10: Practical genealogy for family historians Module
4 Climbing the genealogy barriers Flinders University 9:15am
23: Introduction to FH research (over 7 weeks) WEA
Centre Adelaide 7:00 to 8:30pm
9: Coming to grips with FamilySearch WEA Centre
Adelaide 10:00 to 1:00pm
See the seminar program
for more details.
Author, Jodie Forsyth writes... I would be very interested in receiving
any information about any women living in local communities from settlement
to 1960, who were born before 1940, have never been officially recognised
yet as the real quiet achievers left their mark through their
dedication, kindness or who sadly committed the ultimate sacrifice
and until today have received little or no thanks, gratitude, or formal
appreciation for their actions.
If anyone you know has stories of family members, friends or knows
of any ladies whose good deeds (from being the most reliable tuck
shop lady, helping people in the community, was always there to take
on the mantle of babysitter when needed, helped families or animals
in the area when in dire need or who organised local events, headed
companies, was a doctor, nurse, teacher, or was just there to give
support to someone when required), changed for the better the life
of just one person or the entire community, I would very much appreciate
being contacted at email@example.com or to PO Box
2009 Moorabbin VIC 3189.
ScotlandsPeople have extended their marriage index to cover 1934-2006
and these have now been added to the web
site. This now gives the range of statutory records as Indexes
of Scottish births and deaths (1855-2006) marriages (1855-2006) and
images of births(1855-1908), marriages (1855-1933) and deaths (1855-1958).
colonial military heritage 2
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Glandore SA 5037
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Fax: +61 8 8374 4479
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colonial military heritage Pt 2
South Australian military era 1840–1903
The Adelaide Rifle Company was established in 1840 following an initiative
of the Government on 29 February. Headquarters were set up in King
William Street and 77 volunteers enlisted and were organised into
two cavalry troops and one company of infantry. Each volunteer had
to supply his own equipment and horse and train three days per week
for three months to gain proficiency.
Serious military organisation at a local level in Adelaide commenced
in 1854 when a Militia Act authorised the Governor to call out a force
of 2000 men between 16 and 46 years of age. Major MOORE, commander
of the British Garrison (11th Foot) was appointed to supervise the
enlistment and management of the volunteers. This power was invoked
because of the Crimean War and the fear of a Russian invasion but
was never fully exercised. A troop of mounted rifles, two infantry
companies and two artillery companies were raised for a brief period.
The Militia Act 1854 enabled the Government to select men by ballot
(conscription) to undergo four weeks military training annually. In
fact the ballot was not required as enough men volunteered.
The Acts of 1859 and 1860 provided for the establishment of volunteer
forces and this time the task fell to Major NELSON with fourteen rifle
companies initially established at Adelaide:– 1st Adelaide,
Adelaide Marksmen, Brighton, Edwardstown, Gawler, Glen Osmond, Glenelg,
Mitcham, Nairne, Noarlunga, One Tree Hill, Sturt, West Adelaide and
artillery companies at Adelaide and Port Adelaide with a strength
of 550 men. This was expanded in 1860 to 2000 men together with a
cavalry company at Reedbeds. In 1861 the SA Free Rifles with forty-two
men was established.
In 1865 all previous Acts were repealed, and under a new enactment
the calling out of not fewer than 540 and not more than 1000 men was
authorised, with pay at the rate of five shillings a day. This change
saw the establishment of a reserve force known as the South Australian
Regiment which comprised of four troops of cavalry, three artillery
companies and nine companies of volunteers collectively called the
Adelaide Regiment of Volunteers. One of these companies was named
the No 2 Scots Company.
In 1867 the artillery were given a slightly higher rate. The visit
of the Duke of Edinburgh in 1867 caused the renaming of the South
Australian Regiment and the Adelaide Regiment of Volunteers as the
Duke of Edinburgh Volunteer Light Dragoons and Prince Alfred’s
Rifle Volunteers respectively. The No 2 Scots Company was named the
Duke of Edinburgh’s Own.
The final departure of the British garrisons in 1870 revived the need
for defence at the local level and volunteers were again involved
with the formation of the Adelaide Mounted Rifles, Adelaide Artillery,
Port Adelaide Artillery, and the Adelaide Rifles that included Kapunda
In 1877 the possibility of war with Russia again acted as a stimulus
in defence matters and in 1878 an Act established a permanent force
supplemented by experienced volunteers. 1000 men were raised and officers
and drill instructors were obtained from England for purposes of instruction,
discipline, and organisation.
Adelaide Artillery officers 1877
– courtesy of State Library of SA B7211
A National Rifle Association was inaugurated in 1878 and rifle companies
were formed. An Act of that year also authorised the formation of
a small permanent force, but it was only in 1882, under an amendment
of the Act of 1878 that such force, consisting of one officer and
20 men, was raised. Three years later the numbers were increased.
In the period 1881–82, Acts were passed which allowed the paid
volunteers to be raised to a maximum of number of 1500 men and authorised
a reserve without limit of numbers. In 1882 the force numbered 1880
made up of 1680 infantry and 200 artillerymen. The establishment of
coastal forts quickly followed with Fort Largs in 1883 and HMCS Protector
to patrol the gulf. Protector’s duties were supplemented in
1885 with the fitting out of small vessels for duty in the areas between
the mainland and Kangaroo Island. Fort Glanville followed. Fort Glenelg
was never completed although the military road linking all three forts
remains as a main thoroughfare to this day.
In 1886, by further legislation, the paid volunteers were styled as
militia, while the rifle companies became the volunteer force. A militia
reserve was also provided for at this time. At the end of 1889 the
strength of the permanent, militia, and volunteer forces totalled
2720 of all ranks. Minor alterations were made in 1890 and 1895.
In 1896 the last reorganisation under the colonial government took
place with the establishment of three permanent artillery batteries
at Adelaide, Largs and Glanville, four companies of mounted rifles,
two batteries of field artillery, twelve companies of infantry plus
the support of signal and medical corps. This was supplemented by
a Reserve Force recruited from the rural districts. In 1899 a special
ceremonial drill company of 100 men called the Montefiore Hill Drill
Company proved a popular posting.
Having a volunteer component to the military often resulted in strange
predicaments as demonstrated by the Adelaide Rifles B Coy in training
camp at Blackforest. The commander resolved that the camp should be
extended by one day but this required the consent of the Colonial
Minister of Defence, George Kingston, a Corporal in the very same
company! It was reported that the Commandant called for Cpl Kingston
and on his arrival a short leave was granted allowing Kingston to
change seats, confer with the commander and grant the request before
returning from leave and resuming duty!
HMCS Protector arrived in Hong Kong from Adelaide in September 1900
where she was transferred to the Royal Navy and on 19 September sailed
for Shanghai to perform surveyor and courier duties in the Gulf of
Pechili. After receiving a commendation from Captain Jellicoe, the
Protector returned to Australia in January 1901.
Apart from the HMCS Protector undertaking duties in China in the Boxer
Rebellion, the only overseas service undertaken by colonial forces
was the involvement in the South African (Boer) War. The military
supplied six contingents, a total of 1430 men—all volunteers.
The 1st and 2nd Contingents were financed by the Government and the
men received an appropriate remuneration. The 3rd (Bushmen’s)
was privately (and relatively poorly) financed. The remaining Contingents
were financed by Britain.
The 1st Contingent departed Adelaide on the Medic 2 November 1899
with five officers and 121 men as infantry but became a mounted force
in South Africa. The 2nd Contingent of six officers, 112 men, 120
horses and a machine gun departed 26 January 1900. The Bushmen’s
Contingent of six officers and ninety-three men served from June 1900
to April 1901. The Imperial Bushmen’s Contingent comprised twelve
officers and 222 men. The balance of men served in the 5th and 6th
Contingents which formed into a regiment in South Africa.
The strength the colonial forces on 31st December 1900, the eve of
Officers of active and reserve forces 135
Resources and how to access them
Other ranks 2797
For information on this era you could consult Digger History an online
site whose address is given at the rear of this booklet.
The SA Government Gazettes list appointments, promotions and resignations
as well as administrative instructions. AF Harris has compiled a Directory
of entries relating to the South Australian Military Forces as published
in the SA Government Gazettes but copies are rare. Known copies can
be found at State Library of SA, State Records of SA, and the Army
Museum of SA at the Keswick Barracks.
The State Records of SA holds colonial military records.
1854 Militia Act
Nominal Rolls GRG 149/1 (not able to photocopy)
Volunteers enrolled by Police Commissioner
HMCS Protector Crew Lists 1884–1901
Enlistment roll 1st SA Contingent GRG 149/7
Nominal rolls of SA Contingents GRG 24/132
Nominal roll of the SA Bushmen’s Corps GRG 149/6
Ledger of payments to members of the Imperial Contingent GRG 24/115
The National Archives of Australia holds records pertaining to South
Sydney Office: HMCS Protector Log Books 1884–1912 SP551/1
Adelaide Office: 5th SA Boer War Contingent Attestation papers CRS
State Library material includes:
The History of the military forces in South Australia
Papers of Robert Gray (for material on Reedbeds Cavalry)
List of volunteers in the South Australia Volunteer District, A Battery
Field Artillery PRG 1037/2
Boer War Nominal Roll
Books on the subject include:
Justin Corfield, The Australian illustrated encyclopaedia of the Boxer
Uprising 1899-1901 , 2001
PL Murray, Official records of the Australian Military Contingents
to the War in South Africa, 1911
George Newbury, The Australian Commonwealth Horse, 1990
Craig Wilcox, Australia’s Boer War: The War in South Africa
of Australia Sydney Office
SP551/1, Bundles 446 to 449, 455 and 457 to 470 Log books for HMAS
State Records of SA
D4212, SA1911/634 Fort Largs – site extension 1907–12
AP336/1, 274/1/93 Forts Glanville and Largs, papers and books of
historical interest 1957–62
GRG 48/5/2: Despatches from the SA Colonisation Commissioners to
the resident Commissioner, Adelaide pp105-106 lists Chelsea pensioners
resident in SA
GRG 122/4: Commissariat (Control Office) Statements, returns and
British War Office Military Pensioners in AJCP CO reels only pertaining
State Library of SA
Apart from an extensive collection of books on the subject, the library
holds Red Cross Cards for soldiers and nurses and family enquiries
(Series 1), casualty lists (Series 2) and nominal rolls of returning
servicemen and women (Series 4) in Family History section (South Australian
Red Cross Information Bureau 1915-1920 Ref: SRG 76). The library also
holds research notes RN25 RN118 covering organisation of forces 1840
to 1930. The library also holds other military records, including
enlistment nominal rolls.
Government Gazettes record some material that may assist although
a lengthy search may be necessary as the information will not necessarily
National Archives of Australia Adelaide Office
This office has a limited collection of colonial military
Plans, drawings and photographs:
D1051 Torpedo Station Magazine North Arm (15 folios) 1847–1980;
Flinders University of SA Library
AP69/1 Army record books Forts Largs and Malta 1878–1946
AP161/1 Miscellaneous maps, documents, books and correspondence,
Forts Glanville and Largs 1881–1961
Policy records and statistical returns
AP613/8 Notes on Colonial Defence Scheme by the Colonial Defence
Committee of the Colonial Office 1886–1893
AP613/6 Annual return of military and naval resources of the Colonies
(South Australia only) 1887–1899
AP39/1 Defence Committee minute book 1894–1901
A569, B1925/2573 Port Adelaide torpedo station 1916–29
D845, 1928/48 Obsolete 6 inch guns – Fort Largs 1928–29
This library holds the full AJCP (Australian Joint Copying Project)
set of mircoforms and you will need to access this series to view
WO (War Office) material relating to SA. The handbook is held in the
Central Library Reference Collection (Call Number: 994.005 A924h)
It is possible to purchase the appropriate AJCP handbooks from the
National Library online. These handbooks are an essential
guide for users of the microfilm:
Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook Part 2: Colonial Office
A brief summary of what will be found in the War Office material is
outlined in the following paragraphs. The material in the Colonial
Office records is not as clear cut to locate.
Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook Part 4: War Office $5.00
Muster rolls and pay lists (WO 12)
The muster lists were compiled quarterly and have been arranged in
yearly volumes . Officers are listed by rank while the soldiers are
listed alphabetically. These records can be useful in establishing
dates of enlistment, discharge or death although these events may
be beyond the scope of reels held specifically as part of the AJCP
collection. The collection covers the period immediately prior to
departure for Australia, the period of duty in Australia and New Zealand
and the period immediately following their departure from Australia.
The first entry for each soldier should indicate his age, while the
last entry should show his birthplace, non-military occupation and
his enlistment date. Other informative documents include the paymaster’s
declarations, stoppages of pay for imprisonment or time in hospital.
Each pay sheet shows the number of days each soldier was entitled
to pay, where he was stationed at the time of the muster and how he
was employed if other than on normal guard duty. Many early rolls
are not easy to read. However tracing a soldier’s records over
the period he was enlisted provides a very good picture both of his
military and personal life.
Monthly Returns (WO 17)
The Returns are numerical summaries of regiments. These provide, on
a monthly basis, information about when a particular regiment was
stationed in the colony and make it possible to pinpoint the time
of arrival more exactly and to determine the location of troops. If
information about the soldier’s regiment or family detail is
unavailable, knowing the colonies in which he was stationed is useful
as regiments posted to SA were usually headquartered in eastern colonies.
Returns are available for all Australian colonies 1854-1865.
Embarkation and Disembarkation Returns (WO 25/3502); reel 1303
These show officers’ names—not all regiments that served
in Australia are listed.
Muster Master List General’s Index of Casualties (WO 25/1342);
These may show the date of a soldier’s discharge, death, desertion
or transfer which may be unavailable any other way.
Out-Pensions Records, Royal Hospital Chelsea (WO 22)
There are a variety of records in this series. The one of greater
interest to SA researchers is the official proposals regarding discharge
of troops in Australia and New Zealand which is on reel 1506.
If you can access a film reader it is possible to order the appropriate
film/s via an interlibrary loan. You can even request printouts of
some material, the current cost being $13.50 per fifty pages from
a single film.
The histories of the regiments can be found by trawling through the
information at the well known web site, Land
forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
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