Author Topic: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...  (Read 2516 times)

Offline Andrew W

  • *
  • Posts: 5
Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« on: November 18, 2016, 06:09:43 PM »
I'm researching my Great Grandfather who was baptised Admiral Whitehead in 1868.  An unusual first name now, but I understand it wasn't uncommon in those days.  But I'm confused over his service with the Manchester Regiment...

The non-mystery part comes from Findmypast.  I found an Attestation for Admiral Whitehead, age 19, signing up for the Manchester Regiment on 15 Jan 1888. It states that he is living at "Waterlow, Ashton under Lyne", is single and wasn't previously in the army.  It was signed by a Colonel who added "63rd Regiment" to his signature. Admiral's service number ("2116") was apparently in a range issued between Apr 1887 and Oct 1888, so the 1888 sign-up date looks solid.
This also seems consistent with the earlier 1881 census showing Admiral Whitehead at school, age 13, living with his parents and their other children in Taunton parish, Ashton under Lyne.

The mystery part is that Admiral's first child, Georgina, was born in Umballa India on 2 Nov 1886 apparently before Admiral signed his Attestation ???.  Her birth certificate headed "63rd (West Suffolk) The Manchester Regiment" shows she was the child of "L Sergt. A Whitehead, Bachelor and Margaret Moss, Widow".  Georgina Whitehead features on subsequent census returns, together with Admiral's later children (Mabel born 1890 in India, and my grandfather born in Limerick in 1893, both who have Manchester Regiment birth certificates.  Incidentally the Adjutant named on Georgina's birth certificate, and on my grandfather's later birth certificate was "W. R. N Annesley, Capt."

I have tried to solve the mystery by checking there was no other Admiral Whitehead of about the same age in Ashton.  I also searched the National Archive's regimental pay records, but didn't find an Admiral Whitehead.  Maybe his first name could have been confused with a navy rank, so the army gave him an alternate everyday name?

I'm confused, and any member's insights would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Andrew

Offline sphinx

  • ****
  • Posts: 1,234
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 08:57:02 PM »
Andrew,

all I can add is that he lived in the "Waterloo" area of Ashton, not Waterlow.

regards

Offline Andrew W

  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 09:18:53 AM »
Thank you!

Maybe the officer completing my great grandfather's Attestation form wasn't local, so spelt Waterloo wrong.  But mis-spelling our most important battle against Napoleon should have been a firing offence!

Andrew

Offline charlie

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,287
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2016, 11:52:46 AM »
Andrew, welcome to the forum.

Captain William Richard Norton Annesley DSO was only appointed Adjutant of the 3rd Bn Manchester Regiment on 23 Jan 1893, so it would seem unlikely that he signed a birth certificate as Adjutant in 1886. He was on secondment from the Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Could the birth certificate have been made out retrospectively?

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/26370/page/683

Just for interest a link to a photo of him

http://ww1photos.com/Names/A/AnnesleyWRNMajorWKentReg.html

Charlie


Offline sphinx

  • ****
  • Posts: 1,234
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2016, 11:58:13 AM »
The 3rd Bn was a Militia Bn based at The Depot, Ashton.

Was he also with the 2nd Bn in India at the time in question?

regards

Offline Andrew W

  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2016, 01:46:55 PM »
Thank you Charlie.  It adds a whole new dimension to see the photo of the person who signed the birth certificate.

I've attached a copy of Georgina's birth certificate from late 1886 that shows Capt W R N Annesley (mis-spelt Armesley) as Adjutant, but there is no reference to the battalion number.  I have been assuming that the 63rd was the old name for the 1st Bn, but am unsure.   I can't find any reference to the Chaplain, Father Dalvasic.   It's difficult to know if the certificate was signed retrospectively, but on the face of it Capt Annesley was signing 1886 documents as Adjutant of one of the battalions.

Capt. Annesley also signed my great grandfather's birth certificate in 1893, and that is titled 1st Bn. The Manchester Regiment.  He was born Sept 1893, and baptised Oct.1893 in Limerick, Ireland... by which time Cast Annesley had been appointed Adjutant of the 3rd Bn according to the cutting you kindly found.

Do you think that all birth certificates were signed centrally, and retrospectively, by the Adjutant who oversaw more than one battalion?

Thanks again your help.


Offline Andrew W

  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2016, 02:10:56 PM »
Hi Sphinx,
Thank you for your reply on my posting.

I can't tell whether he was with the 2nd Bn. in India.  According to the birth certificates of his 3 children, in 1886 he was in Umballa (now Ambala) India , in 1889 in Sialkot India (now in Pakistan), and in 1892/93 in Limerick, Ireland at Fort Westmoreland.

Working backwards in 1892/93 it seems he was in the 1st Bn. according to the my great grandfather's birth certificate (that I've attached) but he may have been in the 2nd Bn. whilst in India. I was assuming the 1st Bn. though because the 1886 birth certificate says 63rd (West Suffolk).  But I'm not at all sure, so any steer from you will be very much appreciated!

Thanks,
Andrew

Offline charlie

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,287
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2016, 06:07:25 PM »
Captain Annesley was, according to the ledger "records and services of Adjutants of the Volunteer Corps" (WO76/203/19 - free download from the NA), in Gibraltar from July 1886 to November 1888 and had previously served in Egypt. This adds strength to my suspicion that the birth certificate was made out retrospectively.

Charlie

Offline sphinx

  • ****
  • Posts: 1,234
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2016, 07:37:44 PM »
Some further research has shown me that Capt. Annersley was an officer of the Royal west Kent Regiment.

As has been said above he was adjutant of the 3rd Militia Bn. at the Depot, Ashton-u-Lyne 1886 - 1888.

My theory is as has been said the birth certificate had been lost in India and a copy obtained in the UK signed by the Adjutant at the Depot who was available namely Capt. Annesley.

regards

Offline Andrew W

  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Admiral Whitehead, a mystery to me...
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2016, 10:06:24 AM »
Charlie, Sphinx,
Thank you both for your efforts and your knowledge.  What you are suggesting seems accurate, and it will stop me going on a wild goose chase, wrongly assuming that my great grandfather was serving in the same places at the same times as Capt. Annersley.

Annersley signing piles of regimental certificates brings to mind Colonel Blake in M*A*S*H, signing piles of papers unread!