3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

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3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby Paul knowles » 21 Dec 2017 18:58

Hello Forum,

Can you please help. I am trying to piece together the history of a local man born in the village of Fitz, Shropshire who died in the Crimea in 1855 while serving with the 21st Foot. He was Private 3379 Charles Croft, 21st Foot. Any information would be wonderful.

Many thanks

Paul

Shrewsbury, Shropshire
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby almaboy » 22 Dec 2017 09:24

I do hope you are the lucky buyer of his medal which has just been reserved as sold:
https://www.billfriarmedals.co.uk/shop. ... rettyPhoto

As you can see from the vendors description, Croft was originally a groom from Shropshire and died in camp at Balaklava, most probably from disease, on 22nd January 1855. His medal and death are confirmed on the relative medal rolls.

As he died, there will be no service papers available so any further research would need to be conducted through the muster rolls held at The National Archives.

Tony.
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby Paul knowles » 22 Dec 2017 20:59

Hi Tony,

Many thanks for your reply, yes I am indeed the lucky buyer. I drive past Charles Crofts village of Fitz, Shropshire almost every day and it is near the village of Middle where Charles was the servant/Groom to the Curate there, Reverend Nesbit. This was the main reason for buying the medal and hoping to put Charles history to it.

I have looked at the usual census information for 1841 and 1851 which gives Charles family details and I can find a good deal on Reverend Nesbit but sadly very little about Charles military career in the 21st Foot. I will try the muster rolls as suggested. Where would I find his Attestation papers? and how do I find the medal roll? How can I find what and where the 21st Foot where when Charles enlisted?

Thank you again for your time. Why would his service papers be unavailable?

Regards
Paul

Shrewsbury, Shropshire
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby almaboy » 22 Dec 2017 21:33

Paul

It was common practice to destroy a mans service papers on his death. They were preserved for pension reasons so if he died he didn't receive a pension and hence no need to retain his papers.

The muster rolls are the quarterly pay records for a Regt and list all soldiers on the strength at any given time. Enlistments are recorded as well as any changes in a soldiers circumstances such as promotion, punishment and discharge/death. Whilst you are unlikely to gain much more detail than you already have regarding your man, you will be able to track his movements and whereabouts for the period he served.

The medal rolls are available to download free from the National Archives website here: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... r/C3763791, which is the Crimea medal roll for the Regt concerned.

Tony.
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby Peter » 23 Dec 2017 05:59

Paul,

A grain of hope.

Tony knows far more than I concerning searching Service Records and Medal Rolls and is quite correct in what he says.

However, FWIW, I have occasionally found Service Records for men who have died on Service. It is a long shot, but worth the effort.

Regards,
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby jf42 » 23 Dec 2017 11:18

Paul here is an outline sketch of the stations of the 21st (Royal North British Fuzileers) between 1839 and 1854, when they went to the Crimea:

1831 England
1832 at sea ship: Lord Lyndoch
1833.12.10 Van Dieman's Land: Hobart convict guards
1833 Western Australia: Perth, Swan River
1839 India
1843-44 Kamptee
1846.02.07 Agra
1848 Scotland
1851 England
1853 Ireland
1854.08 at sea (embarked at Cork)
1854 Turkey
1854 Crimea

http://www.regiments.org:80/regiments/uk/inf/021RSF.htm

You will find some more detail here, from an early regimental history:
https://archive.org/stream/historicalre ... 6/mode/2up
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby Paul knowles » 23 Dec 2017 17:11

Thank you all for your time and advice. First Tony, I have down loaded the medal roll for the 21st Foot and found Charles which I am delighted about, it confirms all four clasps and also his death in Balaklava. JF42, please accept my thanks for the details and links for the 21st Foot. It really helped to understand the movements of Charles and the Regiment. Peter, thank you for your encouragement regarding service history...........you just never know.

I have always found this forum friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Thank you.

Any additional information, however small I would be delighted to hear. Once I have collated as much information as I can, I will post it on the Forum.

Merry Christmas everyone and a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year.

Paul
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby Paul knowles » 24 Dec 2017 01:36

Hello Forum,

Can anyone please translate the 'B' and 'WO' on Crimea against the medal roll for Charles Croft? Would this be 'Balaklava' and 'War Office'

Also, how do we know that this Charles Croft was a Groom near Shrewsbury when as Tony pointed out his service papers were most likely destroyed?

Many thanks

Paul
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby jf42 » 24 Dec 2017 10:45

Paul as far as your man's civilian occupation is concerned, that could have been recorded in regimental records of the 21st when he enlisted.

The name of his employer may have been taken from the 1841 census if, as would have been likely for a groom, he lived on the premises.
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby almaboy » 24 Dec 2017 14:59

Paul

you are correct on both counts with reference to the medal roll annotations.

'B' stands for the Balaklava clasp and 'WO' for War office. With reference to the latter, this annotation signifies that a medal, officially impressed with the recipients details on the rim, was sent to his NOK by the War Office.

If you'd like to find out more about the whole story of the medal and how it was awarded, you might consider investing in this:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/tony-martin-an ... 31970.html

With regard to his former trade jf42 is quite correct when he says that this would be noted on the mans enlistment, but it is highly likely that in this case the vendor has identified him on the 1851 Census, which concurs with what you already know.

Tony
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby Paul knowles » 24 Dec 2017 22:19

Hi Tony and JF42, Thank you for coming back to me today, very much appreciated. Its all starting to make sense, and I am very grateful for your knowledge and guidance.
Best regards Paul
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 16 Jan 2018 18:29

Hi, Paul!

Have you tried searching in any of the old newspapers? I can do that, if you have not. Can you tell me when your Charles was born? Do you know if he was married?

Here is a link to a post that I put up about the distribution of Crimea Medals. Found all of this researching my own gent!
http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11991

Someone has your gent listed here with a death date of 28 Jan 1855.
http://www.britishmedals.us/files/rsfcrimea.htm

Regards,
Sarah
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby Paul knowles » 18 Jan 2018 14:02

Hi Sarah,

Many thanks for the information and your kind offer to help. Charles Croft was born in January 1835 in the village of Fitz, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire. (twin boys, sadly his brother died 15 days later) I cannot find any record of him marrying. in 1851 he was a groom to the Curate of Middle, a local village near to where he was born. He enlisted into the 21st Foot on the 29th April 1852. I have found his details on the Muster Rolls which confirm his occupation prior to enlisting as a groom, where he was born, next of kin, his father Joseph, and the date he enlisted, and the day he died 28th January 1855 at Balaklava.

If you could search old newspapers that would be wonderful.

Kind regards

Paul
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 18 Jan 2018 15:52

Hi, Paul!

I've done some looking in the papers and come up with two death notices. Charles died onboard the Golden Fleece while being sent out of the Crimea back to Spithead. He died of Dysentery. That would tell me that he was buried at sea, but if any of the other Crimean experts here would like to give you their opinion, that would be a good idea. :)
I've attached the clippings from two papers here.

Here is a link that has a picture of the Golden Fleece, as well as a full list of all movements during the Crimea. Croft did not make it very far into the voyage, as the ship did not arrive at Spithead until May 24th.
http://www.historic-shipping.co.uk/gsssco/Golden%20Fleece.html

Have you seen the scans of the original Baptism record for Charles? I can get that for you, if you'd like it. And you are right, I don't find anything to suggest that he was married either.

Regards,
Sarah
Attachments
Golden Fleece1.jpg
Golden Fleece1.jpg (41.75 KiB) Viewed 39 times
Croft, Charles Death on Passage from Crimea London Evening Standard 28 Feb 1855 page 4.JPG
Croft, Charles Death on Passage from Crimea London Evening Standard 28 Feb 1855 page 4.JPG (58.86 KiB) Viewed 39 times
Croft, Charles Death on Golden Fleece Lloyds Weekly Newspaper 04 Mar 1855 page 5.JPG
Croft, Charles Death on Golden Fleece Lloyds Weekly Newspaper 04 Mar 1855 page 5.JPG (66.91 KiB) Viewed 39 times
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Re: 3379 Private Charles Croft 21st Foot

Postby Paul knowles » 19 Jan 2018 16:04

Hi Sarah,

That is extraordinary. I had assumed that he died and was subsequently buried at Balaklava. I am extremely grateful for your time and the attachments. I have seen the church Baptism records for Charles and his brother, William and visited the parish church of St Peter and St Paul in Fitz (Its only a few miles from home) hoping to see a headstone to one of the Crofts, but sadly not. The local stone is sandstone so most have worn and become indistinct. I will contact the Curate and ask to meet them on my next visit and hope to identify where his brother and parents are buried.

Sarah, I have a favour to ask of you. Before enlisting Charles worked as a groom in the Village of Middle/Myddle, Shropshire to Reverend John Majoribanks Nisbet. Middle was his first Parish and I should imagine he relied on Charles a good deal as he was local. The Reverend came from a wealthy family and became well known in his own right, becoming a Cannon. Their must be some mention in Newspapers of his time as Curate? Could you please take a look?

Thank you again for your help.

Kind regards

Paul
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