The Story of Richard John Loveday

Richard John Loveday 1818 -1883  Richard John Loveday 1818-2

Richard John Loveday junior, trained as a cabinet maker until he was 18, when he attested into the Corps of Royal Sappers & Miners on 31 March 1837. He entered the Woolwich training establishment for 6 months basic training, then was posted to the 13th Survey Company and transferred to Chatham, Kent where he spent five more months receiving intensive instruction in practical surveying. Survey maps for military purposes had become an important priority.

Following this he was transferred to No.16 Company and posted to Ballina on the North West coast of Ireland to work on the Irish Survey. The Ordnance Survey of Great Britain was being concentrated in Ireland, and on 15th March 1838 he moved into the field for the first time.

From the following October, his unit was transferred to another base in the town of Limerick and there it remained for nearly four years.Over the next few years he served at various locations in Ireland until May 1842 when he was transferred back to England. After about 2½ years in England he was again posted to Ireland for a further period of about 12 months.

During this period, Richard now aged 26, met and married a local girl, 22-years-old Bridget Shea, daughter of Thomas and Catherine Shea. They married in St Mary’s Catholic Church, Limerick. Bridget Loveday became an Army wife and Richard was allocated married quarters at the Company’s base station. Their first child, Anne, was born on 13th January 1842, and christened at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Limerick in the following December, the same church that her parents were married in.

Richard’s Company was relocated to York in June 1842, and from this base Richard worked in parties that surveyed in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. It was during 1844 in Yorkshire, that their first son was born, who would be christened Richard John at St Mary’s Limerick in the April of 1845.

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Right to left – Colour Sergeant undress uniform, Colour Sergeant in full marching order, Private in undress uniform. names unknown

The following year Richard was once again transferred to Limerick where their third child was born, Thomas in 1846. All three children were now christened in the Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Limerick. Although not a firm religious man, Richard had been bought up in the Church of England tradition and his marriage would have caused his parents in London some concern.

Although Richard’s unit had now shifted its base to Southampton, he worked in a detachment at several locations across the north of Ireland through 1845 and 1846.

Early in 1847, Richard found that inducements were being offered to men of 10 years service to serve in an overseas detachment. He volunteered, and was accepted to fill one of seven vacancies created by the compulsory retirement of veterans from the unit that was working in the new colony of South Australia.

He was formally transferred to the Royal Sappers and Miners South Australian Detachment on 23rd February 1847, and was appointed acting Lance Corporal in charge of the other six replacements who were chosen to sail. From this time onwards he was to be classified as a Surveyor instead of a Carpenter!

Lance Corporal Richard John Loveday, Bridget and the three children, Ann, Richard John and Thomas sailed in the “Royal George” in late February. The ship left from London, called at Portsmouth, and reached Port Adelaide on 26th June after a voyage of exactly four months.

The ship was a reconditioned Naval sloop, renamed “Royal George” affording reasonable accommodation and facilities for that period of time. The S.A. Archives have records of reference to the ship having arrived in Adelaide on June 26th 1847. Also a microfilm copy of the passenger list that disembarked.

A further record indicates the “Royal George” transporting supplies and materials from Port Adelaide to Sydney in September 6th 1848. These appear to be the only references available. The ship would have returned to England in the latter part of 1848 and did not return to Australia again.

Richard, now Lance Corporal was in charge of 6 other members of the Royal Sappers & Miners and they travelled to Australia on the “Royal George”, arriving at Port Adelaide on 26th June 1847
Corporal Croker with wife and 6 children
Sapper Brooker with wife and 3 children
Sapper College with wife
Sapper Dawson with wife and 3 children
Sapper Partridge with wife
Sapper Young with wife

Adelaide-HindleySt1844

O’Connell Street, North Adelaide 1845

It was not until 30th June 1847 that the young family set foot on land and moved into married quarters allocated in one of the earliest buildings on the former “Native Location” by the banks of the River Torrens near Adelaide’s Government House.

 

 

 

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Adelaide, 1842

Shortly after arrival the Loveday family were moved into the married men’s quarters of the Royal Sappers & Miners Corp barracks at Reedbeds, later to be known as Findon. It was here that in 1848 James was born, but sadly he did not survive babyhood and died 1 year later.

Brighter times were to come and in May of 1850 Bridget was delivered of another little girl, Mary Elizabeth. Both of these children were baptised at Holy Trinity Church on North Terrace.
At this time Richard was away for long periods of time on Survey trips to various parts of South Australia.

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Surveyors’ camp at Tailem Bend, South Australia

 

 

 

Acknowledgements to the State Library of South Australia for the use of the above photos.

 

 

 

 

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More next Post. I have been researching the details of my maternal Grt Grandmother, Clara Amelia Kluge (nee Schmidt).

The facts that have come to light are fascinating and I will be preparing them into a similar story as the above.

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