William was born in 1795 at Warminster in Wiltshire in England. In 1813, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the army at Chatham and from 10.9.1813 to 14.12.1820 he was a private in the 46th, South Devonshire Regiment. In February 1814 this Regiment served in Australia and William was stationed in Hobart, VDL. On 8.9.1817 the regiment embarked for the voyage to Madras in India, arriving on the 25.9.1818. He was discharged on 22.5.1820 at Poonamallee in India and returned to England.
Back in England, William transferred to the 3rd Regiment of Foot - known as the 'Buffs' on the 10.2.1824. Later that same year (7.6.1824) he married Elizabeth Giles at Frome in Somerset. Two years later (7.8.1826) William and Elizabeth had a daughter Jane in Frome. During 1826 and 1827 it appears William was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant. In one of his daughter's obituaries, it mentions her father's military career and says that he had been a Colour Sergeant.
About this time William and Elizabeth must have decided to come to Australia with a view to settling here, because on 15.9.1827, William transferred to the NSW Veterans Corps. One of the conditions of joining this corps was that he could bring his family with him to Australia. They departed from London on 5.11.1827 aboard the "Hooghley" and arrived in Sydney on 24.2.1828. He was stationed in Sydney. He would have been contracted for 2 years and on the 24.3.1830 he was discharged from the Army. William's actual time in the Army was calculated as being 14years and 129 days. He would then have become eligible for a grant of 100 acres of land. However he did not make an application until 1847. In 1854 William was granted 100 acres at Kurrajong. The land is on Bells Line of Road west of Bilpin. It seems doubtful that he farmed the land himself or lived there. The land was considered not suitable for farming and was passed down to his son John and then to grand son George Robert Heath. The land was eventually sold in 1901.
Between 1831 and 1844 William and Elizabeth had seven more children. They lived at Yallamundi (or Yellowmundi ) Lagoon near Agnes Banks where William worked as a station hand and where several of the children were born. The family also lived in Bosworth Street and Lennox Street Richmond for many years . William worked as a tailor, a skill he apparently learnt prior to enlistment in the army. In 1837 William became a licensee of the "Rising Sun Hotel" in Windsor.
On 14.9.1873 William Heath died in Richmond and was buried two days later at St Peter's Church of England Cemetery in Richmond. He was 78 years old and he was survived by his wife and 7 of the children.
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