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John Stokes

Crimean War veteran and enrolled pensioner

Private John Stokes and his wife and two children left Britain on 26 May 1865 on the Racehorse arriving in Fremantle on August 13. For his service as a pensioner John Stokes was obliged - as was customary - to remain in Western Australia for seven years, to be available for duty as needed, and to attend Parade each Sunday. The service also eventually entitled him to a grant of land.

Broomhall records John Stokes as having purchased Fremantle Location S40 [in North Fremantl] of 5 acres - for one pound per acre - in December 1867. In October of 1881 Stokes applied for North Fremantle Location 50, next to his own property. Four years later, in 1885, Stokes was granted Fremantle Location S41 of 5 acres. At some stage he built a cottage in what was later to become South Street, Beaconsfield. It is still standing [at what number?], but not in good repair.

John Stokes was literate and by August 1880 held the rank of Lance Corporal, an indicat the old soldier was well regarded by the staff of Lieutenant Colonel E.D. Harvest, another Crimean War veteran then serving as commandant of defence forces. There was one last hour of glory in June 1897. John Stokes of Fremantle, along with other surviving members of the Enrolled Pensioner Force, was invited to a Banquet held in St George’s Hall, Perth as part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He died at Fremantle on 3 March 1900.

Stokes's daughter Elizabeth married Elias Solomon.

References and Links

All of the above is from:
Peter Conole 2019, 'Wicklow, Crimea, and the last Frontier', Western Ancestor, September: 214; article about pensioner John Stokes

Jean McDonald & Peter Conole 2009, 'John Stokes of Old Fremantle', FHS Newsletter, October: 6-8.

Crimean War Vets in Western Australia.

Garry Gillard | New: 9 April, 2020 | Now: 16 November, 2022