INTRODUCTION (and research advice) - please read

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

INTRODUCTION (and research advice) - please read

Postby Garen » 16 May 2008 14:42

This section is for anyone who has a query about an individual soldier or sailor who saw all or part of their service within the Victorian era as covered by the forum (1837-1902).

When asking a question, it would be helpful if you could include as much information as you already have (in brief, no essays please) so that time is not wasted uncovering details you already know. Start with just two or three specific questions to begin with, if you can. Names and dates are always important starting points!

With a diverse range of interests within the Victorian Wars Forum, and a variety of resources available to our different members, hopefully someone can help you with your query - or you may have an answer for someone yourself.

Please remember that sometimes quite a lot of time can be spent searching for even a simple detail - so be patient. If you think your query may have been overlooked, you're welcome to bump your thread every now and then - new members may have joined with different expertise and/or resources. And do please remember to say a little 'thank you', even if helpers have looked and found nothing - they may still have spent the best part of an afternoon straining their eyes looking through a hand-written medal roll!

As a final tip - once you've posted your query it might be a good idea to subscribe to the topic (tick box at the bottom of the page). It often happens that someone comes along many months later with an answer, or is a distant relative with new information, and you may have forgotten you posted the query by then. Subscribing to the topic will make sure you get an email notification whenever someone replies.

Research: useful links:

Link: How to obtain a soldier's service record
The easiest starting point for records of a soldier's career is the incomplete collection of Soldiers' Documents (attestation and discharge papers) in WO 97. They cover discharges from the army for the period 1760 to 1913, and are often an excellent source, providing place of birth, age on enlistment, details of appearance and, from 1883 next of kin. For officers have a look here.

Note: As of March 2010 these have started to go up online at the Find My Past website. You can search the index for free but there is a charge to view the actual scanned documents.

Link: Muster Rolls
Muster rolls and pay lists give the enlistment date, movements and discharge date of all soldiers in the British Army. They can be used to trace the service of soldiers who were not discharged to pension. However, to trace a man's movements by way of the musters, you do have to know his regiment.

Links updated 19 May 2011.
The Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80 www.angloafghanwar.info
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Re: INTRODUCTION (and research advice) - please read

Postby jastapl » 24 Mar 2010 01:17

Very helpful. Thank you for the information.
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Re: INTRODUCTION (and research advice) - please read

Postby daisybee » 12 Apr 2010 20:40

This is very helpful ..my search is on.
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Re: INTRODUCTION (and research advice) - please read

Postby Keithj » 21 Jun 2010 16:36

I presume when you say that muster rolls can be used to trace a man's movements who did not receive a pension that does not mean that if your man did get a pension he won't be found there? I'm just wondering whether pensioned soldiers were weeded out. A couple of questions:

Does the content of the rolls vary much between regiments?
What does a typical entry for a soldier look like and at what intervals would he appear?

Keith
Researching William Parish 3330 1/2nd Foot & 1745 75th Foot
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Re: INTRODUCTION (and research advice) - please read

Postby SWB » 21 Jun 2010 16:57

Keith,

Muster rolls are pay lists - so every man is there, where money is concerned the Army don't lose men.

They are a standard format and were compiled quarterly. They simply show how many days in each month "muster" a man was on duty, in hospital and in gaol as they would effect the amount of pay he would get and where the stoppages (for food, board and clothing) were made. When on campaign they also show sometimes if a man was on detached duty from the main body of the regiment.

The muster also contains lists of regular deductions (paid to relatives mostly), fines (mostly drunkeness), recruits, men transferred in, men discharged and cause (i.e. killed in action).

As with all research material they can provide nuggets of gold or simply dusty details of life.

Please note pay and stoppages varied over the Victorian period and have been discussed in various threads on this Forum.

Regards
Meurig
Researcher. Owner: The Register of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. Interests: 24th Foot/South Wales Borderers/RRW/RW. South Africa generally. War memorials
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Re: INTRODUCTION (and research advice) - please read

Postby Keithj » 21 Jun 2010 19:26

Thanks, Meurig. The next time I go to Kew my main focus will be on the Anti Aircraft Sections in Salonika in WW1 - where my Grandfather served from 1917-1918 - but I've been pointed at the muster rolls and wondered how much time to set aside. With luck, I could photograph quite a lot of the rolls in not too long a time.

Keith
Researching William Parish 3330 1/2nd Foot & 1745 75th Foot
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Somaliland 1902-1904

Postby Hardarshan S Valia » 20 Apr 2011 14:00

My grandfather Sher Singh from India (Punjab Frontier) left three Victorian War Medals; One of them says "Somaliland 1902-1904" with engraving of King Edward on it. My father (before he died) told me that Sher Singh's Punjab Frontier while serving in North West Frontier India was summoned to board ship for Africa. The ship was assaulted by heavy bombardment as it reached African coast; only few soldiers survived from the ship wreck. I have been unable to find any information on this. Can any one give me an idea on what war this was? Thank you very much.
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Re: INTRODUCTION (and research advice) - please read

Postby dewhurstRM » 04 Jul 2012 21:12

Hi,
I am doing some family history research and am interested in my ggf who was Royal Marine Artillery and served in the Sudan around the 1884-1887 period.

Great grandfathers name was Edward Dewhurst and his service number was 1458, his record shows he was on HMS Devastation (prior to 1887 when he went to Eastney) he was awarded the Sudan Medal, Khedives's Medal and a Suakin Clasp.

My questions are:-
How can I trace other ships he served on?
Where did he actually go "ashore" and meet the opposing forces?
What was his role as a Royal Marine Artillery gunner both on ship and ashore?
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