Author Topic: Attestation 1899 – Middlesex 57th and Royal West Kent  (Read 1526 times)

Offline PassionPlay

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Attestation 1899 – Middlesex 57th and Royal West Kent
« on: Sunday 14 May 06 22:43 BST (UK) »
Hi folks

Apologies firstly for my lack of basic historical knowledge, and for this post being both long and a bit formal – I have just received a copy of my Great-Grandfathers attestation record (Army Form E504) and have a million thoughts churning my grey cells so have basically listed my thoughts as I have examined the document.  A little background first – Victor French Hallé b. Enfield 1878, marries in Folkestone [Elham] 1902, has 7 children, disappears c.end 1914, reappears in Folkestone 1945/6.  Nothing on the WWI MICs!

In 1899 Victor signed up with the Middlesex Regiment 3rd Battalion, and transferred to the Royal West Kent after 49 days drill (listed as Private).  The top of the form gives a number (no. 1186) then his name and the Regiment – is this number his service number?  [I would have expected it to be longer]

The form requests the name and residence of his present master, is it possible that he was apprenticed or is the term ‘Master’ interchangeable with ‘Employer’?  [Both the ‘Master’ and Victor are declared as Brickmakers]

He would have been 21 when he signed up, yet declared his age as 18 yrs and 9 months – is there any reason why he would do this?  [I thought that the age thing was usually the other way around!]

Was there a big recruitment drive going on in 1899?  He has stated he received a Notice from someone in the Pensioner Corps – I am assuming this is a war pensioner that just hasn’t stated which regiment – or was there an actual ‘Pensioner Corps’?  And was the 'Notice' voluntary?  [The pensioners name is stated and he has witnessed Victor’s signature later]

He has signed up for 24 years – would that normally be so many years service then the remainder as reserve?  How many years active service would be usual?

What reasons might there be for an early discharge?  [He marries in 1902 (not quite 3 years after signing up) and has 7 children between then and 1913 – not even a hint of military service on any certificate!]

[Having considered injury, purchase and desertion so far] How much would it cost to buy himself out and would this be recorded?

If he has left the army (whether legitimately or not) how likely is it that he would be called back for active service in 1914?  If he was, would it be the same regiment and service number?

Going back to question 1, if 1186 is his service number, would it have carried through the transfer between regiments?  And if not, do I have a hope in hell of finding any service record?

I’m wondering if pay lists might be the way to go next?

A little more background now to complete the picture, his wife and 5 of his 6 surviving children are in the Workhouse in January 1915 and a reward is up for his apprehension for ‘deserting his wife and children’.  My thoughts are that if he had returned to service, surely his wife would be receiving his pay and therefore not claiming destitution?  He has also used another name for a while, in the 1911-13 local street directories he is listed as Percy Halley and the reward notice I mentioned calls him Victor Percy rather than Victor French Hallé. 

I did search Rootschat first and have noted a couple of websites on the Royal West Kents, plus Annies list of where the RWK served (Shorncliffe in 1902 which explains how he got here, hurrah!).  Also noted that the RWK museum is in Maidstone, will check that out after next payday  ;D


Apologies again that this post is so long!  Any thoughts/comments/general info on the regiments/ideas where I should look next are very welcome.

Thanks, Steph.
Beer (Kent)
Hall/Halle  (Stafford/Enfield/Folkestone)
Richards (Kent)
Silk (Kent)
Southan/Southen/Southern/Southon (Kent)
And more (there are always more!)

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Offline harribobs

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Re: Attestation 1899 – Middlesex 57th and Royal West Kent
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 14 May 06 23:33 BST (UK) »
just my first thoughts!  ;D

the service number looks correct, regiments used 4 figure numbers and recycled the numbers when they got to 9999

using the term 'master' means he was apprenticed ( i think) and i wonder if that is why he gave his age as 21, ie he would have indentured ( i think that is the correct term) until that age

1899 was the start of the second boer war, there was a surge in volunteers to fight for the empire in SA


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Offline liverpool annie

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Re: Attestation 1899 – Middlesex 57th and Royal West Kent
« Reply #2 on: Monday 15 May 06 06:13 BST (UK) »


Hi Steph !

First things first ..... what is the actual name on his attestation record ? is it Victor French Hallé ?

Annie  :)
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Offline manmack

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Re: Attestation 1899 – Middlesex 57th and Royal West Kent
« Reply #3 on: Monday 15 May 06 06:36 BST (UK) »
only death and jail can stop a man serving his apprenticeship,he would need permission from his master[employer] to join the army if hes apprenticed to him,local police gazettes published a list of deserters,mack
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Offline liverpool annie

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Re: Attestation 1899 – Middlesex 57th and Royal West Kent
« Reply #4 on: Monday 15 May 06 06:47 BST (UK) »

Hi Mack !

Do you have the Police Gazette ?

Steph - I did find a medal card for a Louis Halle - same regiments - I'm wondering if this was his brother - maybe they joined up together !! do you have any census information ? maybe he was "wanted" because he joined the army rather than serve his appenticeship - not the other way around !!

Medal card of Halle, Louis
Royal West Kent Regiment
3557
Private
Middlesex Regiment
G/47888
Private
Date
1914-1920

http://www.rootschat.com/links/0gd/

Annie  :)
Cooper : Muels : Howarth : Every : Price : King

http://web.archive.org/web/20130407030702/http://www.freewebs.com/liverpoolannie

http://web.archive.org/web/20130407191115/http://manchestersoldiers.webs.com

http://web.archive.org/web/20130807102055/http://www.powv.webs.com/
Be who you are and say what you feel -  because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind ! Dr. Seuss

Erect no gravestone .... let the Rose every year bloom for his sake ! Rilke Sonnets to Orpheus, I

Offline PassionPlay

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Re: Attestation 1899 – Middlesex 57th and Royal West Kent
« Reply #5 on: Monday 15 May 06 08:39 BST (UK) »
Hi Annie  :)

The name on his attestation is Victor French Halle (the accent appears on and off on varying records I'm afraid, I tend to keep it on as it keeps the pronunciation right).

I checked out all the Halle's on the MICs, I think Louis may be a cousin but is definitely not his brother.  The only other military bod in his direct line [so far!] is his grandfather who was in the 82nd and fought in the Peninsular wars.

I have him on the 1881 census but have never found him on the 1891 or 1901 (although found the rest of the family) - I can at least assume now that he was overseas in 1901.

Hi Mack  :)

As his actual age on signing was 21, perhaps this was the end of his apprenticeship?  I just can't see the point of telling the military he was younger though, OR [thinking aloud here] adding 24 to 21 = 45.... that wouldn't be considered as too old at that stage would it?

Hi Harribobs  :)

Thanks for those thoughts, it clarifies a little more for me  ;D



Just looking at the form again, after the name of his Master comes the direct question 'Are you an Apprentice' to which he has answered 'No' but I guess if he had served his indenture that would be true?


Thanks for your input folks.

Steph.





Beer (Kent)
Hall/Halle  (Stafford/Enfield/Folkestone)
Richards (Kent)
Silk (Kent)
Southan/Southen/Southern/Southon (Kent)
And more (there are always more!)

All census info: Crown Copyright www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Join Stumble and lure others into Rootschat!

Offline Mark Taylor

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Re: Attestation 1899 – Middlesex 57th and Royal West Kent
« Reply #6 on: Friday 29 March 19 21:24 GMT (UK) »
Hi Steph

I am descended from Lucy Halle - one of Catherine's sisters. Lucy married William Taylor and their son is my Father.  We are also researching the Family and found you're posts but have hit the same gaps in Victor's timeline.