Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler, KH

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George Gawler, K.H

Death: May 07, 1869 (73)
Immediate Family:

Son of Captain Samuel Gawler and Julia Gawler
Husband of Maria Gawler, of Friar Gate, Derby
Father of Colonel John Cox Gawler; Henry Gawler; Julia Gawler; Edward Cox Gawler and Jane Cox Gawler

Occupation: Governor of South Australia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler, KH

Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler, KH,

Gawler was the only child of Captain Samuel Gawler, captain in the 73rd Regiment of Foot, and his wife Julia, née Russell. Gawler's father was killed in battle in Mysore, India in December 1804. The Gawler family historically came from Devon. George Gawler was educated by a tutor, then at a school in Cold Bath, Islington.[1] Two years were then spent at the Royal Military College, Great Marlow, where he was a diligent and clever student.

In October 1810 Gawler obtained a commission as an ensign in the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot and in January 1812 went to the Peninsular War. He was a member of a storming party at Badajoz, and was wounded and saved from death by a soldier who lost his own life. He was in Spain until 1814, taking part in the advance on Madrid. The regiment returned to England and Gawler, now a lieutenant, fought at the Battle of Waterloo. He remained in France with the army of occupation until 1818, and in 1820 married Maria Cox of Friar Gate, Derby who was the niece of Samuel Richardson. Gawler's new sister-in-law, Mary Ann, married William Leeke, a fellow officer from the 52nd. Gawler and his wife were sincerely religious and when the 52nd was sent to New Brunswick in 1823 they did much social and religious work. Gawler returned to England in 1826 and from 1830 to 1832 was engaged in recruiting. He reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1834 and in 1837 received the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order (KH), third class.

In 1838 Gawler was appointed governor of South Australia in succession to Captain John Hindmarsh, who had been recalled. Gawler and his wife and children arrived on the Pestonjee Bomanjee on 12 October 1838, after a four-month journey via Tenerife and Rio de Janeiro. Gawler found the colony had almost no public finances, underpaid officials and 4000 immigrants living in makeshift accommodation. He was allowed a maximum of £12,000 expenditure a year, with an additional £5,000 credit for emergencies.

In 1845, Gawler wrote a book in which he suggested that Jews be allowed to establish Jewish agricultural settlements in Palestine as compensation for their suffering in Europe and under Turkish rule. In 1849 he toured Palestine with Moses Montefiore.[4] Two years later (in 1852), he established an association for the colonization of Palestine. Gawler died in Southsea and was buried in Portsmouth. One of his grandsons, Douglas Gawler, was a member of parliament in Western Australia.

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GAWLER George, Maria COX, Julia, Hy arrived in SA 1838-10-12 aboard Pestonjee Bomanjee from London

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Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler, KH's Timeline

July 21, 1795
England, United Kingdom
England, United Kingdom
December 22, 1840
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
May 7, 1869
Age 73