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


Two regiments of the British Army were involved in the Eureka Stockade. They were the 12th Regiment and the 40th Regiment.

Military reinforcements from the 12th and 40th Regiments were sent to Ballarat arriving on 28 November 1854. The 40th Regiment marched into Ballarat led by Captain Christopher Wise, with a full show of force and with bayonets drawn. In comparison to what occurred later that day they encountered no resistance or problems.[1]

The shouting and hooting of the people intimated that something unusual had taken place, and accordingly in a few minutes afterwards was seen a detachment of the 40th Regiment marching towards the camp with fixed bayonets, and the officers with drawn swords. [2]

A detachment of the 12th Regiment entered Ballarat on 28 November 1854 between nine and ten o’clock at night, and marched through the Eureka Diggings accompanied by some transport waggons. An incident ensued which resulted in injuries to the Drummer Boy, John Egan; the publican, Benden Hassell; and the carter, George Young. [3]

After the Eureka Stockade battle three days of martial law ensued. Sixteen hundred soldiers and police were sent to Ballarat, with most leaving when quiet returned to the goldfield. [4]

12th Regiment

Charles A. Doudiet, Eureka Slaughter 3rd December, 1854, watercolour, pen and ink on paper.
Courtesy Art Gallery of Ballarat, purchased by the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery with the assistance of many donors, 1996.

The 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment

Robert Samuel Adair, B.T. Adams, William Adams, William Alderton, Edward Archer, George Arden, Arthur Atkinson, William Atwell, Frederick Austin, Joseph Barden, John Barrow, James Berry, John Birch, John Hill Birch, William Bird, James Bourne, Felix Boyle, Bartholomew Bradley, William Bragg, Benjamin Broker, George Brown, George Bryant, William Butwell, Charles Campbell, Samuel Carter, Andrew Canty, Timothy Canty, Joseph Carrigan, Samuel Carter, John Casserly, Charles Chamberlain, Jonas Collins, Thomas Cole, William Colvin, Richard Coombs, Robert Cornish, John Cresswell, John Cridge, Haymen Crude, Thomas Culpeck, Martin Daley, William Davidson, Samuel Davis, Thomas Dawson, Thomas Denny, John Donegan, John Donohue, John Donolly, James Dow, John Doward, Peter Dowd, Thomas Downs, John Drury, John Duke, Frederick Dutton, William Earl, John Egan, Adam Ferguson, John Finn, Patrick Flynn, Daniel Flynn, Joseph Forsyth, William French, George Fuller, Timothy Galvin, Alfred Geates, Henry Goddard, Edmund Grace, Robert Grant, Robert Griffin, Bryan Grimstone, William Grimwood, William Haddon, Henry Hall, William Hall, George Harding, John Hare, Richard Hargreaves, David Hawthorne, George Hayman, John Hearn, Thomas Hogan, Patrick Hynott, John Hurstwaite, Thomas Husband, James Huxley, William Hustable, Finniess Ing, James Jeffrey, William Jewell, William Johnstone, Robert Jones, Francis Keefe, Thomas Keen, John Kempt, Hugh King, John Knights, John Lackey, William Lang, William Lawrence, John Leekey, James Leonard, George Littlehales, William Lumber, Joseph Lyness, John Manning, William Martin, John McArdle, Edward McCormish, Thomas McDermott, John McGarry, Peter McGorrigle, Patrick McGrath, Edmund Medgley, John Melton, Charles Miner, Jacob Moore, Michael Moran, Alfred Murrey, Jeremiah Newell, Richard Norgrove, James Nowlan, Patrick O'Donnell, John Reynolds Palmer Samuel Parker, John Parkhouse, James Parry, Henry Perry, William Paul, Henry Payne, Rogers, William Percy, Michael Pinder, Simon Pritzler, William Queade, William Quinn, John Reed, Robert Reid, James Reilly, Samuel Reynolds, William Revel, John Sargeant, Garret Shanahan, James Sharkey, Edward Sharpe, John Shovlin, Thomas Smith, John Smith, Jesse Spalding, James Stowe, John Sullivan, William Sutcliffe, George Swatman, John Thomas, Henry Thompson, John Thompson, Henry Timmons, William Turner, Daniel Vaughan, William Underwood, James Wagstaff, Andrew Walker, George Warner, John Waters, Robert Watson, William Webb, George Wend, William Wilkinson, H.L. Williams, Wise, George Wood, James Wright, Charles Yalden, Richard Young

40th Regiment

40th Regiment reenactment, 2013. Photograph: Clare Gervasoni
40th Regiment Military Band, c1852-60. Group portrait of the Military Band of the 40th Regiment with Joseph Hartigan as Band Sergeant. State Library of Victoria (H7686)

The 40th (2nd Somersetshire Regiment)

After Eureka some of the 40th Regiment were posted to New Zealand.

Adams, Arthur Atkinson, Thomas Bass, Josiah Bigsby, Thomas Bodely, George Bowdler, Thomas Breadley, Denis Brien, Patrick Butler, John Broadhurst, Thomas Bruce-Gardyne, Patrick Burke, George Byford, John Byrne, John Cameron, John Campbell, Edwin Coles, William Cork, Henry Cottes, Martin Cusack, Patrick Dwyer, Thomas Fitzgerald, William French, Thomas Frost, William Gardener, Michael Gay, James Gore, Daniel Hagerty, Israel Hales, Charles Hall, Edward Harris, Daniel Hegarty, James Hill, Alfred Hurlestone, Hutchings, Joseph Jubb, William Juniper, John Keeble, James Kelly, Laurence Kelly, Hugh King, Charles Ladbrook, Francis Langham, John Langham, James Louge, Patrick Lynot[5], William MacCarron, Private John Manning, Michael McAdam, Peter McCabe, Thomas McDermott, John McGurk, Samuel McKee, John Macoboy, William Manella, Michael McAdam[6], Charles Meacham, William Mole, Arthur Mollers, Michael Moran, Lot Mullen, William Murrell, Charles Must, John Neill, Thomas Nelson, Mark Noble, Michael O'Connel, Edward O'Dell, Bernard O'Donnell, Patrick O'Keefe, Henry Patchett, William Prayle, Joseph Rayner, Thomas Reed, Patrick Reilly, William Revel, Bailey Richards, William Richardson, Edward Riley, Michael Roney, John Ryan, John Sharland, Patrick Sinnott, William Smith, Cornelius Sorrell, James Stowe, Patrick Sullivan, William Swan, John Thomas, James Turner, Thomas Valiant, Joseph Wall, Patrick Walsh, Henry Wise, Hans White, John White.

40th Regiment re-enactment at the Ballaarat Old Cemetery, Eureka Sunday 2005, Photography: Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection.

Wise Memorial, Leek Wooton, Photography: Clare Gervasoni, 2001.

"Sacred to the memory of Henry Christopher Wise Esq, captain in H.M. 40th 2nd Somerset Regiment. Eldest son of Henry Christopher and Harriett Wise of Woodcote, who died on the 21st of December 1854 at Mt Ballarat, Victoria, South Australia, or wounds received on the third of the same month, while gallantly leading his company to the assembly of the rebel stockade at Eureka, Ballarat. This tablet is erected by the officers of the 40th Regiment."
About an hour afterwards a detachment of the 12th Regiment, with arms, ammunition,and baggage came into Ballarat by Eureka.

Martin Cusack, who was the last of the 40th Regiment that was engaged in 1854 in the fight with this early diggers of the Eureka Stockade, died in the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum last week. In the attack on the stockade in the early morning the 40th Regiment was assisted by two companies of the 12th Regiment, which was on service in Australia, while both bodies received the support of a number of naval men lying in Hobson's Bay, Cusack, who was 85 years of age, was of opinion that the revolt was a great mistake, and was not justified. Cusack, in conversation with a representative of the "Age" some days ago, said:... "We of the 40th Regiment marched against our will. The Ballarat diggers, we knew, were our own kith and kin, and we felt it would be a poor hour of day if we were ordered to fire at them. Many of us prayed during our march through the bush that the men of the Eureka would see that there could possibly be no hope for them in a battle with well-trained Imperial soldiers, such as the 12th and 40th Regiments. Their brush with us was a forlorn hope, and we all wished to avoid meeting them. We quietly agreed among ourselves that if we had to shoot we would fire high as I have said, were our own kith and in order to frighten the diggers who, kin from England, Ireland, Scotland, and America. Just as we were marching on Ballarat, however, a thing occurred that greatly exasperated the soldiers. We were marching in fous near the Red Hill, when a digger (a colored man) stepped out of his tent, and picking up a quartz boulder he threw it at our flank, killing our little drummer boy. When the poor little fellow collapsed and rolled over his drum, we all swore we would revenge his death by showing no quarter in fair battle. The veteran, who enlisted in the 40th Regiment in Ireland in 1850, had been confined to his bed in the Benevolent Asylum for seventeen years.[7]

A relic of the encounter that took pince at the Eureka Stockade on December 3, 1854, between British soldiers and Ballarat gold diggers was (says the "Age" of March I) on Saturday discovered by a fossicker in the vicinity of the stockade. It is in the shape of a military scabbard. 3ft. in length. The relic, which has been badly affected by rust, having 'been embedded in the earth for some 54 years, belonged apparently to an officer of the 40th regiment, which, with the 12th regiment and a party of men of war from a ship then lying in Hobson's Bay, was engaged in the work of storming the stockade. It is curved and weighs about 2lb Melbourne antiquarian is desirous of purchasing the scabbard which is on view at a shop in the Main-Road. Mr. C. C. Shoppee. superintendent of the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum, has in his possession an Insurgent's pistol, found in an old hole inside the stockade many years subsequent to the armed revolt of the diggers. Some time ago a wealthy pioneer offered £10 for this old-fashioned pistol.' [8]

In The News

By the courtesy of Colonel Macarthur, Deputy Adjutant-General, we have been favoured with the following official account of the rencontre of the military with the diggers at Ballaarat, on the 3rd instant :
General Order.- No. 163. Head Quarters, Camp, Ballaarat, December 9, 1854.
The Major-General has had under consideration the report of Captain Thomas, 40th Regiment, respecting a sharp rencontre which took place at dawn, on the 3rd instant, about one mile and half from this Camp, between a body of insurgents and part of the troops then at Ballaarat.
The party in this affair was composed of one subaltern, and 65 of other ranks of a detachment of the 12th Regiment, under Captain Queade ; one subaltern, and 30 of other ranks of the military mounted force, under Lieutenant Hall, 40th Regiment; and one subaltern, and 87 of other ranks of a detachment 40th Regiment, under Captain Wise; together with six officers and 94 mounted and foot constabulary. Captain Pasley, the Royal Engineers. Lieutenant Richards, 40th Regiment, and Sub-lnspector Taylor, were Captain Thomas's orderly officers on this occasion.
The force thus constituted, advanced steadily until they received the fire of the rebels, and then stormed an extensive barricade which these had for same days constructed, and held as a strong-hold.
In their headlong flight before the vigorous assault of the troops, they met with severe and merited chastisement. Thirty are believed to have been killed, and a much larger number wounded.
This salutary lesson to the traitors and anarchists, then banded together for the subversion of law and order has, the Major-General regrets to learn, not been effected without Captain Wise, 40th Regiment, Lieutenant Paull, 12th Regiment, being severely wounded, and the casualties contained in the subjoined list.
Sir Robert Nickle will not fail to submit the names of the killed and wounded for the consideration of the Right Honourable the General commanding in chief, in order to their being transmitted to their respective parishes, so that friend and kinsmen may become acquainted with their gallantry.
While here with the troops, the remembrance of these brave men will be kept alive in the sections of which they form a part. Like them, whether in splendid triumphs or in minor affairs, it is the good opinion of the officers, non commissioned officers, and pivaies to which he belongs, that every true soldier should ,seek to obtain. The Major-General considers that Captain Thomas deserved the utmost praise for the secrecy which he maintained while planning this energetic attack, as well as for the promptitude with which it was accomplished when planned.
On an occasion when all are reported to have behaved well, both soldiery and police, it would be invidious to made distinctions ; but this much may be affirmed, that, while the troops dealt heavy blows on the insurgents, they were not unmindful of the protection of their wounded officers on the field.
List of casualties incurred by the force under the command of Captain J. W. Thomas, 40th Regiment, in the attack on the rebel, camp at Eureka, on the 3rd December, 1854 : -
12th Regiment.
Lieutenant W. H. Paull, severely wounded.
Private William Webb, mortally ditto, since dead.
Private Robert Adair, severely wounded.
Private John Smith, severely ditto.
Private Felix Boyle, severely ditto.
Private William Buttwill, very severely ditto.
Private Timothy Galvin, severely ditto.
Private William French, severely ditto.
40th Regiment.
Private Michael Rooney, killed.
Captain H. C. Wise, dangerously wounded.
Private John Bryan, severely ditto
Private Henry Cottes, slightly wounded.
Private William Juniper, severely ditto.
Private Bernard O'Donnell, severely ditto,
Private Joseph Wall, mortally, since dead.
Private Patrick Sullivan, slightly wounded.
By command,

Also See

Eureka Timeline

George Young

James Abrey


  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  2. From Tent To Parliament, Berry Anderson & Co., Ballarat, p12.
  3. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  4. Train, George F., A Yankee Merchant in Goldrush Australia, William Heinemann Australia Pty Ltd, 1970, p166.
  5. Email from J. Fawcett to C. Gervasoni, 28 November 2004.
  6. Email from J. Fawcett to C. Gervasoni, 28 November 2004.
  7. Townsville Daily Bulletin, 29 October 1912.
  8. Barrier Miner, 6 March 1909.
  9. Sydney Morning Herald, 19 December 1854.