In support of the Commandants: subaltern officers of the Moreton Bay settlement, 1824 – 1850
Rod Pratt, Harry Gentle Visiting Fellow 2021

About the project

(Left in frame: Albert pattern shako belonging to an officer of the 99th Regiment of the type worn in Brisbane. The coatee (right in frame) is a Royal Marine Light Infantry jacket and was of the type worn by the Marine officer commanding the detachment upon Governor George Bowen’s arrival at Brisbane in 1859 and by the Marine detachment worn at the Somerset Cape York pilot station in 1864. Courtesy Rod Pratt and Michael Murrie-Jones)

Whenever we think of the British military officers at the penal station of Moreton Bay, we invariably think of the commandants like Millar, Logan, Clunie, Cotton, Fyans and Gorman. Yet for every commandant who served at Moreton Bay, there was on average another two or three staff officers who were equally hard-working yet, for the most part, remain entirely  unknown. Would we have heard of Lieutenant Charles Otter if not for the rescue of shipwrecked Eliza Fraser? Would Lieutenant George Edwards of the 57th Regiment be known but for being the first to report of Patrick Logan’s spectacular murder in October 1830?


This project explores those subalterns whose roles at Moreton Bay have been mostly eclipsed by their better known commanding officers.

About the author

Image courtesy of Rod Pratt

Rod’s life-long fascination with Queensland history has led him to author and co-author almost fifty journal articles, books and book chapters, dealing with the roles of the military in Queensland. The topic of these publications range from the British red-coats posted to early Moreton Bay from 1824, the rise of Volunteer Forces in the 1860s, the Colony’s early school cadet movement, through to the service of Queensland Aborigines in the First A.I.F. As a Visiting Fellow with the Harry Gentle Resource Centre, Rod’s research on the British Army at Moreton Bay, 1824 to 1850 has contributed greatly to the development of the centre’s  biographical and historical database.