Author Topic: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants  (Read 7367 times)

Offline wyndham

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #9 on: Monday 21 September 09 20:41 BST (UK) »
This is an up-date on the situation and unfortunately a very negative one at that.  I originally e-mailed Gareth Mears at the RLC Museum on 29 July last, having previously spoken to him on the phone.  I heard nothing and sent a reminder e-mail on 11 September; again without any response.

In this modern day and age I would have least expected an electronic acknowledgment,  but as far as I am concerned I will not bother that establishment any further.


Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #10 on: Monday 21 September 15 12:46 BST (UK) »


I understand that this corps was founded in 1858 and subsumed into the Army Ordnance Corps in the 1890's.  I am having some difficulty in trying to find information and whether there was any book published on them.  My visits to TNA have not produced any results at all.  So if anyone is able to help, I would be extremely grateful.

There is no book as yet on the Corps of Armourer Sergeants, but over the last two years I have been communicating with an online friend in Australia who hopes to write one.  I have been helping him with research and we have already learned a lot about this small, but important corps.  As a start point you should understand that they were always during their existence closely associated with the government contracted arms works, each of which became also their regimental depot and HQ.  At first this was in the factory within the Tower of London, it then moved to a larger factory nearby and then again to a much larger works at Enfield (in Middlesex but later Greater London) which grew out of the increased demand from the Crimean war.  Finally, later in Victoria's reign it moved to Birmingham (to Sparkbrook and another location), until the armourers lost their own corps and became a part of the Army Ordnance Corps and the tie with factories became severed.  It seems that the only officer to be badged to the Corps of Armourer Sergeants was the quartermaster, and all other officers were seconded from other parts of the Army, especially the artillery, but also including infantry and cavalry officers in various senior 'staff' roles as inspectors and intermediaries between the factories and the war office.  The armourers themselves were trained at the factories and certificated as 'qualified' by them too.

You can communicate with my friend at the Victorian Wars Forum where he posts as 'Peter' and I post as 'Frogsmile'.

Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #11 on: Monday 21 September 15 12:59 BST (UK) »


I understand that this corps was founded in 1858 and subsumed into the Army Ordnance Corps in the 1890's.  I am having some difficulty in trying to find information and whether there was any book published on them.  My visits to TNA have not produced any results at all.  So if anyone is able to help, I would be extremely grateful.

There is no book as yet on the Corps of Armourer Sergeants, but over the last two years I have been communicating with an online friend in Australia who hopes to write one.  I have been helping him with research and we have already learned a lot about this small, but important corps. 

As a start point you should understand that they were always during their existence closely associated with the government contracted arms works, each of which became also their regimental depot and HQ.  At first this was in the factory within the Tower of London, it then moved to a larger factory nearby and then again to a much larger works at Enfield (in Middlesex at the time, later Greater London) which grew out of the increased demand from the Crimean war.  Finally, later in Victoria's reign it moved to Birmingham (to Sparkbrook and another location in the city), until the armourers lost their own corps and became a part of the Army Ordnance Corps and the tie with factories became less substantial. 

It seems that the only officer to be badged to the Corps of Armourer Sergeants was the quartermaster, and all other officers were seconded from other parts of the Army, especially the artillery, but also including infantry and cavalry officers in various senior 'staff' roles as inspectors and intermediaries between the factories and the war office.  The armourers themselves were trained at the factories and certificated as 'qualified' by them too.

You can communicate with my friend at the Victorian Wars Forum where he posts as 'Peter' and I post as 'Frogsmile'.

I am sorry to say that we have received very little assistance from the Army museums, not least because the movement of armourers throughout the Army over hundreds of years has been a very complex one.  It is really the REME who now 'own' the history of armourers and that might be why the RLC museum has shown less interest than they ought.  The de facto separate function of these two corps has resulted in the armourers history in effect falling between two stools.  Prior to 1858 they had no corps of their own and were directly (regimentally) employed by Commanding Officers, remaining with the same regiment (infantry or cavalry) until such time as they retired.


Offline wyndham

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #12 on: Monday 21 September 15 20:11 BST (UK) »
Frogsmile - Thank you very much for the update.  It does add a little more information to a very unknown part of the then British Army.

Very interested to learn that there is the possibility of a book being published.  I don't suppose you have any idea when this is likely to happen?

Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday 22 September 15 12:55 BST (UK) »
Frogsmile - Thank you very much for the update.  It does add a little more information to a very unknown part of the then British Army.

Very interested to learn that there is the possibility of a book being published.  I don't suppose you have any idea when this is likely to happen?

No I am afraid I do not know when anything will be published.  It is a very, very, niche interest and Peter, like me, is an amateur historian.  I have given you the details about the Victorian Wars Forum so that you can contact him there directly.  He has been collecting details of as many armourers of the corps as he can find, but may be some way from publication yet.  I do not pressure him about it, such matters are a very personal thing and have to be fitted in around family priorities.

Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #14 on: Sunday 15 March 20 14:27 GMT (UK) »
Frogsmile - Thank you very much for the update.  It does add a little more information to a very unknown part of the then British Army.

Very interested to learn that there is the possibility of a book being published.  I don't suppose you have any idea when this is likely to happen?

Hello Wyndham,
I'm afraid that Peter in Australia still does not feel ready yet to publish his book, but in part that is because he wants it to be definitive and is still gathering elusive bits of information, although we've learned a great amount since your last post on this subject.  Can you advise me of what remaining specific questions you have and I will let you know if we can answer them, but also what else we have learned.  Unfortunately the Victorian Wars Forum has closed.
Regards,
Frogsmile

Offline wyndham

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #15 on: Sunday 15 March 20 19:56 GMT (UK) »
Good grief; how time has flown!  I must admit after having no response from the people who I thought might have been able to help, I simply did not bother to pursue it any further.  I just hope that the book wil be published eventually.

Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #16 on: Thursday 08 July 21 17:21 BST (UK) »
You could try contacting Peter directly, he is very helpful even if very slow with his book!  If there's a PM system on this site I'll send it to you there.

P.S.  I've tried but for some reason you're not able to receive PMs?

Offline wyndham

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Re: Corps of Armourer-Sergeants
« Reply #17 on: Thursday 08 July 21 20:05 BST (UK) »
Thank you for your latest reply.  Having thought about it I don't think I will bother Peter as it will not help in any way in his intended publication of his book. 

I am surprised I can't receive pm's but it's probably down to my anti-virus.