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Private John Benfield (........1839.)

Back to Surnames of the 39th Regiment's Soldiers who stayed



Information Kindley Supplied by Jane Walther

Area Settled :


Children :

Childrens names and birth dates are:


1 . Mary Ann b 1822 Tralee, Ireland - d 1855 Kingsgrove Date Arrived : : 18th September 1824.

 Ship Arrived on : : "England"

2 . Martha b 1826 Parramatta - d 1906 Hurstville

3 . Margaret b 1829 Parramatta - d 1909 Marrickville

4 . Elizabeth b 1831 Parramatta

5 . Richard b 1832 Hurstville - d 1894 Hurstville

6 . Catherine b 1837


History & Achievements :

According to the pay records on 19th Sep 1825 the 'Hope' transport embarked for NSW, although it seems more likely he was on the Portland which carried 30 soldiers from the 39th and a Captain Smythe who was one of the commanding officers in Cork. His history in NSW seems to be as follows (according to his pay records: 1826 - Parramatta 1828 - Illawarra 1829 - Noted as completing 14 years service 1830 - Norolk Island 1831 - Parramatta 1832 - Discharged with gratuity No 2 & 37 (whatever these are)   The spelling of his name changes - he is firts listed as Banford but this has changed to Benfield by the time of his death. There are 2 versions of his death certificate in 1839.  One (194V23A) lists him as 56 and a 'late private 39th Regt', the other as 'soldier' aged 42.  

Information Kindley Supplied by Jane Walther


John's commanding officer on the England was George Pitt D'Arcy, another who remained in NSW.

John spent 3 years from 1815 to 1818 as part of the occupying force in France after the Napoleonic Wars. He moved between Tangues, St Omer, Valenciennes and Berles. At the end of this period his batallion crossed to Dover and began a 9 day march to Plymouth where they joined a boat to take them to Castlebar in County Mayo, Ireland.

John remained here for 2 years and met Mary Joyce, a local girl. At the end of 1820 they left for Richmond Barracks in Dublin. Then in 1821 they moved to Tralee Barracks in County Cork. They were detatched to a number of towns in the surrounding counties, including Kinsale, Castleisland andn Dingle. Mary Ann was born in 1822.

In 1823 John was moved to Limerick Barracks and lastly to Buttevant Barracks in County Kerry.

In September 1823 part of the Regiment joined the transport ship "Hope" and sailed for Chatham in England where they remained until April of1824 when they marched to Depford to join the "England" for the voyage to NSW.

An entry in the surgeon's log notes they had received a detatchment of the 39th Regiment of Foot commanded by George Pitt D'Arcy, consisting of 30 men, 6 women and 7 children. The list includes the name John Banford with wife and 1 child.

John was sent to Parramatta for 2 years and then posted to the Illawarra in September 1828 where the Regiment supervised the building of roads and a breakwater and the laying out of the town of Wollongong.

In May 1830 John was sent to Norfolk Island for a year, while it was under the command of Morriset one of it's harshest commandants. On his return John remained in Parramatta until his discharge.

Another soldier from the 39th Regiment who remained in NSW was Captain Charles Sturt. In 1840 John Benfield'd widow wrote to the Governor pleading for the land grant her husband had been promisde before his death. She stated that the papers concerning this grant were in the hands of Captain Sturt. Nothing seems to have come of this appeal.

John Benfield was the first person to be buried in the graveyard of St Peters at Cooks River.



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Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia

Last revised: March 15, 2004.