Any Experts on the Victorian Army about?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Harry Paget Flashman, May 12, 2008.

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  1. A friend and neighbour (knowing I have an interest in these things) has asked me to look into the history of an ancestor of his (Great Great Grandfather I think).

    His name was Henry Hoyer Waight, born in Holborn, Middlesex in 1835.

    He joined the 65th Regiment of Foot (we think) and finished his service as RSM (again, we think) before moving to Halifax to work as an overlooker in the textile industry, somewhere late 1800s. He had a daughter who died in Secunderabad but not sure when (she was born in the 1870s).

    Please take a look at the pics. I'm thinking this is around the Crimea period (the double breasted tunic didn't last long) and he's obviously a Sergeant. One question though, it appears that his cap numerals are 59 upside down rather than 65, any ideas?

    Any light anyone can shed would be much appreciated.

    Sorry for the quality of the pics, but the are photos of photos.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. I should mention we have tried the usual Googling, but not come up with anything yet. :(
     
  3. How about the National Army Mesuem or the National Archives?

    Stilts
     
  4. After a short period in England the regiment was back in Canada by 1837 in time for the rebellions of 1837 and 1838.

    They went back to Britain in 1841 but in 1845 they were shipped to Australia and in 1846 to New Zealand where they took part in the New Zealand land wars. This is where they got the nickname Hickety Pip, from the Māori pronunciation of their number. They fought in the Taranaki Wars of 1860 to 1861 and 1863 to 1866.

    By 1871 they were back in India where they were based when the Childer's Reform of the British Army occurred. The 65th Foot became the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment while the 84th Foot beame the 2nd Battalion.
     
  5. I would suggest that the regt is the 59th. I assume that the photo plate has been reversed??

    The 59th Regiment of Foot recruited from Nottingham and Leicester and were in India and Afghanistan.
     
  6. Get in touch with the National Achives at Kew. Google for the address.

    JW.
     
  7. It ain't a daguerotype (spelling?) though. Everything else is the right way round (and the badge is upside down not reversed)
     
  8. That badge does seem odd, National Archives is still your best bet to tie the man to a regiment.
    Other Ranks 1760-1913
     
  9. Slightly better copy of your photo.

    [​IMG]

    Don't think it adds anything though.
     
  10. I'm not an expert on the Victorian army (nor on anything else) but the National Archives at Kew are the place to start. I've been dragged into tracing soldiers for this era and it is is perfectly possible, albeit a bit of a slog.

    My impression is that the survival of an individual soldier's documents pre- WW1 varies according to the exact time/conditions of service, but if this geezer was an RSM he was almost certainly entitled to a pension and therefore will have left a paper trail. Even if this is not the case, he will appear in the muster lists.

    Muster rolls are simply a case of 'hard pounding, gentlemen' - you may have to look through a lot of ledgers to find your man and then follow his service. But if you look at the links given in other posts and the various research guides on the NA website you should have a good idea of how to tackle the research at Kew.

    The National Archives have just published a new book by William Spenser, their expert on military records, explaining how to trace Army ancestors - worth having a look at this as a guide on how to proceed, it's based on very, very expert knowledge of the records. William is a sound guy (for an ex-matelot) and his books are always good value as guides to this sort of research - and no, I'm not on commission.

    OaC
     
  11. 59th Regt of Foot became The East Lancashire Regt (2nd Battalion).

    65th Regt of Foot became The York & Lancaster Regiment.

    May I suggest trying the respective regimental museums first?






    .
     
  12. My non-expert approach was to see if they had contrasting facings, but both regiments had white facings so that wasn't much help. Both regiments were in India in the 1870s: 59th 1869-1880, 65th 1871-1882. If the daughter who died was born very early 1870s it might suggest he was 59th. Beyond that you'd need to determine their movements within India.

    The tunic: c1855, the 59th was in Australia & New Zealand, the 65th was in China. It seems unlikely that the shortlived 1855 tunic made it out that far (but I could be wrong on that one). The fact he's wearing one might suggest that he was at the regiment's depot (whichever one it was) around that time.
     
  13. some of the other photos indicate he was in Halifax later in life. Have you tried the local parish register?
     
  14. In PassingBells photo you can see the regimental number a bit clearer on the epaulette, definately starts with a five I would say, so that leaves either the 59th or the 56th ?