Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

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Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby siegebatteries » 21 Oct 2010 16:03

Hi all

This forum helped me a lot while tracing the military career of my great grandfather, George William Bathe of 20th Foot and ASC, now I'm hoping there's someone out there who could help me the military record of one of George's uncles, Robert Bathe, who was born at Wroughton in Wiltshire in about 1823, married in the Medway registration district of Kent in 1851, and recorded in the 1851 census as a Private in the Royal Sappers & Miners, living with his new wife in Kensington. At this point he and his wife disappear from the records.

Anyone any ideas how I can progress this research (bearing in mind I don't live in the UK and a visit to TNA is out of the question) ?
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: Robert Bathe, Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby SWB » 21 Oct 2010 16:35

(bearing in mind I don't live in the UK and a visit to TNA is out of the question)


Not a problem: FindmyPast have all the Victorian service papers on line.

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Re: Robert Bathe, Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby siegebatteries » 21 Oct 2010 20:38

Tried FindMyPast but, alas, no Robert Bathe... [even using wildcards]
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby siegebatteries » 15 Aug 2017 11:15

Started this thread 7 years ago - and still not much further forward.

Meurig suggested Findmypast for service papers - but Robert Bathe wasn't there.

A year ago FMP added Roger E. Nixon's 1851 Worldwide Army Index based on TNA's WO11/126 muster rolls in which Robert Bathe is listed as a private in 22nd Company Royal Sappers & Miners with a location given as Chatham & Hyde Park.

The location details fit with what little I knew already - that he married in Gillingham (near Chatham) on 2 Feb 1851 and that he and his new wife were living in Kensington (near Hyde Park) on 30 March 1851 (census night).

So does anyone know where 22nd Company were stationed later in the 1850s?

And does anyone know if 22nd Company were more concerned with building than other engineering tasks? When Robert married, he gave his trade as stone mason and not as a soldier...
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby Frogsmile » 15 Aug 2017 23:35

Number 22 Company, Corps of Sappers and Miners was formed in 1849 as part of an increase in strength that year that also included Number 21 Company. Number 22 was based at Chatham in Kent (where the Sappers and Miners had moved their HQ from the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich, Kent (later South London)). It was a General Service (GS) Company, and engaged in a variety of duties that probably included detachments employed in construction work such as the 'Prince Consorts Model Lodge' in 1851 and a new riding school and replacement stables at Hyde Park Barracks (Knightsbridge) completed in 1857 to the design of Philip Hardwick. The Great Exhibition took place in the Crystal Palace erected in Hyde Park in 1851 and Royal Sappers and Miners would have been involved in some of the peripheral work that that entailed.

In 1870, by which time it was part of the Royal Engineers unified in 1856, it was one of the two companies engaged in training as specialised Telegraph troops that substantially assisted with establishing the new electrical telegraph service in the Nations post offices. Indeed 22 (Telegraph) Company of the Royal Engineers was instrumental in establishing the Association of Telegraph Engineers. See: http://www.orbat.info/history/historica ... neers.html
Along with the 34th (Telegraph) Company the 22nd formed the Royal Engineers Telegraph Battalion.

The full history of the Royal Sappers and Miners from their formation until 1856 has been archived here: https://archive.org/stream/cihm_16766/c ... 6_djvu.txt

Knightsbridge (aka Hyde Park) Barracks (Kensington): http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey ... 45/pp64-68
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby siegebatteries » 16 Aug 2017 06:58

Many thanks for that, Frogsmile, I shall enjoy reading the history you suggest and may it will give me some more clues
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby Frogsmile » 16 Aug 2017 15:43

siegebatteries wrote:Many thanks for that, Frogsmile, I shall enjoy reading the history you suggest and may it will give me some more clues


I take it that you have checked the Crimea medal roll? Although No22 company did not go out as part of the RE contingent, it seems likely that volunteers might have been needed to make units up to strength.
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby siegebatteries » 16 Aug 2017 21:07

Yes, I checked the medal roll several years ago, but as now that I know his unit, I did a double check today - still no sign either in Crimea or India or another other theatre. Trouble is there is no record of his death in the UK, or of his wife dying or remarrying.

I am planning on asking TNA for a copy of the page in the '51 muster roll which includes him and this might at least give me his service number if not his date of enlistment - anything I can use as a clue to his whereabouts.

Then I'll ask for the same data from the '55 roll and work forwards every five years till I lose him and then track back. It might be a bit expensive but....
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby Maureene » 17 Aug 2017 06:29

siegebatteries wrote:
I am planning on asking TNA for a copy of the page in the '51 muster roll which includes him and this might at least give me his service number if not his date of enlistment - anything I can use as a clue to his whereabouts.

Then I'll ask for the same data from the '55 roll and work forwards every five years till I lose him and then track back. It might be a bit expensive but....


I have in the past looked at muster rolls for the East India Company and it could be quite time consuming locating the name of a particular person. From comments I have read, the National Archives quote would be extremely expensive.

You would probably be better hiring a researcher, or someone to copy the whole of the particular documents you are interested in. The latter is probably the cheapest method, as photography is fast, but locating information within a document slow. I have not used the following person myself, but have seen him favourably mentioned on WW2Talk Forum, Lee Richards of Arcre. https://www.arcre.com/copyservice
Another name is Bob O'Hara, who also I have not personally used, but someone I know was pleased with his research http://www.searcher-na.co.uk

Cheers
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby Frogsmile » 17 Aug 2017 22:54

siegebatteries wrote:Yes, I checked the medal roll several years ago, but as now that I know his unit, I did a double check today - still no sign either in Crimea or India or another other theatre. Trouble is there is no record of his death in the UK, or of his wife dying or remarrying.

I am planning on asking TNA for a copy of the page in the '51 muster roll which includes him and this might at least give me his service number if not his date of enlistment - anything I can use as a clue to his whereabouts.

Then I'll ask for the same data from the '55 roll and work forwards every five years till I lose him and then track back. It might be a bit expensive but....


Maureen has given you very good advice. I just want to check that I have made clear to you that I believe that Robert and his wife were likely living in Hyde Park Barracks in a corner of a barrack room, or perhaps in cheap lodgings nearby and that they were doing so because Robert was working as a stone mason on construction work connected either, with the great exhibition or on the barracks itself.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 18 Aug 2017 08:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby siegebatteries » 18 Aug 2017 06:36

Thanks everyone. I'll certainly approach the people you suggested, Maureene.

The census shows he and his wife were in lodgings at 2 Charles Place, Kensington. There werefour families in this building - and one was another Sapper with his wife and a child.
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby Frogsmile » 18 Aug 2017 08:54

siegebatteries wrote:Thanks everyone. I'll certainly approach the people you suggested, Maureene.

The census shows he and his wife were in lodgings at 2 Charles Place, Kensington. There werefour families in this building - and one was another Sapper with his wife and a child.


The lodgings address and fact that another sapper was there confirm in my mind that he was almost certainly working on the various, prestige construction projects going on within Hyde Park in 1851. Do you know if the other sapper was also in number 22 Company?
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby siegebatteries » 18 Aug 2017 10:29

The lodgings address and fact that another sapper was there confirm in my mind that he was almost certainly working on the various, prestige construction projects going on within Hyde Park in 1851. Do you know if the other sapper was also in number 22 Company?


Yes he was! I hadn't thought to look for him. His name was Thomas Evans - and there were dozens of men with that name in the military listings of Findmypast - 37 in the 1851 worldwide list alone! But adding the keywords "Hyde Park" narrowed it right down to just one, a member of 22nd Company.

I also found his service record - he enlisted in 1849 and stayed with the RE until 1871, reaching the rank of sergeant, and then signed up for another five years with the militia as a staff sergeant.

His record says nothing about what he was doing in 1851, but of his 22 years in the Army, he did spend over 7 years on Mauritius and nearly 3 years at Gibraltar. Possible places to look for my man perhaps?
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Re: Robert BATHE, b1823ish Royal Sappers & Miners

Postby Frogsmile » 18 Aug 2017 11:52

siegebatteries wrote:
The lodgings address and fact that another sapper was there confirm in my mind that he was almost certainly working on the various, prestige construction projects going on within Hyde Park in 1851. Do you know if the other sapper was also in number 22 Company?


Yes he was! I hadn't thought to look for him. His name was Thomas Evans - and there were dozens of men with that name in the military listings of Findmypast - 37 in the 1851 worldwide list alone! But adding the keywords "Hyde Park" narrowed it right down to just one, a member of 22nd Company.

I also found his service record - he enlisted in 1849 and stayed with the RE until 1871, reaching the rank of sergeant, and then signed up for another five years with the militia as a staff sergeant.

His record says nothing about what he was doing in 1851, but of his 22 years in the Army, he did spend over 7 years on Mauritius and nearly 3 years at Gibraltar. Possible places to look for my man perhaps?


I think that confirms that Robert was part of a detachment from No 22 Company working either on the Great Exhibition (the most likely), or on works within the then Hyde Park Barracks, such as the 'Prince Consorts Model Lodge'.

As regards the other sapper, the thing to pursue is whether, or not, No 22 Company went to Mauritius and Gibraltar, or if he was posted to companies already there, which I think is the most likely. As I understand it the companies stayed in their respective locations for many years at a time and men were then posted between them. If so then Robert was probably posted between companies and you need to pursue him as Maureen has suggested via muster rolls using a researcher. At least you can give him/ her a good start with what you have found out already.
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