Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Findings?

Please post all research regarding individual Victorian soldiers and sailors here, including requests for information!

Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby Hopeless Hero » 13 Jun 2010 15:36

Hi Mark,
Sadly not, nor do we have any of the medals of his four sons. My Grandfather kept what memorabilia there was. He lived in a bedsit in Cathcart, Glasgow until his death in 1973. He suffered a long illness and during his absence, his home was 'cleared' by the Council, with many of the neighbours 'taking'' things that they claimed had been promised them by my Grandfather.
I do remember, as a young boy, sitting with him and listening to his stories as well as looking at old family photographs of Pipers and Servicemen. He too, played the pipes but failed to enlist because of health problems. He was tremendously proud of his heritage. Nothing remains except what appears to be a Military badge. Currently in the safekeeping of my uncle it is a very heavy, well worn silver brooch - possibly a plaid brooch - showing St Andrew with cross behind and a sphinx below. I'll have to give him a call and get more detail.
The other BAINs I will be researching are John Bain 4720, William Bain 57B/2370 and 3882, James and Alexander Bain who were both Pipers during the 1890's. Again, we have nothing and I am desperate for photographs of these five pipers. I can find photographs of the Piper Muir on the internet but nothing so far for Donald or his sons.

regards

Colin
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby Mark » 14 Jun 2010 08:36

Hi Colin

Sorry to hear the medals no longer reside in the family - this is sadly very common with many family members not knowing whatever happened to them.

However, it is always worth keeping an eye open for family medals on the market - i.e. medal dealers lists, eBay and other auctions. Not long ago I reunited a group of First World War medals to a family member who had thought them long gone. Needless to say she was over the moon to get them back in the family.

Surprisingly I also picked up (thanks to a sharp-eyed friend) an Indian Mutiny Medal to an ancestor of mine from a dealer over in Ireland. His medal now features in my showcase and above in this thread - Benjamin Simner.

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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby Hopeless Hero » 15 Jun 2010 18:09

Mark,
I've never really considered looking for his medals in the dealerships. My greatest fear would be to find them and not be able to afford them but you've sparked my interest and I'll do what I can. Hopefully, I'll be as lucky as your good self.

Anyhoo, back to stuff :D Here's what I've gleaned about Donald Bain's most prestigious son William.

A native of Logie, Perthshire. Married at Milton church, Glasgow, 15th November 1867. Enlisted in the 42nd Royal Highlanders at Dundee in 1880 and appointed Piper 19th July 1881. Served with the 1st Battalion The Black Watch during the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, including the battle of Tel-El-Kebir.
Also served in the Soudan during 1884-1885, including the actions of El-Teb and Tamaai and in operations around the Upper Nile in 1885. Appointed Pipe-Major, 1st Battalion 6th May 1886. Foreign Service included Malta, Gibralter, South Africa and India with stations at Cape Town, Mauritius, Sitapur and Umbayla. Discharged by purchase on Malta, 11th September 1888. Re-enlisted, 16th May 1889.
Re-engaged in May 1889 to complete 21 years. Awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1900. Transfered to Permanent Staff, 5th Volunteer Battalion. Appointed Colour-Sergeant Instructor in 1901. Went out to South Africa wtih the 3rd Volunteer Service Company in 1902. Served in Cape Colony and Orange Free State. Served as Company Sergeant-Major with the 6th Battalion at Bridge of Allan during the Great War.
He composed 'The Black Watch March to Tamaai' and 'The 42nd's Farewell to Gibralter' and sat as Piping Judge at Strathallan competitions. The Pipe tune 'Pipe-Major Willie Bain of the 42nd' was written in his honour by Angus McLeod. Died at Dundee 19th March 1923.

Medal Entitlement

Egyptian War Medal ( 1882-1889 ) with clasps

Tel-El-Kebir
Suakin, 1884
El-Teb-Tamaai
The Nile 1884-1885
Kirkbekan

Queens South Africa Medal ( 1899-1902 ) with clasps

Cape Colony
Orange Free State
South Africa 1902

( Colour-Sergeant 3882 on the 2nd Battalion Supplementary Roll )

Long Service and Good Conduct Medal ( Date of recommendation 1st January 1900 )

Khedive's Bronze Star*

* Most of the battles in the final years of British influence in Egypt were rewarded with issues of the Egyptian Medal, but the Egyptian Khedive Tewfik Pasha showed his gratitude for British help with issues of his own bronze star for the campaigns in his kingdom.
One of these, the siege and capture of the Mahdist stronghold of Tokar in the Sudan, was unusual in that no British award was made for it, although the Khedive's Star could be worn in uniform. Tokar had since 1883 been the seat of the Beja leader Usman Dinga, and the 1891 campaign resulted in his briefly being captured.
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby C-1-8 » 09 Sep 2010 04:24

Good morning Colin,

Have you completed your research of Donald Bain? I don't have any further photographs to offer, but if you are still searching for further details especially of his funeral and burial; .. coffin carried from his home by four Colour-Sergeants, etc.
And .... placed on gun carriage, etc., I can still add to it. For many of the pipers in the book, I had further details, but because of limited space for each entry, I had to be very selective what I included. Let me know if I can help further.

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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby whitehound » 28 Oct 2010 11:51

I'm writing up a family history, which involves sorting out the army records of those of my relatives for whom I have them, and producing organised chronologies which show the events of their army life in order, so other people researching men in the same units can look at the list and say "Such and such a unit was in such and such a place on this date". The information involved is much too long and complex to paste it in here but the links are as follows:

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant George Shirran of Greeness, 1st Battalion The Black Watch 1883-1905, 8th (Service) Battalion The Black Watch and various Labour Battalions 1914-1919: http://members.madasafish.com/~cj_whitehound/family/George_Shirran-chronology.htm

Private Alexander Cowie Shirran of Greeness, Royal Artillery 1888, 1st Battalion The Black Watch 1888-1900: http://members.madasafish.com/~cj_whitehound/family/Alexander_Cowie_Shirran-chronology.htm

Colour Sergeant William Franklin of Helmdon, 31st Regiment of Foot and various rifle units 1863-1884: http://members.madasafish.com/~cj_whitehound/family/William_Franklin-chronology.htm

Each chronology links to a more chatty, "literary" illustrated account of the man's life but the one for William Franklin is still very much a work in progress and his story is still all mixed up with his daughter's. This should be sorted out in the next few days.

Others will be added if and when I find their records. At least one other brother of George and Alexander Cowie Shirran was in the army, possibly two or three, but e.g. all I know for sure about William Shirran's army career is that he was a Chelsea Pensioner by age twenty-five.
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby Will Mathieson » 29 Oct 2010 19:38

Lieut. Thomas Leigh Hare, his sword and a good write up below.
Image
Image
His military career etc can be traced through the pages of the London Gazette.

“Thomas Leigh Hare”
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... st/start=1
“T L Hare”
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... st/start=1
“Thomas L Hare”
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... st/start=1

Movements of various regiments of the British Army can be traced via regiments.org now existing only at the Internet Archive. http://web.archive.org/web/200706290430 ... /index.htm

The Bury and Norwich Post, and Suffolk Standard, Tuesday, May 19, 1891, has a biography as at the time he was entering politics.

MR. THOMAS LEIGH HARE, the now accepted Conservative candidate for South-West Norfolk, the seat which Mr. W. A. Tyssen-Amherst, M. P., will vacate at the General Election, is an ex-military man. Born in 1859, he joined the Prince of Wales's Own Norfolk Artillery Militia at the age of nineteen, and was sent out to serve in the Zulu war the following year. Transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Scots Guards in 1881, he was despatched to Ireland in the winter of that year, the mission of his regiment and the Coldstream Guards being to preserve order at Dublin. A year later Mr. Hare went with the Scots Guards to Egypt, and was in the thick of the fight at Tel-el-Kebir, and three years later, at Suakin. At the end of the campaign he left the service, and settled down in Norfolk to the life of a country gentleman. Mr. Hare last year served his county in the office of high sheriff, and is now both a magistrate and a deputy lieutenant.

“Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage” 1914, Page 954, has details of medals etc. (viewable in full only in US it seems – there may be minor errors in text) http://books.google.com.au/books?id=Pf8 ... CC0Q6AEwAA

Sir Thomas Leigh Hare, 1st Bart., M.V.O., of Stow Hall, Stow Bardolph, Norfolk, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff 1889, lord of the manor of His military career etc can be traced through the pages of the London Gazette.

“Thomas Leigh Hare”
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... st/start=1
“T L Hare”
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... st/start=1
“Thomas L Hare”
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... st/start=1

Movements of various regiments of the British Army can be traced via regiments.org now existing only at the Internet Archive. http://web.archive.org/web/200706290430 ... /index.htm

The Bury and Norwich Post, and Suffolk Standard, Tuesday, May 19, 1891, has a biography as at the time he was entering politics.

MR. THOMAS LEIGH HARE, the now accepted Conservative candidate for South-West Norfolk, the seat which Mr. W. A. Tyssen-Amherst, M. P., will vacate at the General Election, is an ex-military man. Born in 1859, he joined the Prince of Wales's Own Norfolk Artillery Militia at the age of nineteen, and was sent out to serve in the Zulu war the following year. Transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Scots Guards in 1881, he was despatched to Ireland in the winter of that year, the mission of his regiment and the Coldstream Guards being to preserve order at Dublin. A year later Mr. Hare went with the Scots Guards to Egypt, and was in the thick of the fight at Tel-el-Kebir, and three years later, at Suakin. At the end of the campaign he left the service, and settled down in Norfolk to the life of a country gentleman. Mr. Hare last year served his county in the office of high sheriff, and is now both a magistrate and a deputy lieutenant.

“Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage” 1914, Page 954, has details of medals etc. (viewable in full only in US it seems – there may be minor errors in text) http://books.google.com.au/books?id=Pf8 ... CC0Q6AEwAA

Sir Thomas Leigh Hare, 1st Bart., M.V.O., of Stow Hall, Stow Bardolph, Norfolk, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff 1889, lord of the manor of Stow Bardolph, M.P. for S.W. Norfolk 1892-1906, Major and Hon. Lieut.-Col. (General Reserve of Officers) late P.W.O. Norfolk R.F.A., formerly Lieut. 24th Regt. and Scots Guards, served in Zulu War 1879 (medal with clasp), with Egyptian Exped. 1882 (medal with clasp and bronze star), with Suakim Exped. 1885 (clasp), and in S. African War 1901 (medal with two clasps), b. 4 April, 1859; m. 24 July, 1886, • Lady Ida Cathcart, dau. of the late Alan Frederick, 3rd Earl Cathcart, and has issue,
• Dorothy Ida Leigh, b. 6 Oct. 1887; m. 6 Jan. 1909, Charles Wilbraham John Howard, late lieut. R.N., son of Capt. J. H. Howard, R.N., and has issue (see • Carlisle, B.)
Sir Thomas Leigh Hare was created a baronet 21 Dec. 1905.
Creation—21 Dec. 1905.
Arms—Gu. two bars or. a chief indented of the second, a bordure wary also or. Crest— A demi lion arg. ducallr gorged or, debruised by a bendlet sinister wavy gu.
Seat—Stow Hall, near Downham Market, Norfolk.

Stow Bardolph, M.P. for S.W. Norfolk 1892-1906, Major and Hon. Lieut.-Col. (General Reserve of Officers) late P.W.O. Norfolk R.F.A., formerly Lieut. 24th Regt. and Scots Guards, served in Zulu War 1879 (medal with clasp), with Egyptian Exped. 1882 (medal with clasp and bronze star), with Suakim Exped. 1885 (clasp), and in S. African War 1901 (medal with two clasps), b. 4 April, 1859; m. 24 July, 1886, • Lady Ida Cathcart, dau. of the late Alan Frederick, 3rd Earl Cathcart, and has issue,
• Dorothy Ida Leigh, b. 6 Oct. 1887; m. 6 Jan. 1909, Charles Wilbraham John Howard, late lieut. R.N., son of Capt. J. H. Howard, R.N., and has issue (see • Carlisle, B.)
Sir Thomas Leigh Hare was created a baronet 21 Dec. 1905.
Creation—21 Dec. 1905.
Arms—Gu. two bars or. a chief indented of the second, a bordure wary also or. Crest— A demi lion arg. ducallr gorged or, debruised by a bendlet sinister wavy gu.
Seat—Stow Hall, near Downham Market, Norfolk.
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby narrowboater » 03 Oct 2013 19:06

hello all,
i just registered today, i have been collecting firearms for the past six years and about two years ago i bought my first 1821/1845 light cavalry sword since then i have been hooked as they say. My as purchase has however become a bit frustrating insomuch as i keep coming up with negative results, i have often looked at your website wondering and have been surprised at some of the answers being quite technical, so i am hoping somebody very knowledgeable can help me
it is a pattern 1827 West Middlesex Rifles sword the blade is the 1845 pattern and i know that the in 1881 the West Middlesex became the Middlesex Regiment or so i have read, The blade is very nicely etched with that inscription also it has the officers initials only of C D below his family crest of a standing Lion (non rampant ) its head is facing backwards quite a common crest i have read i have tried one of the army websites but they cannot help as i do not have a name so its closed doors all the way with this one. sorry this message is so long but as i said i only registered today and i wasn't too sure
best regards to any one who can help and advise
David (narrowboat Louisa)
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby MikeS » 03 Oct 2013 21:33

narrowboater wrote:hello all,
i just registered today, i have been collecting firearms for the past six years and about two years ago i bought my first 1821/1845 light cavalry sword since then i have been hooked as they say. My as purchase has however become a bit frustrating insomuch as i keep coming up with negative results, i have often looked at your website wondering and have been surprised at some of the answers being quite technical, so i am hoping somebody very knowledgeable can help me
it is a pattern 1827 West Middlesex Rifles sword the blade is the 1845 pattern and i know that the in 1881 the West Middlesex became the Middlesex Regiment or so i have read, The blade is very nicely etched with that inscription also it has the officers initials only of C D below his family crest of a standing Lion (non rampant ) its head is facing backwards quite a common crest i have read i have tried one of the army websites but they cannot help as i do not have a name so its closed doors all the way with this one. sorry this message is so long but as i said i only registered today and i wasn't too sure
best regards to any one who can help and advise
David (narrowboat Louisa)


David,
It sounds like you have a Volunteer Rifles sword so that officer won't be listed in the regular army lists. From the information I have the 9th Middlesex (West Middlesex )Rifle Volunteer Corps was raised in 1859, in 1881 was a volunteer battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, 1883 were 3rd volunteer battalion KRRC (60th Kings Royal Rifle Corps), 1892 4th V.B. of KRRC, 1899 absorbed into 9th VRC. In 1908 the were the 9th battalion The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). If you have a short list of surnames associated with that crest you could search through the London Gazette as sometimes officers promotions are listed for volunteer regiments.
Cheers,
Mike
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby narrowboater » 04 Oct 2013 10:21

hello Mike,
thank you for the reply, when i bought this one i imagined every thing would be straight forward and i never even associated it with a volunteers unit, that's put me back to square one, one thing though there is no reference on the blade to it being a volunteer unit as on the volunteer artillery blades i have seen, if only they realised in those days what kind of complications and head aches they would cause, i can supply photos if you wanted to peruse them, i do however have another pattern 1827 60th rifles sword now this one is quite different from the normal design would i be better off starting off another topic with this one, question if i do need to post photos what system do i use,
once again thank you very much for your help
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby crimea1854 » 04 Oct 2013 12:07

Some years ago I added a Crimea Medal that had been awarded to Wm Carne, HMS Albion to my collection, below is the write-up which now accompanies his medal. I have posted this to try and redress the balance between Army and Navy, and add information about a sailor!

William Carne, Captain of the Main Top
HMS Albion


Previous service HMS Seringapatam and HMS America (Ships No 240) Ord. 19th March 1844 to 20th October 1847. However, I have only recently discovered that prior to serving on both the above ships he was a Boy 1st Class on HMS Apollo during the First Opium War, being awarded the China 1842 Medal.

It was while on HMS America in 1847 that he received his seaman’s ticket (322,354). This gives his date and place of birth as 15th January 1826, Devonport, Devon; it also provides a physical description, 5’ 4’’ tall, auburn hair, fair complexion, eyes blue, with a crucifix on the right arm and the coat of arms on the left. It also notes that he can write, and that he first went to sea as a boy in 1840.

Carne joined the crew of HMS Investigator as an Able Seaman on 31st April 1848. This ship was a 400 ton, bark-rigged vessel, which together with HMS Enterprise (450 tons) had been purchased and fitted out at Blackwall, for the purpose of making a rescue attempt on the ill fated Sir John Franklin Arctic expedition. Both ships were provisioned with three years supply of food, with an additional one year’s worth of supplies for Franklin.

The two ships were under the command of Sir James Clark Ross, nephew of Sir John Ross, both experienced Arctic explorers. Sir James selected Captain Edward J Bird, who had been his first officer on the Erebus in the Antarctic, as his second in command to captain HMS Investigator.

Ross sailed on the 12th May 1848, making an uneventful crossing of the Atlantic and working his way up the coast of Greenland arriving at the Whalefish Islands on 22nd June. After pausing to make a survey of these islands he continued to Sanderson’s Hope, where he learned from the whalers of the very severe ice conditions being experienced due to a particularly hard winter and late spring. He made slow progress in his crossing of Baffin Bay, not reaching the entrance to Lancaster Sound until 26th August.

After making an initial attempt to penetrate the ice he found it impossible to proceed and withdrew to Port Leopold at the northeast corner of North Somerset on 11th September. No sooner was he in Leopold Harbour than the ice closed in and left him no choice but to remain there for the winter.

During the long winter, foxes were trapped and fitted with copper collars containing messages for Franklin on the location of the ships and the caches of provisions, and then turned loose. In late April and early May a number of sledging trips were made. Unlike other Arctic voyages made by Ross he was unsuccessful in keeping the crew healthy. The provisions were of poor quality resulting in scurvy and other illnesses that kept men on the sick list by the dozen, with several dying.

The winter was again another particularly severe one. The Enterprise and Investigator were not released from the ice until 29th August 1849. Once released Ross continued to look for Franklin. During his search, while moving on out into Barrow Straits the ships again became locked in pack ice moving east, which carried them through Lancaster Sound and out into Baffin Bay for over 250 miles in about three weeks. They were released into iceberg-strewn water by 25th September. Ross then decided to return home, arriving off Scarborough on 4th November 1849. The ships then proceed to Woolwich where they were paid off on the 26th.

Carne’s service history, as contained in HMS Albion’s Description Book, confirms that when he was paid off from Investigator, Captain Bird describing his conduct as VVG (very, very good).

Despite the hardships of the arctic voyage, the next day Carne signed on aboard HMS Illustrious as an Able Seaman (Ships No. 450), where he served until 30th August 1850. On the 31st August he reenlisted as an AB on HMS Britannia (Ships No. 190) until paid off on 10th December 1851.

His next enlistment on 11th December 1851 was onboard HMS Albion as an AB where he was subsequently to be advanced in rate to Captain of Main Top (ships No. 496). It was onboard Albion that he was to see action during the Crimea War. It was during the bombardment of the Russian forts, and in Albion’s case particularly ‘Fort Wasp’ a small square fort that mounted 12 guns, on the 17th October 1854, that Carne was to be severely wounded, having been shot through the left thigh (casualty list published in Northern Times Nov.7th 1854). According to Albion’s sick roll (ADM101/83/2) he was signed off, unfit for duty, for 44 days as a result of this wound.

Carne then went ashore as part of the Naval Brigade, manning the guns in the batteries and trenches before Sebastopol. On the 8th September 1855, one day prior to the Russian withdrawal from Sebastopol, he was killed. Albion’s Muster book just states ‘killed in the batteries before Sebastopol’. I have been unable to establish anything further around his death.

While checking the Seaman’s Effects papers in the National Archive (ADM 44/C33 – No.8168) there was attached to the standard Royal Navy’s printed Will Form, a marriage certificate dated 15th July 1856 for a Maria Carne (nee Collins- father John Collins, Brewer), widow, to Edwin Searley Long, bachelor, in St Martins in the Fields, together with a Death Certificate for Rachael Carne, 71, on (?) October 1866, 11 St Stephens Street, Clowance, Devon – Jane Carne 16 James Street, Devonport, present at death.
I can only assume that Rachael Carne was William Carne’s mother, and that according to the death certificate Rachael Carne was the widow of William Carne, carpenter and joiner.

However, the will form does state that William Haviland Carne married Maria Collins on 31st January 1848 at St Andrews Church, Plymouth, Devon. Given the almost continuous nature of William Carne’s naval service following his marriage, it looks unlikely that he and Maria spent more than a couple of months together prior to her being widowed.

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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby shooter » 16 Apr 2014 14:20

....I have quite a large US cival war through WW2 collection ............ One of the medals in my collection is quite interesting....... I figured this would be a good site to figure it out......Its an Egypt campaign medal. It has 2 bars on it. Abu Klea and Nile 1884 1885..... Medal in near perfect condition..... around the rim is the following . 5087 P. J.. Donaldson..... Scots...... G. .........There is a couple small initals on rim proably hallmarks....... It is a very high quality medal........ Very nice workmanship..... The silver has a aged patena ...... I was told by the family yrs ago their great grandfather was in british army but lived in Canada.... I don't know if this was before or after his service........ Any info on this medal???????? CARL
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby crimea1854 » 16 Apr 2014 14:54

Shooter

There is a Private 5087 James Donaldson, Scots Guards on the medal roll with the clasps you describe, but according to the roll he was killed at Abu Klea Wells on 17/1/85. To find out more I would suggest you post a request for information on the Egypt/Sudan thread. This particular medal with the Abu Klea clasp is sought after by collectors, and one to a casualty would attract a high premium.

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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby Mark » 17 Apr 2014 09:44

Also any chance of a photo of the medal and the naming?

Mark
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby crimea1854 » 19 Apr 2014 15:47

Mark

While we wait for a photo from Shooter, a pair from my own collection 4904 Private J Mullaly 1/Scots Gds. The Khedives Star is stamped S.Gds 4904 on the reverse. James Mullaly, born Celbridge, Kildare, enlisted when 23 on 29 August 1879 and served until 21 August 1891. His service record notes that he took part in the actions at Abu Klea, (El) Gubat and Metammah.

Martin
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby siegebatteries » 20 Aug 2014 15:12

Sergeant Edward Holman (1830-1882)
35th Company, Royal Engineers. Served 11 years 21 days (plus 7 years 41 days while under age)
Wounded 21 November 1857 during Relief of Lucknow, resulting in the loss of right arm. Invalided out 1 March 1859.
Appointed Bandmaster and Drill Instructor, Philanthrophic Society’s Reformatory Farm School, Redhill, a position he held for nearly 23 years, until his death in January 1882.
One time also Bandmaster of 4th Surrey Rifle Volunteers

Edward Holman was born in Portsea, Hampshire, on 9 February 1830, the son of Richard and Mary Holman, and was baptised at St Mary, Portsea, on 14 March.
When Edward married in 1854, his father was described as “Private Sappers & Miners”.
Edward enlisted in the Army on 23 December 1840 as a Bugler in the Royal Engineers and was stationed in Woolwich at the time of the 1841 census. He was underaged, in terms of assessing his military service, until 9 February 1848 after which date he continued to serve as a Bugler until 1 July when he was posted Sapper, the substantive rank he held for over five years until he was promoted 2nd Corporal on 1 December 1853. However, by the time of the 1851 census he had been appointed lance corporal, still based at Woolwich.
He was promoted further – Corporal on 1 April 1855 and Sergeant on 1 February 1857.
While still in Woolwich, and then a 2nd Corporal, he married Harriott Storey at St Mary Magdalene, on 25 September 1854.
At the time of the Mutiny, he was posted to India and was “wounded at Lucknow on 21 November 1857 by a musket ball shattering his right elbow joint – the arm has been amputated above the elbow”. As late as February 1859, the stump had not healed and Sergeant Holman was considered unfit for further service and he was discharged on 1 March, having served 11 years and 21 days.
At the time of his discharge, he was described as 5ft 6in tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. His trade had been that of carpenter.
Immediately after he left the Army, he became Band and Drillmaster to the Philanthrophic Society’s Farm School, at Redhill, Surrey, at a “salary of £50 per annum, with lodging and firing”. Rev Charles Walters, resident chaplain, explains Holman’s duties in his Annual Report to the Society’s committee and membership in 1860 as: “An introduction of a small amount of military drill as a useful addition to the machinery of the school by improving the appearance, manners, and bearing of the boys, and regulating their movements.” Later, Edward also acted as clerk to the school’s secretary.
The 1861 census described him as “Band & Drillmaster, Chelsea pensioner and late sergeant of Engineers”; in 1871 as “Out pensioner Chelsea Hospital & Writing clerk in Society Office”; and in 1881 as “Clerk & Band Master, Philosophical Society’s Farm School”.
He and Harriott were to have at least five children – three girls and two boys – born between 1859 and 1870. The second son joined the Royal Navy and was a Petty Officer.
When Edward Holman died, he left an estate of £334 4s 3d and administration was granted to his widow. His funeral was reported in the local paper:
THE SURREY MIRROR AND GENERAL COUNTY ADVERTISER 21 JANUARY 1882
REDHILL
OBITUARY – We regret to announce the death of Mr. Edward Holman, band and drill instructor at the Philanthropic Society’s Farm School, on the 8th inst., after a long and trying illness, borne with exemplary patience and fortitude. Mr. Holman had been in the service of the society for upwards of 22 years, and was deservedly held in great esteem by all with whom he was connected, for although not of a demonstrative or ostentatious temperament, his sterling qualities and ever faithful discharge of duty ensured him unusually great respect, which was manifested in a remarkable manner on the occasion of his funeral, which took place on Friday last, at the Cemetery, Reigate. The service commenced at the School Chapel at 2 p.m., where all the officials and inmates of the school were in attendance. His remains were enclosed in a handsome elm coffin of correct shape, with appropriate brass furniture, a plain Latin cross running the whole length of the lid, having a brass plate at the foot, on which was lettered “Edward Holman, died January 8th, 1882, aged 51 years.” The coffin was brought into the chapel on a wheel bier, and was covered with a handsome violet pall, on which friendly hands had laid some beautiful wreaths and crosses of white azaleas and other flowers, ferns, &c. The bearers were the band boys of the Institution, and the schoolmasters and bailiff acted as pall bearers. The chaplain, the Rev. C. Walters, met the body at the western door, and read the usual opening sentences of the burial office as the procession moved up the nave, Mr. Trevarthen (Secretary) presiding at the organ and playing “O rest in the Lord” (Mendelssohn) as the bearers, &C., took their places. Psalms 39 and 90 were touchingly sung to a Gregorian chant (2nd tone), and were followed by the lesson, most impressively read by the chaplain. After this Hymn 400 (A. and M.) “Christ will gather in His own,” was sung with appropriate solemnity and pathos, and as the body was removed “Nunc Dimittis” was chanted – a soft voluntary bringing this part of the service to an end. The cortege now formed to proceed to Reigate, the widow and some friends following in carriages, whilst the sons of the deceased, school officers, &c., walked on foot behind the bier, which was propelled by the band boys, the boys of one house (Queen’s) joining the train of mourners. We should here state that Mr. Holman was formerly a sergeant in the Royal Engineers, and had for many years enjoyed a pension for active service, which came to an end at Lucknow during the Indian mutiny, in consequence of the loss of his right arm. He was bandmaster of the Reigate Corps of Volunteers many years, until some three years ago his failing health compelled him to retire. The Reigate Rifle Corps, not unnaturally, desired to join in paying him military honours, and for that purpose the band and a detachment of the men met the funeral cortege en route to Reigate, awaiting it near the Cottage Hospital under command of Sergeant-Major Garton, some members of the old band joining in for the occasion. The procession halted to receive the Union Jack as a pall, and then at the word “Slow march” it moved solemnly forward to the soul-stirring strains of the “Dead March” with muffled drums, the effect being most striking and moving even strong men to tears. At Ringley, the Vicar (Rev. J. N. Harrison), as chaplain to the corps, met the procession and headed it to the grave, where a large number of people had assembled. The volunteers and the detachment of boys here formed a square, the touching burial office proceeding as usual, except that the grand unison of men’s and boys’ voices in the responses, Lord’s Prayer, &c., added greatly to the effect. At the conclusion of the service Hymn 401 (A. and M.) “Now the labourer’s task is o’er,” was very appropriately and pathetically sung, and the assemblage dispersed without the usual firing over the grave, because the arms of the corps had been called in for examination and repairs. We have frequently noticed in our reports of the annual festivals of the school how efficiently Mr. Holman’s training of the boys asserted itself, and we are assured on the best authority that since many years ago he added to his former duties that of clerk in the secretary’s office, the same high sense of duty made him equally efficient and useful there. He has gone down to his grave with universal respect and esteem, and will, we are sure, be long missed by those who knew his invariable honour and trustworthiness, and enjoyed his co-operation and friendship.
20th Foot in SA and Mauritius 1868-1872 / Ashantee War 1873-1874 /Imperial Yeomanry 1899-1902 / Royal Marine LI 1900/1908 / Royal Navy and the China Station 1908-1914
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