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January 2007


Army education
Duke of York's Royal Military School
Dukie VCs
Royal Hibernian Military School
The Northumberland Fusiliers. 5th Foot
World War I letters

Army Education
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'.

T Sherry

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.

Name withheld
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 anyway.    
          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 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 organisations.
          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 a forebear.
          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.

Art Cockerill

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 G-g-grandfather's records 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?

Peta Serna

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 Please let me know, if the two are your relatives.

Peter Goble

Dukie VCs
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 in London


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.

Tony Soley

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.
Art C

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. The drawback, too many Kelly's & the detail required may not be available. I think its a matter of perseverance.


Royal Military Asylum
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

Michael Case

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

Peter Goble

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

Peter Goble

World War I letters
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.         

Susannah Crassweller.

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 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 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 you.

Art C

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