Thomas Bidgood - composer
RHMS admissions registers
RMA admissions registers
Thomas Bidgood - composer
31 October 2005
Mr. Cockerill, I am doing some research and have encountered the name Thomas
Bidgood in relation to my Grandfather, Anthony Bernard. I would be grateful
if you could put in touch with Peter Goble mentioned on the Duke of York’s
Royal Military School website. Thanks.
31 October 2005
Kit, You will note Peter's e-mail addy on the cc line. We are colleagues
and work on the histories of the military schools. Bidgood has been the subject
of much of our research and writing, as you can see from the history site
of the Duke of York's. If you have questions one or the other or both of us
would be happy to respond. Art Cockerill
1 November 2005
Thank you for getting back to me. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
My grandfather, Anthony Bernard, was a minor musical celebrity in the
20s and 30s as founder of the London Chamber Orchestra, then later musical
director at the theatre in Stratford upon Avon. It was always known in the
family that his early life had been “untidy”, but that was the extent of our
knowledge. Various colourful rumours abound. In fact I recently discovered
he was born Alan Charles Butler and changed his name by deed poll in 1919,
two weeks before his first marriage, having used Anthony Bernard for at least
10 years by then. The witness to his identity was Thomas Bidgood, musician,
of Harringay Road, Green Lanes. He claimed to have known Anthony since birth.
I have not completed my genealogical researches but the story always was that
my grandfather came from humble beginnings – West Ham I have discovered – and
was tutored by a mentor who was a band leader. It was assumed because of the
theatrical connection that it had been a Music Hall band leader but this now
appears to be untrue. I don’t have a clue as to how they met though
I suspect further trawls through census returns might throw up something.
It’s possible my grandfather was also known as “Charlie” though
this is uncertain.
What he also claimed was that at the age of twelve (about 1902) he won
a piano competition for which he was given a violin by Harry Lauder and
enough money to study piano at the Birmingham Midland Institute. (I have
not yet researched the Institute) The competition is supposed to have been
at Crystal Palace. I’ve searched The Times and local papers but can find no mention
of this. I remember seeing that an annual brass band competition was held
there, which I guess Bidgood would have attended, so that might be another
connection. Certainly, “Anthony” appears to have completely
abandoned his real his family by 1905-6 and by 1910 he is the organist at
St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate. In 1913 he moves to the Birmingham
Oratory, then in 1915 to London, occasionally playing at Westminster Abbey.
It was about this time he met Elgar. As you can see, all this is a far cry
from West Ham, so the influence of Thomas Bidgood would appear to be crucial
to his early development and if you have any information, or ideas, I would
be extremely grateful.
1 November 2005
Kit, These answers might help.
1 It is more helpful if you type the surname in capitals, preventing
2 The first line of attack is Google. Enter the name you are
researching, use the UK only parameter and check the results. One for
an Anthony BERNARD fits the bill, b (born) 1891 and a musician.
3 Go to the 1891 Census at the National Archives site and test
the water for his name. Serendipity may strike and his name may pop up.
If it does, search the surname only and try to find a match with census
location (i.e. Woolwich, the home of the Bidgood family)
4 Check the 1901 census the same way
5 For absolute accuracy, you will need his Date of Birth (copy
of birth Cert). This will provide his parents and where born. Marriage Certificate.
Names and ages of Bride & Groom, Their fathers occupation and witness
to the marriage.
6 Death certificate. Date of death, person reporting the death,
address of the deceased
7 There is an extremely helpful gentleman running a site called
the Hiss and Boo Company ; he has many recordings of the musical hall
artistes of the early 1900's plus a plethora of detail on the artists.
8 In your local library, unfortunately I have forgotten the
name, there should be a book about the Music Hall and the songs that were
sung by these persons.
9 Check with the local Fam Hist web sites for the locations
you mention, Westham; Ramsgate, Stratford etc they may have local knowledge
waiting to be tapped.
10 http://www.galaxy.bedfordshire.gov.uk/cgi-bin/vlib.sh?enqtype=GALE log
onto the Bedford Library site (url above), join for free, and have access
to the Times index for free. Pop in the name, and up come (sometimes)
the most amazing facts. Such as "Bidgood arrived home at 2 am, to
discover a burglar in his house. His watch amongst other things were
discovered in the hollow wooden leg of the burglar."
11 Persevere. Vary your search parameters. Let me know his surname
prior to and after changing, and I will try to follow him.
8 November 2005
Hello, I wonder if I could have your advice regarding some Military
engravings. They have clearly come from a book, the printer of which was John
Tallis. The prints are 10.75" x 7.25" and are of the Indian Wars,
Tippoo Sultan, Abercrombie, Mooltan, Wolfe ETC. Any thoughts on what
book this is please? Is it from the one you feature on your web site, The Life
and Times of the Duke of Wellington? Attached is a sample print. Thanks.
Hello Roderick, Yes, I recognize the type of plate in the sample. I'd put
it about 1850-60, not much later, but I'm no expert so I'd treat that
opinion with caution. It is almost identical to the plates in the Duke
of Wellington volumes. See the sample attached along with your own etching.
It is not, however, from the Wellington volumes. Are your engravings
loose? Do your by chance have any maps of this period. If so, you might
describe them. I mention this because if you have - and they are finished
by hand with county and district borders - they are worth about $250
each framed or, say, about £125 framed.
I reckon your engravings, loose, are worth about £15 – 20 and
up. I'm forwarding a copy of this response to a colleague who is far
more knowledgeable on matters of art than am I. He might have some thoughts
on the subject. The name John Tallis, however, does mean something to
me. I've come across that name in connection with my own material. I'll
see what I can dig up.
8 November 2005
Art, The name Tallis rang a bell. One of his more famous set of prints
are the Bermuda Maps (c 1850). With 'Tipoo Sultan' set as a search parameter,
an interesting set of results appears including one re. a bio of the
Sultan. Unfortunately, it is a dial in, I can access some data but not
all. There are many book references. Perhaps your inquirer will be able
to see what he is looking for there. There are also several Antique Print
vendors who have a selection of the work of John Tallis.
26 October 2005
Dear Sirs, I am looking for GEARY, Alexander. His father GEARY, Jeremiah
was in the West Yorks Regiment 1st Batt. I think Alexander came to the
RHMS in 1891 or 1892 – any info would be very helpful. Thanks.
26 October 2005 12:19
Gillian, I have yet to transcribe the detail from 1877 to 1907, however
I have photographed the Ledger WO143/79 RHMS Boys index 177-1907.
It is in alphabetic order. I have checked the names from 1883 to 1906, three
pages of the G index. Unfortunately the name GEARY does not appear. Can
you let me have his date of birth. Boys at this time were still being admitted
at 8 years old. This may indicate an accurate
assessment of his admission. If he was at the RHMS, he may have been employed
as a monitor, not necessarily a boy at the school. On the attestation papers
of all recruits, there is a printed line: Educated at the DYRMS or RHMS. This
does cause some confusion, for it is an aide memoir to the clerks providing
data for analysis of the two establishment.
26 October 2005
Thank you for your reply, Alexander GEARY was born in approx 1884, birth
place Ballincobs, Ireland.
27 October 2005
Gillian, As Alex GEARY does not appear in the WO13/78 ledger, I discover
that he is named in the WO143/27 Boys admissions 1840-1918. This has minimal
information. His petition No was 3273; his father was deceased at the time
of admission. He arrived at the RHMS for admission, but failed the medical
examination due to defective vision, and was returned to his home. The date
of his arrival at the school is not recorded. I will dig out the ledger later
and forward a line scan of the entry.
26 October 2005
Gillian, Only a partial success here. The ledger shows how much information
was transferred from the main ledger, to construct an alphabetic index of
admissions. From this it can be seen that No 2 = Father deceased; 3273 = Petition
No. The final hurdle crossed by all applicants was that each one accepted
for admission was given an admission date. If; your estimate of the DOB is
1884, then he falls within the parameters of age for admission at that time,
8y and 2m to 11 and 4m. This means page 99 in the original ledger with regiment
of father being 1st Bn. of The Yorkshire Regiment. The applicant having 'Defective
vision' failed his entry medical. There is no indication as to when he was
scheduled for admission. However the boy above this entry, John E GREEN, was
admitted 14 March 1893. The page with his name on is to be found in WO143/27
- Boys Index 1838-1918, on index page G8. I hope this answers some of your
questions and helps you in your research. Peter
10 November 2005
Ronbayley@aol.com wrote: Could you please furnish me with details of the
Royal Hibernian Military School. I am researching my wife's family history
and have found out that her father John W Reeves was attending the RHMS in
1917. We are unable to trace the whereabouts, or any other details. of his
parents at that time. The only record we have is a Life Saving Certificate
dated 1917. The Royal Life Saving Society have confirmed that his name appears
in their records of that year, but cannot confirm the address of the school.
Could you please let me have any information of the School including the address,
age of entry, length of stay, and details of the children who attended. I
believe he was born in 1903/4, but have not located any details through the
normal research channels. Any information you can supply would be greatly
10 November 2005
Ron, With regret, I cannot help with your request. The ledger from 1907
to 1922 is missing. There is one other, document WO143/27 at the National
Archives, Kew, that contains minimal information. I copied details from
the 'Lost Ledger', to this one giving basic details of the boys as they
left. There are two REEVES. One, a Leo J, died in 1903 and the other an
Albert, declared medically unfit in 1903, and therefore did not join the
RHMS. The RHMS was located in Phoenix Park. Dublin, near to the parish of
Chapelizod. Moving first to Folkstone, Kent and later to amalgamate with
the Duke of York's Royal Military School, In 1922, the RHMS moved to Folkstone,
Kent, and was amalgamated with the Duke of York's School in 1924. The last
Hibernian boy was discharged in 1927. Children aged between 10 & 12
were admitted and were discharged either to their parents, apprenticed to
a trade or volunteered to the Army. To qualify for entry, the applicant's
father had to have been a regular soldier with at least 4 years service.
His father of mother might have been deceased on the child's admission to
the school. If you go to www.achart.ca you
will find a mine of information on the Royal Hibernian School.
13 November 2005
Pmpoustie@aol.com wrote: I recently obtained my grandfathers service record,
he was born Thomas Henry Davis in 1871 and enlisted in the 6th Dragoons in
1889, on his record it states that he was educated at The Royal Military Asylum
and also the Royal Hibernian Military School, am I correct in thinking the
Hibernian was in Ireland, there is no mention of Ireland in his service record.
13 November 2005
Pauline, I have checked the ledger WO143-79 Boys admission RHMS from 1877
to 1885. Thomas Henry DAVIS has not been entered into the ledger. If
you have his attestation papers. This will be a PRINTED form, on one of
he pages there is a line commencing "Educated at the RMA ....... RHMS
....." As the soldier's details were being entered, he would have been
asked, were you educated at the RMA or the RHMS? If the volunteer said
'Yes', then this was entered into either of the spaces on the 'Educated
at.... line It was used for statistical purposes to establish the No. of
boys from the schools that volunteered to the army. If as you say he was
born in 1871, he would have been suitable for admission in 1881 aged 10
and discharged at 14 in 1875. He was therefore 18 when he volunteered to
the 6th Dragoons (Inniskilling). The RHMS was based in Dublin and was within
the boundary of Phoenix Park and the parish of Chapelizod. I am sorry that
I can't confirm your grandfather as a Hibernian or RMA boy.
11 November 2005
Moate22@aol.com wrote: Can you please tell me whether the details under
what Regiment" section of the Admissions Register are indicative of
the regiment in which the child's father served? Details given for the ancestor
in question are 1/24th which I take to be the 1st Battalion of the 24th
Foot Regiment, i.e. the Warwickshire Regiment. Since I have no other information
on the father, this would seem to be the most logical starting point.
The child was baptized in March 1879 - the parish register records the father
as a soldier and does not state that he is deceased. However, he dies
before the 1881 census and there is no apparent GRO death registration.
I wonder therefore if he was perhaps a casualty of the Zulu Wars. Any research
guidelines would be much appreciated. Thanks.
11 November 2005
Mary, Yes, the Regiments shown are the Regiments of the boys' fathers.
If the father-Mother is shown as deceased, then they had died before the
admission date of the child. Therefore he must have died after the birth and
before the Census. If you let me know the name the boy in question, and
I will confirm all detail, with a strip scan of the ledger entry.
14 November 2005
Peter, Many thanks for your very speedy reply which has enabled me over
the weekend to discover that the boy's father was one of the many killed
in the Battle of Isandlwana in January 1879. Perhaps you can enlighten me
on another question relating to the RMA records: I searched WO 143/80 and
WO143/22 at Kew. The first indicates that the boy was discharged from RMA
on 21/1/1893 to the *33rd Ft*. The latter shows that he was discharged to his *mother*.
However, the line *above* the entry in the latter states discharged to the
33rd. Therefore there is some ambiguity about his discharge - the entry
may have been transposed. Certainly this person was a soldier in 1901 as shown
on the census. My question is, if he was indeed discharged to the 33rd in
1893, he would have only been 14 years old. Was this the norm and
if so, in what capacity would he have been serving whilst still so young?
Mary, You seem to be more aware than I re the docs available at the National
Archives Kew. I have not seen the WO143/22 ledger. This was compiled
from the chronologic ledger and as you have discovered, it contains many
transcription errors. I am happy to confirm that the entry in WO143/80 is
the most accurate source. We consider that ledger transcription was
completed by the senior boys, transferring the names into the Alphabetic
index must have been an extremely onerous task, and at that age the attention
must have wandered.
I have checked the entry for 9612 John G BRENNAN admitted aged 8y 10 months
on 3 Feb 1888; Father. C/Sergeant Jeremiah, Mother Jennete M; Regiment,
the 33rd of Foot or as it is better known 'The Duke of Wellington's
Regiment'. John G BRENNAN Volunteered to the 33rd on 21 Jan 1893. This was
quite normal, boys volunteered to the Army after their 14th birthday and
received initial training
as Band Boys, Drummer etc. The recruiting area is jokingly referred to
by the DWR as Cleckhudersfax. (Cleckheaton, Huddersfield and Halifax), really,
the West Riding of Yorkshire. They also went under the name of the 'The
Duke of Boots' & the 'Havacake lads'. Their training depot used to
be at Highroadwell, Halifax. I trained there in 1955. It is now a girls
school. I have attached an image of the DWR Badge, cap, tunic and greatcoat
buttons for your information.
15 November 2005
Art, I have spoken to George O'Reilly about the Hibernian Military School
in St Pauls Dublin. He could not help me in my enquiry, but recommended
that I asked you. My name is Grantley Hoath and I am researching the
Irish connection of the McDermots, my wife's family. The person that
I am trying to trace is James McDermot who was a soldier in the British
Army. From his records he was born in St Paul's Dublin. Now I understand
that the Hibernian Military School for boys was situated in this parish
in the 1780's. Could you tell me if they were taught to write and if their
activities included an apprenticeship as a farrier at that time. Thank
you for any help you can give me.
15 November 2005
Ian, Two things about your inquiry by way of helping with your investigation
into the history of your wife's forebears. First, I recommend you visit our
website at www.achart.ca (you'll have to
navigate your way to the History section of the Royal Hibernian School, which
is separate from other subjects dealt with on the site). This will give you
as full an account of the Royal Hibs and aspects of its history as anything
I know exists. Most of the school's records were destroyed in the London Blitz
although we've located a few through which my colleague Peter Goble of Harrogate
is slowly plowing a path. Our resurrected history of the Hibs will certainly
answer your question about the education these boys enjoyed. Secondly, and
Peter is the authority for tracing people through his analysis of the admission
records, you need to give as much information as you can. That is, you should
supply Peter with the subjects full name, date and place of birth if known,
his regiment, and what leads you to believe he attended the Royal Hibs? Do
you have any documents about this. Our records are scanty (as a result of
the Blitz), but we know of those transferred to the Duke of York's school
when the Phoenix Park institution was closed in 1922 and Ireland gained Dominion
status. It became a republic much later. That's about as much as I can offer
at the moment. I've copied Peter on this response. I suggest you supply him
with everything you've got. He might be able to help. I'd like a copy for
my records, too, and if you're successful and have photographs of your wife's
ancestors there could be an article for posting on our web site. Good luck.
15 November 2005
Ian, I have extracted the McDERMOTS that I attended the RHMS (list of
McDermot entrants supplied). Records pre-1840 have not survived. If any
of them fit, let me know and I'll forward fuller details. Peter
28 November 2005
Peter, Still can't get into the name index. Thanks very much for the info.
Filled a hole in the life of Henry. His father, James died whilst on recruiting
duties in Dumfries in 1866. Have traced Henry in 1881/1891/1901 Census. He
lived in Chelsea after discharge in 1894. Continued as a musician in Civilian
life. Died in 1938. Could I ask on more favour? Was there a William Johnston
(Henry's brother) in the RMA around the same time. Don't know whether he was
older or younger than Henry. Haven't been able to find a single thing about
28 November 2005
Bob, Thanks for the contact. I have checked my web site and all seems
to be in order. I have been working on an infection problem now sorted, you
may well have been trying to access whilst I was re arranging. I have extracted
the line entry on the WO143-18 Ledger. RMA Admissions Chronological 1826-1880.
This discloses all that I have on your Gr. Uncle. He was admitted aged 6 years & 5
months, the date of admission is a ditto consequently it is missing,
but it was the 2nd June 1867. His father James, a Sgt in the Scots Fusilier
Guards, was deceased at the time of admission, his mother alive.
Henry volunteered to his father's Regiment on the 14th December 1875
aged 14. I hope that this solves your immediate need for information,
please try my site again, and also www.achart.ca for
additional information about the RMA. Regards