Removed from the Regiment, a Victorian scandal.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Sappers_Gal, May 25, 2010.

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  1. I have recently downloaded a gt.grand uncles Army service records from the Web, I had been trying to find him for eight years. It made very interesting reading, especially as it was his wife who was removed from the Regiment.

    He joined the Lancers as a trumpeter at 15 and was soon in trouble for fighting in the barracks and playing with gunpowder - not at the same time-then went on to serve in India for much of his 21 years service. It looks as though he transferred to the Hussars in order to stay on in India. He was still a private when he left in 1888, with no medals or decorations but lots of pay deferments and drink related incidents, plus gonorrhea and syphilis. He was described as "a good soldier apart from 11 lapses".

    He came back to England in November 1886, with an Anglo Indian wife he had married seven years earlier when she was 15. According to his Army records she was removed from the Regiment in June 1887 for misconduct.
    Now I know she had a child in September 1887, born in the workhouse with no father's name on the birth certificate, but even so it seems rather harsh for presumably one lapse on her part.

    If the father was also in the Regiment what would have happened to him?
  2. How do you know she only had one lapse? Especially if her husband kept falling foul of gonorrhea and syphilis.

    As for the father, there was no DNA testing in those days and you could hardly cashier the entire regiment...
  3. Interesting post.
    How on earth did you find all that info on the net ?
    Seems a bit drastic by modern standers but my parents could remember their parents talking about Workhouses and folk being buried 'On the Council' a megga disgrace in those days.

  4. The Pox was a lot more common than modern sensibilities permit the teaching of.

    One of my grandfathers died of syphilis in 1907. I found that out when doing family research and was a bit shocked until I learned just how prevalent it was.

    I'm less likely to admit that he was a Guardsman than that he died of the Pox. :oops:
  5. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I half expected the thread to be about Lord Cardigan, thrown out of 15H (as CO no less), basically for being a twaaaaaaaaaaat of the first order.
  7. Penicillin cured Syph, well until the days of Nam, when GI's just bought the stuff in local Pharmacy's and took it before any symptoms appeared. This led to drug resistant strains and the infamous Black Syph an untreatable form.
    Doctors of my day would not treat any form of VD with Penicillin, still the strongest antibiotic of it's day but had found other treatments leaving Penicillin for case of last resort.

    Most told to me by a lady doctor, who is a leader in the HIV/AIDS field.
  8. Where did you turn to download those detailed records?

    My Gt Grandad was busted from Sjt (to his wife's eternal shame) during his Regular military career with the KRRC, around the turn of the 20th C: I'd love to try and track down his details down.

    Sorry I can't even begin to answer your question. I'll see if I can get the attention of an ARRSEr I do know to have good historical knowledge.
  9. Quite normal to transfer to another Regiment in those days. Higher pay on overseas tours plus barrack servants and grooms (even for the OR's) made it more attractive than forming fours in Aldershot during winter.

    The incoming Regiment would have been glad to have a sprinkling of old hands but in his case.....the phrase 'The Queens Hard Bargains' springs to mind! Lived life to the full though!
  10. If you can find the regimental journal it should say, children or spouses were sometimes on the regimental books and especially orphans or widows, being anglo her father may have been killed during the mutiny and with no other home was adopted by the regiment to aid in schooling....misconduct was likly to "bring disgrace to the regiment" and as I say the journal may be a clue, the other track would be regimental officers letters and biography's which sometimes can be found in museums and library's and while not mention names may allude to scandal
  11. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Black Syph: I am guessing that this is what I heard referred to sometime in the intervening years as Vietnam Rose.

    A quick Google tends to agree.
  12. Many thanks to all who replied. I was hoping for more background info to add to what I found in his records and your replies have been very helpful.

    I found his details on Find My Past have started to add British Army Service Records 1760 - 1913 for all Chelsea Pensioners to their website. So far they have covered 1873 to 1900 and say all years will be available by August. Well worth a look and the search is free. I had found him last year in the 1911 census described as an Army pensioner, searched Find My Past recently and and bingo, found him! Nine very interesting pages. (Even more so than gt.grandfather's police service details, the demon drink again, and another black sheep).

    As for H. - don't want to name him - he was treated for secondary syphilis, 40 days duration, with mercury. I hope it cured him as he married again, possibly bigamously and had several children. I dont know what happened to his first wife after she was "removed". I think it was either the Workhouse or the river for fallen women in those days. I do know her child was raised in an orphanage.
  13. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    The thought of having a cup of mercury tipped down one's hog's eye is a thought - I think - that would make even the most fearsome fire-eater quail.

    Better, I think to either:
    (1) Refrain from dong the unmentionable in the first place; or
    (2) Suffer in silence
  14. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    In The Cruel Sea there is a brief interlude when the young officer is aboard an escort craft accompanying a convoy. Because he once did a first aid course, he is nominated convoy medical officer. Couple of days at sea they take a message seeking his medical opinion. "What's the problem?" He replies. "Tight foreskin."

    I cannot remember his reply after all these years (I was young when I read it and some of the vignettes in the book passed me by, like a sailor returning home after a convoy to be met by a wife whose nightie is, shall we say damp, and the lodger has a smile on his face) but istr it was something like "Tell him to take two aspirin and see the doctor in the morning."
  15. "Now I arent no ' and with the ladies.
    For takin''em all along,
    You never can say till you've tried' em,
    An'then you like to be wrong,
    There's times when you'll think that you mightn't,
    Theres times when you'll know that you might;
    But the things that you will learn from the Yellow an' Brown
    They'll'elp you a lot with the White!"