselfish enthusiasm. The Commandant was Lieutenant William J
Darling, a brother of Sir Charles Darling who was afterwards (1863-66) Governor of Victoria. He was
ably seconded by the surgeon, Archibald McLachlan. The self-denying exertions of these two officers
for the welfare of the poor blacks cannot be too highly praised.”
The 63rd Regiment then played a prominent part in the so-called ‘Black War’ but it was in the unspectacular routine of garrison duties that it played its’ most significant role. The period 1829-1833 was a particularly difficult period in the development of the Tasmanian Colonies and the role of the military was crucial for the imposition of law and order. Desperate runaway convicts still caused trouble and there were still occasional attacks from Aboriginals, but the period immediately before the ‘great sweep’ appears to have been the height of the problems from these sources and the situation gradually improved afterwards.
It is clear that the officers of the 63rd were prominent in civic as well as social matters and were generally well thought of by the civil administrations and by the free settlers. Prior to the departure of the 63rd, His Excellency made his last inspection of the regiment and issued the following order:
23rd December 1833
Garrison Order”
The colonel commanding having completed his half-yearly inspection of the 63rd Regiment, has great pleasure in expressing his entire approbation of the state in which he found it, both in quarters and in the field. This fine corps, in the highest order, well-disciplined and most effective, embarks today for Madras, and the colonel commanding, in taking leave, cannot refrain from bearing testimony by the officer in command, to the able and cordial support and assistance rendered to him on all occasions by a well qualified and respectable body of officers, to which His Excellency attributes that high spirit and moral character in the non-commissioned officers and soldiers which distinguish these troops, and which constitute the true strength of a British regiment, reflecting back upon the Crown the lustre originally derived from it.
The colonel commanding avails himself of this opportunity of expressing also the obligation he feels for the support he has invariably received from Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Logan in the discharge of the very onerous duties which have devolved upon him since his arrival, as a member of the Executive Council and of other multifarious services unconnected with military detail, in which he has every exercised an earnest desire to support the local government, and to promote the best interest of the community.
By Command, (Signed) A. McKay, Town Adjutant.”
Number 2 Company in Western Australia
For an appreciation of the role played by Number 2 Company 63rd Regiment of Foot in the establishment and early years of the Swan River settlement, a brief account of the events leading up to the establishment of this colony is appropriate.
In February 1829, an advance party of settlers and a detachment of 63rd Regiment of Foot under the leadership of Captain Stirling, sailed from Spithead in the ships ‘Parmelia’ and ‘Sulphur’. After touching at Cape Town, the ‘Parmelia’ with Captain Stirling aboard, arrived at Swan River on 1st June 1829. The ‘sulphur’ arrived approximately three weeks later on 18th June. Meanwhile on 2nd May 1829, Captain Fremantle, aboard HMS ‘Challenge’ had arrived from Sydney having sailed with instructions to formally  take possession of the West Coast of New Holland. The new Swan River settlement was a unique experiment at that time in that it was to be a self-supporting settlement of free settlers. A keen debate had been waged between the free settlement advocates and the government of the day about the nature of the proposed colony. E.G. Wakefield and others were convinces that a self-supporting colony could be established by an association of business interests and based on the early reports of the terrain and geography around the Swan, there was every hope of success. In the first few months about 4,000 free settlers arrived in the new colony and many took up land grants, the grants being based on the capital resources that each brought into the colony.
Unfortunately, it appears that the high expectations of the settlers were to be dashed and about half of these settlers lost their investments and moved on to the Eastern Australian colonies. The reasons seem to have included the shortage of labourers and the difficult climate and soil for European farming methods. It was reported that  wealthier settlers actually had to make their own beds and tend their own cattle for lack of suitable labour. This shortage also forced up the price of the available labour and made it difficult for the smaller landholders. This same phenomenon meant that since all the settlers were eligible for land grants, few were prepared to hire themselves out.
Many early newspaper articles spoke of the isolation of the settlers from each other, brought about by the size of the individual land grants and the natural tendency of the settlers to pick out only the best agricultural land.
Initially, the aboriginal population seemed friendly but as the colony spread out, tensions mounted and a series of incidents occurred which caused death and injury to both settlers and blacks.
As these incidents increased, the settlers called upon the military for protection and the Military Commander, Captain F C Irwin responded. Small detachments were posted at all the major settlements  and many of the outlying properties. A mounted police force was organised from among the men of the 63rd to pursue renegades. Black trackers were recruited to assist in this task with great effect. At one stage, a citizens’ militia was also organised. As the colony grew, Captain Irwin became increasingly troubled about the inadequacy of the force available to him. As the colony grew, the small force at his disposal made it more and more difficult for him to afford the protection the settlers required. The muster roles indicate that in March 1830, No 2 Company in Swan River consisted of 2 officers, 2 engineers, 1 staff, 3 sergeants, 3 corporals, 1 drummer and 51 privates.
In December 1831, the level of manning had been brought up to 84 officers and men as follows:
Capt Lieut Ensg Staff Sgts Cprls Drms Privs
Swan River 1 1 1 1 1 16
King Georges Sound 1 1 5
Murray River 1 2 1 17
York 2
Upper Swan 1 1 9
Kelmscott 4
Augusta 1 8
Clarence River 4
Det to Survey Gen Dept 1
On Command E of
Darling Ranges
1 2
On Command Freshwater
9 Departure for India In June 1833, the following despatch was written for Governor Bourke:
“I have the honour to acquaint you that the King has been pleased to approve of the 31st Regiment of Foot proceeding in Detachment to New South Wales in charge of convicts and on arrival there of the Service Companies of that Corps, the 63rd Regiment being sent on to Madras to relieve the 48th Foot.
I am,
Your most obedient Humble Servant
(Historical records of Australia, Document A1269, p535.)
So, orders were passed on through the Governor to Lt Governor Sir George Arthur in Hobart. On 18th December, Arthur wrote to Bourke advising him that the Headquarters and 2nd Division had embarked on 23rd December 1833 and that the 3rd Division was expected to leave soon. A subsequent letter advised that the 3rd Division left on 12th January 1834. (See manuscript A 1462 and A 1267-13 in
Mitchell Library.)
Headquarters of the Regiment under the command of Major Sholto Douglas embarked aboard the ‘Lord Lyndoch’ troop ship. Under the command of Major James Briggs, the 2nd Division boarded ‘Isabella’ and the 3rd Division sailed aboard ‘Aurora’ with Lt Col J W Fairtlough in command. It appears that No 2 Company in Western Australia did not leave for India until March 1834 as the detachment arrived separately in Madras on 26th May two months after the others.
The Regiment had spent just three years in Australia, but much had changed. Two officers had died and several of the Regiment’s officers and men had taken their discharges in Australia, and some were to settle. Captain William Hughes died on 5th June 1830 and was interred in the burial ground at Hobart Town will full military honours. On 16th January 1831, Captain Thomas Petersen died and his remains were interred in the burial ground at Hobart Town, followed to the grave by His Excellency Lt. Governor Sir George Arthur and all the Government officers, both civil and military. Captain F C Irwin, B M remained behind in Western Australia as the Military Commandant. Captain D’Arcy Wentworth remained behind in Tasmania being noted in the ‘Colonial Times’ as a Major by purchase from 5th November 1837. Colour Sergeant Edward Barron obtained his discharge in Western Australia and conducted an Inn; his wife had one of the largest dairies in the Colony and was responsible for issuing government stores.
Many others would have settled in Western Australia and Tasmania. Prior to the departure of the Regiment from Van Diemens Land, a handsome silver salver was presented to it by the inhabitants of the country (History of the Manchester Regiment by Col. H C Whylly).
Annex A. A Brief History of the 63rd Regiment of Foot
In 1758, King George II was pleased to constitute the 2nd Battalion of the 8th (the King’s) – General Wolfe’s regiment – a district regiment, numbered the “Sixty-Third” and on the 9th May the command of the corps was conferred on Colonel David Watson, for many years Quartermaster-General in North Britain. Major Peter Debrisay from the 50th Foot was appointed Lieut – Colonel and Captain John Trollope, who had been wounded at Roucoux in 1746, Major. The corps was then quartered successively, at Falmouth and other home stations, until it joined the expedition to Martinique, where it arrived on the 15th January 1759. Guadaloupe was, however, the first French colony attacked on the 23rd January; it capitulated on the 1st May. The loss was considerable; Lieut – Colonel Debrisay and Captain Trollope, amongst others, were killed. In 1762 the corps was still in the West Indies when war was declared against Spain and in the course of the year, it assisted in the capture of Martinique, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and other French islands in 1763 it was stationed in Grenada etc. In this year the uniform was red with black facings. In 1764 the 63rd returned home and was stationed in Ireland. In 1768 the facings were changed to deep green. In 1775, having proceeded to America, the 63rd signalised its’ prowess at the action of Bunker’s Hill, on the 17th June and the following year at Brooklyn. In 1777 it participated in the victory of Brandywine and at the storming and capture of Fort Clinton. In 1779 it was with General Clinton’s force during the operations in New Jersey and in 1780 at the surrender of Charlestown. In the meantime, a considerable portion of the corps had acted as Mounted Infantry under the leadership of Colonel Tarleton, and was particularly distinguished at the action of Sherar’s Ferry in November 1780. The regiment was also engaged in 1781 at Hobskirk’s Hill and again at the severely contested battle of Eutaw Springs. The following year we find the regiment in Jamaica. Returning home it received the title
of “West Suffolk Regiment,” and was stationed in Scotland until 1786. It was stationed in Ireland in 1787, and, in 1788, four companies were quartered in the Isle of Man. Earle Waldegrave was at this time Colonel, but dying in 1789 was succeeded by the Earl of Balcarres. In 1793 the corps proceeded to Jersey and the following year, joined the expedition to Holland and suffered some loss at Nimeguen. In November 1795, having returned to England and embarked again for the West Indies, two companies were lost at sea, in what has been called “Admiral Christian’s storm” (18th November).
In 1796, the 63rd formed part of General Sir Ralph Abercromby’s force in the West Indies and was frequently under fire. The same year it proceeded to Jamaica whence it sent detachments to various islands, etc. In 1798 one of these detachments successfully defended the colony of Honduras against an attack made on it by a Spanish force of 2,600 men. In 1799 (the well-known Harry Calvert being Lieut – Colonel) the regiment returned to England, “a mere skeleton, counting only 150 rank and file.” Having, however, been rapidly brought up to the strength of 900 rank and file, it joined the expedition of Sir Ralph Abercromby to Holland, in 1799, and was engaged in the landing at the Helder, action of Zuyp, attack on Schagen- Burg, and all the other actions, including that on the advance to Bergen-op-Zoom, where the enemy was routed and pursued, in a charge gallantly led by Major McLeroth of the 63rd who was specially thanked by the Commander-in-Chief for his gallantry and conduct. At Egmont-op-Zee the regiment displayed great gallantry and steadiness. After this the corps returned home. The following year it took part in the Ferrol Expedition, where Sergeant-Major Nugent performed a gallant exploit and was in consequence promoted. In 1801 the regiment proceeded to Gibraltar  and in 1802 to Malta. In 1803 it was removed to Ireland where it remained until 1807, when it proceeded in the expedition which resulted in the surrender of Madeira, and continued the voyage to Barbados, whence it accompanied, in 1803,
Sir G Beckwith’s expedition which, in 1809 took possession of Martinque.
The articles of capitulation, it may be observed, were signed by Major O’Rourke, of the 63rd Regiment, on the part of His Britannic Majesty, and M D Espres on the part of the French Government. Meantime, in 1804, a 2nd Battalion had been raised in Suffolk. In 1810, Guadaloupe, St Martin and St Eustatia capitulated and the 63rd returned to Martinique.
Meantime, the 2nd Battalion of the regiment, which had been formed, was disbanded on 26th November 1814, when at Ipswich. After the restoration of Martinique to the French in 1815, the regiment was quartered in St Vincent and Grenada; but, on Napoleon’s escape from Elba, it joined an expedition against Guadaloupe in which Captain Lynch and the Light Company of the corps were greatly distinguished in repulsing the enemy. The eagle sand standards of the French were here surrendered. About this period, the 63rd seems to have adopted a “fleur ‘di’lis” badge. On the next restitution of Guadaloupe, the regiment remained in the West Indies, garrisoning various islands; and on the 6th May 1819, embarked at Barbados for England after which it was stationed in the latter kingdom until 1820, when it proceeded to Ireland. In 1826 the corps was stationed at Windsor where Major Fairtlough died, and where his monument may be seen in St George’s Chapel. In December of the same year, the 63rd and 2nd Battalion of the Guards embarked in HM ships “Melville,” “Gloucester,” and “Warspite,” but the “Melville”, with the 63rd, lost sight of the other vessels and landed the corps near Lisbon, where on 1st January 1827, took up its quarters at the Convent de Grazas, Sir William Clinton,
K.C.B., being in command of the force. In April 1828, it returned to England; and in 1829 proceeded to New South Wales (Hobart Town). After a short stay in Van Diemens Land, the regiment proceeded to the Madras Presidency (its detachments following it), where it remained until 1838 when it embarked for Burma and landed at Moulmein. Here it lost several officers, including Captain Alexander Edgar (to whom a monument was erected), Lieutenant Nash and Ensign Cameron. In 1842, on being relieved by the 84th, the regiment proceeded to Madras, 14th October, new colours having been presented to it on 20th September. It was subsequently stationed, part at Poonamalee and part at Bellary, and thence marched to Secunderabad. On 5th April 1847, it embarked for England and in 1849, furnished the guard of honour on the Queen’s visit to Newcastle. At this time, a curious regiment relic was repaired, namely the drum-major’s staff, which bore the Royal Arms as then marshalled; it had been presented to the corps during the “Seven Years’ War”.
In 1851 the regiment went to Ireland where it had twice the honor of furnishing a guard to Her Majesty – on her arrival and departure. In 1854, 21st July, the corps embarked for the Crimea, where it joined the Division under Sir George Cathcart and was present at the battle of the Alma and shared in the subsequent glories of that war, including the great battle of Inkerman, and fall of Sebastopol. During the siege, Major James Slack5 (to whom, and Lieut. W G Gwatkin, the compiler is indebted for much information) mentions the comradeship which existed between his regiment and the gallant Highland Brigade. For details the reader is referred to that work, and also to Kinglake’s “Invasion of the Crimea”.
During the siege, the 63rd lost 48 officers, 83 sergeants, 86 corporals, 18 drummers and 712 privates, making the large total of 947 of all ranks. On 5th May 1856, the 5 ‘The History of the late 63rd (West Suffolk Regiment).' corps broke up camp before Sebastopol, reached Constantinople on the 7th and
proceeded to Halifax, N.S., and arrived there on the 2nd June. In 1864, it removed to Canada and on 4th July 1865, embarked at Quebec for England where it arrived on14th August. From Aldershot, next year, it went to Glasgow, Scotland and in 1867 to Ireland. On 7th October 1870, it embarked for India and proceeded to Hazareebagh.
In 1872 it received new colours. After a tour of various stations, including Jhansi, Gwalior and Delhi, it proceeded, in 1880 to Beluchistan (Sibi and Quetta) and joined the 2nd Division of the Kandahar force. It was chiefly engaged on outpost duties.
By the Horse Guards General Order of the 13th July 1881, in common with other Line regiments, it lost its’ numerical title (since persevered however, in the Army List), and became the 1st Battalion of the “Manchester Regiment”, receiving at the same time, white facings. The same year it returned to India, 383 miles, by the Bolan Pass and to Dera Ghazi Khan. In 1882 the corps proceeded to Egypt, via Bombay. During the short period of its’ stay in Egypt, it lost in action, etc, a considerable number; and on
its’ return, formed part of the force reviewed by the Queen in London, on the 18h November 1882. To sum up the services of the gallant corps, suffice it to say, that from the 24th January 1759 to the 10th July 1882, according to the history of the regiment, it had been engaged in forty one battles, campaigns etc.
Commanding the Forces in NSW
His Excellency Major-General Richard
Bourke, CB
HQ Sydney
Major of Brigade
Lt Col Snodgrass, CB, HP
HQ Sydney
4th Regiment of Foot (King’s Own)
CO Lt Col JK Mackenzie
HQ Sydney
Elements at: Parramatta; Norfolk
Island; Cox’s River; Emu Plains;
Windsor; Port Macquarie;
Newcastle; Liverpool.
Detached as Mounted Police
17th Regiment of Foot (Leicestershire)
CO Lt Col H Despard
HQ Sydney
Elements at Sydney; Morton
Bay; Bathurst; Port Stephens;
Detached as Mounted Police
63rd Regiment of Foot (West Suffolk)
CO Lt Col J Logan
HQ Hobart
Elements at Hobart; Swan River
Mounted Police
Commandant Capt T Williams (4th
HQ Sydney
Elements at HQ Sydney; Bathurst
District; Argyle District; Hunter
River District; Emu Plains District.
The Officers And Men Of The 63rd Regiment Of Foot
Who Served In Australia 1825-1834
Captain D’Arcy Wentworth - Date of Commission 7 April 1826 Son of D’Arcy Wentworth, an unconvicted medical student ,who arrived in New South Wales by “Neptune” on 28th June 1790. D’Arcy Wentworth Snr obtained appointments as Assistant Surgeon at Norfolk Island and Parramatta. In 1810 Lord Fitzwilliam had been instrumental in obtaining a commission for the young D’Arcy Wentworth following representations made to him by Governor Macquarie of NSW. Ensign D’Arcy Wentworth served with 73re Regiment before transferring to 63rd. Captain Wentworth and Lady arrived in Hobart aboard “Tigress” on 17th April 1829 with a detachment of 63rd and later on 5th June 1829 departed Hobart for Sydney ‘on Government business’ aboard “Georgiana”.
During most of 1830 and 1831 Captain Wentworth is recorded as having been detached in the Bothwell area in Van Diemen’s Land as the Officer commanding the 63rd’s No 6 Company.
The main body of the 63rd Regiment left Hobart on 1st January 1834 and Captain Wentworth is not recorded as having accompanied the Regiment.
The Hobart Newspaper “The Colonial Times” records in its’ shipping news volumes on 28th February 1834, “Captain Wentworth and Lady took their passage” (to Sydney).
In July 1834, D’Arcy Wentworth Snr is recorded as writing to the third Earl Fitzwilliam and goes on to ask for assistance for his son who “went into the Army and has always conducted himself well. Your Lordship’s Father guaranteed, if necessary, to buy a Commission for him, but he obtained it, I believe, without purchase.” The young D’Arcy was now in the 63rd Regiment and anxious to buy a Majority, but to do so he needed £1,400. which on the security of certain holdings in Van Diemen’s Land – he now begged Lord Fitzwilliam to advance him temporarily. To this letter there is a footnote in lord Fitzwilliam’s own hand dated August 20th stating that after some hesitancy, he decided to accede to this request.
The “Colonial Times” Hobart, dated 10th February 1838 records Captain D’Arcy Wentworth – Major by purchase from 4th November 1837.6 6 (1) Society of Australia, Gene Ref 11/6/3/425 (Rasmey Collection); (2) Colonial Times, State Library NSW;
(3) JCS WO12 PRO REELS 3880-3898; (4) RAHS Journal Vol. 47 Pt. 3 pages 192-194 dated 10th February 1838.
Captain M Vickery
It is known that Capt Vickery served with the 63rd in Portugal in 1827 and then he was variously detached to Port Arthur and Hobart in late 1831. He is not mentioned on the Military Establishment in the 1834 Calendar nor is he recorded as having arrived with the Regiment in Madras. It appears likely that he left the Regiment in 1832 and either returned to England or settled as a civilian in New South Wales or Van Diemens Land.7
Captain Frederick Chidley Irwin (BM)
IRWIN, FREDERICK GHIDLEY (1788-1860), soldier and administrator, was the son of Rev James Irwin, who was born near Enniskillen, Ireland and became headmaster of the Royal Grammar School, Raphoe, County Donegal. He was descended from a family, which had migrated from Scotland in the reign of James I. Frederick began his military career in 1808 seeing active service in Spain and Portugal in 1809-14 and taking part in several of the major sieges, retreats and battles of the Peninsula War. In 1817-18 he was stationed first in Canada and later in Ceylon. Late in 1828, with the rank of Captain, Irwin was commanded to assume charge of a detachment of the 13th Regiment which comprised another officer and sixty-six other ranks, and was to provide military protection for the colony at Swan River, then in the process of establishment.
Irwin arrived in the colony with his detachment in the Sulphur in June 1829, six days after the Parmelia, which brought the Lieut-Governor and the first settlers. After more than four years in the colony, Captain Irwin was transferred to England, where in December 1836 he married Elizabeth Courthope, whose brother was auditor-
7 (1) Col H C Whylly’s book “History of the Manchester Regiment late 63rd and 96th Regiments” (2) JCS PRO
General and registrar-general at Swan River. They had four sons and three daughters. In 1837, after promotion to major, he returned to the colony and again became commandant of the military forces, an office that he retained for the remainder of his army career. He retired from the army in 1852 and returned to England with his family two years later. He died at Cheltenham in 1860. Irwin was a severe and stern officer who identified himself with spiritual welfare and religious observance. He devoted much energy to sponsoring the Church of England in the settlement; a bush church called the ‘rush church’, being walled with rushes, was built not far from the present Anglican Cathedral in Perth. In the early days Irwin often organised and conducted church services in his home on the Upper Swan. While in England in 1834-36, he pressed the case of the Western Australian Aboriginals with the Church of England missionary societies, although he had more
success at that time in his endeavours to obtain additional clergymen for the young
colony and four arrived in 1841-43. Irwin’s sternness and his fondness for moralising explained some of his unpopularity as an administrator: he tried to found a temperance society in Perth to combat drunkenness and he encouraged prayer meetings among his troops. From the beginning Irwin formed a strong and enduring attachment to the new colony. He received an early allotment of land in Perth. Together with Judge Advocate Mackie (q.v.), to whom he was related by marriage, he built one of the first brick houses in Perth. Later he built another home at Henley Park on the Upper Swan, where he lived after his marriage and return to the colony. During his years in England in the 1830’s, Irwin actively espoused Western Australia’s cause in general affairs as much as in the religious field. At that time the colony’s reputation was low, the early hopes and promises had failed to materialise, and the need for migrants and capital was very real. In London Irwin helped to form the Western Australian Association in order to disseminate information, create goodwill and combat unhappy rumours about the colony. His The State and position of Western Australia commonly called the Swan-River Settlement (London, 1835) is a valuable source
book for the early days of the settlement.
As commandant Irwin was automatically a senior member of the Swan River administration and he acted twice as head of the government. On the firs occasion, in the temporary absence of Governor Sterling from September 1832 to September 1833, the pressing problem was trouble with the Aboriginals. Irwin sought to foster friendliness with them, but he was obliged to execute one of their most aggressive leaders. Later he freed another chief from imprisonment in an effort to achieve
Irwin’s more important period as head o the Western Australian government laster from the death of Governor Clarke in February 1847 until the new governor, Captain Fitzgerald arrived in August 1848. These nineteen months were difficult because of the long depression into which the colony had sunk. Despite the personal respect he commanded, Irwin’s administration was intensely unpopular, partly because of the state of the colony, partly because of his manner and partly because of the attack to which he was subjected by W H Sholl, the editor of the Inquirer, who had failed to obtain appointment as colonial surgeon. Despite the criticism he received, and the relief and please with which Fitzgerald was greeted, Irwin’s period of office achieved some important results. One of his most bitterly disliked measures was the imposition of an export tax on sandalwood. Another example of his vigour was the method he employed to overcome the labour shortage: because the revenue had improved slightly and because he was opposed to convictism which was beginning  to attract support in the colony, he chartered a schooner and brought a number of Chinese labourers from Singapore to Perth.
It was in the educational field that the acting governor’s policies achieved more enduring result. The Catholic Church had been recently established in the colony under the care of Bishop Brady (q.v.). Although his congregation was quite small, Brady brought a large party of priests and several nuns of the Irish Sisters of Mercy to Perth. When Brady proceeded to found schools which Protestant children attended, Anglican leaders, including Irwin, became infuriated, for at that time the Church of England could not afford schools of its’ own. Governor Clarke had refused Brady’s application for state aid for his schools and had also attempted to found national schools, though with little success. When Irwin assumed control he pursued Clarke’s policy with greater vigour. He clashed with Brady over a proposed marriage bill, over an allotment for a Catholic cemetery and over the prelate’s title of address on official correspondence. In particular, Irwin was determined to challenge the superior position in education which the Catholic Church had achieved.
Accordingly, in 1847 he created a General Board of Education of which he and several other prominent Anglicans were members. Assisted by government subsidies for teachers’ salaries, the board founded schools, based upon broad Christian principles, in Perth and in other main centres of population. In this way, the board originated the state school system of eduction in Western Australia.
JS Battye (ed). Cyclopaedia of Western Australia, 1 (Adel. 1912);
JS Battye, Western Australia (Oxford 1924); CO 323/132. David Mossenson.
 Lieutenant F. Aubin - Date of Commission 7 April 1825
Lt. F Aubin served with the 63rd in Portugal in 1827 and arrived with the Regiment in Van Diemen’s Land in 1829. The muster rolls indicate that Lt Aubin spent most of his time in Tasmania detached with No 7 Company 6 in the Oyster Bay Area. Other “references” include: - Lieutenant Aubin, Officer of 63rd Regiment “remained as a settler in VDL” mentioned in “Van Diemen’s Land: Its’ Rise Progress and Present State with Advice to Immigrants” by H W Porter. Pub. London, 1834 - Possibly identical with Captain Aubin Commander of a mounted police attachment at Hunter River (NSW) IN June 1844 (Royal Australian Historical Society Journal, Vol. IX p.305.)
There is no mention of this Officer in the muster rolls or pay records of the 63rd upon the Regiment’s arrival in Madras.
 Lieutenant William Barrow (poss W H Barrow)
Lt Barrow’s Commission is dated 23rd July 1815 (?) and he served in Portugal with the Regiment in 1827 having joined it there in a late draft. The muster rolls indicate that he commanded No 10 Company in the Pittwater area of Van Diemen’s Land during 1830-1831. There is no record of his name amongst the Officers of the 63rd who proceeded to India and neither Col H C Whylly nor Major James Stack mentioned him in their accounts of the 63rd Regiment after 1833. A letter dated 3 May 1836 from a William Warren Barrow of Fort Street Sydney to the Colonial secretary complained about a servant who had been assigned to him. A person by the same name was appointed Colonial Stores Keeper at Parramatta River at a salary of 1,000 ponds per annum in 1837. In 1839 a W Barrow was appointed Police Magistrate to the Wellington Valley of NSW and instructed to find a suitable site for a town. William Barrow is recorded in the 1841 census as a resident of the Wellington Valley and the NSW Historical Records record his termination as
Magistrate in the same year.
In 1842 his name is associated with the Auckland Chronicle, where he is reported as becoming editor in 1842. NZ Government Gazette shows that he was appointed Clerk of the Auckland Magistrates Court from 1844 and Captain in the Auckland Militia from 11 April 1845. He left New Zealand for Sydney in 1849 although his wife remained on the property roles for Epsom near Auckland until 1852.
 A report of the death by suicide of “Lt Barrow” appears in the Hobart Courier dated 1848. He would have been approximately 65 years of age.
Lieutenant T Grove
He served with the Regiment in Portugal in 1827 and proceeded with the Regiment to New South Wales in 1829. In late 1831 he is mentioned in the muster rolls as “Retired 15 March 1831”.
Ensign (later Colonel) William Thomas Napier Champ - Date of Commission as
Lt., 5th April 1832.
Probably identical with person of same name who because the first Premier of Tasmania in 1856. (Born Maldon, Esses 15th April 1808. Ensign W T N Champ is recorded as commanding a detachment of 63rd aboard a convict transport bound for New South Wales in 1830 (?) in Col H C Whylly’s book “History of the Manchester Regiment”,
The muster rolls indicate that he spent most of 1830 and 1831 detached in the New Norfolk area of Van Diemens Land.
In the 1834 Calendar he is listed as Lieutenant W T N Champ of the 63rd in Van
Diemens Land. The muster rolls indicate that he did not proceed to India with the Regiment in 1834. Champ is mentioned by Charles O’Hara Booth, the famous Commandant of the Port Arthur Penal Settlement in his journal (Journal edited by Dora Heard and published in 1981 by the Tasmanian Historical Research Association).
He (Booth) handed over command of the Peninsula to William Thomas Napier champ on 30th March 1844. Champ had been Police Magistrate of Hobart town and coroner of the district and became the first Premier of Tasmania in 1856. It appears that following his Regiment’s departure in early 1834, Champ went to Mauritius on a Government posting. In 1837 he returned to New Norfolk, Tasmania, as an Assistant Police Magistrate.
In 1856 he resigned as Colonial Secretary upon his election to the Legislative
Assembly. On the 1st November he became Premier and Colonial Secretary in the first Tasmanian Ministry, but resigned shortly afterwards.
Champ then became the Inspector-General of penal establishments in Victoria, a post he held until 1868. He remained interested in military matters and took a keen interest in the volunteer forces, rising to the rank of Lt Colonel. He died in Melbourne on 25th August 1892.
Ensign J Montgomery - Date of Commission 7th June 1827.
Whylly lists Adjutant J. Montgomery amongst those who served with the Regiment in Portugal in 1827. During 1830 and 1831 he is recorded as at Regimental Headquarters in Hobart. The muster rolls indicate that he did not accompany the 63rd to India in 1834. There are several references to John Montgomery later Adjutant of the 63rd Regiment in Captain Charles O’Hara Booth’s Journal. (Published by Tasmanian Historical Research Association 1981 – edited by Dora Heard.)
Booth’s Regiment, the 21st, had been sent to replace the 63rd Regiment and Officers of the 21st took over the positions vacated by the 63rd. Booth relieved Lt John Gibbons of 63rd as Commandant of Port Arthur. It appears that Ensign J Montgomery was the Superintendent of the newly created Point Puer Boys’ Prison and responsible to Booth. When the 63rd departed, Montgomery remained since he had sent in his papers to retire the Service. Apparently Montgomery “has been exceedingly addicted to drinking and it has brought him almost to utter ruin … with the exception of this one vicious propensity, he is an exceedingly useful and well conducted person, having by his own exemplary conduct raised himself from the ranks to hold a Commission in His Majesty’s Service.” On receiving a favorable report of Montgomery from Booth, Lt Governor Arthur, on 21st March 1834, approved Montgomery’s wife and children being permitted to join him and receiving rations.
They arrived at Port Arthur on 4th April 1834. Montgomery continued to misuse alcohol and was later removed from his post. (Reference Journal of Charles O’Hara Booth – Dora Heard Editor and CSO 1/693/15225).
 Ensign D M C Stockeman
All that is know of this Officer is that he appears on the muster rolls of the 63rd Regiment in later 1831 as variously “detached Macquarie Harbour” and “at Hobart”. There is no record of his having proceeded to India with the Regiment in 1834.
Ensign Richard Dale – Date of Commission 25th October 1827
The first reference to this Officer occurs in the muster rolls on 30 September 1831 where he is noted to be “detached – Swan River”. A subsequent entry on 231st December 1831 notes that he is “One command to the East of the Darling Ranges” and “attached to the Surveyor General’s Department”. Historical Records of Australia – letter from Lord Fitzroy Somerset to Under-Secretary Twiss dated 24th December 1828 shows that Ensign Richard Dale is among those names in the detachment of the 63rd Regiment under orders to sail to Swan River on the West
Coast of New Holland. There are two references to Ensign Richard Dale in “a New history of Western Australia – edited by C T Stannage – University of WA Press 1981 as follows: “The exploration of Ensign Dale has opened up the land across the Darling Ranges” and “Ensign Dale, during his 1830 expeditions across the Darling Ranges discovered the first examples of aboriginal cave art”. He is also recorded as the author of reports as follows: “Excursions to trace the Helena River, October and December 1829”
“Excursions East of Darling Range – October and November 1830”
“Expeditions to the North of King George’s Sound”
In an article in the Royal Australian Historical Society Journal entitled “Notes on Australian Artists” (Vol. V. p.293) the following appears: “Lieut Richard Dale (63rd
Lieutenant W J Darling – Date of Commission 5th February 1829
The muster rolls of the 63rd show Lt Dale to be variously
- on leave in Sydney – 30th September 1831
- doing duty in Sydney – 30th November 1831
- detached East Bay Neck – 31st December 1831
There is no trace of his having accompanied the Regiment to Madras, India in 1834. He is probably identical with the Lt Darling who is recorded as the Commandant of Flinders island Settlement in October 1832 when G W Walker and J Backhouse visited the Island to examine the plight of the Tasmanian Aborigines. Their journal speaks favorable of him and his humane treatment of the aborigines
Surgeon W Bohan – Date of Commission, 8th August 1822
The muster rolls show that Surgeon W Bohan was stationed most of the period 1830 – 1833 in Hobart. Col H C Whylly indicates that he served with the Regiment in Portugal in 1827. The 1834 Calendar lists Surgeon W Bohan in Van Diemens Land with the Regiment. Captain Charles O’Hara Booth mentioned dining with the Bohans (at their home in Hobart) on 13th May 1833.
There is no mention of Surgeon Bohan accompanying the 63rd to India in January
1834. It is possible that Surgeon W Bohan had served in NSW prior to his arrival
with the 63rd, as there are several references to a Dr William Bohan, member of the
first Medical Board in NSW, in 1808, however, the 26 years between these careers
make such a possibility seen unlikely.
Family Members Military records  ,Pay rolls, Pay Musters, Cemetery Records, Church Records & General Muster Records, Mitchell Library ,Sydney Australia
The information is intended for short Historical value only,
E- mail address
Refer to Home Page
© Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia
Last revised: Saturday, 14 November 2009 10:26:55