Private John Birch (#3311) in the 12th Regiment on board the Camperdown in 1854. Formerly a painter from Herefordshire, England, he was in a small detachment posted to Castlemaine early in 1855. In September 1855 he was arrested and charged with ‘robbery in company’, after he and two women had forcibly stolen a watch and chain and several pound notes from a miner named Aaron Garlick at a sly-grog tent at Barkers Creek. John Birch was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months hard labour on the roads, with the women receiving three months in Castlemaine gaol. Muster rolls for the 12th Regiment show that he was ‘in custody of civil power’ during 1856, but he must eventually have returned to duty, as he was posted to New Zealand in 1860, along with Private James Birch (brother of John Hall Birch), and seems to have been just as big a troublemaker.
Goldfields Involvement, 1854
Post 1854 Experiences
- Birch, Bill, John Hill Birch: Eureka veteran, unpublished research emailed to Eurekapedia, 01 April 2013. Records searched include AJCP WO 12 (State Library of Victoria and Mitchell Library, Sydney). Muster rolls for First Battalion, 12th Regiment. VPRS 30/P0/unit 47, case 2-134-4: Briefs of court cases Castlemaine.
- Birch, Bill, John Hill Birch: Eureka veteran, unpublished research emailed to Eurekapedia, 01 April 2013.