The Enrolled Pensioner Guards Special Interest Group of the West Australian Genealogical Society Inc. was formed in the year 2000 by a group of descendants of a body of men known as Enrolled Pensioner Guards.The Enrolled Pension Guard SIG is dedicated to raising public awareness of the role these men played in the early days of the Colony by
- establishing a register of guards and their families
- creating a register of research interest
- expanding resource files
- sharing knowledge by conducting quarterly meetings
- printing a quarterly newsletter
When additional information became available online it became apparent it was time to expand our original aims to include a web site.
We were initially reliant on F. H. Broomhall’s book The Veterans A History of the Enrolled Pensioner Force in Western Australia, 1850-1880 and the records held in the State Record Office and the Battye Library for research. To access the service records known as WO 97s we had to order reels through the Latter Day Saints Family History centres, a long and painstaking exercise. Although a work of inestimable value Broomhall, did not cover all the Enrolled Guards who arrived between 1850 and 1868, or the fifty-five men on the Strathmore and Naval Brigade who were sent to bolster the dwindling numbers of the Enrolled Force after the cessation of transportation in 1868.
The publication of M.S. James’s book A Superior Body of Men for the first time enabled us to make a more accurate account of the men on ships for which no list of the guard was available. The additional online publication of the service records (WO97), pension district payment records (WO22) and the Regimental pensioner registers (WO23) enabled us to identify nearly all the men we know came to Western Australia as EPGs.
In order to extend the scope of The Veterans to include all the men of the Enrolled Force and Enrolled Guard and where possible their families, the Ships Project was born in 2011.