THE FENCIBLE SHIPS

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BERWICK CASTLE

342 ton barque, under the command of Captain Andrew Latto (sometimes written as Lattoo) - (10th Detachment, under the charge of Staff Surgeon James Jackson, R.N. 2nd Class and Sergeant Timothy Carroll. 9th Regiment of Foot) - sailed from London 13th June 1852 for the Falkland Islands. Accompanying Dr Jackson were Mrs Jackson, 1 child with another born at sea. The Collective State and Casualty Returns by Dr Jackson (I.A.1. 52/2796 National Archives of New Zealand) is made up of the following statistics - 40 Fencible personnel on board, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals and 32 privates. Of these, 1 sergeant (presumed to be Edward Smee from the amount of his daily pension) and 1 private (originally presumed to have been Richard Gadney but now appears to be Thomas Hickey instead) died during the voyage. There were 37 women and 68 children on board. Of these, 1 child over 14 died, 3 children under 10 years and 3 children under 1 year also died during the long voyage. Mary Ann Haddon, aged 20 years, died 20th December 1852, just a few days after her mother, and was buried 24th December from St Paul's Anglican Church, Auckland. This information re Mary Ann Haddon is courtesy of Mrs Gail Young who extracted it from the Auckland Public Library.

After studying the returns in some depth, the marital state of three men who cannot be described with any certainty are James Flood, Patrick Miller, and Daniel Murray. Two of these men are believed to have been married, possibly with children on board but which two is uncertain at present. Several points to be remembered when researching the Berwick Castle is that no official manifest exists hence no manifest numbers. The Nominal List of men arrived by the Berwick Castle (reference I.A.1. 52/2888, Archives New Zealand) merely list the rank, sub- sequent locations of residence and staff officers designated to the various men after their arrival at Auckland. A few sources offer different information.

Captain Reid, his wife and 8 children were embarked at the Falkland Islands and left the ship at Hobart Town. Mrs Brown was reported as absent without leave in Hobart Town but no further details are given. Most of the men on this ship had pensions commencing in April 1853 but not all. When looking for the military records of the men listed as belonging to the East India Company try the extensive records of that Company. The spelling of many place names in India varies considerably according to the source.

Samuel Jarvis is described as having a very large family but at least three other men who had families of five children so it must be assumed that the Jarvis family numbered five as Samuel had to pay for rations for only his eldest child, Elizabeth, classed as an adult, at the age of 15. Conversely, James Haddon had to pay for rations (probably 14.9.0d.) for his family indicating that there were two extra children under 7 years or one over the age of 14. Some lists of descriptions of the passengers on board describe children over 14 years as men and women.

This ship took six months to reach New Zealand. With correspondence referring to men offering their services as convict guards in Tasmania and the picking-up of Captain Reid and family at the Falkland Islands there seemed to be more questions than answers but the White Wings report helps with these problems. The very inclement weather, the repairs necessitated by the collision with the "Margaret" and the loss of a rudder not only added extra time to the voyage but meant they had to spend longer both at Port Stanley and later at Hobart Town while repairs were being effected. Captain Latto and his crew of 15 men did very well coping with these emergencies in the heavy seas and bitterly cold weather.

The information relating to the 13th Regiment of Foot is the work of Mr Rick Oxenham of Christchuch to whom I am greatly indebted for his willing help. Although it was offered to me for Sydenham Oxenham's dossier, (Rick's ancestor), it applies equally to Michael Brophy, John Goonan and Michael Page on this ship and several other Fencibles on different ships. I therefore felt it necessary to add to the information about the men of the Berwick Castle, a number whom were in possession of battle honours and had fought in some very severe campaigns. They must be respected for their courage and sacrifice throughout trying and dangerous conditions where they acquitted themselves with distinction. To know your ancestor served against incredible odds, in hostile terrain, attacked by the fiercest of adversaries who had the advantage of knowing the land in which the battle was being fought, must make one very proud of that ancestor. Survival ensured the start of a new life on the other side of the world.

ARRIVAL OF THE BERWICK CASTLE
The New Zealander December 1852
ARRIVAL OF THE BERWICK CASTLE
The Hobart Town Courier November 6th 1852
                                                                                                             

HOBART BIRTHS
1850 to 1852

HOBART DEATHS
12th March 1850 to 20th May 1853

                                                                                                             

WIVES & OLDER DAUGHTERS THOUGHT TO
HAVE ARRIVED ON THE BERWICK CASTLE

                                                                                                             
THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
Researched, compiled & donated by Mr Rick Oxenham
THE SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
Courtesy Mr Rick Oxenham, Christchurch
                                                                                                             
Fencibles arriving by the Berwick Castle
Charles Horscroft Daniel Murray
Edmund Dore Edward Penn
Edward Smee Edward Wall