Fremantle 1879-1901

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No 2 (Fremantle) Battery, Field Artillery

Sketches of the Fremantle Naval Artillery Volunteers taking part in the Volunteer Easter Encampment illustrated in the Australian Pictorial in 1885
Sketches of the Fremantle Naval Artillery Volunteers taking part in the Volunteer Easter Encampment illustrated in the Australian Pictorial in 1885

This unit was first raised as an Artillery Troop on the 10th February 1879 as the Fremantle Naval Artillery Volunteersunder the command of Lieutenant George Forsyth. Throughout the early 1880’s it received its equipment of 2x 6 Pounder Guns, 2x 12 Pounder Guns and 2x 41/2 Inch Mortars as well as using Carbines for light infantry exercises. It had a naval uniform, the only unit in the colony to do so. In its early years it took part in some exercises and created a Fife and Drum band. In 1885 command of the unit passed to Lieutenant F Wemyss who led the unit until 1889. By 1886 the unit consisted of 1 Officer and 38 Other Ranks. During his time as Commanding Officer the unit received 2x 9 Pounder Guns as replacements for the 6 Pounders in 1888.

On the 18th December 1888 the unit was retitled as the Fremantle Artillery Volunteers and was transformed into Field Artillery. In 1889 command of the unit passed to Captain Edward Mayhew after a short interim period and shortly after in 1892 the command was passed onto Major James Hope who also became the Commander of the Fremantle District. Throughout the early to mid 1890’s the unit was quite small but remained an efficient part of the WADF. In 1894 the unit was recorded as having 3 Officers and 41 Other Ranks, only a small increase from 8 years before.

Half the unit pictured in 1897, at the front is Major James Hope, the Officer in the rear left is Captain George Moore and in the rear right is 2nd Lieutenant Richard Needham.
Half the unit pictured in 1897, at the front is Major James Hope, the Officer in the rear left is Captain George Moore and in the rear right is 2nd Lieutenant Richard Needham.

On the 24th May 1897 the unit was again retitled as the No 2 (Fremantle) Battery, Field Artillery but was still commonly referred to by its older name. In that same year it was recorded as having 3 Officers and 71 Other Ranks, basically doubling the unit from just 3 years previously. In addition, it was soon given 2 More Guns and became a full strength Artillery battery.

On the left is 2nd Lieutenant F Imray, on the right is Captain Edward Mayhew.
On the left is 2nd Lieutenant F Imray, on the right is Captain Edward Mayhew.

The unit technically passed to federal control in March 1901 but kept its old name until the 1st July 1903 when it became part of the Australian Field Artillery and retitled 2nd Western Australian Battery, A.F.A. in 1908 it was transferred to the Australian Garrison Artillery and became the 2nd Western Australian Company, A.G.A. In 1912 it was renamed to the 12th Garrison Artillery. It does not have any official heritage link today but the 7th Field Battery is Western Australia’s only Artillery Unit still in existence and represents all Western Australian Artillery Heritage.

Members of the Fremantle Artillery Volunteers in 1895
Members of the Fremantle Artillery Volunteers in 1895
Guns of The No 2 (Fremantle) Battery, Field Artillery in 1902
Guns of The No 2 (Fremantle) Battery, Field Artillery in 1902
The Non Commissioned Officers of the No 2 (Fremantle) Battery, Field Artillery in 1902
The Non Commissioned Officers of the No 2 (Fremantle) Battery, Field Artillery in 1902
Katanning Section of the No 2 Western Australian Battery, A.F.A. in 1906
Katanning Section of the No 2 Western Australian Battery, A.F.A. in 1906
No 2 Western Australian Company, A.G.A. in 1909
No 2 Western Australian Company, A.G.A. in 1909
No 2 Western Australian Company, A.G.A. in 1909
No 2 Western Australian Company, A.G.A. in 1909
No 2 Western Australian Company, A.G.A. in 1909
No 2 Western Australian Company, A.G.A. in 1909

During the 2nd Boer War, 15 men were accepted to serve with the Western Australian Mounted Infantry. 4 in the 1st WAMI, 4 in the 2nd WAMI, 2 in the 3rd WAMI, 1 in the 4th WAMI, 3 in the 5th WAMI and 1 in the 6th WAMI. The Men consisted of 1 Sergeant Major, 1 Corporal, 3 Buglers and 10 Privates. 2 Members of the Fremantle Artillery were wounded while part of the WAMI.

1st WAMI

Name
Rank
Place of Birth
Occupation
Age At Enlistment in the WAMI
Volunteer Service Notes
Campaign Service Notes
64. Thomas S Golden
Pte
VIC
Grocer
21 Years
7 Months in the Fremantle Artillery
 
66. Walter Brown
Pte
SA
Driver
27 Years
3 Months in the Fremantle Artillery
 
79. George Loane
Cpl
WA
Packer
24 Years 6 Months
Previous Service In the Perth Infantry (3 Years) Permanent Artillery (2 Years) 3 Years in the Fremantle Artillery
 
98. Robert Wauchope
Pte
Ireland
Farmer
22 Years
2 Years in the Fremantle Artillery
 

2nd WAMI

21. William Harrington
Pte
Ireland
Warder
28 Years
6 Months in the Fremantle Artillery
Slightly wounded in the Belfast Engagement 2/8/00
26. Edward McRobinson
Pte
VIC
Blacksmith
26 Years
Previous service in the VIC Mounted Infantry (1 Year), 9 Months in the Fremantle Artillery
 
64. Arthur C Zietsch
Pte
NSW
Storeman
22 Years
2 Years 6 Months in the Fremantle Artillery
 
65. Angus L Mclean
Pte
VIC
 
25 Years
8 Months in the Fremantle Artillery
Wounded in the Val River Engagement 5/5/00

3rd WAMI

12. Sydney Lee
Pte
VIC
Station Hand
21 Years
2 Years in the Fremantle Artillery
 
90. Robert C Leslie
Pte
VIC
Prospector
23 Years
1 Year 6 Months in the Fremantle Artillery
 
103. Wilfred Morton
Bugler
 
Bugler Boy For South Africa

4th WAMI

104. Warabea F Harper
Bugler
SA
Tinsmith in Fremantle
20 Years
2 Years in the Fremantle Artillery as a Bugler
 

5th WAMI

299. Herbert W Lee
Lcpl Sgt (Sep 1901) Sgt Maj (Feb 1902)
England
Labourer in Perth
24 Years
3 Years in the Fremantle Artillery
 
310. William Goddard
Pte
Fremantle
Clicker in Perth
20 Years
3 Years 6 Months in the Fremantle Artillery
 
14. Percival H G Abbert
Bugler
Fremantle
Cycle Builder in Perth
18 Years
2 Years in the Fremantle Artillery as trumpeter
 

6th WAMI

336. James F Murray
Pte
VIC
Blacksmith’s Striker in Perth
32 Years
2 Years in the Fremantle Artillery
 

COMMANDING OFFICERS

LT George A Forsyth (10th Feb 1879-18th Dec 1885)

LT F Wemyss (19th Dec 1885-30th Jan 1889)

(Had Served In the unit for 7 Months prior to taking command.)

Interim (31st Jan 1889-4th Apr 1889)

CPT Edward Mayhew (5th Apr 1889-24th Oct 1892)

MAJ James W Hope (25th Oct 1892-1st Jul 1903)

(Initially served as Captain until 1897 when he was promoted to Major.)

LIST OF OFFICERS

2LT F J Imray (29th Nov 1889-10th Aug 1892)

CPT George F Moore (20th Jun 1893-1st Jul 1903)

(Initially served as 2nd Lieutenant until 1896 when he was promoted to Lieutenant and again until 1897 when he was promoted to Captain. He Continued to be an Officer in the unit when it became part of the Australian Field Artillery until 10th Aug 1904.)

CPT Richard W Needham (9th Aug 1897-1st Jul 1903)

(Initially served as 2nd Lieutenant until 1903 when he was promoted to Captain. He Continued to be an Officer in the unit when it became part of the Australian Field Artillery until 6th Jun 1905.)

LT Archibald D Goodsir (4th Nov 1898-16th Mar 1903)

(Initially served as 2nd Lieutenant until 1900 when he was promoted to Lieutenant.)

2LT Edward A Mann (23rd May 1900-30th Aug 1902)

3 old buglers of the No 2 (Fremantle) Battery, Field Artillery, pictured in 1939 nearly 40 years after service in the unit at the annual memorial service for south Africa at King’s Park. From left to right they are Warabea Harper (Nicknamed “Tuther”), Wilfred Norton and Ralph Salmon. Norton served in the 3rd WAMI in the 2nd Boer War as a boy Bugler. Harper served in the 4th WAMI in the 2nd Boer War, Salmon served with the British Army in South Africa and all 3 of the men fought in the Great War, additionally it seems that even at age 60 they served in the Volunteer Defence Corps in WW2. Mr Norton was blinded in the Great War and by this time lived in Mount Lawley, Harper still lived in Fremantle and Salmon owned the Lattice Tea Rooms in Perth.
3 old buglers of the No 2 (Fremantle) Battery, Field Artillery, pictured in 1939 nearly 40 years after service in the unit at the annual memorial service for South Africa at King’s Park.

From left to right they are Warabea Harper (Nicknamed “Tuther”), Wilfred Norton and Ralph Salmon. Norton served in the 3rd WAMI in the 2nd Boer War as a boy Bugler. Harper served in the 4th WAMI in the 2nd Boer War, Salmon served with the British Army in South Africa and all 3 of the men fought in the Great War, additionally it seems that even at age 60 they served in the Volunteer Defence Corps in WW2. Mr Norton was blinded in the Great War and by this time lived in Mount Lawley, Harper still lived in Fremantle and Salmon owned the Lattice Tea Rooms in Perth.

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