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Correspondence 2005


Army Education
Corps of Army schoolmasters
Cotton apprentices in the 19th Century
Irish orphans shipped to Australia
Sons of the Brave painting
The Royal Hibernians
Yankee doodle Dukie

Army Education

9 March 2005

Inaccurate info. is useless and therefore I am never upset if somebody offers corrections. Doing research, I have discovered that something repeated enough becomes a 'fact'. Then it is difficult to prove a so-called 'fact' is incorrect. If I understand you correctly I should replace 'Inspector General' with 'Inspector'. Gleig will not be the only man in history to have 'improved' his status!


10 March 2005

When created in July 1846, the title of the position 'Inspector of schools'. Whether you express this as 'Inspector...' or 'Inspector-General...' is of small consequence; I mentioned this only in passing. More important is the inaccuracy of crediting Gleig as being the father of Army education. Two publications under the title Tommy Atkins' Children exist; one by St. John Williams, the other a report by Brig. T. C. Sherry published in the Army Quarterly and Defence Journal. Both draw on White's T. Story of Army Education 1643-1963 re. Gleig.


Corps of Army schoolmasters

12 March 2005

Mr. Bailey; Your correspondence with Ben Burd of Cobourg came to me. Peter Goble of Harrogate and I research and operate web sites recording the history of the military schools, the RHMS and the Duke of York's, formerly the RMA, Chelsea. I was interested in your generous response to Ben Burd regarding his great-grandfather who, according his documentation, was an army schoolmaster.

I am familiar with A. C. T. White's The Story of Army Education, but not Wyper's Mars and Minerva - A History of Army Education, which is probably a more recent treatment of the subject. I agree with the point about the course of training army schoolmasters without exception had to take. I've written on the subject in the Journal of the Soc. of Army Hist. Research and in a history of the RMA (1803-1892) under the title The Charity of Mars. This deals in part with the creation of the 'ecole normale' and 'model school' at the RMA by two scholars and educationists, W. McLeod (Glasgow U.) and W.S.O. du Sautoy (Cambridge).

Can you tell me Wyper deals with the work of McLeod and du Sautoy or does he credit George Gleig, first Inspector of Military Schools, with creation of the CAS? I admit to being scathing about Gleig, but not without reason. I'd like to know what others have written about him and what their sources were. White was in adulation first; others have relied on his word.  

Art C

18 March 2005

Thank you for your e-mail regarding Wypers 'Mars and Minerva'. The book was published late in 2004 but only as a limited run, some copies are available for sale through the RAEC Association office at Worthy Down, Hampshire.

I have looked again at the sub chapters covering the creation of the RMA and the formation of the CAS but all (as you suspected) point to the Rev. G. R. Gleig as the founder of the CAS. The names of Mcleod and du Satoy are not mentioned - either in the text, index, footnotes or bibliography. Wyper does state that Gleig 'was not a man of original ideas. But he could appreciate the original thinking of others and see its relevance to what he wanted to do'.

As you suggested, because 'Archie' White praised Gleig, few have delved deeper - perhaps it was White's VC and his father-like position within the RAEC that dissuaded others in re-assessing the role Gleig played with the CAS.

Ian Bailey, Curator

18 March 2055

Ian; You have confirmed my suspicion that everyone followed Archie White's lead. I visited the museum in 1982 and had help from Brigadier Harry Shean with whom I discussed Gleig's report in the Edinburgh Review (April 1852). In this, he wrote of a chance meeting with (Lord?) Baring, who invited his interest in the RMA. Gleig's account of what followed is inaccurate and false. (He the meeting with Bariing was the first he knew of the RMA. As he was Chaplain to the Chelsea Pensioners Hospital around that was a porky; not the first, nor the last he told). Shean agreed. He had misgivings about the man and characterized him as 'an energetic, intelligent, highly-educated, dedicated opportunist,' which I quoted in the Sons of the Brave book. A copy of this came to the museum with thanks for the help given. You should have a copy of The Charity of Mars book, too, which deals with the development of Army education. It could be a useful addition to the library. The changes in army education and creation of the CAS originated from Secretary of State for War Fox Maule of the Privy Council. Maule and the Bishop London chose MacLeod and du Satoy to design the programme.


19 March 2005

Art; Thanks for your enlightening information on Gleig.

March 12, 2005

Peter, I am researching my family history concentrating on my grandfather's generation and I keep coming back to my great-grandfather Braham Burd. Born in Sheffield in 1852, he became an Army Schoolteacher. His wedding certificate dated 1878 gives his occupation as "Army schoolteacher", his death certificate dated 1901 notes the same. Army records show four of his six children born in India whilst he is shown as being '3 KOH' (3rd King's Own Hussars).

Art states that as an Army schoolteacher he must have been trained at the RMA. Your records do not indicate a Burd – I came much later. Here is what the curator of the museum housing the RAEC records wrote:

Dear Mr. Burd; ... the Adjutant General's Corps Museum does not hold personal records on members of the former CAS. These may be held at the National Archives in Kew but a number of army records were lost in the WWII blitz. Your e-mail address suggests that you do not reside in the UK which makes dealing with the National Archives difficult - it can be difficult for residents too! I suggest that you contact an accredited researcher who will research on your behalf. A researcher should also search the medal rolls to see if your relative received any campaign medals and as you identify the unit he was attached to, they should research for war diaries to find location information on deployments. I use a former service colleague and will provide you with his details upon request. you will of course need additional information such as name, service number etc for the researcher.

With the creation of the CAS, the Army set up 'normal' and 'model' schools at the Royal Military Asylum in Chelsea (an institution for orphaned children of soldiers - similar to the earlier Royal Hibernian Military School in Dublin). These schools were used to train Army Schoolmasters. Applicants had to be aged between 20 -26 and pass stiff entrance exams. Applicants were either serving soldiers (usually Sergeants) employed as assistant teachers in Regimental Schools or hold a Certificate of Proficiency issued by the Committee of the Council of Education i.e. be a qualified teacher. The majority of these came from clerical, medical or officer families. Many applicants were former pupils of the RMA/RHMS. From 1870 any soldier could apply providing he had a recommendation from his Commanding Officer. 

Applicants had to pay a bond of £50 to undertake the training (one year in each school) - which was repaid once the man had enlisted for 12 years. This was the same amount demanded by civilian colleges in this period.

The pay of the Schoolmaster was not generous - 54 pounds p.a. increasing by six pence biannually however food, accommodation and clothing was free (as was the travel!). Their civilian equivalents could earn 93 pounds p.a.

In a second e-mail, Ian Bailey writes of relying on a book written by Dr Leslie Wyper:

With little archive information on the CAS, I'm using as my source a new book 'Mars and Minerva - A History of Army Education' by Dr Leslie Wyper, Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. In addition to being an academic, he also served in the Royal Army Educational Corps in the Second World War.

In his chapter on the origins of Army Education he states that no recognition was given of the training received by civilian schoolmasters prior to joining the RMA. They were still required to undertake the two years training alongside their NCO equivalents.

There was a great deal of resentment to this ruling - indeed later it was reduced to eighteen months. One schoolmaster commented that the 'Normal School taught him nothing about running an Army School and nothing useful he did not already know'.

I am sorry that I could not be of more help but I wish you well in your research - any information you would like to share on your relative when your work is done would be warmly received as there is little on the CAS in the collection.

Do you have all the admissions record of the student schoolmasters? If so how could my great-grandfather be classified as an Army schoolteacher for over 25 years and not be trained at the RMA?


March 12, 2005

Ben; Art is the man to speak to; I have reduced the Historical content of my site, leaving that to Art, and concentrating on the data, more interesting, to me that is.

The records transcribed are the boys admissions only, from 1803 to 1880, with the addition of the Staff extracted from the Census 1841-1901. A Schoolmaster course is noted in the 1901 census, p 6.

As from 1840 to 1919 for the RHMS, solid data for the period Jan 1848 to Dec 1877, and a bit hit and miss for the other periods. There is sufficient detail to note that a few were transferred to the RMA and also to Pupil Teachers and Students.

There may be some records at the DYRMS re. Schoolmaster courses. Aldo in Malta has a web site re Army schools on Malta at You may find a pointer or two there.


12 March 2005

Ben, Peter has passed this one back to me. It is a mystery, I agree, but I cannot enlighten you further than Peter and the curator of the AGO Museum already have. It is a mystery that you have documents confirming that your g-grandfather was a schoolmaster, which is not in doubt. Even so, by 1870, to my knowledge, all schoolmasters had to have had formal training, either at the RHMS or at the ecole normale that was part of the RMA, Chelsea.

It is possible that he became an army schoolmaster in the way that musicians of any rank became bandmasters, but unlikely. I believe you need to consult morning reports of the units in which he served. The curator wrote of using the services of a researcher. I agree with him. If you do the research yourself, military records are available at the PRO, Kew (now the National Archives). A reference to get started is

Good luck, Art

12 March 2005

Art: You are right. This needs more research. I've contacted a researcher I've dealt with before. She will find out what Braham did in his service career; from the muster rolls and archives of the Queen's Own Hussars.
That doesn't solve the mystery of Braham not being on Peter's lists. He suggests that the schoolmaster might have been on another roll, which makes bureaucratic sense - not mixing budgets and cost centres, although I doubt the Victorian military bookkeepers called them that. If schoolmaster trainees were on separate rolls it would make sense for somebody in Dover not to keep them as they would not see the historic relevance. So it's my opinion that the schoolmaster rolls were not kept and therefore not rescued from the loft of the administration building.

Cotton apprentices in the 19th Century (see February correspondence)

20 March 2004

Jean; Thanks a million for scanning and transmitting the Aston Chronicle (1849) article on the Cressbrook Mill apprentices. I'm surprised that such a piece would have got into print in 1849. Mention of the Duke of York's boys is interesting. I'll get Peter in on this one if he has time and keep you posted. I cut and pasted the pages you sent into a single file and will read it this evening. I read bits while copying and pasting; it's well written and revealing. Talk about horror stories - and these mill owners were the pillars of society?

23 March 2005

Art; The article was part of a leaflet produced by Edmund and Ruth Frow 1980. Subtitled 'Child apprentices in Derbyshire Spinning factories'. I was put on to it by Arthur Barnes who lives near the mill in a house built using the original Apprentice House. He bought copy at Styal. I phoned to buy 6 copies [this village in those days borrowed but never returned!] and spoke to Ruth Frow. She and her husband had never seen Cressbrook so I invited them over and they met Arthur and went upstairs to see his part of the Apprentice house. The article was published originally due to the fact that the editor was a Chartist clergyman, Joseph Raynor Stephens, somewhat different from today's editors!

25 March 2005

Glad you found it interesting. The reports tend to get 'pooh-poohed', but there is no smoke... Peter did send me the names sent to Newton and McConnel at Cressbrook but they appeared to be later i.e. 1827/36. I have just been reading a fascinating book from the library written as a Phd in 1965, who is now a Professor. It is called The Early Factory Masters and says that Cressbrook and Litton were taking apprentices from London much later than the rest of the north because of their isolation. The ones from St. James in 1816 came via a Mr. Gorton or Gordon. Does he appear anywhere? Have yet to go through Peter's disc as I know the temptation to get bogged down before you have followed the leads. It is too easy to jump to conclusions.


29 March 2005

Art, Last night found 2 more of 'your' girls: Mary McMahon and Lavinia Bowden. Mary was supposedly 14 in 1836 and yet only 15 in 1841. Lavinia was 14 in 1835 and also 15 in 1841! 


March 10, 2005

Could you tell me which regiment my husband's grandfather would have been in. It says on his war record that he left the Royal Hibernian Military School to go to the East Indies on the 22 February 1887 and returned 13 February 1893. His real was John Robert Wallace. but on his war record for the 1914-18 Great War, he went by the name of John Wallace. We are trying to find his birth place because we can't find him on any of the British records even though he gave his birthplace as York on his war record. He wasn't born there in the 1914 war. He served in the East Yorkshire Regiment. He was in the Boer War but there is no mention of the regiment he was in. I would be much obliged if you could give me advice on where to start. I've been trying for eight years

Brenda Wallace

10 March 2005

Brenda; I've rechecked the records we have. There is one Robert WALLACE, with a discharge date of 14 September 1846; too early for your Grandfather. I hope to collect the ledger covering the years Jan 1878 to Dec 1907 in the next week or so. I will establish if he was admitted during this period.


4 March 2005

Vera, With the name of McDougal there is obviously a connection between your forebear and the one Peter has been discussing with our other correspondent, even if one has to go back to the roots of the McDougal Clan. We're dealing, however, with two separate and entirely different McDougals who happen to share a first and second name.

The only William McDougal appearing in the Royal Hibernian admissions ledgers was 9 years of age when admitted in 1869 from the Royal Artillery. He enlisted in the Royal Artillery - too late for the Civil War and unlikely related to your McDougal within a few previous generations. Sorry.

March 04, 2005

I am very interested as to when your William McDougal was born and whom his father. My William McDougal was born 5 Feb. 1844 in Ms. died 16 May 1908 in Bolivar, Tn. On finding his grave his name is Robert. His full name is William Robert Layefette McDougal, Sr. He was in the Civil War in 1861, Confederate Army, he was captured in Chattanooga and sent Rock Island, exchanged and reenlisted. I found that he was William Robert McDougal Pvt. K 03/08/1862 Grand Junction, Tn. He married about three known times according to an old family bible that was in the family (it unfortunately was lost in a house fire), 1st marriage was to S. O. Nooner 1848 - 1877 (70?) married 1868 2nd marriage Fannie Bryant 1860 - 1906, 3rd Hannie C.
Bryant (not sure on that one yet.) William Sr's father was Thomas McDougal and his grandfather was Archibald McDougal and great grandfather was Duncan McDougal. William R. L. McDougal's son, William Jr. was my grandfather. Wm. Jr. only had three girls, all of which are all dead now. Wm. Sr. children were, Earl, Ann E., Thomas Inl, Vera I., Wm. Jr., Harry, Frederick, Jrrfouh, Maude K., Helen, and maybe one or two more that I have heard about but again not proven. I hope there is a connection, please let me know, I will be happy to share the "lost line" of McDougal's.
Vera Jones

16 March 2005

Michelle; I have images of;

WO143/79  Nominal Roll Boys joining the RHMS Jan 1877 to Dec 1908. No FRY was admitted that would fit the bill to be admitted by or close to 1908
WO143/23 Discharges RHMS male 1903 to 1924, continues with Discharges from the DYRMS (Alphabetic Index little detail) No Fry within the date parameters given of aged 8 in 1909 and enlisting on or after the age of 14 (1912 to 1920)
WO143/26 Discharges RHMS 1903-1922 A more comprehensive Chronological discharge ledger. Unfortunately no William James of James William FRY for the time frame.


March 04, 2005

Peter; Thanks a million for you speedy reply. I very much appreciate your offer.  If I can be of any help to you with research in Dublin I would be delighted to reciprocate.

With regard to my GF, the story goes that he was caught throwing stones by a local priest, who, as was often the case at that time, thought the boy was not being taken care of properly.  We believe that he may have objected to the boy being sent to a military establishment, and then insisted that he be sent to a catholic institution. This would have been about 1908 or thereabouts.

As for my ggf I have no idea where he was living although his service record states that he was born in Wandsworth and joined the Bedfords in 1889 in London (age 19 and one month) he gives his trade as baker.


5 March 2005

Michelle; I am sorry to hear that the wall is not showing a crack or two. If your GF was living in Ireland, there is a greater possibility that he attended the RHMS and not the RMA. Considering the Not Joined tag, he may well have lost the chance of joining later, unless his first application was for an infant or younger than the normal admission age of 10-11

The records available at the National Archives are:

WO143/27 Boys index 1840 to 1919. Not all are entered. Those that are the detail is minimal ( Detail sent to you) 
WO143/78 Boys index chronologic Jan 1847 to Dec 31 1877. Maximum detail. This has been transcribed and data cross reference with the WO143/27 ledger 
WO143/79 Boys index Chronological Jan 1st 1878 Dec 31st 1907. Maximum detail. Not yet transcribed
WO143/23 Boys Discharge index 1903 to 1924. Has Date of admission & Discharge, age on discharge, Disposal as Volunteer returned to parents or apprenticeship.

I'll be visiting the National archives shortly. If I have time I'll look for any William Fry's that seem to fit the bill. Please send me a reminder if you don't hear from me in 6 weeks.

March 04, 2005

Peter: I have been in touch with Col. Say in Dover and unfortunately he was unable to help. He had no records for a William Richard Fry and suggested that as he was not a pupil at the DYRMS that I check the records at Kew for the RMA and the RHMS. 

Just a thought re the entry in WO 143/27 that you sent me. My mother has since told me that my grandfather, also William Fry, born 1899, had been sent away to school as a young boy. Not knowing the details it was always assumed that he had been sent to one of Irelands industrial schools. I have been wondering if they had tried to send him first to the RHMS and this is the William referred to as a did not join.   

Also, is it possible that William Richard lied about his age on enlistment? I can find no birth records or census records for William Fry for 1870 or thereabouts that I can connect to him.

Is it possible that the typed entry on his enlistment form which states that he was educated at the RMA and the RHMS was an error and he never attended either of these establishments?


Michelle, It will prove impossible for me to accurately predict the year of admission to the RMA.  The records I hold re the RMA cover up to and including the 20th August 1880. Normal admission to the RMA pre 1900 was 10-11, this will coincide with his enlistment in 1889 aged 19. (Possible discharge 1885 admit 1880/81). This next ledger is at the National Archives at Kew.

With regard to his 'Not joined' at the RHMS. This is new ground for me to break. William Fry is the first 'Not Joined' to surface and does not help me at all in calculating his non admit year.

I have segregated all the class 4 students, all are entered into page 243, I had hoped that this would reveal a possible time span, but they all show discharges of greater than 26 years. It has to be back to plan A, write to the Bursar at the DYRMS, he is most helpful with queries regarding the records of the Victorian students of the RMA.


Michelle; I have rechecked all to ensure that I haven't erred. The only William Fry is the 'Not Joined'. There are several examples of boys being sent to another school, the Industrial School, Meath Industrial School and Boys Home Regents Park.


2 March 2005

I am corresponding with someone researching a Soldier (but perhaps he is an officer) in the 48th Regiment who was discharged from the Army in Australia on the 3rd July 1818, "having completed his limited period of service"
There is no record of a WO 97. I  believe the Soldier Stephen Partridge may be an officer, from the fragments of information supplied by my friend. Could someone please make a suggestion about researching an officer from Australia. Are there any LDS records for Officers of the 48th Regiment. Thanks for any help..

3 March 2005

Gay; You happen to have come by a circuitous route to this website. I have connections with the 48th Foot, the county regiment of Northamptonshire in which my forebears served. It has been absorbed into the Royal Anglian Regiment.

If someone was discharged from the Army with documents bearing the phrase "having completed his limited period of service" it is certain that he was not an officer, but a non-commissioned rank instead. Officers were still buying their commissions in 1818 and either served, sold their commissions, or left the service on half-pay.

Regimental muster rolls were still being prepared in 1818. These recorded every man in the regiment and gave considerable information as to trade, date of enlistment, rank etc. Many muster rolls are now in the Public Record Office, Kew, which is a good place to start searching. I suggest you begin by going to


3 March 2005

Art, Peter; Since I am not the person researching the 48th, I will forward your message on to her, and hopefully she will be able to go from there. Thank you, gentlemen,


1 March 2005

Hello; My name is Janet Missenden (nee Cox) and I live in Australia. I know this is probably not the correct website to write to, but I am hoping you may be able to help me. I am trying to find information on my grandfather Albert Cox, who apparently was living at The Duke of York's School in 1916 (as stated on his marriage certificate, he married Frances Manning 20 February 1916). I have no idea how long he had been living there but apparently he was about 20 yrs old in 1916, (making him born around 1896) his father's name was Henry Cox, a seaman, who was deceased at the time of my grandfather's marriage.

I have tried looking up FREEBMD (births/deaths/marriages website) but due to his name being very common and not knowing where he was born, I am unable to find any information on him, such as his date of birth, also his mothers name etc.

Obviously living in Australia, I am unable to go to the National Archives in Kew to get some help, so I am trying to plead/beg anyone to help me find out from the Duke of York's records, any information at all re my grandfather Albert Cox or great grandfather Henry Cox, my father Ronald Cox died in 1999.


1 March 2005

Janet, Unfortunately, the only records I have are for boys admitted to the Duke of York's School before the move to Dover. From what you state, your grandfather might have been part of the permanent staff. In the days before civilianization, many duties were carried out by soldiers, cooks, Grounds-men, class room monitors  etc. There were some soldiers there who were or had been trained as Army School Masters. To qualify for admission the school, the father must have served at least 4 years in the Army. As his father was a seaman, he did not qualify for admission to the school as a schoolboy.

The clue may be on the marriage certificate, in many cases the employment of the groom is given, my father for instance is shown as "Band Sgt. The South Lancashire Regt." This will also indicate if he was a Soldier or Civilian. The same of course for the bride, she would fit the bill for a Cook, Laundry woman, Nurse etc. If she was a local girl, from Dover or Guston, this would aid your search for the elusive marriage.

There may still be some records at the DYRMS, Dover. Write to Lt Col. R Say. Bursar. The Duke of York's Royal Military School, Dover. KENT. Giving as much data as you have collected,

He is the more likely to know of any records of that era for staff.

Two heads are better than one, I will pass this to Art Cockerill, he may know of some way of circumnavigating the problem.

If you are successful, please let us know for we will be pleased to add any details of staff at the DYRMS to the web site at or

Peter Goble

Irish orphans to Australia

7 March 2005

Michelle; Thanks for your offer to send a copy of chapter 9. That is very kind of you, but not necessary.

To Peter must go the credit for identifying one of the children as of Wesleyan persuasion. These essays of ours are a joint effort. (He does the work, I do the writing, not nearly as demanding.) Peter will have a copy of this and might be able to identify the boy by name. Peter, can you crack this one?

FYI, Brian Marley is in Australia and issues a periodic newsletter for ex-Dukies downunder. He'll be interested in the data you quote - in connection with the SS Pemberton. For my part, were I a Roman Catholic, I'd cross myself and say a couple of Hail Mary's in memory of those poor kids sent to Port Philip. We've already done what we can to bring the SS Pemberton children to light.


7 March 2005

Michelle; Peter forwarded a copy of your offer to send relevant passages on the RHMS from The Lost Children book. When you do send the material, would you please give us the pub. data: publisher, place and date. We now know the author, which is important to credit the source if think it worth revising my article on the subject.

    Also, can you tell me if the work contains any reference to the SS Pemberton voyage to Australia in 1849 with a 'cargo' of orphan girls. We have the names, ages and 'trained' occupations of the RHMS girls on that voyage. I'd be interested  in knowing if Joseph Robins picked up that data.


7 March 2005

Art; I've had a quick look through the book and in particular chp 9, The workhouse child 1840-1860- orphan emigration to Australia. There is no reference to the SS Pemberton, though there is  a lot of detail on the orphan emigration scheme which ran for two years from 1848-1850. A total of 4,175 orphan girls were sent from Irish workhouses during this scheme. Of these 1,255 were received at Port Philip.

If this is of use to you let me know and I will send you the chapter (25 pages in all). With regard to your essay on religion, I have just reread it and noticed something I had  missed before. You state that in 1880, only one child was listed as Wesleyan, the boy that I have been looking for gives his religion as Wesleyan on his enlistment papers in 1889. I wonder if this will make my search any easier. Probably not, knowing my luck.


Sons of the Brave painting 


March 19, 2005

Peter; How are you standing up under the controversy? About the painting, it's funny but I don' believe many boys knew about it. I know I didn't. I am doing OK except for my eyes. Otherwise I seem to be in pretty good shape. I will be 92 in August. Today I sent a birthday card to Albert Perry in Australia. He will be 97 the 28th of this month.

19 March 2005

Dan; In the popularity stakes, both Art and I are like Jane Fonda. All we've done is to state the facts and shredded some oft-repeated hysterical myths about the school and now, like Mose's tablets, accepted as in chiseled in stone. Not any more. Art may have told you that the third (once missing) painting arrived at the school in 2004. The article written about the SOB painting was published in The Yorkist, edited and compared with the Elgin Marbles in a most biased and frivolous manner. As yet, no mention has been made of the arrival of the third image. Nor is anyone saying where it is.

  We'll see this one through to the end. Everyone who knows the painting is interested in the outcome. There's another piece posted on Art's web page dealing with the colour red and all the Morris paintings. The portrait painting is too important a work not to be kept in the public domain, which is where we're keeping it.


The Royal Hibernians

6 March 2005

Re. previous correspondence about William Radford being at RHMS under an assumed name in the 1880s, becoming a tutor and then leaving to get married having proved he'd been improperly admitted to the army, a most likely candidate is to be found at, a William Young, father in 5th Dragoon Guards, struck off at request, 10/09/1892.
He meets this criteria: The pseudonym was a family name. His mother's maiden name was Young. His father served part of the time in Dundalk. The 5th Dragoons served in Dundalk in the 1880s before moving to Dublin. He was struck off at his own request. The phrasing is not used for any other person in the RHMS list. The army took some time to admit he was right. The 1892 date is two years after he is recorded as an employee of the Great Southern & Western Railway of Ireland at Kingsbridge Station at the Phoenix Park entrance.
It would have been better if the register showed his regiment, the 11th Hussars, but as he argued he wasn't really in the army, perhaps silence was better. There is also the corroborative evidence that RHMS appears in his published resume when he received his first major promotion in Canada. There are no Radfords in the available RHMS records.
I hope the photo I sent you was of an RHMS uniform.

Bob Radford

1 March 2005

Art; Thank you for the photos. Uncle Michael loves them. I have shown them to him on the computer to let him know that it’s not just a gadget in the corner. I’ll print them at the weekend, when he and I shall pour over them with his magnifying glass. I asked him if he had ever been in a colour party, but he said he wasn’t good enough.

We were somewhat ashamed of our grandfather having been in the British Army, and we were appalled that he allowed his family to be split up like it was. I suppose that, like most youngsters, we wanted our forebears to be patriots and heroes. I mentioned this to an elderly cousin at the weekend. I was complaining to him that, among other things, we didn’t seem to have any family records. He made it clear that in those days their main concern was survival. They worked from 6 a.m. until late in the evening for very low wages. I think they got a shilling when they joined the army – hence the term “Taking the King’s Shilling”. Anyway it’s part of our family history now. I do know that they were well treated in the Hib school. Neither my father nor my uncles ever mentioned suffering any kind of ill-treatment during their schooldays. They never mentioned any kind of religious discrimination either. My father did say that they were jeered by crowds at the dock as the ship was leaving Dublin and jeered again in England (London, I think) by some English people as they marched across a bridge.


2 March 2005

Maria; The photograph of your father and his brothers is lovely. What attractive faces with their open and candid expressions, but aren't all children as attractive to the eye?

I'm interested in the departure from Phoenix Park to the dock for the evacuation. I know they went to England by ship, but did they cross to Liverpool and go by train to Shorncliffe or did the ships (two vessels made the journey) go round Land's End and along the South English coast?

It's interesting that your father remembered being jeered at when boarding the ship because the report I have is that there was great sadness by the people of Dublin when the pupils departed. It's a report in the London or Dublin Times. I'm not sure which. 


3 March 2005

Art; I see your old photo is in better condition than ours. I know exactly what you mean about the facial expressions. What year did you go into the Duke of York school? Is it not a military school any more?

I will ask uncle about the route they took to England, although I will have to wait for the right moment. Sometimes his memory is clearer than others, but he is very poor on specifics. It’s a pity we weren’t in contact when my uncle PJ was still alive. He who told me about going to Folkstone. Uncle Michael had forgotten about that.

This is just guesswork, but my father said they were marching across a bridge in London, which would indicate to me that they went by train from Liverpool, and then changed trains in London. Like I said, just guesswork!

Regarding the two churches in the Phoenix Park, the structures of both are fine. They still have their roofs and, although one of them has weeds growing from its roof, they will stand for a good many years yet. They are locked up, but even from the outside it is plain that the interiors have been neglected. Last summer, we had to squeeze through a break in the wall.


3 March 2005

We're pleased that the postcards have the approval of a Hibernian Boy. With details of your relationship to your uncle with pertinent info to each boy's records, write to the School Bursar. I am sure you will have a response. His address is:

Lt Col. R Say, Bursar,
The Duke of York's Royal Military School.
Dover. Kent

The school holds personal records of everyone who attended the school. I've heard of people getting successful answers to queries from the 1870's. As all three boys were at Dover after 1922 I feel confident there is a file on each one of them. I am also sure that with Michael being possibly the last Hibernian boy, Lt Col. Say  will be most interested, as will Mr. Carson, the school historian and, for want of a better title, keeper of the school museum.


3 March 2005

Peter; I received the Post Cards and photos yesterday. Thank you very much. Uncle was very impressed, too. We only have one line in our family tree from that era as neither of my uncles who joined the Army ever married.

Do you think that correspondence would have passed between the lady who intervened to have the boys placed in the School and the School itself? There must have been some kind of letter of referral. If so, I would be very keen to get a copy of it. What do you think would be the best way to proceed with this? Should I draft a letter for Uncle Mike to send a request under the Freedom of Information Act and, if so, to whom should it be addressed?

Maria .

3 March 2005

Maria; Oh yes! The Duke of York's still exists although it has been 'civilianized'. It has an all-civilian staff. A headmaster replaced the commandant, a bursar replaced the adjutant. Likewise, teachers, housemasters or housemistresses and bandmaster. The only ex-military personnel on staff are the regimental sergeant major and a sergeant assistant to the bandmaster. The character of the school has changed since my day, a metamorphosis that has transformed the institution in barely recognizable ways. The only emotion I harbour about the change is the re-admission of girls (in 1994) that turned the school into a co-educational institution. Having researched the early history and discovered when and how the girls came to be excluded [the same at the RHMS btw] in the mid-1840s I was appalled at the unfairness of it all. You might know that the authorities sent a shipload of Irish girls to Australia in the 1840s, mostly Roman Catholic orphans. Among them were about 20 females from the RHMS, who took care of the others and taught them to read and write and kept in touch by all accounts when they were farmed out by the RC church in Australia to god knows what kind of abuse for some of them. (There is only one written reference as evidence that they – the RHMS girls – helped the others.)

I joined the school in January 1939 and left in 1943 on enlistment at age 14 as a military apprentice. I was there for about 16 months before the premises were evacuated (as in WWI) to provide accommodation for troops in transit etc. in Southern Command. We went to Cheltenham, then to North Devon.

It could be that the 'bridge' over which the Hib boys marched in London was a 'bridge walkway'. If they came by train from Liverpool they'd have arrived at Liverpool Street Station and either crossed a connecting bridge there before being taken on the London Underground to Victoria Station, which they'd need to reach to entrain for Folkstone. Victoria Station, too, might have had a connecting bridge. It's highly unlikely that they would have marched across London. It would have been an exhausting march for them. No! You can pretty well say they crossed London by the Underground. I'll await your further news on this one.


March 17, 2005

Peter, My sister and I brought my Uncle Mike to the presentation of war badges yesterday. He loved it. I brought the list of his brother's service record in the hope that someone there would be able to tell me what the abbreviations meant. They couldn't. I even asked the Embassy's Defence Attaché and he didn't know, either.  Perhaps you could enlighten us. There are two Military History Sheets. The one we can't interpret covers the war years, and reads as follows:

Country From To Length of Service (Peter Goble explains abbreviations)
M.East 25.2.43 28.8.43 185 days MIDDLE EAST
BNAF 29.8.43 19.6.44 295 days BRITISH NORTH AFRICA FORCES
MEF 20.6.44 9.9.44 82 days MIDDLE EAST FORCE
CMF 10.9.44 15.10.46 2 yrs 36 days CENTRAL MEDITERRANEAN FORCE
BTA 16.10.46 29.4.47 196 days BRITISH TROOPS AUSTRIA


Yankee-doodle Dukie

14 March 2005

Dan & Patricia; Today I started the (Aussie OB&GA) newsletter, and after the preamble, the saga of the Yankee doodle Dukie begins. I've done up to the time of your arrival in the US June 15th 1930, and will leave the masses wanting, to be continued in the August edition. The Dukie part in itself is a complete chapter of childhood. The adult time should be separate.

Dan, your narrative has given me as a 67 year old an insight of the times in which you lived. I have read books covering those depression years. But when you know of a person actually living and recording those events, you see things in a different light. I don't think we younger kids ever realised our luck.


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