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The Royal Hibernian Military School (1765-1924)
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2004 Newsletter

Thanks to the work, research and scholarship of an increasing circle of people interested in the history of the Royal Hibernian Military School (1769-1924), Dublin, our knowledge of this defunct military institution is growing.

George O'Reilly, Editor of the Genealogical Society of Ireland, revived interest in the School through the Society's quarterly journal. Peter Goble of Harrogate, Yorkshire, working on some newly-discovered admissions registers, has produced a pamphlet of 'Roll calls' for 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1881. Refer to his site about the RMA Chelsea and RHMS Dublin. Liz Arnsby of Oshawa, Canada, is another contributor. Her forebears were at the school and she maintains a family history site , which includes information on the institution. My own interest in the Hibernian school stems from a promise made to Frank Hawkins, co-author of a handwritten history of the school. This was to discover and publish what I could of his school's past if I had an opportunity to do so.

More recently, Howard Clarke, MA, retired college principal with an academic background in government, economics and history, has added his scholarship to the quest for the past history of the Royal Hibernians. His interest is in the life of his great-grandfather who was at the school and served in the 22nd Regiment of Foot from 1854 to 1879. Howard's curiosity about the School's antecedents has stretched beyond his great-grandfather's connection to a broader view of its history. An article summarizing his discovered sources will shortly appear on this site. It includes fascinating material in the Parliamentary Archive at Westminster that relates to the political economy of the School between 1810 and 1852.

The fate of the School's records is well known. They were all supposed to have been destroyed in the London Blitz of 1940. It turns out, however, that some correspondence, records and historical documents were in the archives of the Duke of York's Royal Military School, Dover. These were transferred to the National Archives with copies being sent to the National Army Museum, London, in early 2003. They are registered in the National Archives under the reference series WO/143.

An article on the subject of the extant RHMS records appears in the Spring 2004 issue of the Genealogical Society of Ireland under the title Royal Hibernian Military Asylum Extant Records. The Society's recognition of the importance of the Hib records to genealogical research testifies to their significance and value.

Peter Goble's new pamphlet is a valuable addition to the historical record. With painstaking care, he has combined data from two ledgers. He reports that, from the work done so far, many names were missing from what he considered to be the master ledger (WO 143/78), which included the weight and measurement of boys on entry (height, weight, chest and waist measurements). Cross-referencing the ledgers (WO143/27 and 78) would, he was able to state, show any anomalies. For example, names in the first ledger, which include the 'date of discharge' do not appear in the second ledger. The second ledger is written in a mature hand over an extended period of many years. As this includes admission and discharge data, Goble surmised that the ledger had been compiled in stages. It might also be a legible copy of the 'original measurement' ledger begun in 1847.

Of the names listed in the various 'roll calls', the 1881 roll contains fewer names than are to be found in the previous years covered: 1851, 1861 and 1871. In his view, this is because the entries are discontinued in 1877. Those entries gradually tail off as a result of discharges between 1877 and 1881. He will, presumably, note this and similar observations for fellow researchers and readers in the final version of his pamphlet.

A. W. Cockerill
April 2004

Table of Contents - Royal Hibernian Military School
1769 Petition
1806 Pay and Allowances
1806 Weekly Governor's Report
1806 Time Table
1819 Charter
1819 Diet
1819 Staff Duties
1819 General Regulations
1844 Return of Religions
1849 S.S. Pemberton Orphans
1856 School Inspector Gleig
1857 China
1873 Religion
1900 Review at Phoenix Park
1918 Lost Boys
1919 Roll of Honour
1919 Recollections
1919 Lives of the Hibernians
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
1922 Last cricket match
1924 A soldier's orphan's story
1924 Last roll call
1924 Laying up the colours
1924 The final era
1937 A military misfit NEW
1969 The bicentenary reunion
1994 Capt. Harry Bloomer MBE
2001 IGS No.25 History
2004 Newsletter
2005 The last known Hibernian
2007 Sources of Hibernian documents

Delta Tech Systems Inc
  Duke of York's Royal Military School
Royal Hibernian Military School
Reminiscences of a Queen's Army  Schoolmistress
World War I letters and Reports
Books and Militaria
Wellington on Waterloo
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© A. W. Cockerill 2005

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