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HENRY WILLIAM St PIERRE BUNBURY

1812 - 1875

 

 

 

HENRY WILLIAM St PIERRE BUNBURY

Son of Lt. General Sir Henry Bunbury, under-secretary of war and the colonies (1809-1816), Henry William went into military service and was commissioned as an ensign in the 43rd regiment at the age of 18.

 

In 1833 he was promoted to lieutenant and joined the 21st regiment with which he saw duty in New South Wales, Tasmania and finally in 1836 in Western Australia.

 

During his brief time in W.A. he was stationed at York, Pinjarra and Busselton. He led an expedition to the Williams area and established an outpost there.

 

Although his stay in W.A. was very brief, Bunbury managed to impress Governor Stirling who named the town of Bunbury after him when it was first established. Bunbury was not as complimentary about Stirling and once he had left the colony, made a number of verbal attacks on the Governor stating in one that, 'Sir James changing his land so often that the Surveyor General has told me that he did not know at all where it all was.' In another attack Bunbury said of Stirling: 'beware of trusting him, unless the agreement be made in writing and properly witnessed; he has a most unfortunate memory and forgets his promises.... ...and he changes his mind so constantly that not the slightest reliance can be placed on his word unless you get his handwriting and signature to produce in case of dispute.'

 

Henry left W.A. in November 1837 with something of a dark cloud hanging over him. There were accusations that he had been involved in a punitive raid on Aborigines levelled by Dr. Louis Giustiniani that were never tested.

 

Henry went on to serve in South Africa, India and the Crimea, retiring as a colonel in 1862. He died in 1875.

 

The youngest of his 3 sons (William) joined the Royal artillery and served in Australia where he established the School of gunnery at Middle Head in Sydney.

 

 

 

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