Author Topic: A soldier's life in UK 1870s  (Read 257 times)

Offline mercury57

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A soldier's life in UK 1870s
« on: Monday 15 November 21 21:36 GMT (UK) »
I'm trying to get some insight on the daily life of a soldier in this period but have found nothing on line or in any books.

I have my great grandfather's service record showing he was a regular soldier within the British army from 1873 to 1903. He was appointed a drummer and promoted to lance corporal.
The records show he was posted at home for 18 months, then in east indies for 3 years and then home again before shipping out to South Africa.

So a lot of detail but what I'm missing is some context. I've gleaned that a lot of time was spent on drills and polishing uniforms but what else?

Also - when the record says home I assume that doesn't mean just the home barracks and the regiment could have been at any other base within UK?

Hoping someone can enlighten me or point me to a book/article/website...

Offline ShaunJ

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Re: A soldier's life in UK 1870s
« Reply #1 on: Monday 15 November 21 23:17 GMT (UK) »
"Home" means the home islands - he would probably have moved around various barracks in the British Isles on garrison duty.

It would be helpful if you could give his name, regiment and number.
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Offline mercury57

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Re: A soldier's life in UK 1870s
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 16 November 21 08:03 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for responding Shaun.

The soldier is William Burton, Worcester Regiment. Enlisted 6 July 1871. I think his reg number is 3945. Initially he was with 2nd battalion then moved to 1st battalion  about 1898. The page Iím having most difficulty with is this one.


Offline ShaunJ

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Re: A soldier's life in UK 1870s
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 16 November 21 08:25 GMT (UK) »
OK I have found his discharge papers. His number was 2945.

He enlisted in 1891, not 1871 !
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Offline mercury57

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Re: A soldier's life in UK 1870s
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 16 November 21 08:33 GMT (UK) »
Clearly I am not full awake yet! 1871 was before he was bornÖ.
Where did yiu find the discharge papers - I donít think Iíve heard of those.

Offline ShaunJ

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Offline ShaunJ

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Re: A soldier's life in UK 1870s
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 16 November 21 09:32 GMT (UK) »
This book might be of interest: Philip Warner's "Army Life in the '90s"

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Army-Life-90s-Philip-Warner/dp/0600302342

You can track the movements of 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in the 1890's through the newspapers - search for "Stations of the British Army". 
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Offline mercury57

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Re: A soldier's life in UK 1870s
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 16 November 21 10:48 GMT (UK) »
Thank you once again Shaun. I did have all the attestation and service papers but not the 3 sheets that are categorised as discharge papers - it gives me another piece of info since it mentions the company within the battalion to which he was attached.

Just been searching for the Stations of the Regiments as you recommended. Very interesting though puzzling - some of the listings put the regiment in Malta but there is no record on his service history of him having been in Malta.

Needs some unravelling I think :)

Offline ShaunJ

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Re: A soldier's life in UK 1870s
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 16 November 21 10:53 GMT (UK) »
Have you also seen his WW1 service records?
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