Madras Artillery HEIC to Royal Artillery

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by TreeRat66, Sep 25, 2011.

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  1. As part of my family history research I am trying to discover details of
    my great great Grandfathers Army career and wider historical context.

    I know that he was born in Southwark, London.
    Enlisted 23 July 1849 in London as Gnr Henry XXXXX at 20 yrs 7 months
    His battalion number was XXXX and he was assigned to 'I' Company

    His first marriage took place in 'St Thomas Mount, Madras India'
    (Madras Army HQ from 1744) in the marriage register he
    describes himself as a Sergeant in the Madras Artillery. His wife
    produced three children after 1861 at Kamptee India, on the baptismal
    record of the first child he describes himself as a Bombardier 1st
    Battery 20th Brigade RA and for the last two as a Bombardier 20th
    Brigade RA.

    1861 Transfer of soldiers to Royal Artillery. The Madras Artillery was absorbed into the Royal Artillery as the 17th, 20th and 23rd Brigades

    he was assigned to Depot, Brigade 1 in November 1868
    By 1870 following the deaths of his wife and children, he
    was back in England marrying his second wife.
    In 1910 on his death certificate he is listed as an army pensioner.
    I understand that after the Indian Mutiny the Madras Artillery were
    absorbed into the RA which may account for his change of rank.

    What I am interested in is:-
    How and where did men join the Madras Artillery of the HEIC.
    At that time the Battery number/letter designations appear to have been
    in a state of flux, was the 1st Battery mentioned the 'Blazers'.

    Can someone suggest a book covering the HEIC/RA of this era that doesn't concentrate on the mutiny.

    tia
    Andy
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. History of the Royal Artillery - From the Indian Mutiny to the Great War, Vol 1 )1860 -1899), Maj Gen Sir Charles Callweel and Maj Gen Sir John Headlam. Originally published 1931 but available as a paperback reprint by Naval & Military Press.

    Appendix A - The Amalgamation

    The Bill for amalgamation received Royal Assent in 20 Aug 1861. A General Regimental Order issued 19 Feb 1862 at Horse Guards (the War Office was a later invention), this authorised the amalgamation to the Royal Artillery of 4 bdes of horse arty, and 10 of field and garrison. This referred to General Order No 924 of 1861 issued by the Governor General of India in Council 10 Apr 1861 which ordered:

    The Bengal, Madras and Bombay Regiments of Artillery to be formed into 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Royal Horse Bdes, and 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th Brigades Royal Artillery.

    The batteries of the new RA Bdes will be composed of the soldiers of the existing Troops and Companies of the Bengal, Madras and Bombay Regiments of Artillery who have volunteered for the Royal Artillery.

    The Artillery men who have elected local service will be formed into separate Indian (European) Batteries.

    The 2nd RH Bde will be formed of seven Troops of Bengal HA, the 3rd Bde of the four Troops of Mdras HA, the 4th Bde of the four Troops of Bombay HA, and the 5th Bde of six Troops of Bengal HA.

    It then detailed the Bde RA in terms of the number of coys of which HEIC arty each bde got. The original order had a table that was omitted from the history.

    It also said that all batteries would remain in current stations, men electing local service would be formed into separate batteries but doesn't give any details. I think these were what became the Indian mountain batteries. Generally a lot of Europeans from the HEIC armies opted to return to UK, where many enlisted in the British Army. Its not clear how this affected artillery, there certainly weren't enough men to form all the new ex HEIC bdes and it took a few years for them to come up to strength.

    There have been two or three battery re-numberings since the Mutiny, the last in 1947. I assume that Lt Col MES Laws 'Battery Records of the Royal Artillery 1859 - 1877' is the place to start.
     
  3. Thank you Petardier for your help. I'll get copies of the references you gave and read up.
    One question that has always interested me is, living in Southwark why didn't my GGGrandad cross the river and join the RA at Woolwich? Was the pay better with the HEIC?