Drummer Boy John Egan (Regiment No. 3059) Eureka's first Military Casualty

Drummer Boy John Egan (Regiment No. 3059) Eureka's first Military Casualty

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The Regiments
12th Foot East Suffolk Regiment
Eureka Stockade December 3rd 1854,December 3rd 2004 ......150 years


It is with regret that we announce the death of Drummer John Eagan , 12th Regiment.
John Eagan died from a heart related condition on the 8th September 1860 at Victoria Barracks Paddington
Sydney NSW Australia and was interned in the Roman Catholic burial grounds.
John Eagan was the first military casualty at the Eureka gold fields Ballarat where he was shot in the leg by
a miner as a detachment of the 1st Battalion entered the gold fields on the evening of the 28th November 1854 after a forced march of two days from Melbourne.
From his Death Certificate (NSW 1860 / 002463) and from the references in the Regiment's Pay Rolls and
Musters (PRO3722 WO12/2980 pages 66 and 88), we now know that John was aged 21 years at the time of his death and that he was single. He was born in Athlone Ireland in 1839 and enlisted as a Boy in the Regiment on the 10th February 1852 aged 13. He was a Drummer with the 1st Battalion when it arrived in Melbourne Australia in October and November 1854.
Promoted to Private shortly after the Eureka Rebellion he was re-appointed Drummer in July 1859.
Between 1854 and 1860 John had been on Sick Report on several occasions and had also been confined to cells on a couple of occasions, most notably for the month of August in 1859. John was not sent to the Moari War in July 1860, probably because of his poor health.
John Egan drummer boy of the 12th Regiment has a gravestone in Ballarat's old cemetery . The grave itself is empty, John was never buried in this spot
Ken Larbalestier crossbows2@msn.com.au
Barrie & Margaret Chapman bmchapman@iprimus.com.au

Historians have tried to find his wherabouts ever since. The people of Ballarat even erected a small memorial to him since he was thought to have died in the rebellion. Others have read the Payroll and Musters and discovered that he was in hospital and was shown as being on the Payrolls as late as 1860

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Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia 1997-2003
Last revised: March 17, 2007.