RootsChat.Com

General => Armed Forces => Topic started by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 10:40 GMT (UK)

Title: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 10:40 GMT (UK)
£10 seems like a lot of money for 1889.
And signing up for two years, but then buying yourself out after just 2 months seems unusual. Was it ?

71052 Williams, Walter FindMyPast record here -  https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=gbm%2fwo97%2f4179%2f333728 (https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=gbm%2fwo97%2f4179%2f333728) - the information is only on the scanned image, not the transcription

Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: nanny jan on Monday 13 November 17 11:50 GMT (UK)
My grandpa did the same!   

Joined on 19th September 1898 and discharged upon payment of £10 on 4th October 1898.......16 days.   ::)

He was 18 years and 6 months so probably  a young man's wild fancy......or he missed his mum. No idea where the family found the money, dad was just a labourer.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 12:15 GMT (UK)
Just found this Rootschat "Pounds shillings and pence - in today's value" thread http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=239765.0 (http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=239765.0) which links to an online calculator https://measuringworth.com/calculators/ppoweruk/ (https://measuringworth.com/calculators/ppoweruk/)

I'd already found a couple of online inflation calculators: http://inflation.stephenmorley.org/ (http://inflation.stephenmorley.org/)
and http://www.in2013dollars.com/1889-GBP-in-2016?amount=10 (http://www.in2013dollars.com/1889-GBP-in-2016?amount=10)

It seems that £10 in 1899 was roughly equivalent to just over £1,000 today
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: nanny jan on Monday 13 November 17 12:20 GMT (UK)
£1,000......phew!  Guess they passed the hat round the family....one of his sisters (he was the baby of the family) had "married well" so perhaps they helped or a few visits to the pawn shop.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: jim1 on Monday 13 November 17 12:25 GMT (UK)
Not that common as a soldiers pay wouldn't cover that kind of expense.
As has been mentioned the money probably came from someone else.
You need to look at the movements of his Battalion as this may give a reason why. It may be they were due to go overseas & he didn't want to go as overseas postings lasted years rather than months.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 12:27 GMT (UK)
My grandpa did the same!   

Joined on 19th September 1898 and discharged upon payment of £10 on 4th October 1898.......16 days.   ::)

He was 18 years and 6 months so probably  a young man's wild fancy......or he missed his mum. No idea where the family found the money, dad was just a labourer.

I wonder how they paid. I seriously doubt they had £10 to hand! Telegraph/telegram or post seems the only quick way to contact family (telephone seems to have been very new and probably not an option - https://owlcation.com/humanities/history-of-the-telephone-system-uk (https://owlcation.com/humanities/history-of-the-telephone-system-uk) )
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 12:31 GMT (UK)
Not that common as a soldiers pay wouldn't cover that kind of expense.
As has been mentioned the money probably came from someone else.
You need to look at the movements of his Battalion as this may give a reason why. It may be they were due to go overseas & he didn't want to go as overseas postings lasted years rather than months.

Thanks. Just did a Google search for "ist battalion welsh regiment 1889" (yes, I mistyped) and the snippet for the top result (Wikipedia) included "...The 1st Battalion moved to Malta in 1889..."

www.royalwelsh.org.uk/regiment/history-regiment-timeline.htm (http://www.royalwelsh.org.uk/regiment/history-regiment-timeline.htm) 1881 The Welch Regiment (third column,near the bottom), click on 'Natal, Egypt, Sudan, Malta'

1st Battalion
1881-1886 Natal
1886-1889 Egypt (1888-9 seeing action)
1889-Dec1893 Malta
1893to Wales, Pembroke Dock

2nd Battalion
1881-1898 Home, Ireland and then moved to India (1892 according to Wikipedia).

So if he was expecting to join the 2nd battalion (Home/Ireland in 1899) then not wanting to go overseas could be the reason

More detail https://www.maltaramc.com/regmltgar/41st.html (https://www.maltaramc.com/regmltgar/41st.html) on the 1st btn movements in 1889 - 24 Aug 1889 embarked in Egypt, 29 August 1889 disembarked in Malta

Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: Sinann on Monday 13 November 17 14:04 GMT (UK)
My great grandfather sold the pony to get the £10 for his son, the son later joined up again but too late to get the refund of the £10. Three of his younger brothers also joined the Army and were told in no uncertain terms that once in they had to stay the course. We still say "pony gone soldier on" in my family for any job you have no chance of getting out of.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 14:12 GMT (UK)
My great grandfather sold the pony to get the £10 for his son, the son later joined up again but too late to get the refund of the £10. Three of his younger brothers also joined the Army and were told in no uncertain terms that once in they had to stay the course. We still say "pony gone soldier on" in my family for any job you have no chance of getting out of.
What was the time limit for the refund ?
Would joining the militia entitle a paid-out soldier to a refund?
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: MaxD on Monday 13 November 17 14:31 GMT (UK)
[quote author=kob3203 link=topic=782491.msg6369750#msg6369750 date=151057629

Thanks. Just did a Google search for "ist battalion welsh regiment 1889" (yes, I mistyped) and the snippet for the top result (Wikipedia) included "...The 1st Battalion moved to Malta in 1889..."[/quote]

Just for accuracy's sake - he wasn't in the Welsh Regiment.  He was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery (RA) in the 1st Brigade Welsh Division which as far as I can determine was a garrison artillery unit.  He was discharged at Crownhill which was one of the Victorian forts at Plymouth.  Perhaps he didn't like England!

MaxD
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 15:21 GMT (UK)
If this http://www.reubique.com/buyout.htm (http://www.reubique.com/buyout.htm) (which references SKELLEY, A.R. The Victorian Army at Home: The Recruitment and Terms and Conditions of the British Regular, 1859-1899. McGill-Queenís University Press, Montreal, 1977. ISBN 10: 0773503048 ISBN 13: 9780773503045 ) is correct then the annual number of men buying themselves out of the army was about 1,500-2,500.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 15:35 GMT (UK)
Just for accuracy's sake - he wasn't in the Welsh Regiment.  He was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery (RA) in the 1st Brigade Welsh Division which as far as I can determine was a garrison artillery unit.  He was discharged at Crownhill which was one of the Victorian forts at Plymouth.  Perhaps he didn't like England!

MaxD

Thank you - accuracy's good! I'd read that bit at the top left of the image as 'RA 1st Bn Welsh Rg', but I can now see it's 'RA 1st Brig Welsh ?'

If this Gunner 71502 is our Walter Williams then he liked the garrison artillery enough to join the Carmarthen RGA Militia (that's mentioned on his WWI attestation as previous service,although we haven't found any other record). So maybe it was England that he didn't like. Or Plymouth particularly.

Could the 1889 RA 1st Brigade Welsh Division and the Carmarthen RGA Militia be related?
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: Sinann on Monday 13 November 17 15:42 GMT (UK)
My great grandfather sold the pony to get the £10 for his son, the son later joined up again but too late to get the refund of the £10. Three of his younger brothers also joined the Army and were told in no uncertain terms that once in they had to stay the course. We still say "pony gone soldier on" in my family for any job you have no chance of getting out of.
What was the time limit for the refund ?
Would joining the militia entitle a paid-out soldier to a refund?

Sorry not sure how long, I just know the story from my mother telling me and his service record backs it up he served from 31/7/1890 to 29/10/1890 and rejoined 12/07/1892.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: wee Hugh on Monday 13 November 17 15:44 GMT (UK)
My great-uncle bought himself out twice (we're agreed on the term now!).
The first time (1899) was after about a year in the Somerset Light Infantry.
Two thirds of the amount was refunded when he enlisted in the Cameron Highlanders later that year, but after two and half years he'd had enough of that too.

Admittedly he probably had private means, but in that case I wonder why he enlisted as a private rather than go for an officer's commission.  Does anyone know how common such "gentleman rankers" were?
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 15:45 GMT (UK)
Sorry not sure how long, I just know the story from my mother telling me and his service record backs it up he served from 31/7/1890 to 29/10/1890 and rejoined 12/07/1892.
Thanks - from the dates you give it's probably months as opposed to years
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner pays himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 15:47 GMT (UK)
My great-uncle bought himself out twice (I mean bought: he didn't "pay" himself).
The first time (1899) was after about a year in the Somerset Light Infantry.
Two thirds of the amount was refunded when he enlisted in the Cameron Highlanders later that year, but after two and half years he'd had enough of that too.

Admittedly he probably had private means, but in that case I wonder why he enlisted as a private rather than go for an officer's commission.  Does anyone know how common such "gentleman rankers" were?
I've corrected the topic title and my first post !  ;D

(Edit: I'd originally written "paid £10 to get out", but when I rearranged the word order I changed paid to pays without thinking -that's my excuse!)
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 15:54 GMT (UK)
Yes, it was a Garrison artillery unit. TNA has WO 16/713  - Royal Artillery (Garrison) Welsh Division 1st Brigade Batteries 7 (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4426395)

WO16/698 to WO16/723 look to be muster booksand pay lists covering RA Welsh Division 1st Brigade batteries 1-9 and depot between 1882 and 1888. Doesn't seem to cover 1889though.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 16:12 GMT (UK)
Wikipedia indicates that 1st & 2nd Batteries, 1st Brigade, Welsh Division Garrison Artillery, Royal Artillery were in India in January 1888 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7th_(Meerut)_Division (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7th_(Meerut)_Division) references the India List, January 1888. The first sentence of The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 21, p. 326 (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V21_332.gif). link from Wikipedia's Roorkee Cantonment page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roorkee_Cantonment) mentions that two heavy artillery batteries are usually stationed there)

Maybe he didn't want to go to India ?!
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 16:21 GMT (UK)
km1971 posted on another thread in 2009 "From the 1884 Army List, the 6th, 7th and 8th Batteries, 1st Brigade, Welsh Division, Garrison Artillery were in Halifax" - http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=349955.0, so the 1888/1889/1890 Army Lists would say where the various batteries were.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: MaxD on Monday 13 November 17 16:39 GMT (UK)
As he was in Plymouth when he was discharged, it is likely that, although his record doesn't show it,  he had been posted to the Western Division.  Its depot was in Crownhill.

MaxD

Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 13 November 17 16:56 GMT (UK)
I'd been thinking that Plymouth was a logical place to board a troopship. And if you bought yourself out in Plymouth it seemed logical that the paperwork would be done at the local depot.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: MaxD on Monday 13 November 17 17:30 GMT (UK)
Going back a step or two, this Walter Williams of the truncated Gunner career would have been 45 when the Great War broke out - does that add up with your Great War man?

MaxD
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: John915 on Monday 13 November 17 23:22 GMT (UK)
Good evening,

Buying commissions was by no means cheap, in 1839 an ensign/cornet rank cost £450 (38K in 2016) for the infantry. Cavalry was nearly twice that and Life Guards and Foot Guards about £1200 (over 100K). It applied to cavalry and infantry only and not RA or RE.

But having the means financially alone counted for little, you also had to be a gentleman. For that read aristocracy  or landed gentry. Trade meant you were low born and not a gentleman.

Purchasing of commissions ended in 1881? But you still needed to be a gentleman with substantial means to afford the lifestyle of an officer. Having means meant little without the breeding to go with it.

In my old regt the first officer to come out of a state school was in the mid 70s. All the others had been to public schools and came from very wealthy families including one Austrian Crown Prince. Although titles were never used in the regt, ever.

John915
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Tuesday 14 November 17 01:48 GMT (UK)
Going back a step or two, this Walter Williams of the truncated Gunner career would have been 45 when the Great War broke out - does that add up with your Great War man?

MaxD
Indeed it does. Our Walter was born around 1869/1870 (year estimated from several censuses; an unconfirmed lookup by a contact of a contact says 1 Feb 1869) in Llanelli Carmarthenshire. We found his WWI service record a fewyears ago, 100% certain (20212 Welsh Army Corps, Carmarthenshire Battn (https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/1114/MIUK1914A_119198-00813/866709)) his listed family members and address are my great great grandmother and her four children including my great grandfather). He signed up on 1 Feb 1915, honourably discharged due to ill health on 26 May 1916.

He lied about his age, saying he was 10 years younger (so the family story that he "put boot-black in his hair to make himself look younger" might actually be true)

His WWI record states that he had previously served in the Carmarthen RGA (the family story says that "between the wars he'd go off with the militia" - Carmarthen RGA was a militia unit)

The family story also states that he served with the artillery in the Boer War, although we've found nothing to support this. But that story is the reason we're still looking at any pre-WWI Walter Williams records with a link to the artillery.
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 20 November 17 02:06 GMT (UK)
MaxD said that it's likely that he'd been posted to the RGA Western Division. A couple of queries regarding this:
1) How common was it for a soldier who'd enlisted with one unit to be almost immediately posted to a 'different' unit.
2) At what hierarchical level would cross-postings commonly occur ? (this would be at Division level)

And out of interest (since although it's less likely, it's still a possibility that he simply didn't want to be posted abroad) - can anybody confirm where the various batteries (nine in total I think?) of the Royal (Garrison) Artillery Welsh Division 1st Brigade were in the first half of 1889 (specifically Feb to April) ?

Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: MaxD on Monday 20 November 17 10:10 GMT (UK)
To your queries:
The annotation 1st Bde Welsh Division would more than likely have been simply where he attested ie formally joined.  While I cannot yet provide chapter and verse, I am pretty sure that the Welsh Division were a militia force (there were many artillery volunteer units all over the country ) and he was joining the regular army for which I find reference only to Eastern, Western and Southern Divisions in the regular RA (RGA came later). 

Thus my thought that he didn't like Plymouth, England, the English or army life is what I go with.

MaxD


Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 20 November 17 11:04 GMT (UK)
Ah, I think I see now - have I got this right?

The fact that the service record was found in WO97, not WO96 indicates that he joined the regular army, not the militia.

His papers say he actually joined at Newport (see image attached). So this was probably the depot (?) for Royal Artillery 1st Brigade Welsh Division (which was probably a Militia unit). But since he was actually joining the regular army, not the militia, he was immediately posted to a regular army RA unit.


And I'm still wondering - if Royal Artillery 1st Brigade Welsh Division was actually a militia unit as you suggest, could the Carmarthen RGA (Militia) be part of it ?
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: MaxD on Monday 20 November 17 11:43 GMT (UK)
Far easier to simply look at the attestation paper (para 18 particularly).  A militia attestation was a different form.

I beileve the higher formation for the Carmarthen RGA was Western District.  Divisions had gone by then.  BUT his later involvement with them should not be conflated with the 1889 paperwork we have been looking at.  The RGA designation did not arrive until 1899 and the title in 1902 was Royal Garrison Artillery (Volunteers) and in 1908  Royal Garrison Artillery (Militia) so the exact correct title will help with a time frame.  Problem is it isn't always used.

MaxD
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 20 November 17 12:25 GMT (UK)
Thanks.

Okay, so this Gunner 71052 RA attestation we're looking at is not our 'Carmarthen RGA' link (Our Walter uses that exact phrase for previous service on his WWI attestation)

So we're left with a possibility that this Gunner 71052 could well be our Walter. But we don't have anything conclusive yet. And if it does turn out to be him, then rather than answering any questions it actually raises even more.
 
Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: MaxD on Monday 20 November 17 13:24 GMT (UK)
Agree with the first point - there is nothing in the 1889 short service paperwork that links with the later Carmarthen RGA on the WW1 paperwork.

Agree with the second point also but you have I think previously said that the address St Pauls Llanelly (1889) does not compute with the 1915 address or could it?  He may simply have omitted his short regular service when asked the question about previous service, owning up only to the Carmarthen RGA.

Reviewing your attempts on this and the earlier thread to find the earlier service of your Walter Williams, I would respectfully suggest that you have reached the point where, no disrespect to fellow Rootschatterers, you need a professional researcher. 

MaxD





Title: Re: 1889: Gunner buys himself out for £10 after just 2 months. Was this common ?
Post by: kob3203 on Monday 20 November 17 16:10 GMT (UK)
You're probably right. But even if I could afford to hire a researcher I wouldn't. Trying to figure things out for myself (with lots of help of course!) interests me far, far more than simply knowing the answer.

Just for my own reference - other related threads of mine here at Rootschat:
- Parish of St Pauls in or near the Town of Llanelly in the County of Glamorgan (http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=782479) - tracking down the comparatively small number of other Walter Williams who might be Gunner 71052 (via FreeBMD births and 1871/1881/1891 censuses) might rule them out or confirm that Gunner 71052 is not our Walter
- Carmarthenshire RGA Militia disbanded 1908, becomes Field Artillery (http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=781207) - Due to the unit's renaming, our Walter's WWI attestation (previous service in Carmarthen RGA) indicates that he probably served with them some time between 1899 (when they became RGA) and 1908 (when they became Field Artillery Reserves).
- *COMPLETED* Two stepbrothers of Walter Williams, who both died in WWI (http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=461618)- this story was true and we found service and CWGC records for both.
- Could a stint in the Boer War really fit into this man's life? (http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=499343)- Nothing conclusive regarding artillery or Boer War. Back in 2010 this threw up Gunner 71052. I rejected it at the time due due the county being wrong.This also mentions finding our Walter's WWI service record Private 20212.
- *COMPLETED (UNSUCCESSFUL)* Lookup Request: QSA Medal Rolls, RA/RHA/RFA (http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=505693) - ended up searching at Kew myself when I was in the UK in 2011. Lots of W Williams but nothing more definitive than what I already had
- Is ABSENCE of a WO96 record PROOF that a man did NOT join the militia?? (http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=601941) - No. It could be that the records simply didn't survive.

There's another story that Walter's father, William Williams b1838, served as a sergeant farrier, possibly in the Anglo-Zulu War (1879). The Boer War story might be a mixup.