Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Dorothy » 13 Dec 2012 02:40

Hello again FROGSMILE,I marvel at your extensive knowledge of troops etc. in India and thank you for your help.
I have been trying to find anything about the 52nd regiment i.e.Staff Serjeants. Were they considered Officers?
Dorothy
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Dec 2012 11:49

Dorothy wrote:Hello again FROGSMILE,I marvel at your extensive knowledge of troops etc. in India and thank you for your help.
I have been trying to find anything about the 52nd regiment i.e.Staff Serjeants. Were they considered Officers?
Dorothy

Hello Dorothy, I know something of the Army and soldiers as I have been studying them from within that institution, with access in the past to regimental artefacts and records, but there are others who know far more than me, especially about India.
What exactly are you trying to find out about the 52nd? I have sent you some good links showing what they did at that time. Have you been able to read them all? Let me know what you seek and I will try and help.
As regards Staff Serjeants, no they were not treated as officers, but they did have a higher status than the lower ranks. In civilian terms they were more like the Foremen, with the officers as members of the Board if that helps you to understand. It was only in India that they could afford servants, because manual labour was cheap there, but also as a reflection of the Colonial driven cultural obeisance to europeans by the native Indians of that time. It was also a natural part of their complex economy and layered labour resources related to the caste system.
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Dorothy » 16 Dec 2012 02:08

Hi FROGSMILE,My ultimate aim is to find out where William Thompson was born.I've looked at the Archives and it seems to me that men were either in the privates list or the Officers lists.That's why I asked if Staff Serjeants were considered officers.
I did read all the links you gave me.Very interesting.Thank you.
Dorothy
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Frogsmile » 17 Dec 2012 20:57

Dorothy wrote:Hi FROGSMILE,My ultimate aim is to find out where William Thompson was born.I've looked at the Archives and it seems to me that men were either in the privates list or the Officers lists.That's why I asked if Staff Serjeants were considered officers.
I did read all the links you gave me.Very interesting.Thank you.
Dorothy


Forum member Maureene will be the best person to assist you with where he might have been born, once you have ID his unit.

The most common division of ranks that is often quoted is 'officers' and 'other ranks' (the latter being all those ranks, including Staff Serjeants, below officer status).

Each of the two groups is then further sub-divided. The officers as General officers, Field Officers and Company officers. The other ranks as Warrant Officers, Staff Serjeants, Serjeants and Rank & File.
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Dorothy » 18 Dec 2012 02:44

Thank you FROGSMILE, Now I know just what section to look in.Although I'm still finding my way around the Archives.
Here's hoping .
Dorothy
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Dorothy » 06 Jul 2017 07:37

Hello Everybody,After visiting the British Library and spending two days of my holiday searching through East India files and finding nothing ,I have recently been able to confirm that my man ,Staff Sgt William Thompson was in New Zealand in June 1855.
I think he must have bought out of the army soon after his child was born in Meerut.
What I would like you to confirm is would his records have all been deleted?

Thank you
Dorothy
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Frogsmile » 06 Jul 2017 09:10

Dorothy wrote:Hello Everybody,After visiting the British Library and spending two days of my holiday searching through East India files and finding nothing ,I have recently been able to confirm that my man ,Staff Sgt William Thompson was in New Zealand in June 1855.
I think he must have bought out of the army soon after his child was born in Meerut.
What I would like you to confirm is would his records have all been deleted?

Thank you
Dorothy


Hello again Dorothy. I am sorry to learn of your lack of success and can only suggest that you consider paying for the services of a researcher. You can shop around for one offering the best rates and limit fees by being clear about the confines of the information that you seek. The advantage is that the researchers are more familiar with archives and so put limited time to best use.

Do you know if William Thompson was still in the Army in New Zealand, and how do you know for sure it was exactly the same man? I ask this for two reasons, firstly his name is quite common and secondly just one regiment was in NZ throughout the period that you are researching and that was the 65th Regiment of Foot:

1. 1853. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/Edinburgh/ ... 5/data.pdf

2. 1855. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/Edinburgh/ ... 4/data.pdf

It was very common for men to transfer between regiments departing from and arriving in India (in order to remain), but much less so from a regiment in India to one in NZ (the circumstances would have to be exceptional I think).
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Dorothy » 12 Jul 2017 06:51

Hello again Frogsmile,Sorry I didn't make myself clear. It appears that Staff Sgt. William Thompson was out of the army by July 1857(I checked and found that I had got the date wrong)I know that this is the right William as we have all the history from there.

I don't know if we will ever be able to confirm his history in India.

What I would like to know is that I have heard that if a person buys their way out of the army their record is deleted.Is this so?

Thank you

Dorothy
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Frogsmile » 12 Jul 2017 22:19

Dorothy wrote:Hello again Frogsmile,Sorry I didn't make myself clear. It appears that Staff Sgt. William Thompson was out of the army by July 1857(I checked and found that I had got the date wrong)I know that this is the right William as we have all the history from there.

I don't know if we will ever be able to confirm his history in India.

What I would like to know is that I have heard that if a person buys their way out of the army their record is deleted.Is this so?

Thank you

Dorothy


I don't believe that a man's record was expunged if he should purchase his discharge. There would be no reason to do so as records have a clear administrative purpose.
Not all military records have survived but many of those for soldiers in British Army regiments do and I again suggest that you engage a researcher if this quest is important to you. The records of men who served with Honourable East India Company units (effectively mercenaries) can be more problematic.
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Dorothy » 13 Jul 2017 02:41

Thank you Frogsmile.Knowing that there is a chance that there is is a record somewhere I shall do as you suggest.
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Peter » 13 Jul 2017 04:01

Dorothy,

As further encouragement, I can advise that I have indeed found Service Records on FMP for men who had purchased their Discharge.
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Maureene » 14 Jul 2017 00:51

My understanding is that Service Records for British Army men on findmypast, for men who had purchased their Discharge, would only apply from 1883, and that prior to this there would only be records for men who were discharged to a pension. Perhaps Peter could advise if he has seen applicable records prior to 1883. Also my understanding is that all the existing British Army Service records for this period which have survived have been digitised, so if there isn't a record currently available on findmypast, you are unlikely to find one elsewhere.

However, for a soldier in the British Army, even if there is no service record available, it should be possible to trace him in the muster rolls, although not all muster rolls survive. However, the muster rolls are available at the National Archives Kew, so a researcher would be required.

Dorothy, what information do you have that makes you sure that the soldier at Meerut in 1853 and the man who arrived in New Zealand in June 1855 are the same person ? I would think that it would be unusual for a man in the Army, whether the British Army, or one of the East Indian Company Armies, to be able to afford to buy himself out, and then be able to afford to pay for passages in a ship from India to New Zealand for himself, his wife and at least one child. Also, at this period there was probably limited shipping from India to the Australasian area, so I think it would be somewhat unusual for a man in a military band to travel from India to New Zealand 1n 1855, or even to know that New Zealand existed.

If he travelled back to England from India, and then travelled again from England to New Zealand, I assume this would be even more expensive, and therefore less likely.

Cheers
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Peter » 14 Jul 2017 03:49

Dorothy,

I’ll defer to Maureen. I initially collected hundreds of Service Records between 1858 and 1896, and then expanded the period from eighteenth century to 1918. There is no simple way for me to check those Records for method of discharge. I’m sure Maureen is correct.
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Dorothy » 17 Jul 2017 08:46

Hello Maureen,Your question, what information did I have that lead me to believe that the one in Meerut and the one in N.Z. were the same caused me to really think about things. I contacted my son in law (whose ancestor it is) he has the birth cert of his great grandfather William Thompson.All it shows is that he was BORN in India. I think we thought he must be born in Meerut as it was the first place we found that married up.

We know he was in N.Z. by July 1857 as his father William Thompson is on that years roll.I have seen that record.

As for travelling to N.Z.I have no idea.

Thank you all for your time, trouble and thoughts.

Dorothy
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Re: Staff Sgt William THOMPSON, unit NK Meerut India 1853

Postby Dorothy » 17 Jul 2017 08:59

P.S. On WilliamThompson (JNR) wedding cert.his birth date is given as 28/03/1893 which did match the one in Meerut.
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