Cole, James

Timeline for JAMES COLE, Private, 20th Company Royal Sappers & Miners

Holy Trinity Church, Old Brompton

1825: 31 December, born Lynn Regis, Norfolk. Father: John. Mother: Frances (1).
1826: 26 May, baptised St Margaret’s Wesleyan Church, Lynn Regis (1).
1847: c. June attested Royal Sappers and Miners (2).
1849: 30 May, married Ellen WHITMORE at Holy Trinity Church, Old Brompton (3, 4).
1851: Residing at New Road, Woolwich, Kent with wife Ellen. Rank or occupation Royal Sappers & Miners (5).
1851: 18 December arrived Fremantle on Anna Robertson 20th Company RSM. Trade recorded as ‘smith’ (6).
1850-1855: James and Ellen had three children. One child (name unknown) was born in England in 1850 or 1851 at sea on the voyage to Australia. Susan 10 Oct 1853, Albany, Western Australia. Eliza 24 Oct 1855 Albany, Western Australia (7).
1853-1855: Stationed at the Convict Dept at King George’s Sound (Albany) in August 1853 to December 1855, where in September 1854 he was promoted to Corporal (8).
1856: Recorded as sick from June for the remainder of the year and hospitalised in August (9).
1857: 2 March James and Ellen Cole and their three children left for England on Dolphin (10).
1857: April Quarter James is on ‘passage to England’ (11).
1858: Daughter Jane Cole born in Pentridge, Victoria (12).
1872: Death of Ellen Cole née Whitmore age 37, Victoria (13).
1901: Death of James Cole age 76, Alfred Hospital, Victoria – not verified (14).

I am unable to explain how James Cole, his wife and children left for England in March 1857, yet in 1858 they are in Pentridge, Victoria when their daughter Jane is born. Clearly they managed a quick turnaround to England and back to Australia again.  I have been unable to find the family on the assisted or unassisted list of immigrants to Victoria.


No War Office series 97 Chelsea Pension documents were issued for James Cole thus these other sources were accessed:

1. Non-Conformist Registers, National Archives, Kew [RG4-649].
2. Return of 20th Company in Western Australia 5 Feb 1855 [WO1-437-219].
3. Marriage Locator, Guild of One Name Study.
4. Medway City Archives, P153D Old Brompton 1848-1855.
5. 1851 Census of England & Wales [HO107-1589-393-10].
6. Muster Rolls & Pay Lists Sep – Dec 1851 [WO11-126].
7. Family Search [GS Utah Film No. 284850].
8. Muster Rolls & Pay Lists 1853 – 1855 [WO11-138, 142].
9. Muster Rolls & Pay Lists 1856 [WO11-152].
10. Perth Gazette 6 Mar 1857.
11. Muster Rolls & Pay Lists April Quarter 1857 [WO11-158].
12. Victoria Birth Index [Reg. #9251/1858].
13. Victoria Death Index [Reg. #2061/1872].
14. Victoria Death Index [Reg. #15185/1901].