Author Topic: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment  (Read 313 times)

Offline Ranolki

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50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« on: Sunday 15 November 20 15:04 GMT (UK) »
I've already had some help on this topic but I now have some more info and wonder if anyone can come up with more ideas. I'm chasing up someone who says he served with this regiment (he says he was born in 1837 and signed up in 1857 in Birmingham) and then went on to serve in the Crimea, India, China and New Zealand.  I can't find that he exists prior to arriving in Australia in 1867 and I believe he may well have fought in some of those campaigns but under another name and possibly deserted as his Regiment was leaving for the UK in 1869.

I've discovered there were two Battalions of the 50th Queens Own. The first battalion served as   follows:

1848 England
1854 Ireland
1854 Malta
1854 Gallipoli peninsula
1854 Crimea
1856 England
1856 Ireland
1857 Ceylon
1863 New Zealand
1863 Maori war
1866 Australia
1869 England

He mentions saving the life of Col Waddy so I'm assuming he was with the 1st (the life-saving may be another matter though...), also the 2nd didn't go to New Zealand, although they WERE involved with the Sepoy Rebellion in India.  From what I can see the 1st went back to the UK after the Crimea (another point is the Crimean war was over by the time he apparently signed up, despite saying he was shot by a Russian there) but then were sent out to Ceylon in 1857 where they were garrisoned until they headed off to New Zealand in 1863.  If he DID enlist in 1857 I would say that would fit with them going out to Ceylon.  However I can't see they were involved in any wars in India or China either, just the Maori Wars.  He supposedly was awarded three ribbons and a medal but these have never been seen.
I think he knew too much of the Regiments history and commanders not to have been involved in some way but I do get the impression that quite a lot of it is invention (possibly hearsay from older comrades?), added to which I'm pretty sure he didn't begin life as the person he became in 1869.
I'm trying to build up a picture and wonder if anyone has definitive knowledge that the 1st Batt. 50th were NOT in any Indian or Chinese Wars in that period?  I know the wars were going on then but I can't see any involvement for the 1st Batt. 50th.
As I don't think I have a proper name for him it's not going to be possible to verify much in the way of Army records at the moment but I have been told he did not received any medals etc in any of the campaigns in the name he used from 1869.  From what we can see he DOES have weak DNA links using his new name so I'm wondering if it was his mother's maiden name etc.  But I suspect that's further down the line and I just want to see what wars he could genuinely have been involved with!
I was very interested that someone found me a person of the same name at Colchester Barracks on the 1861 census but I'm more or less 100% certain this wasn't him.

Online MaxD

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Re: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 15 November 20 16:12 GMT (UK) »
The history may answer your question:

https://archive.org/details/historythorquee00fylegoog

MaxD

PS  There was no 2nd Battalion in that time frame except 1804-1814

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Offline Ranolki

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Re: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 15 November 20 16:26 GMT (UK) »
Thank you for that, I'll have a read. 

I had found this online which seems to point to two separate parts for the 50th Queens Own and their postings, which I had assumed were battalions. 

The first were listed exactly as I copied above, the second was:

1848 Nova Scotia: Halifax
1853 England
1854 Greece
1855 Crimea
1856 England
1857 India
1857 Sepoy rebellion
1858 India
1867 England
1871 Ireland

I'm more than happy to  be corrected as I've only just started looking at this but could someone help with these two different lots of destinations?  I think I may end up where I need to be with trial and error and a lot of help from knowledgeable people so thanks for any input!


Online MaxD

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Re: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 15 November 20 16:48 GMT (UK) »
  Regiments did not always serve as complete units all in the same place so elements of 50 Foot could well be listed in two separate places.

Not sure at all about your second list.  Where did each of these come from?

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Offline Ranolki

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Re: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 15 November 20 17:26 GMT (UK) »
I picked it up from here but I realise now that this might not be correct.  The dates do fit in with what I can find on Colonel Richard Waddy though.

http://www.britisharmedforces.org/i_regiments/quewestk_index.htm

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Re: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 15 November 20 18:31 GMT (UK) »
he first set of dates is correct.  The listings are confusingly laid out, the list that has 1848 Halifax etc relates to the 97th Foot which in 1881 after amalgamation with 50th Foot became became 2nd Battalion Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment

The 50th Foot raised in 1755 became the West Kents in 1782, the 97th raised in 1824 were linked as 1st and 2nd Battalions in 1881.

MaxD
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Offline Ranolki

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Re: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 15 November 20 19:04 GMT (UK) »
OK, thanks very much for that. So I'm working with the correct details and the 50th were not involved in fighting in India or China at that time?  It seems he has elements of the truth which he embroidered no end.

I think we'll now struggle to find out who he started life as before it appears he adopted his new name in 1869.  How normal would it be for a soldier to buy himself in this day and age?  Would there be records?  He would have been 30/32 if his dob is correct. We have SOME clues with DNA and his connections back to the UK but it's going to be difficult!  Would anyone know if there are any records of men enlisting with them in any given year?

Online MaxD

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Re: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 15 November 20 19:43 GMT (UK) »
IF  his discharge records have survived they will be on one or other of the subscription sites but what name are you going to be looking for?

The men serving in the battalion are listed in the annual Muster Rolls kept at the National Archives, not digitised -  long list (I haven't sorted it) here:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r/2?_aq=50%20foot%20muster&_nq1=bagshaw&_dss=range&_ro=any&_p=1800&_st=adv  The detail though is sparse and doesn't say when a man joined.  The only way to do that is finding him to start with and then working back until he appears for the first time and forward until he leaves.

Discharge by purchase did exist.

Needle/haystack??

MaxD
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Online ShaunJ

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Re: 50th (Queens Own) Regiment
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 15 November 20 19:51 GMT (UK) »
Linking to the previous thread for Max's benefit https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=839743
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