James Baker Royal Marine

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James Baker Royal Marine

Postby RichardMatthews » 03 Apr 2015 14:39

I have discovered that a relative was in the Royal Marines.
In 1851 his marriage certificate stated that his residence was HMS Impregnable in Plymouth UK. 98 guns.
In the 1861 census he was aboard HMS Pelorus ( 21 gun corvette) in Auckland harbour NZ.

Could you let me know how I could find his attestation and register of service papers?
I have looked at the National Archives site (ADM 157 and 159) and they are a nightmare for me.
Many thanks
RichardMatthews
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Re: James Baker Royal Marine

Postby crimea1854 » 04 Apr 2015 09:09

Richard

Like you I've had no luck in finding his papers on the NA website. However, I can tell you he was a member of the Naval Brigade during the Second New Zealand War, for which he was awarded a medal that is known to have survived.

Given the dates he served it is likely that he took part in the Crimean War. I'm afraid without service papers it might be a case of looking at the description books of those ships where a James Baker RM was present. I would certainly do this for HMS Pelorus since it would provide you with a RM Division and Company number that should assist you in an further research.

Martin
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Re: James Baker Royal Marine

Postby RichardMatthews » 06 Apr 2015 10:26

Martin,
Many thanks for the information. It is very much appreciated.
I note with interest that "he was a member of the Naval Brigade during the Second New Zealand War, for which he was awarded a medal that is known to have survived" Could I ask where the medal roll information came from?

All the best,

Richard
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Re: James Baker Royal Marine

Postby crimea1854 » 06 Apr 2015 19:53

Richard

There is a medal roll available on Ancestry, but my information came from Vol.2 of Naval Medals, by Kenneth Douglas-Morris. It was this roll that indicates that his 1860-61 dated NZ medal is known to exist. The medal itself was only awarded to those men under direct fire. The other piece of information contained on this roll is the London Gazette dates and page references for the despatches where the Naval Brigade from HMS Pelorus were present and are mentioned, these are:

16 Nov 1860 - Mahoetahi: L.Gaz 15 Feb 1861 pp 644-7
29 Dec 1860 - Mata-rikoriko (Winking-eyes): L.Gaz 9 April 1861 pp 1490-1
Various small skirmishes including Valley of Waitara : L.Gaz 30 April 1861 p 1848

These can all be viewed on-line for free!

Martin
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Re: James Baker Royal Marine

Postby RichardMatthews » 06 Apr 2015 21:07

Many thanks Martin,

I'm very impressed with your knowledge of naval research.

Richard
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