Starting with the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment arriving from Sydney to King George Sound, the British Army had a presence in WA in the first five decades of European settlement. A total of eight detachments of British Army regiments of foot* were garrisoned in Western Australia for the protection of its citizens from 1826 through to the departure of the last regiment in 1869. Not all members of each detachment arrived and departed the Colony at the same time.

A website dedicated to the settlers from these detachments is now available – albeit a work in progress – entitled Redcoat Settlers WA.

Building the military barracks commenced on 13 Aug 1829 on the square bound by St George’s Terrace, Barrack Street, Howick (Hay) Street and Pier Street. Successive regiments based in Perth occupied the Barracks.

Sketch of Perth Military Barracks 1857 [acknowledgement:  Nevill, Simon J. 2007, Perth and Fremantle: Past and Present]

The 20th Company, Royal Sappers & Miners and the officers of the Royal Engineers served an entirely different role from the infantry regiments in the Colony. The RSM had its HQ in Fremantle or in the convict depôts outstations. It served in the Colony concurrently with the 99th and 12th Regiments, but there appears to have been little interaction between them.

WO12 Muster Books and Pay Lists are available on microfilm in the Battye Library, Perth.  Click here for references. However, they may not always be separate from the Pay Lists of other men of the regiment located in another Colony.

*plus the 20th Company, Royal Sappers and Miners.