Guide to the records of the South Staffordshire Regiment (80th Regiment) relating to Australia and New Zealand (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Staffordshire Regiment Museum
Records of the South Staffordshire Regiment (80th Regiment) relating to Australia and New Zealand (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1793 - 1905
Collection Number
5 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Digest, volume 1 (1793-1897); volume. 2 (1793-1899). The digest was initially written about 1881 and maintained until 1889. It records service of the Regiment giving details of stations at which employed, dates of arrival and departure from these stations, and military operations. It also mentions officer movements and comments on the effect of convict guard duty on the discipline of the Corps.

Roll 1804-1881. 'Nominal and Descriptive Roll of the 80th Regiment' with entries for name, date of enlistment, age at enlisting, height, trade or occupation, place of birth and remarks such as transferred, discharged, or death. Arranged by date of enlistment.

Record of Stations 1793-1905 listing dates of embarkation and disembarkation.

Letter 'Purchase of Ensigncy in 98th Foot by Mr Stafford W. Vardon 31/5/59'. Directed to General Monteith of the Indian Army from the Horse Guards.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, Lichfield, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1971 (AJCP Reel: M815). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Staffordshire Regiment Museum, Whittington Barracks, Lichfield, England.

For more information see: The Staffordshire Regiment Museum. []

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [ as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Auckland, New Zealand; Australia; Bathurst, New South Wales; Calcutta, India; Hong Kong; India; Monteith, Gen.; New Zealand; Parramatta, New South Wales; Port Macquarie, New South Wales; Singapore; South Staffordshire Regiment; Vardon, Stafford W.; Windsor, New South Wales


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 428, p167. []

Biographical / Historical

The 80th Regiment of Foot was raised by Lord Henry Paget in 1793, largely from members of the Staffordshire Militia who were tenants of his father, the Earl of Uxbridge. It immediately saw action in Flanders and the Netherlands and it was part of the British force that expelled Napoleon from Egypt in 1801. In 1802 it absorbed the Staffordshire Volunteers and from then on was called the 80th Regiment (Staffordshire Volunteers). The Regiment served in India from 1803 to 1817.

In May 1836 a detachment of the Regiment, led by Major Narborough Baker, left Gravesend as the guard on the convict ship Lady Kennaway. It arrived in Sydney in October 1836 and 25 further detachments followed as convict guards in the next two years. In March 1837 Baker was given command of the Regiment and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. The regimental colours arrived in July 1837. The headquarters of the regiment were initially at Windsor and in 1841 they were moved to Parramatta. The troops were deployed widely, with detachments sent at various times to the Illawarra, Berrima, Wingello, Newcastle, Liverpool, Port Phillip, Bathurst, Cox's River, Emu Plains, Moreton Bay, Portland Bay and Port Macquarie. Some troops continued working as guards on convict road gangs. Under the command of Major James Nunn, other soldiers were assigned to the Mounted Police and some took part in the massacre of indigenous Australians at Waterloo Creek in January 1838.

In 1839 Major Thomas Bunbury led a detachment to Norfolk Island to serve as the garrison. Following a minor mutiny, he was recalled to Sydney in the same year. In 1841 Bunbury was sent to New Zealand. His detachment, which numbered from 80 to 100 men, was employed on various manual tasks, such as timber-cutting, bricklaying and carpentry. The soldiers built the first stone barracks at Auckland. Bunbury was also responsible for taking the Treaty of Waitangi to the South Island and Stewart Island and gathering signatures. In June 1840, at Cloudy Bay, he took possession of the South Island in the name of the British Crown. The detachment returned to Sydney in 1844.

In 1844 Sir Maurice O'Connell, who was commander of the Australian military forces, was appointed Colonel of the 80th Regiment. He held the post until his death in 1848. In August 1844 the Regiment left Australia and sailed to India. Baker retired in 1845 and was succeeded by Bunbury as commanding officer. The Regiment served in the First Sikh War (1845-1846), the Second Burmese War (1852-1853), the Central Indian Campaign (1858) and the Zulu Wars (1879).

In 1881 the 80th Regiment merged with the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment (which had originally been raised in Lichfield in 1705). The 80th formed the 2nd Battalion in the South Staffordshire Regiment. In 1959 the Regiment merged with the North Staffordshire Regiment to form the Staffordshire Regiment. In turn, the Staffordshire Regiment was absorbed into the Mercia Regiment in 2005.

Reference: W.L. Vale. History of the South Staffordshire Regiment (Aldershot, 1969).

Item Descriptions

Digest of the 80th Regiment: Volume 1, 1793 - 1897 (File 1)


The digest appears to have been first written in about 1881, with additions bringing it up to 1897. It is a narrative recording the formation and movements of the Regiment and its service in campaigns and battles in many countries. Its service in Australia and New Zealand in 1836-1844 is dealt with on pages 27-41. As well as recording the movements of the headquarters and detachments of the Regiment, the digest lists the ships which brought the Regiment to Australia in 1836-1837 and lists the officers serving on 16 July 1841. It also reproduces a few orders or letters from commanding officers of the regiment.

Digest of the 80th Regiment: Volume 2, 1793 - 1899 (File 2)

This volume appears to be a slightly updated copy of the first digest. The account of the service of the Regiment in Australia is identical with that in the first volume.

Nominal and descriptive roll of the 80th Regiment, 1804 - 1881 (File 3)

Arranged by date of enlistment, from 1804 to 1881, the roll gives the name of every soldier in the Regiment, his age at the time of enlistment, height at the time of enlistment, previous occupation and place of birth. The final remarks column, which is not always legible, gives the date of death or discharge. There are other columns for religion and physical description, but they were seldom used until about 1855.

Record of stations, 1793 - 1905 (File 4)

The volume records the arrival and departure dates of the 80th Regiment at each station from its formation in 1793 until 1905 (by which time it was the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment).

The pages at the end of the volume were used for a different purpose, as they give details of promotions, retirements and exam results of officers of the Regiment in 1887-1897.

Miscellaneous, 24 July 1853 - 31 May 1859 (File 5)

Contains:Letter from Major R.H.W. Fowler (Melbourne) to Commanding officer, North Staffordshire Regiment, 24 July 1853: sends an old letter discovered in a creek at Warrandyte, Victoria. (copy)

Letter from Military Secretary (London) to Lieutenant General Monteith (Indian Army), 31 May 1859: Commander-in-Chief has appointed Stafford Vardon as an ensign by purchase in 98th Foot. (original)

Note: The 98th (Prince of Wales) Regiment of Foot, raised in 1824, amalgamated with the 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment in 1881 to form the North Staffordshire Regiment. It did not serve in Australia.