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Sunday, 9 August 2009
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Fremantle Volunteer Rifles
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

Fremantle Volunteer Rifles

 

The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 29 – 30:

 
Fremantle Volunteer Rifles

The public meeting held in Fremantle in September 1861, recommended an Infantry corps of 100 all ranks, to be designated the "Fremantle Volunteer Rifles". Approval was given, and training, organization etc. proceeded under the direction of Captain C. Finnerty, Staff Officer for Enrolled Pensioners at Fremantle. Formation was "gazetted" on 6/8/1862, as was the appointment of Mr R. S. Price as Captain Commanding.

It is difficult to justify the optimism of the citizens of Fremantle in supposing that their district could supply 100 Volunteers, the population being small and employment uncertain. The objective was never attained. The highest strength gained was in 1864 when the roll bore the names of 69 members, 22 honorary members, and 19 cadets. The recruiting potential seems to have been grossly overestimated.

The corps was armed with obsolete muzzle-loading muskets, presumably those taken over from the War Office stocks held in the Colony. It is understood that the uniform adopted was similar to that of the Perth corps. By-laws were approved on 18/12/1861, and later embodied in the general code.

By 1869 the strength had dwindled to one officer and 50 other ranks, much of it on paper only. After careful inquiry the Military Commandant recommended disbandment of the Corps on the grounds of "Inefficiency". Disbandment was gazetted on 8/2/1870.


Officers of the Fremantle Volunteer Rifles

Captain RS Price - 6 August 1862

Lieutenant M Brown - 22 October 1862

Lieutenant A Francesco - 22 October 1862

Captain CA Manning - 16 November 1864

Lieutenant LW Clifton - 1 June 1866

 

Previous: Perth Volunteer Rifles

Next: Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers

 

Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry

 


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Fremantle Volunteer Rifles

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 14 August 2009 12:08 PM EADT
Saturday, 8 August 2009
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers

 

The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 30 – 32:

 
Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers

A resident of Pinjarrah, Mr F. Fawcett (late Cornet 6th Dragoon Guards) initiated a movement to form a Volunteer mounted corps at that centre. The corps was to be 15-17 strong and designated the "Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers". The Gazette of 23/10/1862 gave formal approval and appointed Mr F. Fawcett as Captain Commanding. At that time the roll bore the names of 17 members and 6 honorary members.

Captain Fawcett was a forceful and enthusiastic leader who gave much time, obviously much of his substance also, to raise a successful corps. His personality was such that in some miraculous manner he succeeded at one stage in raising the strength of the corps to 82 men in spite of the sparsely settled nature of the District.

The type of uniform selected was almost a replica of that worn by the 6th Dragoon Guards i.e., Scarlet tunic, white pantaloons, white helmet with spike, over-boots, and steel spurs. White facings or cords were adopted. It was a very spectacular dress but very unsuitable and difficult to obtain.

Arms comprised revolver carbines and Light Cavalry swords. At first the only revolver carbines available were six obtained from the guard of a convict ship, then in 1864, 18 new weapons were received from England. No other firearms were received by the corps.

All aims, accoutrements, saddlery, uniform etc. had to be obtained from England on a cash basis, orders being passed through the office of the Colonial Secretary at Perth. For a variety of reasons, not the least of them being ignorance of procedure and tardy communications, some deliveries were held up for two years or more and generally speaking the position was most unsatisfactory. The Executive Council had made provision for a corps of 18 all ranks, a fact of which Capt. Fawcett was well aware so he must be held responsible for the long delays and disappointments resulting from these delays.

By 1868 strength had increased to 61 men plus cadets, and by 1873 to 88. Attendances were not high but Inspecting Officers invariably reported the men seen as being efficient and of good spirit.
See: Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers, Nominal Roll, 1868

Among the highlights of this interesting corps' performances were the provision of an escort of one Sergeant, one Trumpeter, and four Troopers, for duty in connection with the visit of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh in 1867. For that duty six sets of Dragoon uniform were hurriedly made and issued at a cost to the public of £93/2/1. The escort was on duty for two months and for that service a special allowance of £16/10/0 was granted. In order to take part in the celebrations Capt. Fawcett marched part of the corps from Pinjarrah to Perth. In 1868 a special allowance of £65 was granted to cover the cost of a special muster.
Strength steadily declined from 1874 and by 1882 had dropped to 26. Disbandment was gazetted on 3/11/1882. Obviously the recruiting field had become exhausted: also it would appear that Capt. Fawcett's power waned after 1873 or else he became absorbed in other activities.

Capt. Fawcett commanded the corps for the full period of its 20 years' life. The junior Officers were similarly unchanged. Had there been a change of command in 1874 the course of events might have been different.



Officers of Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers

Captain F Fawcett - 23 October 1862

Lieutenant JG Murray - 6 October 1868

Cornet F Oakley - 6 October 1868

Surgeon TF Beddingfeld - 17 November 1868

Chaplain Reverend JS Price - 17 November 1868

Lieutenant F de Lisle - 26 March 1870
 

 

Previous: Fremantle Volunteer Rifles

Next: Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers, Nominal Roll, 1868

 

Further Reading:

Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers, Nominal Roll, 1868

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry

 


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 14 August 2009 12:17 PM EADT
Friday, 7 August 2009
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Union Troop of W.A. Mounted Volunteers
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

Union Troop of W.A. Mounted Volunteers

 

The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 32 – 33:

 
Union Troop of W.A. Mounted Volunteers

The Government Gazette of 19.7.1870 authorised the formation of a mounted corps in Perth to be designated the "Union Troop of Western Australian Mounted Volunteers", Lieut. de Lisle was appointed to command. The initial strength was three officers and 33 other ranks and this was easily maintained. The uniform adopted is stated to have been of Hussar type but this cannot be verified.

The frequency with which this corps was called upon to provide escorts for the Governor on official occasions suggests this as the chief reason for raising it. It appears to have performed its duties very efficiently.

Lieut. de Lisle resigned command and returned to England in 1872: he was succeeded by Capt. H. W. J. A. Blundell, an officer of British Royal Horse Artillery and an A.D.C. to the Governor.

On a date which may conveniently and satisfactorily be stated as 1.7.1872, the corps ceased to be Cavalry and was officially designated the "W.A. Troop of Volunteer Horse Artillery."



Officers of Union Troop of W.A. Mounted Volunteers

Lieutenant F de Lisle – 19 July 1870

Lieutenant CC Fauntleroy – 28 September 1870

Captain HWJA Blundell – 26 June 1872

Surgeon Dr T Hora - 28 September 1870

 

Previous:  Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteers, Nominal Roll, 1868

Next: Perth Company of W.A. Rifle Volunteers

 

Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry

 


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Union Troop of W.A. Mounted Volunteers

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 14 August 2009 6:10 PM EADT
Thursday, 6 August 2009
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Perth Company of W.A. Rifle Volunteers
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

Perth Company of W.A. Rifle Volunteers

 

The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 32 – 36:

 
Perth Company of W.A. Rifle Volunteers

An upsurge of international tension in 1872 revived interest in the Volunteer Movement in Western Australia. There was alarm in official circles and steps were taken to raise new corps. Naturally, Perth was to the fore and phoenix-like a new body arose from the ashes of the defunct Perth Volunteer Rifles. The "firebrands", after adequate apologies and promises of better behaviour, rallied around themselves most of personnel of the disbanded corps. Progress was rapid. The Gazette of 17 June 1872 authorized the formation of a corps to be designated the "Perth Company of W.A. Rifle Volunteers" with a strength of 100 all ranks, and to be commanded by Captain E. Birch. The title of Metropolitan Rifle Volunteers had been asked for but was not granted then. However, the approved designation must have proved cumbersome for from 1874 onwards the latter was used, even in official documents. The new corps inherited the accumulated knowledge and experience, as well as the weapons, of its predecessor and was reasonably efficient from the outset.

On 17 June 1872 there were 71 names on the roll. A detachment was formed at Guildford in 1873. By 1875 the strength had increased to 126, plus 12 honorary members and 30 cadets. Strength reached a maximum of 143 in 1881 which led to approval being given to form a second Company. Later for some unknown reason strength declined steadily and by 1895 had fallen to 75.

Plans were completed in 1883 to rearm the corps with new Snider breech-loading rifles of .56 calibre, the old Enfields being handed down to other corps who presumably were armed with still more obsolete weapons.

Corps activities were varied. Combined parades, field days, rifle matches, and guards of honour were numerous. In 1874 the corps became grouped with the Fremantle and Guildford corps for purposes of field and battalion training as the 1st Battalion Volunteers under the direct orders of the Military Commandant, but this in no way affected the former administrative independence of each corps; on parade the Perth corps provided two Companies, Fremantle and Guildford one each. In 1884 the corps attended the 4-day camp of training (the first held in the Colony) at Bullen's Grounds, Albion.

The Band appears to have had an exalted idea of its own importance, for although a component of the corps it claimed the right to absent itself from corps parades when such action suited its own convenience. After a blatant act of defiance in 1877, the Military Commandant suspended the Bandmaster and as a punishment for insubordination reverted all bandsmen to the ranks. Special rules were then issued for the control of all Volunteer Bands. Later, a request by the Band that it be allowed to give a recital in the Supreme Court Gardens, and charge admission thereto, was refused.

The only other recorded act of insubordinate concerned a senior officer who some years after the Band episode was found guilty by a Court-Martial of an offence connected with the wearing of a uniform. Apart from an occasional display of high spirits the corps was sound and reliable, being w trained and the centre of most forms of military activity in the Colony. A Queen's Colour, provide at Government expense, was presented to the corps early in 1895 and consecrated on 24th May. This was the first Queen's Colour to be borne by W.A. Volunteers.

On 1 July 1899 the corps became a component of the 1st Infantry Regiment.



Officers of the Perth Company W.A. Rifle Volunteers

Captain E Birch – 17 June 1872

Lieutenant WH Knight - 17 June 1872

Major AJ Hillman - 1 October 1872

Captain RA Sholl - 24 May 1875

Major T Sherwood - 24 May 1875

Lieutenant CL Clifton - 24 May 1875

Captain CY Dean - 18 September 1882

Sub Lieutenant E Sholl - 27 September 1882

Major J Rose - 6 April 1885

Major JC Strickland - 6 April 1885

Lieutenant JF Shaw - 20 June 1888

Captain HV de Satge - 27 March 1896

Second Lieutenant R Strelitz - 27 March 1896

Lieutenant WG Abbott - 13 January 1899

Lieutenant HB Collett - 17 February 1899

Captain Townsend - 28 March 1899

Lieutenant S Inglis - 12 May 1899

Second Lieutenant JP Doyle - 22 June 1899

Second Lieutenant JS Denton - 22 November 1899

Second Lieutenant WB Good - 22 November 1899

Second Lieutenant JEF Stewart - 15 December 1899

Second Lieutenant CR Davis - 5 March 1900

Second Lieutenant CW Randle - 5 March 1900

Second Lieutenant AO McClaughan - 5 April 1900

Second Lieutenant ALB Lefroy - 1 May 1900

Second Lieutenant AM Cook - 21 May 1900

Second Lieutenant JS Scott - 21 May 1900

Second Lieutenant WT Bryan - 21 May 1900

 

Previous: Union Troop of W.A. Mounted Volunteers

Next: W.A. Troop Volunteer Horse Artillery

 

Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry

 


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, Perth Company of W.A. Rifle Volunteers

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 23 January 2010 3:50 PM EAST
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, W.A. Troop Volunteer Horse Artillery
Topic: Militia - LHW - WA

Western Australian Militia

W.A. Troop Volunteer Horse Artillery

 

The following is an extract from the book written in 1962 by George F. Wieck called The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia 1861-1903, pp. 36 – 37:

 
W.A. Troop Volunteer Horse Artillery

Prior to 1872 no Artillery corps had been raised in Western Australia, probably because a trained officer was not available. However, the Officer appointed to succeed Lieut de Lisle in command of the Union Troop of Mounted Volunteers in 1872, Capt. H. W. Blundell (later known as H. J. A. S. Weld Blundell), was an Officer of British Horse Artillery. Shortly before 1872 two 12Pr Armstrong-Whitworth breech-loading Field Guns were in the possession of the Enrolled Pensioner Corps and were complete with limbers and associated stores. There were no other field guns in the Colony.

There can be no doubt that Capt Blundell inspired the conversion of the corps from Cavalry to Artillery. The guns were too heavy and unsuitable for Horse Artillery but it is natural that Capt. Blundell should have a leaning towards that type of corps. On a date which can reasonably be stated as 1.7.1872, the Union Troop of Mounted Volunteers was re-designated the W.A. Troop of Volunteer Horse Artillery. The guns previously on issue to the Enrolled Pensioners were transferred to the Troop.
The full effect of the change had not been foreseen, for almost at once the Troop Commander demanded a special allowance to cover the cost of cleaning and maintaining the guns, harness, wagons, stores, etc., and for the hire of horse teams. Provision had not been made and funds were scarce. The corps was prominent in all Volunteer activities, including camps, field days, ceremonial and even volunteered to form cavalry escorts for the Governor on ceremonial occasions. It also fired numerous artillery salutes.

The corps designation was changed to "Perth Volunteer Artillery" on 21.3.1882 and its further history will be given under that heading.


Officers of the W.A. Troop of Volunteer Horse Artillery

Captain HWA Blundell – 30 June 1872

Lieutenant CC Fauntleroy - 30 June 1872

Captain GB Phillips – 7 April 1873

Lieutenant WA Stone – 12 May 1875

Hon. Surgeon Dr T Hora - 30 June 1872

 

Previous: Perth Company of W.A. Rifle Volunteers

Next: Fremantle Rifle Volunteers

 

Further Reading:

Western Australian Militia, Light Horse

Western Australian Militia, Infantry

 


Citation: The Volunteer Movement in Western Australia, W.A. Troop Volunteer Horse Artillery

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 14 August 2009 7:47 PM EADT

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The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre is a not for profit and non profit group whose sole aim is to write the early history of the Australian Light Horse from 1900 - 1920. It is privately funded and the information is provided by the individuals within the group and while permission for the use of the material has been given for this site for these items by various donors, the residual and actual copyright for these items, should there be any, resides exclusively with the donors. The information on this site is freely available for private research use only and if used as such, should be appropriately acknowledged. To assist in this process, each item has a citation attached at the bottom for referencing purposes.

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