|PERSONAL DETAILS||William UNDERWOOD|
|Birth date and place||c. 1836 Hungerton (Hungarton), Leicestershire, England.|
William’s father, also William Underwood, is recorded as residing in Hungerton in all prison records prior to convict William leaving England.
|Baptism date and place||4 Jul 1836 St John the Baptist Church, Hungerton [Parish Reg. #157].|
|Civil Census Residences||1841 Village of Hungerton aged 5 [HO107-592-22]|
1851 Vicarage House, Hungerton aged 15 [HO107-2050-8].
|Occupations pre-WA||Agricultural Labourer.|
|Physical Description||Height: 6 ft. ½ ins. Complexion: fair. Eyes: grey. Hair: brown. Face: full. Build: stout [Acc 1156-R11].|
Distinguishing marks and scars: Woman inside right arm; blue spot on right wrist; sailor and Highlander on left arm.
Bayonet wound on calf right leg received in Crimea [PCom2-68].
|Marriage date and place||Single.|
|Death date and place||4 Jul 1909 Perth Public Hospital, Western Australia.|
Last residence Maylands, Western Australia
|Burial date and place||7 Jul 1909 Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia.|
Location: Anglican Section FC, Gravesite 0225.
|Will and Probate||None.|
|Death Notices and Obituaries||West Australian 6 Jul 1909 (Death Notice – Leicester papers (England) please copy).|
West Australian 8 Jul 1909 (Funeral).
Western Mail 10 Jul 1909 (Obituary).
Sunday Times 11 Jul 1909 (Hospital Returns).
Truth 17 Jul 1909 (Obituary).
|Regiment(s)||3rd Battalion, First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards.|
|Regiment No. and Rank||#6466. Private.|
|Attestation date and place||after 1851.|
|Medals, Clasps and Badges||Crimea War Medal with clasp Sebastopol. Turkish Crimea Medal.|
|Casualty/Medical||See Physical Description above for scars.|
|Regimental Courts Martial||Unknown.|
|District Courts Martial||St George’s Barracks, London [WO92-2-83].|
Trial: 11 May 1857. Striking his superior officer.
Sentence: Four years penal servitude. Commuted to two years imprisonment with hard labour.
|General Courts Martial||St George’s Barracks, London [WO92-2-90].|
Trial: 27 May 1859. Striking Colour Sergeant Barker on the left cheek with his clenched fist [Acc 1156-R5].
Sentence: Eight years penal servitude.
|Prison and Register #||St George’s Barracks, London 1 month 1 day [PCom2-42]|
Millbank Prison #9026 28 Jun to 25 Jul 1859, 1 months 27 days [PCCom2-42].
Parchment Certificate of Discharge received 8 Jul 1859 and delayed. To prisoner on 9 Jul 1859.
Pentonville Prison #8800 25 Jul 1859 to 13 Apr 1860, 8 months 18 days [PCom2-68].
Portsmouth Prison #6436 13 Apr 1860 to 18 Sep 1861, 1 year 5 months 6 days [PR1Com-2-108].
Lincelles convict ship #153 sailed from Portland 5 Oct 1861. 115 days passage.
|Chelsea Pension Reference||Not eligible.|
|Post Discharge Residence||Western Australia.|
|ARRIVAL AND LIFE IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA|
|Departure and Arrival||Dep. 5 Oct 1861 Portland; arr. 28 Jan 1862 Fremantle.|
Labourer – Bunbury and Wellington.
General Servant – Wellington.
Railway Worker 1885 to 1909. Click here for WAGR History.
|WA Convict||Fremantle Prison #5974.|
|Dates and Details||None recorded on Convict Establishment record Acc1156-R11. None recorded in Newspapers 1862 to 1909.|
|WA Ticket of Leave||8 Oct 1862.|
|WA Certificate of Freedom||11 May 1872 Bunbury.|
|WA Conditional Pardon||4 Oct 1865 Bunbury.|
|Misc. Newspaper Articles||Daily News 21 Aug 1896 Railway Crossing Accident.|
|Departure from WA||11 Jan 1875 to Adelaide on Emily Smith – not verified.|
No record of this ship leaving WA or arriving in SA January or February 1875.
No record of a William Underwood in SA in the Biographic Index of SA (BISA).
William Underwood’s birth years are recorded variously on official records from between 1834 and 1845! This includes census records, all prison registers, shipping records, Convict Establishment records, railway work history, hospital returns, death, funeral and cemetery records.
All newspaper obituaries allude to Underwood’s re-engagement with his regiment after being invalided from the army, discharged in 1864, arriving in Victoria as an immigrant and then joining the WA Railways. Records show this to be incorrect as there were no assisted or unassisted passengers arriving to Victoria with his name from 1864 to 1885. We assume this story – which he may well have told his workmates – was contrived to cover up his years as a convict. There was only one man named William Underwood engaged in the Crimean War according to the Medal Rolls. He was still serving with his regiment in 1857 when he was court martialled and imprisoned for two years, after which he was subject to a general court martial and transported to Western Australia.