Daniel Deasy

Sapper Daniel Deasy and his wife sailed to British Columbia on board the last ship which brought the Columbia Detachment to the Colony - Euphrates.

This fourth group of RE, under the command of Serjeant Rylatt, sailed with 4 men, 6 women and 4 children.  It left London Docks the 3rd of January, 1859.  The Euphrates then sailed around Cape Horn with stores and arrived at Esquimalt harbour the 27th June, 1859.

According to the Consolidated Pay List for the Quarter ending the 30th June, 1861, 1677 Deasy, Daniel, received his ordinary pay from the 1st of May, 1861.  He also received an extra 1 shilling a 3 pence for good conduct.

As a Sapper Deasy's Regimental Pay per Diem would have been 1s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem of 1s. to 4s.

In the same Pay List under "Soldiers' Remittances for Families", Deasy posted 5 Pounds Sterling to Timothy Deasy, No. 8 Dock St. near Leman St., Whitechapel, London.

The British Columbian
6 August, 1862 


Sir – I beg to inform you that the sheep “Jimmy”, belonging to the Royal Engineers at this station was shorn on Saturday last. The weight of wool was twenty pounds exactly.

D. Deasy, R.E.

Upon the Disbandment of the Columbia Detachment in November 1863, Deasy decided to remain in the Colony.

During the exceedingly hot and dry month of May, 1864, disaster struck Deasy.

Saturday 28 May 1864 - The British Columbian

Fire at the Camp - Shortly after noon on Wednesday a fire broke out in the Theatre, or in a building adjoining it, which, does not very clearly appear.  So rapid was the progress of the flames that Mr. Deasy, who resided in the building adjacent to the Theatre, with considerable difficulty succeeded in saving his wife and children.  The dress worn by the former was on fire when she was taken out.  Every article of household property including a considerable amount of paper money, was destroyed, so that poor Deasy is turned out on the street to begin the world again, with a large family on his hands.

From the Theatre the valuable library alone was saved, a circumstance mainly attributable to the praiseworthy efforts of several Government clerks, ably assisted by Mr. Deasy, who pitched in like a Trojan when he found that all his own property was gone.

Although the Fire Company did not arrive till the buildings were far gone yet the quickness of their movements was none the less creditable to them.  Precisely 10 minutes from the time the first peel of the bell was heard a stream of water from the "Fire King" was playing upon the flames!  When it is remembered that the engine had to be drawn about a mile, and much of the way up a steep grade, this was wonderfully quick.

Of course the Hyacks were much indebted to volunteer aid for this result, a large number of Indians having rendered good service upon the ropes.  There was one case which the captain and lieutenant of the company have called to our attention to as deserving special notice.  Mr. Wm. Woodman, a gentleman who has very nearly completed his "three score years and 10" was one of the first on the ground and never ceased to work at the breaks for one hour and a half, although during that time many a young man gave out.

His Excellency Governor Seymour and Captain Holmes RA, were upon the ground, the former actively directing operations up to the time the Fire Company arrived and the latter, with the most praiseworthy energy and bravery, working amidst the smoke and fire.

We understand His Excellency complimented Captain Scott upon the efficiency of his company, and expressed his surprise at the alacrity with which they reached the scene of the conflagration.

According to Woodward, Deasy received Crown Grant, 13 May, 1868, Lot 3, Group 3, New Westminster District, 150-acre military grant, given to St. Mary's Mission.

Woodward also remarks that Deasy went on to work as a Government messenger in New Westminster and Victoria. At a later date he became a caretaker of the government buildings at Victoria.

Deasy had 3 sons and 2 daughters, one of whom, Thomas Deasy (1857- 1935), had a varied career, including Indian agent at Masset.