Albany 1878-1901

Plantagenet Rifle Volunteers

Men of the Albany Rifle Volunteers in 1880
Men of the Albany Rifle Volunteers in 1880

This unit was first raised on the 26th June 1878 as the Albany Rifle Volunteers led by Captain Finlay. During the early 1880’s it also created a band and the full unit had around 40 Men. Not much is known about this first unit and besides the occasional shooting match it does not seem to have done much. During the early to mid 1880’s problems began to set in as it seems the officers did not get along well and did not know who was to pay for ammunition. On the 31st March 1885 the unit was disbanded having existed for less than 7 years.

Lieutenant John Moir and Captain Dr. Cecil Rogers of the Albany Defence Rifles in the mid 1880’s
Lieutenant John Moir and Captain Dr. Cecil Rogers of the Albany Defence Rifles in the mid 1880’s

However almost immediately after the Albany Defence Rifles was raised on the 6th May 1885 led by Captain Rogers. in 1886 the strength of the unit was:

1 Captain (Rogers)

2 Lieutenants (Moir & Maxwell)

78 Other Ranks

However very soon the same problems began to set in and in 1887 at one parade only 4 men attended. It was then decided to disband the unit on the 2nd May 1888.

Just 1 year later however the unit was re-raised for a third and final time known as the Plantagenet Rifles led by Captain De Hamel. It was named after the region north of Albany. This unit was much more boisterous then before and began taking part in many shooting matches with British naval ships that would pass by the port. In 1891 a drill hall was built for them. With the creation of the Permanent Artillery in Albany this now meant they could regularly team up with another unit and throughout the 1890’s they took part in the Flemming Cup competitions. Coming 3rd in 1894, 4th in 1895 and 3rd again in 1896.

2nd Lieutenant Troode in 1894 with his small silver cup for best Marksman in the Flemming competition. This is the uniform of the Plantagenet Rifles.
2nd Lieutenant Troode in 1894 with his small silver cup for best Marksman in the Flemming competition. This is the uniform of the Plantagenet Rifles.

Lieutenant Troode in 1894 was the best marksman in the competition and won a small silver cup. After a short interim period in 1893 command of the unit passed to Captain Clare which would be its last commanding officer. In 1894 the strength of the unit was:

1 Captain (Clare)

1 2nd Lieutenant (Troode)

49 Other Ranks

Under Captain Clare the unit entered its most active period and was very well attended. However, by 1897 the unit had its attendance drop rapidly and was disbanded for the last time on the 29th April 1897. Despite this, some veterans of the Plantagenet Rifles took part in the 1898 Flemming Cup under the command of Lt Troode in which they came 5th place.

COMMANDING OFFICERS

Captain William Finlay (26th Jun 1878- 31st Mar 1885)

Albany Rifle Volunteers Disbanded

Captain Dr. Cecil Rogers (6th May 1885- 14th Mar 1888)

Albany Defence Rifles Disbanded

Captain Lancel V De Hamel (14th Mar 1888- 12th Mar 1893)

Interim period with no commanding officer (13th Mar 1893-13th Jun 1893)

2nd Lieutenant E S P Troode (14th Jun 1893- 28th Mar 1894)

Captain Frederick Clare (28th Mar 1894- 28th Apr 1897)

LIST OF OFFICERS

Captains

William Finlay (26/6/78-31/3/85)

(Served as Lieutenant until 1879)

Dr. Cecil Rogers (6/5/85-14/3/88)

Lancel V De Hamel (14/3/88-12/3/93)

(Previously in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers)

Frederick Clare (28/3/94-28/4/97)

(Previously in the South Australian Military Forces)

Lieutenants

John Moir (21/3/79-19/7/92)

James Ormond Maxwell (19/1/86-16/10/86)

2nd Lieutenants

William Grills Knight (25/4/79-31/3/85)

Edward Holland (31/12/89-21/3/93)

E S P Troode (14/6/93-28/5/95)

(Was best Marksman in the 1894 Flemming Cup. Later served as a Lieutenant with the Albany Artillery between 27/10/99-14/11/00.)

Back to Top