Volunteers rushed to sign up for the adventurous posting, and Private John Easty was one of 213 marines selected for a term of three years’ service in the colony. His written account gives a rare glimpse of the long voyage and life in Sydney Cove through the eyes of an ordinary soldier.
Despite the fact that he was stationed to maintain discipline, Easty was a known rule breaker. He was detained for one week after being found intoxicated on duty during the voyage to Sydney, and in March 1788 he was ‘Confined by Serjt Hume for bringing a feameale Convict into Camp’ and received 150 lashes. While some marines chose to settle in the growing colony after the replacement NSW Corps arrived in 1791, Easty returned to England, to his ‘unspeakable joy’.
Source: John Easty – Journal, 1786–1793, State Library of NSW.