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Military  Pensioners Unit

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The Regiments
Known as (nickname)................................................... Chelsea Pensioners, Enrolled Pensioners and Veterans
Facings............................................................................ DARK BLUE
Braided Lace.................................................................. None worn
Service in Australia ....................................................... 1st unit 24th December 1849 " Eliza " 2nd unit 3rd October 1850 ship Nile, . 3rd 28 Nov 1850 ship "Rodney" 63 served at  George Town, Swansea, Brighton, the Clyde and the Huon (Birch's Bay) settlements. Some were overseers on public works, supervising convicts, while others became mounted police.
During 1832  109 Chelsea Pensioners with  51 wives and 53 children arrived.   Totalling now 527 men,427 wives and 667 children. In 1851 several   served, in rotation, on the gold fields, with some at the   Eureka Stockade. Groups  arrived in 182627, 1832, and 185056. served at Westbury, Oatlands, Colebrook, Pontville and Campbell Town. As
This unit has some times been confused with the Royal New South Wales Veterans Regiment. This unit did exist as a separate unit to the veterans. Mainly served in Tasmania & Victoria. another unit to serve was the Vandiemenian Police. This unit was made up of members of the Military Pensioners Unit.
During the period 1830 to 1850 it was the policy of the English government to use military detachments and later military pensioners as guards on convict ships.  The pensioners were promised 5 acres of land, a house, a well and ample supplies of wood in return for 12 days military service a year and the liability of being called out to defend the colony in the event of an invasion or civil uprising.  Some were called to serve at the Eureka uprising.  The pensioners were bound to occupy the land grant for 7 years.  After this time, many left the Westbury area.   Rising costs and little work in the area forced many pensioners off the land.  During this period, convict labour was still available which meant that unskilled pensioners were unable to find paid work.  Inflation, partially as a result of the Victorian gold rush, pushed material prices high. 
By 1859, 91 Soldiers had died and 103 are recorded as having left the colony.
Papers
Held at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea,  
Irish Soldiers  held by the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin.
Surnames of the Military Pensioner Unit Soldiers who stayed
Land allotments given to military Pensioners in Tasmania
 
References
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,
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Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia
Last revised: July 13, 2009.