The Enrolled Pensioner Guards Special Interest Group of FamilyHistoryWA was formed in 2000 by descendants of men known as Enrolled Pensioner Guards. The Enrolled Pensioner Force consisted of soldiers who came to the colony of Western Australia between 1850 and 1874, most arriving during the years of convict transportation as Guards on the convict ships. They were soldiers who had been discharged from Military Service, and who on discharge from the army, were awarded pensions.
Many dedicated members have allowed us to build a significant body of research, read:
The Enrolled Pensioner Guards Special Interest Group is dedicated to raising awareness of the role Enrolled Pensioner Guards 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 and has culminated in this web-site.
The project was established under the direction of ‘The Admiral’, Margaret Hickey, who directed a group of researchers known as ‘ships captains’, they set about the task of establishing a list of all the guards on each ship. Furthermore, wherever possible, parents and siblings have been included as well as establishing the spouses and their children.
Many of the pensioners left Western Australia for the Eastern states and New Zealand. Some returned home to the UK, while a few adventurous souls returned to India where they had spent so much of their young life.
We consider this site to be a work in progress and we hope to be able to add to the knowledge we have from the input of descendants who contact us via the website. Your participation will be valued!
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
We hope you enjoy our website. We have created profiles of all the men of the Enrolled Pensioner Force here and these will be further developed over time. While a lot of effort has been put into researching ‘our’ men, we will never know the whole story without your help. We would appreciate it if you could advise us through the Contact Page of any errors you have found. Also we would love to have any photographs of the men, their parents, siblings and children AND family stories. We would prefer not to have just dry facts !