Enlistment age information please

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Enlistment age information please

Postby Andre Chissel » 06 May 2017 00:15

Dear all,

I am currently researching Walter Dent who enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry on the 22nd February 1893.

Interestingly, it seems that he lied about his age. Census returns of 1881 and 1891 have his age as 5 and 15 respectively. His baptism was in December 1875.

I presume the census records are correct and yet he gives his DOB on enlistment as 22 July 1873. In other words he was 19 instead of 17 on enlistment.

Why would he do this given that it appears that the recruitment age for the Royal Marine Light Infantry was 17 at the time ? The country is not at war like in 1914 after all. So was there a pay advantage or some other advantage to lying about your age back then ? - Overseas service restriction until 19 perhaps ??

Thanks

Andre
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Re: Enlistment age information please

Postby Andre Chissel » 06 May 2017 00:19

A couple of other questions !

What is a Register number ? Is it his Army number ? If so, why does it not appear on the rim of his medal ? Only the ship name, his name and rank appear.

Thanks !

Andre
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Re: Enlistment age information please

Postby Frogsmile » 06 May 2017 18:01

Andre Chissel wrote:Dear all,

I am currently researching Walter Dent who enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry on the 22nd February 1893.

Interestingly, it seems that he lied about his age. Census returns of 1881 and 1891 have his age as 5 and 15 respectively. His baptism was in December 1875.

I presume the census records are correct and yet he gives his DOB on enlistment as 22 July 1873. In other words he was 19 instead of 17 on enlistment.

Why would he do this given that it appears that the recruitment age for the Royal Marine Light Infantry was 17 at the time ? The country is not at war like in 1914 after all. So was there a pay advantage or some other advantage to lying about your age back then ? - Overseas service restriction until 19 perhaps ??

Thanks

Andre


He would not receive 'adult' pay until 18 (before that was 'boy' and then 'young soldier/marine', if I recall correctly) and could not usually serve overseas until 19, so I imagine that claiming to be that age served his purposes.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 09 May 2017 16:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Enlistment age information please

Postby Frogsmile » 06 May 2017 18:07

Andre Chissel wrote:A couple of other questions !

What is a Register number ? Is it his Army number ? If so, why does it not appear on the rim of his medal ? Only the ship name, his name and rank appear.

Thanks !

Andre


Marines were divided into three 'Divisions', Portsmouth, Chatham and Devonport and they were issued service numbers within those divisions. If serving on board a ship then his medal (earned during that commission) would be marked (stamped or engraved) just the same as a naval ratings, with ships name, individual's name and initials and rate/rank.
The Register Number relates to his complete SERVICE RECORD and was introduced in 1885. See post number 3, for a full explanation here: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forum ... ntsonline/
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Re: Enlistment age information please

Postby Andre Chissel » 09 May 2017 12:59

Many thanks Frogsmile.

From his service record he also put down his NOK as a non immediate family member so there may have been trouble at home as well.

Andre
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