The Manchester Regiment Forum

The Great War => 1914 - 1918 => Topic started by: skypilot on August 18, 2010, 01:41:52 PM

Title: 5820 Pte Robert Callister 6th Batt - same as 4384 8th Batt?
Post by: skypilot on August 18, 2010, 01:41:52 PM
Thanks for letting me in to this rather superb forum.

I am seeking information on a Robert Callister and I’m hoping you may be able to assist.

I recently acquired the Queen’s South Africa Medal awarded to 5820 Pte Robert Callister (He may have had a middle name of Mark) who served in the 6th and 2nd Battalions of the Manchester Regiment during the Boer War having enlisted in 1897 and was discharged in 1903. I believe that he may have rejoined the Manchester Regiment (8th Battalion) some time prior to WW1 as 2483 Pte Robert Callister, subsequently transferring to the Labour Corps and Died of Wounds 14.9.1917, however I cannot prove this connection.

I know he was approximately 20 years old when he enlisted in 1897, giving an approximate birth year of 1876ish but I know from experience, this could vary by +/- a couple of years. I also know he was single, his parents were Robert & Mary Callister and they all lived in Hulme, Manchester although Robert Jnr and his father were originally born in Douglas, Isle of Man.

ANY help at all would be hugely appreciated.

I have some service papers and copies of the medal rolls but cannot prove that 5820 and 2483 are one and the same man, although the evidence is strong that indeed he was.
Title: Re: 5820 Pte Robert Callister 6th Batt - same as 4384 8th Batt?
Post by: tonyrod on August 20, 2010, 08:19:27 AM
hi skypilot, to help identify robert callister,you can find him on ,
1911 census
Schedule type   Last names   First names   Sex   Birth year   Age in 1911   District / other   County / other   Transcript   
HOUSEHOLD CALLISTER       ROBERT MARK            M        1874      37             Chorlton            Lancashire

24 AUG 1873      Saint Barnabas, Douglas, Isle Of Man, England               
     Father:     ROBERT COLLISTER
     Mother:     MARY               note spelling on birth could be a typo erro
1881 census
 Name      Relation     Marital Status     Gender     Age     Birthplace     Occupation    Disability
 Robert CALLISTER      Head      M      Male      41      Douglas, Isle of Man, England      Tailor       
 Mary CALLISTER      Wife      M      Female      37      Lanark, Scotland             
 Martha CALLISTER      Daur      U      Female      15      Ramsay, Isle of Man, England      Cotton Hooker       
 Mary L. CALLISTER      Daur      U      Female      13      Douglas, Isle of Man, England             
 Alice G. CALLISTER      Daur      U      Female      12      Douglas, Isle of Man, England      Scholar       
 Ellinor S. CALLISTER      Daur      U      Female      9      Douglas, Isle of Man, England      Scholar       
 Robert M. CALLISTER      Son      U      Male      7      Douglas, Isle of Man, England      Scholar       
 Janet CALLISTER      Daur      U      Female      4      Manchester             
 Mabel M. CALLISTER      Daur      U      Female      2      Manchester             

Source Information:
    Dwelling     9 Thomas St
     Census Place    Hulme, Lancashire, England
    Family History Library Film     1341940
    Public Records Office Reference     RG11
    Piece / Folio     3937 / 64
    Page Number     13

Title: Re: 5820 Pte Robert Callister 6th Batt - same as 4384 8th Batt?
Post by: skypilot on August 20, 2010, 09:57:22 AM
Thanks Tonyrod,

I've consulted the local birth registries (the original books) and can confirm the spelling on his baptism is Collister, however Collister/Callister is a very indiginous Manx name and as such, locally the "a" and "o" are often interchangeable as it tends to be pronounced Collister. It happened back then and still happens now! Very confusing at times.

I am absolutely certain that Robert Mark Callister on the 1911 census is the same chap in the baptism record above. Likewise, I think it is interesting he is not on the 1901 census although his family are, which lends weight to the fact that he is the same chap who was serving in South Africa at this time.
Title: Re: 5820 Pte Robert Callister 6th Batt - same as 4384 8th Batt?
Post by: tonyrod on August 20, 2010, 05:42:09 PM
could be of use to you, if you don't already have the link,
Title: Re: 5820 Pte Robert Callister 6th Batt - same as 4384 8th Batt?
Post by: skypilot on August 20, 2010, 05:51:08 PM
Thanks Tony.

Frances Coakley, who authoired the website "Manx Notebook" has basically copied out the Roll of Honour from "Isle of Man & the Great War" by Bertram Sargeant. It was written in the 1920's and formed the basis of the later "official" Roll of Honour published in book form in around 1934. As such it lists 1303 Manx casualties and on face value is a great document.

The problem is that having started to look at the Roll of Homour in more detail I would estimate that around 80% of the entries ahve incorrect information. Some of the errors are minor and in some cases they are huge. There's at least 3 people I have found so far that have been entered twice in error under 2 different branches of service for example.

The book I am compiling is seeking to basically address these errors and produce a more accurate Roll of Honour with added biographical details. I cannot criticise the original compilers as they did the best they could, however I feel that 90+ years on, it is fitting and proper to ensure these men are remembered correctly. I have already had one CWGC headstone changed to reflect the man's proper name and that in itself has been rewarding.

I'm not aiming to add or take away anyone not "Manx" enough etc. as that is a very thorny subject, merely to correct the information on those names the island saw fit to include and honour as their own.

This is why my project is estimated to be around 5+ years before I will have completed it although the end is gradually getting closer.