What is the Muster Roll?
The Muster Roll of the Northumberland Volunteer Rifle Corps lists all who enlisted between 1860 and 1868.
The original muster roll consists of ten pages of parchment, each sheet being 45 x 60cm.
Its survival from 1860 is reflected in the current condition of the roll – water stains, grime, variations in ink, handwriting that is illegible. The back of some pages were used when space on the front of the page was full.
As a working document, the roll has the original signatures of the volunteers as well as annotations with lines drawn through as members resigned.
Who were the Northumberland Volunteer Rifle Corps
The Northumberland Volunteer Rifle Corps (later known as the West Maitland Volunteer Rifle Corps) was one of a number formed throughout New South Wales in 1860, following a proclamation by Governor Denison calling for volunteers to serve with companies of infantry, cavalry and artillery.
The swearing in ceremony took place on 24 October 1860 at the Northumberland Hotel which stands close to where the Maitland Court House is today.
Volunteers agreed to attend weekly drills and training sessions. They were also expected to shoot regularly and be present at quarterly inspections.
Volunteers received no pay unless they were called up for full time duty but they were issued with a light grey uniform, leather shoulder and waist belts and a muzzle loading Enfield musket. Membership of the West Maitland Corp was denoted by green collar and cuffs. The cap was similar in design to that worn by the British and French troops of the period.