Arborfield Apprentice Training School
Bandmasters and a JU88
Chepstow Apprentice Training School
Grenadier Guards and Coldstream Guards
Royal Hibernian Military School
Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum
12 June 2005
Art, I apologize for taking so long to write. The letter to my Mother
and the prospectus made it in the OBAN issue 29 Winter 2003/4. (Ref
to material published in newsletter of Arborfield Old Boys Assoc). There
was no mention that you did the forwarding, which upset me. I managed
to make the Arborfield reunion last year where I met many old friends.
All in all, it was a worthwhile trip. Unfortunately, I'll not be able
to return this year - heath problems. The AOBA forum is no longer available;
it's limited to paid-up members. I have opened my own "Free" forum
and will send you an invite to join. The URL is ArmyApprenticeSoldiers@groups.msn.com I'll
post your web page address on the AAS links.
12 June 2005
John, It's a pleasure to hear from you after so long a silence. Yes,
I'm aware that the letter to your mother and prospectus made it into
the winter issue of the OBAN. I thought it well worth publishing. You
know that Arborfield is being closed? If not, this will be news to you.
I'll look at the URL you noted and make some sort of response. The main
thing since we last corresponded is that I have a new web site with an
emphasis on military history, training and education. I had something
up once for the OBAN, but the response did not justify maintaining the
page. Thanks for the offer to post my website on the AAS links; I'd appreciate
that. We must all expect to start unraveling at some time; it used to
be three score years and ten, but it might have gone up a bit recently.
15 June 2005
Art, The forum has developed fast. As you suggested, I have asked
members what direction it should take. It looks as though the majority
just want to shoot the bull. Not what might interest you, but check
it from time to time; you never know what might show up. I'll be interested
in reading the exchange with the son of George Gilligan, first intake
to Cheptstow 14 April 1925. I always thought that the Apprentice program
started during WWII. Today I've learned something new.
| Bandmasters and a JU88
27 June 2005
Art, Some time ago you kindly sent a clip from Pathe News of the
School at Saunton during the War. I don't think I thanked you for doing
this, which was due to problems at the time, now thankfully resolved.
If you remember, we were discussing Bandy Clancy and his rank. I can
only remember everyone calling him "Major", but this may have
been a shortened version of "Sergeant Major" used by the boys. Like
you, I do remember that he often turned up for band practice slightly
inebriated and flushed, but he still managed to get the best out us. Did
you ever find out anything about his rank?
Now, a point of historical interest. One evening in November 1941,
a group of us were kicking a ball about on the grass in front of
the hotel (remember it was double British Summer Time and light until
about 11 O'clock) when we heard an unusual aircraft noise. We were
used to the sound of Whitney bombers on anti-mine patrol flying about
50ft above the water (and actually below us on the cliff top), but
this aircraft was about 50ft higher and we could see every detail as
it passed low overhead. In fact it was a JU88 and we could clearly
see the crew in the coc kpit and glass nose; they appeared to be waving
as they passed over! Until recently, I always wondered if I'd imagined
this, but a chance discovery in Barnstaple library revealed that the
inexperienced crew had thought they were over Northern France and landed
at the RAF aerodrome at Chivenor where they were promptly arrested!
It occurred to me that dressed as we were in khaki shorts, shirts and
white braces, the Germans may have mistaken us for Hitler Youth in
Lederhosen which may have accounted for the waving!
27 June 2005
Colin, Thanks for your note. Yes, to satisfy your curiosity, my enquiry
on the web brought a number of responses: Malcolm Dooley (46-51); Ted
Grant; and Peter Hurst to mention three. The facts are that bandmasters
posted to regimental bands from Kneller Hall became WOIs and carried
that rank throughout their service. The exception were those posted to
'staff bands', who were commissioned and had the benefit of time promotion.
Peter Hurst's brother attended the school in the 1930s and knew Clancy
well. He (Hurst's brother) was posted to the South Staffordshires with
WOI rank. Later, he was appointed Director of the RAMC 'staff band',
retiring in 1977 with the rank of major. When Clancy became bandmaster
in 1930 he had retired from the Army, but carried his WOI rank with him.
In short, he was not of a commissioned rank.
Your recollection of the Junkers 88 passing low over Barnstable and
Bideford Bay, in front of Saunton Sands Hotel, and landing at Chivenor
vaguely stirs in my memory. It would be a lovely piece to post on the
history site, but would need more depth and detail to write an account
worth posting. Perhaps others remember and can provide more detail. Check
the correspondence page where I now publish interesting correspondence.
I'll add this exchange.
| Chepstow Apprentice Training School
1 June 2005
Art, Got home late today (Wednesday) and have seen the article [posted
on the web at www.achart.ca/hibernian/lives.htm]; very nice. A minor
correction; Dad's Christian names were George William, not John. His
brother was Frederick John. Apart from that it was strange to see it
in print. I am away for a week from this Friday (3rd June) so I will
try before I go to get photo done of Dad in Tank Corp uniform. I also
have an Army Certificate of Education (First Class) for him from 1933
when he was in India; also, a copy of the relevant page showing his number
when he entered Chepstow. Let me know if these are of any interest. If
they are I will get them to you. One other request. I had an e-mail from
a Mr. Marley in Australia who used to live here in South Wales. I would
like to reply to him but have no e-mail address to contact him.
This occasionally happens with my computer. Can you assist with an
address please? Thanks.
1 June 2005
Chris, Thanks! I like it too. Before making the correction, I should
like to await the arrival of a photograph of your dad and the Army
Cert of Education, which would be welcome. The page showing his number
at Cheptstow is also worth having – by e-mail is fine if you
can manage it. If not and you use regular post, my address is 98 Maria's
Quay, Cobourg, Ontario K9A 5R6, Canada. Brian Marley's e-mail addy
is firstname.lastname@example.org which should find him.
6 June 2005
Art, A brief note. I am at my son's home at the moment – near
Oxford. I enclose the photos as promised including one of Fred, who
was shot and killed on 1 October 1945. He is the one seated. Dad's
mother died of TB and Asthma. Did Peter send you the letter I sent
with the other photographs? There were I think small snippets of dad
in his early life. The first sweets he recalled having were from a
shop damaged in the 1916 uprising. The last time he saw his father
was when the 10th Irish Division marched from their barracks to the
docks in Dublin to cross to England. When dad died 1 March 1999 he
was the last of the original No 1 Group from Cheptsow.
12 Jun 2005
Chris, I acknowledge receipt with thanks of your package of photographs.
It's obvious from your note that I got a couple of things wrong, particularly
the death of your grandmother, which I incorrectly ascribed to the 1919
flu pandemic. I also incorrectly identified the seated figure of the
brothers as your father. I'll have the web master make corrections to
the text at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile, thanks for all your
help. If you come across further errors I expect you'll let me know.
| Cotton apprentices
31 May 2005
Art, I can get a copy of your Sons of the Brave from the
University of Toronto library. Have just found it in the library catalogue.
I have found my research on the indentured apprentices from St. Luke's
Workhouse, Chelsea and many of the children were sent to Nottingham,
to coal mines up north and to cotton and spinning manufacturers
in the north (these were mostly girls). I think there was some sort
of affiliation between the RMA and the workhouse when apprentices
were needed. Anyway, if you or your colleagues need any further
information from me, I would be delighted to correspond with them.
1 June 2005
Linda, Glad to hear of your success getting the SOB book from the U
of T library. Re. the apprentices, first, the 1814 Amendment to the Elizabethan
Apprentices Act is, we have reason to believe, was the basis on which
the RMA at least began indenturing apprentices. This because none were
indentured until a year after the amendment was legislated. Secondly,
Peter has uncovered evidence via a note in red in the apprentices ledger
by which Oldknow circumvented the conditions of the Act to get his cheap
labour until the apprentice attained his or her (but mostly her) 21st
birthday. Finally, which you might be right about there being 'some sort
of affiliation between the RMA and the workhouse' the evidence is that
the Heyside journeymen cotton spinners who first used the RMA as a source
of apprentices could not get apprentices from the workhouses nearer home.
This was because the workhouse overseers were well aware of the appalling
conditions under which cotton apprentices worked (see the chapter in
the Charity book on the cotton apprentices). If you do come
across evidence of affiliation or cooperation between the RMA and similar
institutions I'd certainly like to hear about it.
12 June 2005
Peter, Art tells me that your instrument is the euphonium. I have
thought to find a selection of pieces for the instruments that my great
grand-father would likely have been playing c.1860-80. I am very
fond of Berlioz and suppose that he would have used the new sounds very
happily. Any ideas?
12 June 2005
John, The most popular composers of the period wrote for the instrument.
I think of Sullivan's Savoy operas including the Mikado with Wandering
Minstrel and Tit Willow. The only time I think that three
fingers were totally woven together was with Pineapple Poll,
which defeated me. Other music of course will have been scored for
the euphonium I have a copy of The Carnival of Venice; the
most amazing scoring was a rendering of Czardas, normally played by
a gypsy violinist to doting lovers at a table. Most military marches
have a tenor solo led by the euphonium, or a counter melody. Examples
can be found in the works of Kenneth J. Alford: Standard of St
George, There's no place like home, and Colonel Bogey (with
its added bawdy lyrics referring to Hitler's breeding possibilities), Voice
of the Guns, Army of the Nile, and the many marches of Sousa.
Film scores also are represented in 'Bridge on the River Kwai',
using the Colonel Bogey march and, among my favourites, The Luftwaffe
the film The Battle of Britain. A quick check on the
net provides the item below, also suggesting the source of many
19th Century composers and melodies played. I must also add, the works
of Thomas BIDGOOD, composer of Son's of the Brave, regimental
march of the Duke of York's School. Here is part of the commentary
to be found at the site quoted:
"However the euphonium has by no means been confined
to brass and military bands and has often been employed in the orchestra....In
the late 19th century tuba parts in English orchestras were often played
by euphoniums and this may account for the lively orchestral tuba parts
penned by British composers like Elgar, Bax, Holst, Lambert, Walton,
Britten and Malcolm Arnold. Many British light orchestral scores of the
late 19th century included a euphonium..."
| Grenadier Guards and Coldstream Guards
13 June 2005
Further to my other questions, Art, would the uniform of the 1st
Foot Guards in 1840 be what the Coldstream Guards have today. And
did the bandsmen have differences?
13 June 2005
The history of the Grenadier Guards is to be found at: www.army.mod.uk/grenadier/history/htm.
The history of the Coldstream Guards is to be found at www.army.mod.uk/coldstreamguards/history.htm
The uniform of the 1st Foot Guards in 1840 would be about the same
as that worn at the Battle of Waterloo (1815) – where they acquired
the name 'Grenadier Guards' – with, I imagine, some small changes.
The scarlet-coat uniform and Busby as worn today is known as 'regimental
dress'. There might be minor differences between the regimental dress
of the Grenadier Guards and the Coldstream Guards, but I suspect they
are minor. I suggest you check the two web sites given above. I also
speculate that you're wondering why A. J. Phasey joined the band of
the Coldstream Guards when his father had served in the 1st Foot Guards.
I'm pretty sure that was because the bandmaster of the Coldstream Guards
through his contacts at the RMA persuaded Phasey to join his band.
The Guards in London exerted a strong influence on the RMA through
senior officers serving on the board of governors. I can think of no
more rational explanation than that.
| Professor Phasey
6 June 2005
I have just found your website and am impressed. My ancestor was
at the School in the 1830s and it gives a wonderful picture of the time
that he was there. Thank you.
6 June 2005
John, Thanks for the compliment. Who was your ancestor? Can you identify
him? Have you found him on Peter Goble's site at www.rma-searcher.co.uk?
6 June 2005
Art, My great-great grandfather was Alfred James Phasey, who became
a musician of some small distinction and has a large number of descendants,
one of whom, in Australia, gave me your address. I have more info
than I can immediately deal with, so have not looked at that website
6 June 2005
John, Thanks for the lead. I've found him: Alfred James Phasey, No.
5275 on the register, entered the RMA at age 5 years 7 months on
23 September 1839, father Pte Thomas Phasey of the Grenadier Guards,
mother Mary Phasey, both living when Alfred James entered the RMA.
He enlisted in the Coldstream Guards at age 15 on 7 August 1848. His
entered the RMA while his parents were still living. Could be to get
the boy a half-decent education. Also unusual that he should leave
the institution at age 15. Most left at age 14. However, like Henry
Lazarus, the clarinetist, he could have been favoured by the school
authorities for his musical abilities. Speculation of course. We're
interested in everyone who passed through – so
8 June 2005
Referring to edited copy, Many thanks Art. - some useful
comments, which is what a first draft needs. When you say " A
good start to what could be an interesting family history!" I
must tell you that for two years the story has been with the editor
History (or similar title) awaiting publication. A. J. Phasey
has been credited as the inventor of the euphonium and I have worked
on that story over the years. I sent a copy of my booklet on the
subject to Kneller Hall and was later in touch with distant branches
of his (Phasey's) descendants of whom I had been totally unaware.
8 June 2005
John, Your contact with us is important. We've been looking at one
Phasey (antecedents previously unknown), Professor at Kneller Hall in
1865. Go to www.achart.ca/york/professors.htm and there you'll see him
among the college staff in the front row. He is obviously your forebear.
I came across A. J. Phasey in the admissions register, but figured he
would have been too young to qualify for Kneller Hall. I was wrong. Please
tell me on what basis you credit him inventor of the euphonium. As for
your comment and question about numbers and coping, the school authorities
had strict rules for who could enter and who couldn't. The three orders
of priority are given somewhere on my site, in the intro. But no, being
an orphan was only at the top of the qualification list.
June 28, 2005
Art, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article on your website on
Alfred James Phasey. Many thanks. It mentioned in the article about
an Obituary in the Oldham Chronicle on 15 August 1888 for him. However,
I have since made enquiries to the Oldham Chronicle Archives for a
copy of it and they have searched through that paper from 15th-20th
and have found no Obituary for him. I have his death certificate which confirms that
he died on 17th August 1888 in Chester, age 54 years. Do you have a copy
of the said Obituary that you could forward to me? I will make
a few more enquiries to see if I can confirm it for you.
28 June 2004
Debbie, I'm glad you found the article worth reading. Now to correct an
error. Information given us as fact turned out to be untrue, changed, corrected,
retracted. Reference to the Oldham Chronicle is a good example.
Since posting the piece we have had to revise the text here and there,
some editorial fault, but most not. The Oldham Chronicle has been
changed to the Cheshire Observer. I revised the obit. date to
17 August 1888 from 15 August 1888, which was obviously incorrect, but
the revised publication date is questionable too. Not even The Times would
publish an obituary on the date of death of a subject (unless there
was a clairvoyant on staff because newspapers went to press in the
small hours of the night – so work that one out). It might be
wise if you're contacting the Observer to suggest the 18 August 1888
or later for a possible data of pub. I am pleased to have confirmation
from your copy of his death certificate that put him at age 54, which
is what we worked out from the RMA ledgers. See also the copy of a
letter from the Royal Archives in confirmation of the death certificate
you have. If you come across any bloopers, be sure to tell me. I loathe
publishing specious information.
| Royal Hibernian Military
13 June 2005
Art, With reference to our exchanges (Re. Captain Harry Bloomer),
we have not forgotten your request. My dad produced pages of hand-written
memoirs, which are almost impossible to read! We are working our way
through this manuscript and in a few days will email you some extracts
that you can work on. We will be in touch soon.
13 June 2005
Sheelagh, Lots of time. Thanks for remembering all the same. If you
look at my web site - particularly that which deals the Royal Hibs
School (see www.achart.ca/hibernian)
- you'll see what Peter Goble of Harrogate and I have done to resurrect
what is yet known about the school. You might have met Frank Hawkins
when he was still of this world. I'm now keeping my promise to provide
a history of the school. Therefore, information from any quarter is
welcome. Peter runs a separate site that deals with the admissions
registers and statistical data at http://www.rhms-searcher.co.uk/ Given
the way the web works, once the information is posted it is not going
to sink into oblivion because someone somewhere is gathering and storing
every scrap of info that appears. Take your time and I'll expect something
from you when it arrives.
| Royal Victoria Patriotic
30 May 2005
Art, Thank you for sending me your book. It was here when I returned
home from England. I have read it with great interest and I may
be able to shed some light on the northern apprentices sent from the
RMA. Some of the names you mention of the employers seem to ring
a bell. However, I have to find my files on the Chelsea Workhouse
to confirm my intuition. Will get back to you on this. Meanwhile,
I would like to purchase a copy of your Sons of the Brave. Please
let me know the price, postage, etc. and I will send you a cheque.
My further research on the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum fits nicely
into the gap left by the curtailment of girl pupils at the RMA. In
fact I came across a note from the Commissioners of the RVPA re. an interview
they had with the Commissioners of the RMA about setting up the school
for girls and the "problems" encountered by the RMA! Look
forward to hearing from you, and thank you again for sending me the
30 May 2005
Linda, Welcome home! I'm pleased you enjoyed The Charity of Mars.
It has a few blunders but, by and large, has lasting value as a social
record. The Sons of the Brave is now out of print. I'm often
asked for it, but the chances of it being re-printed are slim. The best
way of getting a copy is on the bibliographic web from which copies are
available from between $20 and $25 U.S.
There are other ways in which we can help. I should think that a copy
of Peter Goble's CD of the RMA to about 1858 is worth having. It includes
the girls as well as the boys, their fathers' units and apprenticeship
information. Peter has been photocopying the RMA and RHMS registers including
the correspondence book from the Southampton Branch to which the girls
and infants were sent until the institution closed, which is where your
research appears to come in. The material includes information re. the
indentured apprenticeships, the cotton apprentices et al. If you bring
the PICT0111.jpg on screen and zoom in you will find it is quite readable.
The one attached is a sample page from the correspondence book. I'm including
Peter in this exchange because he has 'ownership' of the images, which
I'm now reviewing to write more articles on the apprenticeship programme.
For this purpose, the July 1814 amendment to the original Apprentices
Act passed early the reign of Queen Elizabeth is an important document.
It was the basis on which the authorities of the RMA wrote indentures
Another research warrior into the condition of cotton apprentices
of the early nineteenth at one particular mill, Cressbrook Mill, is
Jean Stone of Cressbrook Village. We exchange information and, I believe,
she could be an important contact for your in writing your thesis.
Hence, I'm sending her a copy of this response. Check www.cressbrook.com/citydesk/ to
see the results of her work.