Author Topic: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment  (Read 157 times)

Offline Rose78bne

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Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« on: Wednesday 10 March 21 13:56 GMT (UK) »
Hello all,

I am currently trying to research a Patrick Devine, born about 1831 in Ireland. I have managed to find him on the 1861 census, living at 23 Castle Street, St Andrews, Plymouth, where he was a soldier in the "12th Regiment". I believe he was married to Bridget Leonard (likewise born in Ireland). Also on the 1861 census is their daughter, Mary Ann, born in Aldershot. I have the baptism record for Mary Ann.

I'm completely clueless when it comes to the army during this period, so I'd be really grateful if anyone is able to tell me a bit more about who the 12th Regiment were and, if possible, where the family might have got to in 1871 and 1881 as I've no idea where they get to! I pick up Mary Ann Devine marrying Richard Tooth in 1881, and can trace her from then on but I'd love more information on the 12th regiment and where the family might be between 1861 and 1881, if possible, as I'm a little unsure where to look next.

Thank you!

Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 10 March 21 14:20 GMT (UK) »
Hello Rose,
In 1782 the 12th Regiment of Foot were, along with all other numbered regiments that did not already have a regional affiliation, given a secondary title associating them with a County.  In the case of the 12th it was East Suffolk.  The intent was to give them an area to focus identity and recruitment, but no permanent headquarters and depot was allocated for any of the regiments and so the link was largely meaningless.  It remained so until 1881 when they were at last given a permanent base in the County (known as a regimental depot) and retitled as The Suffolk Regiment. 

Before 1881 all the regiment’s numbered from 25th and below already had two battalions, 1st and 2nd, and when not involved in a major war one battalion would usually be in the U.K. and the other garrisoned overseas.  This was formalised in a more permanent arrangement after 1881.  It is possible to trace the movement of these battalions between 1861 and 1881, and I will endeavour to list them for you over the next few days.  Most men before 1881 served a full career of 21-years unless killed or died from disease.  Sometimes a man might serve with both the 1st and 2nd Battalions during the course of his career, but this was a little less common before 1881 than it became after.  It would help if you were able to say which battalion your subject was serving with, although it should be able to pinpoint the start point from the fact that he was at Plymouth in 1861.

As well as Service Battalions (who did the fighting) each regiment had Depot (or for a period ‘Reserve’) Companies based somewhere else in the UK, where the regiment’s recruiting and administration could be centred.  Both of these elements moved around every few years.  The Depot Companies tended to be focused at coastal, or inland city ports with high populations, linked to the sea by canals, where shipping could easily be found to transport groups of reinforcements (known as ‘drafts’) from the Depot/Reserve Companies to the Service Battalion if it was overseas.  In 1854 the beginning of the Crimean War led to a big expansion in the size of the Army and both the number of Service Battalions and Depot Companies increased substantially.

Offline Rose78bne

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Re: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 10 March 21 14:37 GMT (UK) »
Frogsmile,

Gosh, that has been so informative - thank you! Unfortunately, I'm really not sure how to find out what battalion he was with. All I know is the family's location in Plymouth in 1861, and that his daughter, Mary Ann Devine, was baptised in 1860 at St Michael and St Sebastian in Aldershot (Roman Catholic Baptisms) - I'm not sure if her baptism location might be a clue?

Thank you again for your help, I'm so grateful.


Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 10 March 21 14:48 GMT (UK) »
The only Patrick Devine I can find any record of in the 12th Foot had the regimental number 2536. Per the worldwide indexes (which are taken from muster books and paylists) he was in Chatham in 1851 and with the 2nd Battalion in Plymouth in 1861. His army papers have not survived.
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Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 10 March 21 14:51 GMT (UK) »
Frogsmile,

Gosh, that has been so informative - thank you! Unfortunately, I'm really not sure how to find out what battalion he was with. All I know is the family's location in Plymouth in 1861, and that his daughter, Mary Ann Devine, was baptised in 1860 at St Michael and St Sebastian in Aldershot (Roman Catholic Baptisms) - I'm not sure if her baptism location might be a clue?

Thank you again for your help, I'm so grateful.

Thank you for your reply.  I understand that you’re not able to give the battalion so I shall endeavour to list the locations of both battalions between 1860 and 1881.  The Plymouth location will give us the battalion at the start anyway, but unfortunately it won’t be possible to work out if he moved between the two battalions unless you glean more location data subsequently.  However, as battalions often stayed overseas for up to two decades (sometimes more), it should be possible to make educated guesses as to where he was.

Offline Rose78bne

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Re: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 10 March 21 15:38 GMT (UK) »
Thank you so much, both!

Any information you're able to find about either battalion would be brilliant, Frogsmile.

Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 10 March 21 16:01 GMT (UK) »
12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot - Stations:

Jun 1860  1st Bn Tasmania  2nd Bn Aldershot  (Depot Companies - Walmer Kent).
Sep 1860  1st Bn New South Wales  2nd Bn Plymouth  (Depot Companies - Walmer Kent).
Jul  1861   1st Bn New Zealand  2nd Bn Plymouth  (Depot Companies - Walmer Kent).
Apr 1862   1st Bn New Zealand  2nd Bn Cork  (Depot Companies - Chatham Kent).
Apr 1863  1st Bn New Zealand  2nd Bn Curragh  (Depot Companies - Chatham Kent).
Sep 1864  1st Bn New Zealand  2nd Bn On passage for India  (Depot Companies - Chatham Kent).
Apr 1865  1st Bn New Zealand  2nd Bn Seetapore  (Depot Companies - Chatham Kent).
Mar 1867  1st Bn New Zealand  2nd Bn Seetapore  (Depot Companies - Gosport Hampshire).
Nov 1867  1st Bn Devonport  2nd Bn Bengal  (Depot Companies - Gosport Hampshire).
Apr 1868  1st Bn Devonport  2nd Bn Bengal  (Depot Companies - Gosport Hampshire).
Apr 1869  1st Bn Aldershot  2nd Bn Jubbulpore (Depot Companies - Gosport Hampshire).
Apr 1870  1st Bn Aldershot  2nd Bn Jubbulpore (Depot Companies - Carlisle Cumberland).

Given that he joined in the early 1850s, he's unlikely to have served beyond 1870 (a full career was 21-years, assuming survival), but I can show further years if it will help?  Bear in mind that it's possible that the family remained in India if a job was found on the cantonments (garrison).  This was surprisingly popular for those with hardened constitutions, because a working class family could live in far better circumstances in India than they could ever hope to afford back in Britain.  Many worked in soldier's regimental canteens, or on the railways that began to be built.

Offline Rose78bne

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Re: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 10 March 21 17:07 GMT (UK) »
This is brilliant, thank you! It does seem unlikely that he served beyond 1870 so this is plenty, thanks. Really interesting and great photos!

Offline FROGSMILE

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Re: Patrick Devine - 12th Regiment
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 10 March 21 17:37 GMT (UK) »
This is brilliant, thank you! It does seem unlikely that he served beyond 1870 so this is plenty, thanks. Really interesting and great photos!

I'm glad to help Rose.  I think it's quite feasible that he served his full service to discharge with the 2nd Battalion.  If he did move across to the 1st Battalion the most likely time would have been when the 2nd Battalion embarked for India.  He might also have completed some service with the Depot Companies.