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 siegebatteries » 21 Aug 2014 10:10

PS Does anyone know of medal rolls for Sappers in the Mutiny? I can't find if Sgt Holman got a medal and if so, which clasp.
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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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby andrewdwilliams » 27 Aug 2014 19:00

Acting Sergeant Major John Steele, 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry

John Steele was born on the 7th August 1850, in Uphall, Linlithgowshire. He was the son of William Steele and Margaret Steele (nee Scott), a Quarrier and a housewife respectively. John was baptised in Uphall on the 15th September 1850. By the 1851 Census, John was 7 months old and living at “43 Curldubs”, likely to now be Carledubs Avenue in Uphall. By the 1861 Census, John was 11 and he was a scholar at a local school.

On the 9th March 1871, John travelled 14 miles to Edinburgh where he enlisted in the British Army. He attested for Short Service with the 71st Regiment of Foot, and he listed his occupation at the time of enlistment as a 'Servant'. John was then sent to Cork for his Final Medical Examination. His height was 5 feet and 7 and ¾ inches and his chest measurement was 34 and ½ inches. His complexion was recorded as 'fresh', his eyes blue, his hair brown and his religious denomination as Presbyterian.

The Regiment was, at this time, at Gibraltar but I have a record of him at Fort George on the 6th June 1871 where he was down with a fever. This was probably in a period of basic training, because on the 31st January 1872 John was sent to Gibraltar to catch up with the rest of his Regiment. On the 1st January 1873, John was promoted to Corporal and on 9th March 1873, John was granted Good Conduct pay at 1 pence.

On the 24th April 1873, the 71st Regiment set sail from Gibraltar, their destination – Malta, to replace the 52nd Regiment on garrison duty. They arrived on the 30th April, with their first posting at Floriana Barracks. However, on the 1st December 1873, the Regiment was moved to Fort St. Elmo, the large coastal fortress. Four days later, John achieved the 2nd Class Certificate of Education, which allowed him promotion to Sergeant.

This certificate paved the way for his promotion on 1st April 1876, from Corporal to unpaid Lance Sergeant, meaning he still had the pay of a Corporal. However, he only held this rank for four days because on the 5th April he was promoted to full Sergeant. Also in 1876, the 71st Regiment lined the route during a visit to Malta by HRH The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). On the 27th June 1876, John extended his six years to twelve, by the authority of H.E. the General Commanding at Malta.

In 1874, 1875 and again in 1877, detachments of men from the 78th Regiment had been arriving in Malta to bolster the size of the 71st Regiment, bringing the complement up from 430 in 1873 to 720 in 1877. On the 9th March 1877, John was again granted good conduct pay at 2 pence.

On the 18th July 1878, the 71st Regiment of Foot left Fort St Elmo and Malta altogether - their destination was Cyprus. The 71st had been attached to Lieutenant General Sir Garnet Wolseley's Expeditionary Force for the occupation of Cyprus. There were 2,643 British and 5,015 Indian troops involved in the occupation, including a company of European artillery in the Indian contingent.

The 71st travelled on the HMS Tamar, a troopship built by the Samuda Brothers at Cubitt Town, London, and launched in 1863. In 1874 she had formed part of the Naval Brigade that helped defeat the Ashanti in West Africa, in the Ashanti War. In 1882 she took part in the Bombardment of Alexandria. She later gave her name to the Royal Navy's shore establishment at Hong Kong, that existed from 1897 up until the British left in 1997. She was scuttled in 1941 off Hong Kong, but a mast from the ship still stands outside Murray House, the former home of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.

The Expeditionary Force arrived at Larnaca on the 22nd July 1878. The Indian contingent remained on the island for only a short time before re-embarking for India. The 71st Regiment lived under canvas on the island for 147 days, until 15 December 1878 when they left. Out of a regimental strength of 724 men, there were 1083 admissions for disease and 5 deaths. This corresponds to a rate 1496 admissions out of every 1000 men, and 7 deaths out of every 1000 men. Most of those that were infected contracted Malaria.

Following disease-ridden Cyprus, the Regiment embarked back to Gibraltar and they arrived on the 26th December 1878 for another spell as the resident British unit. On 8th March 1880, the 71st went back to Scotland, with John travelling on the HMS Himalaya, another Royal Navy troopship. The Regiment disembarked at Granton on the 19th March before travelling to Edinburgh the same day. On the 30th September 1880, John was promoted to Colour Sergeant, with all the advantages of rank and pay attached.

On the 7th January 1881, John Steele married Agnes Rae at Edinburgh Canongate. On the 26th May 1881 the Regiment left for Glasgow, arriving the same day. On the 30th May, John extended his contract from 12 to 21 years, meaning he contracted to stay in the Army for another 9 years. On the 1st July 1881, the 71st Regiment of Foot and the 74th Regiment of Foot amalgamated to become the 1st Battalion and the 2nd Battalion of The Highland Light Infantry respectively.

On the 16th November 1882, the Battalion was sent to the Curragh and on the 14th August 1883 it was sent to Dublin. On the 9th March 1883, John was granted good conduct pay at 3 pence. 1883 was also the year of his first child, Phyllis Steele, and in 1884 his second child, William Steele was born. On the 24th September 1885, the Battalion was posted to Belfast, the third Irish posting John had undertaken in the last three years.

On the 31st December 1886, John was posted to the Permanent Staff of the 6th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. The next day, the 1st January 1887, reforms in the Volunteer Force meant that although the 6th Lanarkshires were already affiliated with the Highland Light Infantry, they now took their name too. The 6th Lanarkshire Volunteer Rifles became the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry. This same day, John was appointed Acting Sergeant Major, which put him as the top NCO in the Battalion and one of the Lieutenant Colonel's closest advisers.

I have found record of John Steele as the Sergeant Major of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion on all the Post Office Annual Glasgow Directories from 1887 to 1898, covering his twelve years in the position. Also, in 1887 John had his third child and second daughter, Margaret Steele, no doubt named after his mother. John Steele, his fourth child and second son was born in 1889 and finally, Adam Steele, his fifth and final child, was born ten years after John in 1899. On the 9th March 1887, 1892 and 1897 John was granted good conduct pay at a rate that increased at one penny every five years. On the 31st August 1898 John was discharged from the Army.

By the 1901 Census, John is 50 years old and has settled down with his wife and children at 19 Rankeillor Street, Edinburgh. Unfortunately, the details from this point onwards become sketchy and the year of his death is currently unknown to me.
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby siegebatteries » 17 Sep 2014 07:51

While researching the band and drillmasters at the Philanthrophic Society’s Farm School, at Redhill, Surrey in the second half of the 19th century (all of them ex-Army), I came across the Mallinder family. Following the death of Sergeant Edward Holman in 1882 (see previous post in this topic), the position of bandmaster was taken by Henry Mallinder, former drum major in the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards.
Three generations of the Mallinders served with the Colours – most with the Grenadiers – during the 19th century.
The first of the family known to have been a soldier was William Mallinder, Henry’s father.
I thought some members of the Forum might be interested in what I have discovered about this family.

2163 Private William Mallinder Grenadier Guards (1806-1871)

Born at Reading October 1806 (extrapolated from age at enlistment and age at discharge) Parents not known. By trade a shoemaker who enlisted in the Grenadier Guards at Sheffield 24 January 1831 aged 24 4/12.
Promoted Corporal 5 March 1833 but tried by court martial 15 September 1833 for telling an officer and untruth and neglect of duty; sentence: reduced to private and 14 days Imprisonment.
Promoted Corporal 1 March 1838 and Sergeant 24 February 1842. Tried by court martial 30 December 1850 for disgraceful conduct; sentence: reduced to private and one month imprisonment (imprisonment remitted).
Regimental board 26 August 1852. Medical report: Chronic Rheumatism. Has had occasional attacks of Rheumatism & has in winter suffered from Bronchitis
Opinion: Worn out by length of Service and Rheumatic pains. Discharged: 14 September 1852. Age at discharge: 45 10/12 years. Service after deductions 21 years 209 days. Never served abroad

Married 17 November 1837 Mary Ann Bryan, then aged 15. She was the daughter of Charles (a hatter) and Mary Ann and born in Westminster 16 April 1822.

William and Mary Ann had 20 children between 1838 and 1864 of whom 11 survived infancy. The first 11 children were born at, or close to, various barracks across London and South East England – Chichester, Windsor, Westminster and the Tower of London. The last nine children were born in Bow in east London where the family lived after William left the Army. Initially William returned to his trade as shoemaker, but he was later described as a watchman and a chandler/greengrocer. Indeed, on 17 November 1862, he was fined by magistrates under the Weights & Measure Act as a chandler with inaccurate weights and scales. He died in May 1871, aged 64, and Mary Ann survived him by seven years.

Of William’s eight sons who reached maturity, four joined the Army (three in the Grenadiers), one the Royal Navy, one died of epilepsy in his early 20s, and the other two emigrated to New Zealand.

The soldiers were:

Henry Mallinder served 1853-1882
Francis John Mallinder served 1859-1874
Ernest Alfred Mallinder served 1872-1878
Arthur William Mallinder served 1884-1889 (Royal Fusiliers – invalided)

6274 Sergeant Drummer Henry Mallinder Grenadier Guards (1843-1907)

Born in the parish of St Margaret’s, Westminster in about 1843 or possibly as early as October 1842 (no record found)
Enlisted October 1852 at the age of about 9 years as drummer
Pensionable service dated from October 1860
Discharged as Sergeant Drummer 14 March 1882

Became bandmaster at Philanthropic Society’s Farm School, Redhill
Married 23 December 1866 Hannah Moore (1844-1914) and had 13 children of whom eight reached maturity.

The first 10 children were born at, or close to, various barracks across Britain – Chelsea, Windsor, Westminster, the Tower of London and Dublin. The last three children were born in Redhill where the family lived after Henry left the Army.

All but the youngest of the six sons to reach maturity joined the Army (the youngest died when he was 24)
2881 Sergeant-Cook Henry William Mallinder (1868-1921) served with 2nd Dragoon Guards (1885-1907)
2739 Private Herbert Albert Mallinder (1875-1903) served with Grenadier Guards (1890-1900)
4427 Private Leopold Robert Mallinder (1879-1931) served with Grenadier Guards (1893-1911) including a period with Military Foot Police (1907-1910); re-enlisted as driver RASC (1914-1919)
5190 Boy Richard Wentworth Mallinder (1880-1914) enlisted as boy solider, Grenadier Guards in 1895 but was discharged after 80 days as "unlikely to become an efficient soldier"
6082 Private Sidney Charles Mallinder (1885-1918) who served with 2nd Dragoon Guards 1902-1905 (under the name Charles Moore and including a posting to South Africa 1903-1905), transferred to Army Reserve and mobilised with Military Mounted Police 5 Aug 1914 (he had joined the Metropolitan Police as a PC in 1906). Suffered from TB and was discharged 25 Feb 1915, returning to the Met and serving as a PC until his death in 1918

798 Drummer Francis John Mallinder (c1847-1933)

Born in the parish of St Margaret’s, Westminster in 1846/7 (no record found)
Enlisted 18 November 1859 at the age of 13 years and 1 month.
Pensionable service dated from 1 November 1864
Never served abroad
Discharged 2 November 1874

Became a brewery watchman in Mile End, east London
Married 20 December 1874 Mary Ann MacVee (1848-1900) and had five children, including two sons only one of whom reached maturity
Married 12 October 1902 Elizabeth Jane Poulter (nee Smith) (1859-1937)
The marriage with the Widow Poulter in 1902 was later linked with the two marriages of Francis’s youngest son, Alfred Ernest Mallinder (1880-1939). In 1904 Alfred married Alice Mary Poulter (1881-1912), one of the daughters of Elizabeth Poulter by her first marriage (to Philip Matthew Poulter (1857-1891)). After the death of Alice, Alfred married her sister Rose Poulter (1888-1967) in 1916

208962 Private Alfred Ernest Mallinder served with the 2nd London Regiment in WWI

4284 Supernumerary Drummer Ernest Alfred Mallinder (1861-1919)

Born 23 August 1861 4 Ford St, Bow
Enlisted 1872 at the age of 11
Discharged for bad conduct 12 August 1878

Became a brewer’s drayman in Mile End, east London
Married 25 December 1891 Eliza Shepherd (1871-1948) and had seven children, the oldest and the youngest being boys. The eldest son – 507041 Private William Henry Mallinder (1892-1961) enlisted with the 17th (County of London) Battalion of the Territorials and served in France 9 March 1915 to 28 September 1916. He was invalided out in February 1917

1355 Private Arthur William Mallinder Royal Fusiliers (1862-1912)

Born 15 July 1864 4 Ford St, Bow
Enlisted 18 July 1884
23 August 1886 awaiting trial for striking a superior officer, imprisoned until 17 November 1886
Served at Gibralter (13 Dec 1884-13 Dec 1885); Egypt (14 Dec 1885-8 Jan 1888); East Indies (9 Jan 1888-14 Oct 1889); returned to UK with palpitations
Discharged from Netley as unfit 14 Jan 1890
Conduct indifferent
Habits intemperate (he had been treated for syphilis in 1885)

Like his brother, he became a brewer’s drayman in Mile End, east London
Married 22 November 1891 Ada Ward (c1870-1935) and had three children, two of whom reached maturity including another
14478 Gunner Arthur William Mallinder (1896-1972) who joined the Royal Marines on 23 November 1914, 12 days before his 18th birthday – those 12 days not counting towards his service! He left the Marines as a Gunner in June 1919, joining the Royal Navy as a Stoker. He was eventually discharged unfit on 14 April 1920 after dislocating a cartilage.
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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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby shooter » 05 Oct 2014 03:15

crimea1854 wrote: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.


Ive been on vacation ,,, Just got back......Thankyou for the info............. I would be happy to post pictures of medal but im not sure how on this site....... Ive looked at the medal someone else posted... it would appear as his was cleaned.... Mine has a nice patena silver gets aver time very few marks .. It would appear to not have been worn but if he was KIA it would explain the wonderfull condition...... ....Ive seen a couple others , one was broken and a poor repair... Another was on a medal site not quite as nice as mine and they were starting at 5000 .. Im not sure what mines worth.. Ive had a lot of interest in it.. Someone mentioned a auction site but the premiums paid both ends.... I would rather sell to another collector... It is as I described... Ribbon slightly soiled but could be cleaned.. No damage.. Again thankyou for info. Ill post on the site you reccamended...... CARL
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby shooter » 28 Oct 2014 04:16

PICTURE OF MEDAL.........STILL RESURCHING ANY INFO from anyone p j. Donaldson ...Scots Guard Camel unit KIA 17th Abu Klea
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Re: Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors - Your Finding

Postby crimea1854 » 28 Apr 2015 19:52

Thomas May Dyer

Baptised at the Cawsand Independent Chapel on the 20 May 1821, Thomas’ parents were John and Elizabeth (Betsey) Dyer. John and Elizabeth (nee May) married on 9 February 1810 in Rame, Cornwall and had already lost one son whom they had named Thomas May. On Thomas’ first marriage certificate John is described as a ‘mariner’ and on a subsequent marriage certificate as a ‘pilot’ so it was almost inevitable that Thomas should follow in his father footsteps and go to sea.

On 20 May 1840 he signed-on as a Boy 1st Class in the 91 gun ship HMS Rodney, remaining on her until 16 October 1843. During this period he was to see active service off the coast of Syria for which he was awarded the Naval General Service Medal with ‘Syria’ clasp that now resides in my collection. Unlike some of the other ships in this campaign Rodney did not take part in any major actions.

Following his return to England he married on 3 September 1844 a miss Sarah Ball White the daughter of Thomas White, a fellow seaman and the girl next-door. She like her new husband was born in Cawsand, Cornwall.

It was only a matter of a few months after his wedding, on 11 February 1845, that Thomas again signed on to serve in the navy aboard HMS Vanguard, which was then part of the Channel Squadron before being transferred into the Mediterranean. He was to remain on her for the next four years, progressing from ordinary seaman to able seaman, finally being paid off on 28 March 1849. While on Vanguard he was issued with a Merchant Seaman’s Ticket (No.293,549) on which he is described as being 5’ 2 ½’’ tall, brown hair, fair complexion and light blue eyes.

On 3 May 1849 he signed on in HMS Poictiers serving on her for only a couple of weeks before joining HMS Castor on the 19 May. During his early service onboard Castor he and the rest of the crew prepared her to take up the roll of flagship on the Cape of Good Hope Station, sailing for Africa on 23 June 1849, arriving on 29 August.

Castor was detained at the Cape as a result of a convict dispute in the colony, but her boats were detached, under escort of HMS Dee, to cruise in the Mozambique Channel with the express aim of suppressing the slave trade. The boats consisted of the ship's pinnace, a barge and a private boat of the commodore, given him by the Imaum of Muscat, when previously on that station in command of HMS Cleopatra.

On the morning of the 16th November the boats from Castor and Dee were manned and armed and preceded up the river Angoxa looking to disrupt the slave trade. The little fleet consisted of Castor's pinnace, Lieut. Campbell, Sullivan mid., and twenty men, with one 121b. gun; barge, second-master C. Albert, Patterson, mid., and fifteen men, with one 31b. gun; Dees' first paddle-box boat, J. T. Jones, second master, a mid., and about eighteen men, with one 18 pounder; Dees' second paddlebox boat, John Dyer, master's assistant (no known relation to Thomas), and about eighteen men, with one 18 pounder ; gig, Lieut. Crowder, commanding the expedition; cutter. Dr.Evans. These boats were to be separated from Castor for the next seven months, rejoining her on 19 April 1850.

On the 29 April Castor anchored at Zanzibar, from then until the February of the following year she continued to cruise off this coast, leaving it only once to refit at Mauritius, in October, arriving back at the Cape of Good Hope on 5 February, only to find that the Kaffir War had broken out.

A Naval Brigade was formed to which Castor contributed men, but based on the work by Captain Douglas-Morris Thomas was not one of these men. It is therefore likely that he never left the ship, but nevertheless still qualified for the South Africa 1854 medal, which was sent to him on board HMS Duke of Wellington in 1856.

Castor continued with her anti slaving work until late 1852, taking a number of slavers and destroying slaving barracoons’, (a prison for slaves pending their embarkation and transportation). However, between 26 February and 1 March 1852 a party from Castor attended the scene of the Birkenhead wreck, and the Birkenhead survivors who had been picked up by the schooner Lioness were then transferred into Castor.

On 7 December 1852 she left Simons Bay for England, via St Helena and the Ascension Islands, arriving in Plymouth on the 22 January 1853, sailing around to Chatham where the crew were paid off on the 12 February. It would appear that quite a few men from the crew headed for Australia to look for gold, vowing never again to serve in the navy, but Thomas must have remained in England, because six months later he signed on as a ‘Seaman Rigger’ in Devonport Dockyard.

It was during his time in the dockyard that the Crimean War broke out, and as with the coastguards, dockyard riggers were encouraged to volunteer to fill a manpower shortage in the Fleet. Thomas must have stepped forward, because he was to join the crew of HMS Duke of Wellington, flagship of the Baltic Fleet under Admiral Sir Charles Napier.

Very little was actually achieved in the 1854 Baltic campaign, in fact Napier was to be heavily criticised by the press and some of his own captains for lack of aggression, and was never again to hold command, spending his last few years defending his actions in the Baltic. Unlike the French contingent, the British ships carried no infantry, so it is difficult to see what physically could have been achieved. However, the very threat to St Petersburg ensured that troops were tied up that could have otherwise been despatched to the Crimea, and the Russian Baltic Fleet were to remain bottled up in port, posing no threat to commerce in the North Sea.

Although the Duke of Wellington again entered the Baltic in 1855 it was the smaller steam warships that saw most of any action, but Thomas was to receive his third campaign medal for this service, the Baltic Medal, and was to be present at the Fleet Review by Queen Victoria on 23 April 1856. He must have decided to remain in the DoW because he was no longer classified as a Seaman Rigger on her books, but is shown as an able seaman until being paid off on 12 May 1856.

After paying off he was to receive a coveted nomination to the Coastguard Service, taking up a posting at Milford CG Station, Lymington, on 17 July 1856.

On the 19 May 1857 Thomas married again. I can find no evidence that his first wife had died, and since he described himself as a bachelor I can only speculate that his first wife got fed up waiting for him! This wedding was to be very much a ‘Coastguard’ affair. His future wife Margaret McLoghlin was the sister of a fellow CG at Milford (John) and daughter of Alexander McLoghlin another CG, with the wife of yet another CG at Milford acted as a witness.

He was to marry for a third time in 1863 to a Mary Ann Hunt, and despite again finding no death certificate for Margaret he was still stationed at Milford. On 6 January 1866 he himself died while a serving CG.

Although Thomas did not take part in any significant actions he saw active service in a range of theatres earning him an impressive ‘rack’ and one I would certainly like to complete!
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