Jim, Les W.here.
Rees was my original inspiration for this project, a number of years ago. However, there are a number of errors in and doubts about what was, after all, a very preliminary early list of survivors. Also it's a very Victorian 'Officers and Gentlemen plus their attendant (and unnamed) ‘females and children list’. I wanted to include 'men' and 'women' (as well as 'ladies')
and give some detail about them. The children are the most difficult, most are not given the dignity of a name in any list and it's only by trawling through many sources that I've managed to give some a face.
As an example, looking at the first three entries on the Rees list
Abbott Mrs., and child (child dead)
Aitkin, Lieut. and Quartermaster,13th Native Infantry, and wife
Alexander Clare, 1st Lieut. Artillery (killed).
My data base (sorry I couldn’t transcribe the spread sheet)has the following categories-
Surname First Second Title/ Dates Unit Wounded Dead Other Details N Name Name Rank (B&D)
I know very little about No 1 Mrs ABBOTT (Non Combatant)except that she may have been widow of Sgt. Abbott, killed in the mutiny at Sitapur, though there is conflicting info.
Ditto No. 2, her child, who I have good, though not conclusive, reason to believe was male. No idea of his dates of birth or death, though the latter was during the Siege.
No. 3 on my list is Clr. Sgt. Alexander ATKINSON 32nd Foot (No.2577) who was wounded (date uncertain) and d.o. w. on 22 July. No other details. No Birth date.
No 4 Pte. Robert ADAMSON 32nd Foot (No. 3192) who was wounded on an undetermined date and d.o.w. on 14 November. No other details or Birth date.
Number 5 Lieut. Robert Hope Moncrieff AITKEN. Lieut./Adjt. 13th Bengal Native Infantry. 1828-1887. Not wounded or seriously ill. Other details- V.C., later Col. and C.B. Spouse of Number 6.
Number 6 Mrs Mary Elizabeth AITKEN (neé ANDERSON). Non combatant. Dates ? -1918. Other Details -Attended GCM (Golden Celebration of the Mutiny at the Albert Hall 1907). Spouse of 5. (Their daughter is not included as she was born after the Siege.)
Number 7 Lieut. D. Clare ALEXANDER. BHA (Bengal Horse Artillery). Wounded 16 Sep(?), d.o.w. 28 Sep. Related (cousin?) to Number 8 …..
This is the level of detail I’m trying to obtain. Some, probably e.g. Pte. ADAMSON, are lost to history, but I’d be delighted if a family history buff sent me details like – ‘everyone knows Mrs ABBOTT was called Minnie and that her little boy, Ebenezer Theophilus, was 6 years 2 months old when he died of the croup on 15 August.’ etc.
I ‘know’ that Mr W. E. Fitzgerald’s (and his wife ‘Mrs Fitzgerald’, of course)2-year-old daughter (name unknown) was the last surviving ‘Original Defender’, dying in 1952, but I need to confirm that and find out what she was called.
I usually demand two unrelated sources, or one very authoritative one, before I accept a piece of info. as conclusively proved. E.g. Cpl. William Allen (if I remember rightly) 84th Foot, died of wounds on 21 August 1857, but he was happily resurrected in time to tuck into the goodies at the Golden Celebration Banquet in December 1907. Nice one, Bill!