Peninsula Essence October 2021

Page 45


“Old Tichingorourke” – A Mt Martha Settler By Ilma Hackett - Balnarring & District Historical Society


he local Bunurong people called him “Old Tichingorourke” after their name for the waterway that ran through the land. He was the first European to settle there – Captain James Reid. Reid, a retired army captain, came to the Port Phillip colony as a ‘military settler’ in 1840, with high hopes. It was a step he later regretted. Early Life and Soldiering Reid was born in Edinburgh in 1795, the oldest of the seven children born to James Reid of the Scottish Exchequer and Ann Baird Reid. Both his parents died when he was young and in 1812, fifteen months after his father’s death, Reid joined the army. He was seventeen. As an ensign of the 45 Regiment of Foot, he served under Wellington and was sent to southern France where he took part in four victorious Peninsular War battles for which he was awarded the Peninsula Medal with clasps. After the defeat of Napoleon’s armies at Waterloo his regiment was sent to the Indian subcontinent. While still young, Reid was appointed an adjutant and was selected by his colonel to be taught sword exercises by the celebrated military swordsman, Angelo. He then taught these exercises to his fellow officers. Between 1824 and 1826 he was in north-eastern India fighting against the Burmese who had been expanding into territories along the northern high borders. For his part in the brutal conflict he received another medal with clasp for the victory at Ava. continued next page... Above Right: Captain James Reid Below: Illustration from Henry Angelo’s fencing manual : The School of Fencing

October 2021

E ssence | 45