Author Topic: Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?  (Read 257 times)

Offline mbcx3psw

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Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« on: Friday 25 September 20 20:51 BST (UK) »
My gg grandfather Henry James Humphrey Swendell was a colour sergeant in the 1st battalion of the Rifle Brigade. As far as I can tell from his service record, attached, he resigned from his rank of colour sergeant to sergeant on the 1st of July 1866. At the time the 1st battalion was stationed in Quebec City in what was British North America which became Canada in 1867.

Can anyone help with what resigned might mean? Is it the same as demoted or if he resigned does this mean he asked to be demoted? What sort of event may have triggered this?

On a flight of a fancy could his resignation be linked to Timothy O'Hea - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_O%27Hea being awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the 9th of June 1866? Newspaper reports at the time record a sergeant undecided on what to do - https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/23204/page/22. Is it possible that this sergeant was Henry and because of his inaction he resigned?

Offline KGarrad

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Re: Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 25 September 20 21:44 BST (UK) »
I think it says re-signed?
I.E. re-enlisted?
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Offline q98

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Re: Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 26 September 20 01:00 BST (UK) »
My reading is your gentleman resigned (“quit”) on 1st January?1871 and was then appointed to the “ Staff of Cinque? Ports Rifle Volunteers” during period 2nd January - 17th July 1871. The Cinque Ports we’re located in Kent, Sussex and Essex.
Refer http://wiki.historymap.info/Cinque_Ports_Volunteers
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Offline philipsearching

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Re: Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 26 September 20 13:53 BST (UK) »
I think it says re-signed?
I.E. re-enlisted?

I don't think so.  A couple of lines above is "Re-engaged for 11 years".

As regards the idea that he was the sergeant on the train - it is quite possible.  The most likely reason I can think of for resigning his rank (given that he stayed in the battalion as a Sergeant) was that he had been promoted above his level of competence and that either he or his officers recognised this.


Philip
Please help me to help you by citing sources for information.

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Offline jim1

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Re: Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 26 September 20 14:02 BST (UK) »
That's how I read it.
He was time served by 1862 & elected to serve another 11 years
taking his discharge date to 1873 not 1871.
It's difficult to read between the lines but it could be as Philip says
or forced to resign rather than face disciplinary charges.
Amounts to the same thing really.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Offline mbcx3psw

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Re: Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 26 September 20 14:45 BST (UK) »
Thank you all for your responses. It's certainly given me some things to consider.

I'm pretty sure that Henry remained in the army since he was recorded as a witness at a wedding in Quebec in 1867. His rank is recorded as Sergeant - https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=600226.msg6975011#msg6975011. In addition he was almost certainly in Canada in 1869 as his son Henry was born in Ottawa in this year.

No one has dismissed my speculation on his possible connection with Timothy O'Hea so I may explore that further. Hampshire archives have O'Hea's VC citation https://calm.hants.gov.uk/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=A12170%2f3%2f1%2f1c%2f15%2f3%2f15&pos=8. Does anyone know if a citation would name individuals other than O'Hea involved in the event?

Offline jim1

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Re: Why would a colour sergeant in the Rifle Brigade resign in 1866?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 26 September 20 15:07 BST (UK) »
It would name witnesses to the event if it's the enquiry

By the end of 1860 the Cinque Ports Rifle Volunteers consisted of eight Companies: No. 1 at Hastings, No. 2 at Ramsgate, No. 3 at Rye, No. 4 at Hythe, No. 5 at Folkestone, No. 6 at Deal, No. 7 at Margate and No. 8 at Dover. It wasn’t only the Cinque Ports Rifle Volunteers that flourished. By 1862 the Volunteer Force as a whole had a strength of 162,681 and a Grand Review at Brighton attracted 19,000 Rifle Volunteers from London and the Home Counties.
In 1863 the Volunteer Corps were regulated by The Volunteer Act. The Act recognised the Cinque Ports, the Isle of Wight and Tower Hamlets as outside the normal county organisation of the Volunteers. In these areas the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the Governor of the Isle of Wight and the Constable of the Tower of London commissioned Volunteer Rifles officers in place of the Lord-Lieutenant of the county.

 In 1872 jurisdiction over the Volunteers was placed under the Secretary of State for War and the Volunteer Rifle Corps became increasingly integrated with the Regular Army.


According to the 1881 census he returned to the UK following his appointment & was posted
to Winchester Barracks & then the Dover Volunteer Btn.
On his discharge he's moved to Canterbury as a S. Sgt. in the E. Kent Militia.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/