Duke of York's Royal Military School
Royal Hibernian Military School
The Northumberland Fusiliers. 5th Foot
World War I letters
3 January 2007
Mr. Cockerill, Thank you for your lengthy letter of 7 December 2006 and
for the explanations it contains. Had you adopted this approach in your
initial letter, I would have written a quite different one in reply.
My purpose in this letter is to establish a better relationship than
the one we have got off to, not just to clear the air and sort out misunderstandings
but I believe there's a need to explore the issues you raise, a matter
which I will come to later. First, let me respond to you comments about
my "intemperate language". When you now say that you admire Colonel
White and his accomplishments, that regard in which you say you hold
him certainly did not come across in "...White wrote in his "Story
of Army Education" ... As to misrepresenting you in attributing "inexplicit
criticism". I find it difficult to reconcile "He (i.e. Dr Wayper)
accepted without criticism everything White wrote in ... " as being
anything other than suggesting that Colonel White got things wrong and
therefore Dr Wayper should not have accepted them.
You claim unanimous support for establishing historical truth was expressed
in 1982 by Major General A Trythal, Brigadiers J. Smith and H. Shean,
Colonel P de la Haye other senior RAEC officers. Although you do not specifically
link this support to the context of your view about the Rev Gleig, the
clear inference is in the sense of exposing Gleig, not as "...the
equally revered father of army education", but as "a good example
of one who made outrageous claims of his deeds and accomplishments without
foundation in fact". Sadly, not only is Dr Wayper dead, having passed
away late last year, but so also is General Trythal, Brigadier Sheehan and
of course Colonel White, though Philip de la Haye and Joe Smith are still with
us and may well be able to comment on your view and whether any action might be considered
to set the record straight if any follow-up was taken, for example, in any Army
or historical research journal, it did not filter down to bring any change in
the thinking of members of the RAEC, who every year when they listen to the chaplain
officiating at the annual Education Sunday at every garrison church wherever the
Army has bases, are enjoined to celebrate the RAEC achievements thanks to a former
chaplain visionary, the Reveremd GR Gleig. There are others too who may have insights,
opinions and observations on whether Gleig was a saint or sinner, or even simply a
man of his times who made the best of coping with difficult circumstances and
following basic military principles, like maintenance of the aim, so the principle
objective is achieved, in this case, as effective a provision of military education
which the political, social and economic climate would allow. Such could be former RAEC
members who would be aware of Gleig and the need for investigating prmary sources,
including authors of historical works, such as Major General C Kinvig, Colonel Noel
St J Williams, and Lt Col P Reece, and also Lt Col E Smith Ph D, who did much research
for Wayper's book.
I have revisited the first chapter of Dr Wayper's book, to which
you take exception, as well as Col White's. Certainly, the latter contains nothing
but praise for Greig whereas Lesley Wayper does refer to quirks of personality
in Gleig and a stubborn determination to get his own way to a degree which
alienated powerful former friends and allies in high places. Nowhere does it question
his integrity in the way you do and much is said about the energy, drive and
determination of the man in advancing the cause of military education which seems
unlikely to be falsely claimed when they are a matter of historical record.
I now feel obliged to consult as widely as I can in corresponding with
those who might be able to shed light on this matter. Whether I feel sufficiently
intrigued to start research in the many institutions with relevant records
will have to await the advice I receive but I, like the officers you refer
to, would also like to establish what is 'the historical truth' regarding
a man we have always regarded as 'that apostle of Army Education'.
4 January 2007
Art, Thank you for your most interesting new years greetings. I return
the same to you again and I hope you have no more letters
like that of Tom Sherry.
I do not know Sherry,
I never served under or with him. The former senior officers of the RAEC were
always very defensive about the corps and its roles. To some extent they had
to be, because of the anti-education attitude of some senior army officers
- 'if something has to be chopped, why not the educators?' Unfortunately with
some of our senior officers, this became a paranoia, and I have run up against
it myself in the past. I am not saying that Sherry is in this category, but
senior officers do tend to be very defensive, and Archie White has long been
regarded as a paragon in the corps. When writing to these people I do not express
any views about anything other than the task in hand as you are very likely
to be misconstrued. Certainly that has happened here, Sherry is not an academic
historian, and appears to be unaware that a view of history is dependent on
the background, education, and so on of the person writing. And opinions change!
I agree with you completely about Gleig. I think you have been very accurate
and succinct. I agree also with you about Wayper. I found his book hard going,
there are inaccuracies in it, (he quotes an award made to one of my officers
at my instigation completely wrongly - he certainly didn't get his facts from
me). He also writes about education in the pre '39 army and militia. I found
this completely confusing as the militia was abolished in 1908. His book, as
you say, is too dependent on secondary sources to be a valuable source in its
own right. Wayper associated with officers heading for war studies
rather than the generality of the Corps.
I am sorry that your perfectly reasonable request provoked such a reply.
Sherry should have ignored anything he may have disliked, after all it
was a private letter to Roy Fairclough. Perhaps Sherry is a bit self important? I
don't know. By the way, you obviously know Wayper died last year. Tony
Trythall died just before Christmas.
Major (Rtd) RAEC, USA
10 January 2007
Brigadier Sherry, This will acknowledge receipt of your 3 January 2007
letter. Much as I should like to have a cordial relationship – and I hope we
can find a path to that desirable end – I find it hard to square what
you have written in your most recent letter with what you wrote in your first.
My letter to Colonel Fairclough included what I still consider to be 'fair
comment' on Leslie Wayper's book. That I should make a connection with Colonel
White's earlier work was natural enough. How could I in my initial letter
have gone to the lengthy explanation I provided in answer to your first letter
to me? That is not logical. I was writing about army schoolmistresses to Fairclough;
my criticism of Wayper's book was an aside, which you irritably dismissed
In paras. two and
three of your letter you reiterated what I wrote in my 7 December letter
and I have no reason to change what I wrote. You then write of my 'claim
(of) unanimous support for ... historical truth' as though there's some
doubt as to its veracity. Come, come now. This is not an inquisitorial hearing,
surely? If I were to respond to you in detail, which I'm well able to do,
you would have had a much longer epistle than you got. Yes, I'm very well
aware that all these people of whom you write are now deceased: Trythal,
Wayper, Sheehan (Shean) and White; all good men. Their works, however, live
on and will be subject to comment and criticism by those who follow and
choose to find fault with anything they wrote. We yet criticize Rousseau,
Locke, Hume, Burke, Russell, Wittgenstein and all have left their stamp
on scholarship. To paraphrase Carl (Karl) Popper, informed criticism is
the bedrock of scholarship.
And so, in the present
case, White did get it wrong and Wayper should have known better than
to take what White wrote as gospel. Holding to this view does not diminish
the stature of these two giants of army education. You might well consult
Philip de la Haye and Joe Smith, but I doubt that doing so will serve any
useful purpose. Read what I wrote in Sons of the Brave (1984) pub: Secker and Warburg
[there was a copy in the RAEC Museum library] for a published record of my
meeting with these two officers. It's all there.
If you really want
to share a better relationship, I'll agree to call a truce and tell you
what I and others outside the RAEC Association are doing in the field of
Army education. If you and your fellow trustees wish to become involved
I'll keep you informed and invite comment on what I, my colleague, Peter
Goble, and others are doing. First, however, read the enclosed letters and
e-mail messages taken from very recent correspondence. We get about 2,000
daily visitors to the www.achart.ca site. The correspondence is huge, mostly
to do with army education in one form or another, which should be of deep
interest to the Association.
First, here is an
extract from correspondence received yesterday from an RAEC officer whose
name I withhold for obvious reasons. He wrote:
"I agree with you completely about Gleig. I think you have been
very accurate and succinct. I agree also with you about Wayper. I found
his book hard going, there are inaccuracies in it, (he quotes an award made
to one of my officers at my instigation completely wrongly - he certainly
didn't get his facts from me). He also writes about education in the pre
'39 army and militia. I found this completely confusing as the militia was
abolished in 1908. His book, as you say is too dependent on secondary sources
to be a valuable source in its own right. Wayper associated with officers heading
for war studies rather than the generality of the Corps."
Next is a copy of Tony Meier's self-explanatory letter to the Editor of
the JSAHR with a hw over note to me. I'm a regular contributor to JSAHR and
intend writing a six or seven thousand word article on the origin of army
education from 1800 to 1928. I'll write it based on the correspondence, records,
registers and proceedings of the Royal Military Asylum to all of which I and
my colleague have access. I invite the RAEC Association to become involved.
The subject, after all deals with the early history of the RAEC and its antecedent
The last item enclosed
is a copy of letter received today from Howard Clarke, MA who is researching
the history of the Hibernian Society, Dublin. He is a scholar with
no military background but a deep interest in the institution through
Decide for yourself
whether or not you, the trustees, and the RAEC Association wish to
be associated with our research. I am willing to cooperate, to share what
information we unearth, but I will not retract anything I have written
on the works of Wayper and White. I did begin writing an essay in praise
of an army education for Torch,
but as I've never had a response to any communication I put it off. It might
suit the website.
You'll know from
what I've already written that I have no academic credentials. I have,
however, written 26 books, all very technical for the applied sciences.
That is, with the exception of six books for the general reader. This
is not a boast but a statement of fact. I've also written for The Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), The
Guardian and various international journals. In short, I am a hack, true,
but my facts withstand any challenge.
Duke of York's Royal Military School
1 January 2007
Peter, I am writing to let you know how I got on at the Bursar. With
your help, I managed to find details of both my G-grandfather's and my
at the Duke of York School. The Bursar also gave me a copy of two letters
from my G-g-grandmother & G-g-g-grandmother asking for their children
to enter the Duke of York School. It was really thrilling to see a letter
from a relative from all those years ago. From all this information I managed
to get the attestation records of my G-grandfather; the rest I have yet to
get. Thank you so much for all your help and keep up the good work, wishing
you a very Happy New Year,
17 January 2007
Thank you for providing the great web site. I have a question that I am
hoping you can answer: A person, (Alfred P Eycott) who attended the Duke
of York's School in Chelsea and who was listed there on the 1891 census
as an 11 year old scholar, is not on the name index of admissions. Does
this mean that there is no existing record of his admission?
17 January 2007
Peta, Thanks for the contact. The reason he's missing is that he's in the
second phase of the transcriptions. He has been found in the Admissions
ledger WO143/80 Aug 1880 to 1906. There is also a possibly sibling, both
have the same named mother, father, Rank & Regiment (The Commissariat & Transport
later became the Army Service Corps and then the Royal Army Service Corps).
I have transcribed him as Alfred Patrick, the (?) brother is a John Joseph.
I will have to check my filed archives & correct if I've mistranscribed.
We are always appealing for photographic evidence of RMA boys of the
19th century. If you do have an image of either or both at the RMA, a copy
would be appreciated for our history site www.achart.ca Please
let me know, if the two are your relatives.
11 January 2007
Art, I'm Malcolm Dooley a Dukie 1946-51. We have been in contact before.
I believe you have a good knowledge of school history. Do you know how many
old boys have won a VC. I am reading Lord Ashcroft book "Victoria Cross
Heroes". He only includes those whose medals he has purchased for the "Trust" he
has set up. He intends to display the collection at suitable museum in the
future. The book includes the heroics of a Cpl (later Bugle Major) John
David Francis SHAUL, it states he was educated at the Duke of York's School
in Chelsea. He was born 11 Sept. 1873 in King's Lynn. He was the son of Sgt.
John Shaul of the Royal Scots. Are there any more? Off to a committee meeting to-morrow
11 January 2007
Malcolm, yes, of course! You put me straight on that bandmaster business,
but then I realized you were a sapper from 54 to 83, which is a long slog.
To my knowledge, the only Dukie VC was Cpl David Shaul formerly at the RMA,
which didn't become the Duke of York's until 1892. There were lots of MCs,
DFCs and MMs of course, but only one VC. While I've got you on the line you
might give me a run-down on your career following the Dukie experience. Where
did you go? What did you do? I'm looking for bios with photographs to go with
them. This is the kind of thing the OBA ought to be doing, but isn't, so I've
taken on the job. Think about it, will you. You never know, but you might
be worth posting in our rogues gallery. A photograph of you as a boy at school
would be terrific. 1946? You were there about the same time as Peter Goble
with whom I work on the school history. Did you know him by any chance?
Royal Hibernian Military School
21 January 2007
Dear Sir, I am trying to find my wife's father who she has not seen since
she was three in 1951. On the marriage certificate his name was registered
as Peter Kelly, Soldier of Hibernian Schools Military Barracks Phoenix
Park Dublin. His Fathers name was James Kelly. Peter Kelly was of
full age and a bachelor, the date of the marriage was 14th. February 1946.
If he is still alive he would be now over 81 years of age. He married Margaret
Little and my wife's name is Hilary. I know this is a long shot but it would
make her life complete, Any information would be gladly received.
21 January 2007
Tony, It's possible, but unlikely, that your wife's father was educated
at the Royal Hibernian Military School (1785-1924), Phoenix Park, Dublin,
because the RHMS relocated to Shorncliffe, Kent, from Dublin in 1922. Assuming
that James Kelly was 10 years of age in the year of departure from Phoenix
Park he would be 95 today. He
was more likely to have been in the service of the Irish Free State when a
soldier, stationed at the Hibernian Schools Military Barracks, Phoenix Park,
Dublin. Alternatively, he could have been in a unit of the British Army that
occupied the premises at Phoenix Park until 1924, the year of handover of
the premises to the Irish Free State. Again unlikely because the RHMS was
well known in the British Army and in civil society of Dublin and would not
have been identified or referred to as "The Hibernian Schools Military
Barracks." I have copied my colleague, Peter Goble, who might have
other ideas from the information you provided.
21 January 2007
Art, You have covered all angles with the exception of the daughters birth
certificate. I am assuming that she was born in Ireland. I have not had
the opportunity to view an Irish Birth Certificate, but it may, like the
UK certs, carry details of the father, His Regiment and possibly his number
within the Irish Free State's Army. Without these essential pieces, it will
be very difficult to extract one KELLY from what seems to be thousands.
The Military should be able to provide details of soldiers discharged, and
a possible last address. This means contacting the Irish Military Records
Office. Again Number Rank & Name
are essential. It is not improbable that he migrated to England when he
married or when he departed from her mother. The 1921 census of Ireland is
due in 1911, this may provide the necessary detail re inhabitants of The Hibernian
School Barracks. An open letter giving age, birthday if known, place of
his birth full names and possibly his birth address, should be written to
the DHSS, or the Irish equivalent, he must be, if still alive, drawing a pension.
too many Kelly's & the detail required may not be available. I think
its a matter of perseverance.
21 January 2007
Have you any information about my grandfather James J Fulcher and his
older brother Albert W. aged 9 and 12 respectively? They were recorded
in the 1891 England Census at the Royal Military Asylum as born
in Ireland. The father was named Albert William on grandfather's marriage
certificate and was a Sergeant in the Royal Artillery. My grandfather
later served in the Kings Regiment but I have no details. I hope you
can help me learn more about my grandfather's life. Thank You
Mrs D Leonard
21 January 2007
Dorothy, The attached the detail held re. your Grandfather James. Click
on the FULCHER attachment, (file attached) and it will be displayed followed
by an image of the RMA circa 1900. The Rank of James's father has been
shortened to fit the frame, and it is Farrier Sergeant, or a Blacksmith
in uniform. James was
with the Liverpool Regiment, or the Kings Regiment, whilst his brother
Albert joined his father's Regt the Royal Artillery. If you have an image
of either or both brothers in the RMA uniform, a copy for our history site
would be appreciated
22 January 2007
I was trying to find the following person from the admissions index in
the regimental indices but could not. Is this information lost or am
I perhaps missing something?
M18 WATSON Peter 5 10/11/1852 Dragoon Guards 2nd 17/09/1861 Army Volunteer
Dragoon Guards 2nd 127-08 WATSON Peter WO143-18-5957 13 Scholar
22 January 2007
Michael, The information is there, I have checked the file and it is in working
order. I have attached the detail held on your Peter WATSON as a .pdf file.
Note that his father was deceased at the time of his admission. The NIP reference
is to a 'note in pencil', but I have yet to discover what it means
The Northumberland Fusiliers. 5th Foot
14 January 2007
I am contacting you in the hope that you may be able to point me in the correct
direction if you are willing please. I have recently discovered that my g-g-g-grandfather
Henry Hill was a musician in the 5th Foot. At least this is what it states
on his son's (also Henry Hill) baptismal record. I have checked in FITZMILLERS
book In search of the forlorn hope and discovered that the 5th foot,
The Northumberland Fusiliers were in the town of Gosport, Hampshire at this
time in 1816 and, although there certainly are other regiments there at the
time, none of the others have a 5 in their designation so, I feel reasonably
sure that this is correct. This is where I have got stuck. Would you have
any idea please as to how I can find out for sure and his service records,
dates of service, areas of action and anything else that is at all possible.
Not only am I avid for information on his life, but without this information
I am completely stuck and can progress back no further (would his records
show his parish of birth?). Thank you for taking the time to read this. If
you can't help, all that's fine, but if you could it would be great.
14 January 2007
Sue, As I have no accurate information re your GGG father, I will assume
that in 1815 he was 25. Making him 51 +- for the 1851 census, this does
have the Parish of birth & County, and could well prove to be a starting point.
To trace his military history it is necessary to check the National Archives,
under Catalogue No WO 97, this covers solders pre 1913. You will also have
to check the muster rolls, this can be likened to a Regimental diary, all
the ins & outs, promotions, deaths marriages births , and also a who was
where & on what date. Each & every one of the soldiers of the 5th,
will be accounted for. Sadly, your request is beyond my search remit,
concentrating as I do on Military Schools, you must go to the National
Archives Web site, and follow the links to Military History, and you
should be OK
10 January 2007
Mr. Cockerill, I came across the letters written by Lieut. Arthur Leonard
Bishop during W.W. 1. He was my father and I would like to know
how you came across them and where they came from. I have some other
letters he wrote, very like those on the internet that he wrote to his family.
They were much more casual and quite chatty, but still very descriptive
of the conditions they lived in and what life was like for them.
I would very much like to know more about this so I would
appreciate hearing from you at your convenience.
19 January 2007
Susannah, We must be of the same generation, for my father, too, was in WWI.
What's more, I'm happy to tell you the provenance of your father's letters.
If you go to the CRL address at http://www.achart.ca/wwi/00index.html you
will find a full explanation in the introduction of the source of the WWI
letters. They were collected by Professor James Mavor of U of T. He collected,
collated and had the letters types during the post-WWI years and bound in
two volumes for his son, a doctor in the Cdn military who served on the
front. The one exception are the letters of Lieut. Nelles of the RNVR a
bomber pilot and the father of a friend of mine. The Mavor collection as
I might call it went from James Mavor to his son (who became a Canadian
diplomat) and he in turn passed the two volumes on to his daughter Sascha
Armour, now deceased. Sascha lived in Port Hope and once asked my if I could
transcribe the letters for a book. I began transcribing them and got as
far as Major E. T. Morrison Bell MP (second last one on the list) at which
point the two volumes were removed by Sascha Armour's son Douglas – for
his own good reason, he being unwilling to allow me to continue the work
of transcribing. I have no feelings in matters of this kind. The volumes
are the property of the Armour family and it is up the Mr. Armour to decide
what should be done with them.
However - and this should
be interesting information for you – Prof James Mavor presented a
copy of the entire collection to the University of Toronto library where
they are available for public and scholarly scrutiny. The letters of your
father that appear on my site are the only Arthur Leonard Bishop letters
in the Mavor collection.
If you wish to pursue
your inquiries further, you have two courses of action. First, you can
consult or visit the Univ. of Toronto library and, secondly, contact Mr.
Douglas Armour whose last known e-mail address to me is firstname.lastname@example.org I
regret that I am unable to give you his mailing address or telephone number,
but I've no doubt that with a little research you ought to be able to contact
him. On the subject of your father's letters, I should very much appreciate
a copy of anything you could let me have for posting on my website. It is well
visited by getting well over 2,000 hits daily. I look forward to hearing from