Author Topic: Enlistment in the 1840's  (Read 3961 times)

Offline sphinx

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Enlistment in the 1840's
« on: October 26, 2011, 11:19:16 AM »
Hello,

Can someone with a knowledge of these things please help with the followiing questions.

If a 14 yr old joined the army in the 1840's, was his rank that of 'Boy' or 'Private'

Also would he automatically be in the band or were there other duties a 14yr old could be allocated.

Also what age was he classed as a full soldier, ie called Private or Drummer?

regards

timberman

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Re: Enlistment in the 1840's
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 08:11:40 PM »
They enlisted as a boy soldier until the age of 18 years and was then eligible to enter the ranks as a full-fledged soldier.
It was mainly sons of serving soldiers that joined at 14yrs.

"During the Victorian period, it was not unusual for the son of a serving soldier, normally a non-commissioned officer, to enter the Army as a Boy Soldier in the same regiment or corps as his father."

Timberman

Offline sphinx

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Re: Enlistment in the 1840's
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 09:00:32 PM »
cheers

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Enlistment in the 1840's
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 02:29:07 PM »
Sphinx.

An extract from Manchester Regiment Standing Orders dated June 1930.

Normally all boys of the battalion will be quartered in barracks by themselves, under one or two non-commissioned officers of the Band and Drums, to be selected by the Officer Commanding the Headquarter wing.

Boys will not leave barracks after 8.45 pm and will answer their names to the Orderly Sergeant at that time.

All boys will be in bed at 9pm (abroad at 9.30pm) except in special circumstances.

Boys will not be allowed to smoke or enter the Wet Canteen or a public house.

All boys will attend religious instruction at least once a week and will attend Divine Service whether the Battalion parades or not.

They will attend school until they obtain a 1st class Certificate of Education, or until they attain the age of 18 years.

They will not go into the men's barracks rooms for any purpose.

When boys are awarded convinement to barracks, they will attend all defaulter's parades and fatigues, but will not drill in CB order.

It is the duty of the Band Sergeant and Drum-Major to interest themselves in the welfare of the boys off parade, and to prevent them from associating with the men.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 10:18:24 PM by harribobs »
Robert

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: Enlistment in the 1840's
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 02:36:52 PM »
Spinx,
As always there are exceptions:
I have the medals to James Pullen (63rd Reg) who enlisted on 5 dec 1876 giving his age as 17 years and 6 months and he was immediately given the rank of Private.
Bob B

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Enlistment in the 1840's
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 02:54:42 PM »
Quite correct.  A 17 and 6 month old enlistment would not enter Boys service but would be immediately classified as a man.
Robert
Robert

Offline themonsstar

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Re: Enlistment in the 1840's
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 05:40:42 PM »
Any boy or teenager who is the age of 17 and six months was classed as a adult soldier if they joined the Army.  When the army got rid of the junior soldiers and junior leaders, in the early 2000s ( for the worst possible reasons), this meant that you could have 16-year-olds with men of 36 years of age, when you are training them to be soldiers, you soon realise both groups have different needs, the 16-year-olds were not allowed into the NAAFI without an escort as the NAAFI sold alcoholic drinks so you had to have them escorted there at different times. You then add the other problem,of the older soldiers coming back in to the accommodation who had been drinking?

Also, when you discipline a 16-year-old soldier in comparison to a soldier who was over 18,  You can soon understand the problems you would have, every other day you are dealing with the parents of 16-year-olds asking about how is little Johnny is getting on, and can you put him on the phone,  As they wished to speak to their little baby, the Labour Party ( in Government at the time) and the MOD soon realised they had made a major mistake and reinvented junior soldiers and junior leaders, by coming up with the junior Apprentice College at Harrowgate in Yorkshire so reinventing the wheel.


I've posted the front covers from the Judge's service records, John the 96th of Foot at the age of 13 .In December 1863, his brother Alfred joined the 96th of Foot April 17, 1873, at the age of 14,  both of their records should be on Find My Past as part of the  war office  (WO97) service records.

When John joined up 23rd of December 1862, his Rank was Boy, until July 1863 , when the Rank change to Drummer, in October 1865 .  He then changed to the Rank of Private Soldier.

Alfred joined up April 1873, with the Rank of Boy Soldier, until April 1876, when he attended to the age of 15 years old, when he then changed his rank to a Private Soldier


Offline sphinx

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Re: Enlistment in the 1840's
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2011, 06:34:18 PM »
Thankyou everyone,

Quite a variance from the soldier I was researching in the Victorian times to more modern times.

Joseph FELLOWES has no papers and died in the Crimea in 1855, but from the 63rd muster rolls and pay lists he appears to have joined in 1841 aged 14 yrs and is listed with the 'rank' of boy until late 1842 when he is shipped out to join the Regiment in India, at which time he is listed with the rank of private.  I can only assume this coincided with his 16th birthday.

The next year he was acting drummer and a Drummer in 1846 aged 19/20 years.

He spent half his life in the Army just to die of cold or disease on the heights of Sebastapol like many others.

regards