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Private John Strahan (c.1824.......1871)


Back To . . .12th Foot East Suffolk Regiment
  • Born : Circa 1824
  • Where Born :
  • Occupation : Soldier
  • Date Arrived :
  • Ship Arrived on :
  • Rank on Discharge :
  • Date of Enlistment :
  • Where Enlisted :
  • Regimental # : 3717
  • Date of Discharge :
  • Where Discharged :
  • Died : 1871
  • Where Died / Buried : Port Arthur on the Isle of the Dead
  • Parents Names :
  • Spouse's Name : Sarah Fisher (nee Filer)
  • Born :
  • Where Born :
  • Occupation :
  • Date Arrived :
  • Ship Arrived on :
  • Died :
  • Where Died / Buried :
  • Date Married : 1865
  • Where Married : Port Arthur
  • Spouse's Parents :


    This information was kindly supplied by Tom Broderick
    Area Settled :
    Children :
    1 . Charlotte born 1866.
    2 . John Frederick born 1869. ......d 1932 aged 63.Battery Point Hobart
    3 . Elizabeth was born May 1871 one month after her father's death, and married Charles Coe in 1892.

    History & Achievements :

    This was the second time that Sarah had been bereaved of a husband and was
    left with a new baby. From Army Records his Regimental No in 1859 was 3717. The first reference we
    have of him in is in 1856 as a guard at Port Arthur.
    Noted in 1860 ' Return of Soldiers who Forfeit Pay and additional Pay and Pension on Discharge'
    Date of Sentence of Forfeiture 5 Jan 1843. Not sure about this date. Whether it is wrong or for a much earlier offence. Offence not stated.
    1861 Good Conduct Pay from 10 Nov 1861
    1862 Location Port Arthur Orderly to Ass Adj. Green. April to June Garrison Employ.
    1863 most of the Regiment embarked for New Zealand. Strahan was one of onlyseven who remained in Tasmania.
    1864 Jan to March Garrison Employ.
    Inscription on headstone of John Strahan.
    Sacred to the memory of John Strahan
    who departed this life on
    the 25th April 1871. aged 47.
    This stone was erected to his memory
    by his affectionate wife and daughter Elizabeth, born one month later.
    Behold all ye that come to see
    Who in this grave is laid
    Death is your lot, forget it not
    'Tis a debt that must be paid.
    Prepare to meet thy God.
    Constable aged 47 years.

    Sarah Fisher (nee Filer) was born in England. Ada Mason remembered her Gran sitting in a chair by the fire and smoking a clay pipe and telling her that she ran away from home, aged 16, and married a soldier and came to
    Australia. She later said the food on the ship was worse than her father gave his pigs to eat.
    We can assume that she came from a farm. Her father may have been a tenant farmer or yeoman farmer. She was married three times and was the mother of 13 children.
    Her first husband was
    William Groundsell a private in the East Suffolk Regiment, 12th Regiment of Foot. He was later promoted to Sergeant and was drowned while serving with the Regiment in New Zealand in 1864.
    The Pay and Muster Books of the 12th Regiment for the first quarter 1863, show him as stationed at Port Arthur.
    It is most likely she came out with the Regiment as one of the unknown 13 women on the Gloucester in January 1854. Her Death Certificate stated 55 years residence in Australia which means an arrival in 1857.
    After the death of her husband William, in 1863, Sarah, aged 29 and with two children aged 3 years and one year, married Private John Strahan. During seven years of marriage they had 2 children before he died in 1873, and a daughter Elizabeth born one month after his death.
    Sarah, then aged 36 and with five children from 10 years to one year, was married for the third time. Her third husband was Jesse Fisher an ex-convict who was, by then, a Constable at Port Arthur. They had a family of 4 children.
    Sarah died in 1912 aged 77. (Ages given on marriage certificates give her birth dates a range from 1834 -1837. 1835 seems the most likely year of birth.) She was the mother of 13 children, according to her death certificate. (6
    living, 7 deceased).  Only 10 children are known.
    Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia
    Last revised: July 05, 2003.