Empress Eugene

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Reinforcements - Troops Arriving from Melbourne, Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection.

The Vessel

The Empress Eugenie brought out the second division of the first Battalion of H.M. 12th Regiment. She anchored in Hobson's Bay at 4pm on 3 November 1854. "The troops were very healthy and the vessel [presented] an appearance of cleanliness and order unequalled by any troop ship that has entered Hobson's Bay, and [reflected] the greatest credit on the Commanding Officer and Dr. Rogers (half line here obliterated by a fold in the original).

Pre Eureka

Letter from William T. F. A. Wallace, Assistant Military Secretary re the Empress Eugene and disembarkment of passengers.
Military Secretary’s Office.
Melbourne. 4th November 1854.
I have the honor by direction of the Major General Commanding to report for the information of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, that a Detachment of the 1st Battn 12th Foot strength as per margin, under the Command of Captain Atkinson arrived in Hobsons Bay yesterday afternoon, per ship Empress Eugenie, and will disembark on Monday next and proceed to the Barracks in Melbourne occupied by the Head Quarters of that Regiment.
I have the honor to be
your most obedient
humble servant
William T. F. A. Wallace
Asst Military Secretary
2 Captains
5 Subalterns
1 Staff Officer
10 Serjeants
1 Drummer
166 Rank & File
25 Women
35 Children
The Honorable
The Colonial Secretary
Melbourne [1]

Passengers to the Victorian Goldfields

The passengers on the Empress Eugenie included, Lieut. Henry Wise, Admiralty Agent, Captain Atkinson, Commanding Officer, Capt Thomas Vereker, Acting Paymaster, Lieut. John Reynolds Palmer, M.D. Saunders, Assistant-Surgeon Rogers, William Paul, H.L. Williams, C. M. Harward, Mrs J. R. Palmer, and Mrs Vereker (cabin passengers), 10 Sergeants, 167 rank and file, and 34 children. These were the men and families of the 12th Regiment.

Ballarat 30 November
Information reached us last evening that a portion of the military force despatched from town on Monday had arrived, and that in passing through the diggings the soldiers were pelted with broken glass and other missiles by some diggers. Our informant adds that the military received this manifestation of feeling in the best possible temper, and did not attempt to irritate the mob by indulging in gestures or movements which might be interpreted to mean other than a friendly inclination to them. They were marched into Camp and had taken up quarters when our informant left. It will be remembered that yesterday was appointed for the day of the monster meeting on the Licence question."[2]

Felix Boyle, 12 Regiment

C.M. Harward, 12th Regiment

James Nowlan, 12th Regiment

John Reynolds Palmer, 12th Regiment

Mrs J. R. Palmer, 12th Regiment

William Paul, 12th Regiment

M.D. Saunders, 12th Regiment

Thomas Vereker, 12th Regiment

William Webb, 12 Regiment

H.L. Williams

Henry Wise, 12th Regiment

Also See




  1. VPRS 1189, Unit 140, File J 54/12.340
  2. Argus, November 1854.