Author Topic: Military Birth in Corfu  (Read 690 times)

Offline paulrussell

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Military Birth in Corfu
« on: Tuesday 18 December 18 10:58 GMT (UK) »
Hi

I am researching my maternal great grandfather, William Henry SMITH, born in Corfu 1848/49. His father was Thomas SMITH a bandmaster. I assume Thomas SMITH was garrisoned in Corfu as part of the British Protectorate but I don't know which battalion/regiment he was attached to or the dates he served there.

Not only am I interested in the details of Thomas' service in Corfu, but I also want to find William's birth record/certificate and hence the name of his mother. Any pointers to where I may begin my search would be much appreciated. Many thanks

Paul Russell

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Offline avm228

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Re: Military Birth in Corfu
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 18 December 18 11:24 GMT (UK) »
Welcome to Rootschat, Paul.

I recommend Findmypast for excellent military records.  It has regimental birth indices (records can be ordered using this index information from GRO Online, using their Overseas Events form).

It also has 19th century Army records, and Army lists. I see that a Thomas Smith is listed in the 1851 British Army, Worldwide Index as a private in the 49th (Princess Charlotte of Wales’, or the Hertfordshire) Regiment of Foot, stationed at Fermoy & Corfu.

It looks from his census entries as though William Henry was an Army musician too?  You may find service records, pension records for him also.  I see he was absent from the family in 1901 - did he serve in South Africa?

NB On a quick look I saw regimental birth index entries for a William Smith, but not with a middle name, in Corfu - it may be that he didn’t always have a middle name.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

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Offline avm228

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Re: Military Birth in Corfu
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 18 December 18 11:30 GMT (UK) »
Actually now I come to look at it, the Army lists show several men named Thomas Smith whose regiments were stationed in Corfu, so I wouldn’t necessarily pay special attention to the one I mentioned earlier.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Online ShaunJ

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Re: Military Birth in Corfu
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 18 December 18 11:44 GMT (UK) »
A Mr T Smith is mentioned in an 1856 newspaper report as bandmaster for the Royal Marines Light Infantry band at Woolwich.
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Offline paulrussell

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Re: Military Birth in Corfu
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 18 December 18 11:46 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks for the prompt reply.

I shall certainly be using Findmypast for military records. I had also discovered a regimental birth index for a William Smith but as you say without a middle name. I also wondered why he was missing from the 1901 census, but as you say he might have been out in South Africa - on the 1911 census he is listed as Musician (Army Pensioner) so that ties in.

'Received family wisdom' suggests that William's mother was Spanish, so perhaps his father Thomas might have served during the Peninsular War.

Why did they have to be called SMITH?!

Many thanks. Paul

Online ShaunJ

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Re: Military Birth in Corfu
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 18 December 18 12:52 GMT (UK) »
Another newspaper  mention: " 1st West York Rifle Volunteers (bandmaster Mr. Thomas Smith)" in the Yorkshire Gazette of 5 May 1860. Possibly a post-discharge appointment to the militia.
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Offline josey

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Re: Military Birth in Corfu
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 18 December 18 12:55 GMT (UK) »
I assume you have Thomas' occupation from William's marriage certificate?
Seeking: baptism Philip Murray 1813 nr Chatham Kent, death Ralph James Dunn b 1808 1861 - 1868 in Newington 1861
IRE: Kik DRAY[EA], PURCELL, WHITE: Mea LYNCH: Tip MURRAY, SHEEDY: Wem ALLEN, ENGLISHBY; Dub PENROSE: Lim DUNN[E], FRAWLEY, WILLIAMS.
87th Regiment RIF: MURRAY
ENG; Marylebone HAYTER, TROU[W]SDALE, WILLIAMS Con HAMPTON, TREMELLING Wry CLEGG, HOLLAND, HORSEFIELD Coventry McGINTY
CAN; Nova Scotia [Halifax, Pictou]: HOLLAND, WHITE, WILLIAMSON

Offline paulrussell

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Re: Military Birth in Corfu
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 18 December 18 13:24 GMT (UK) »
ShaunJ - many thanks, that looks v promising

Josey - correct  :)

Online ShaunJ

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Re: Military Birth in Corfu
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 18 December 18 13:33 GMT (UK) »
This looks like the baptism of William's daughter "Hester" in Preston in 1888:

(per LAN-OPC)

Baptism: 19 Feb 1888 St Thomas, Preston, Lancashire, England
Esther Mabel Smith - [Child] of William Henry Smith & Sarah Ann
    Abode: 37 Frank St.
    Occupation: Army Pensioner

   

So William was already a pensioner in 1888. It should be possible to find his discharge papers which might give more information about his birthplace and next of kin. I note from the 1891 census that his birthplace is recorded as Deal in Kent.
   
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk