Alfred J. Phasey
Duke of York's cricketers
King's German Legion
28 June 2007 [Note: The following exchange has been
edited for brevity.]
Sir, My wife's name is Doreen Olive PHASEY, she is the granddaughter
of Handel Victor PHASEY, thus the great-granddaughter of Alfred James
PHASEY. We do not have internet at home (I am too old to take advantage
of that invention) but one of our granddaughters informed us that you
have been researching about Alfred James PHASEY. She copied for us your
notice Duke of York's Royal Military School - Professor A.J. Phasey (1834-1888)
and your exchange of messages about A.J. Phasey and the euphonium in
June 2005. I have myself exchanged much information on the Phasey family
history with the two distant cousins of my wife with whom you had contacts:
John Roberts and Debra Budge.
It is to me that, answering a letter I dated 20 January 2000, Miss Pamela
Clark, Deputy Registrar of the Royal Archives in Windsor Castle, wrote
the letter of 7 February 2000 quoted in the last paragraph of your notice
where you refer to the 'state Orchestra' - I suppose that your mean the
'Queen's State Band'. That letter makes it clear that the Queen's
State Band and the Queen's Private Band were two different things. I wonder
if you have seen a full copy of that letter, anyway here is what Miss
Pamela Clark exactly wrote:
'In enclose a letter from William Cusins, the Master of the Music to
Queen Victoria, reporting the death of Alfred Phasey to the Keeper of
the Privy Purse. From another source, I have discovered that his precise
date of death was 17 August 1888. This other source, an account book
recording payments to the members of the Queen's Bands, also shows that
Cusins was slightly inaccurate in his letter in saying that Phasey had
been in the Queen's State Band since 1870, as the account book records
that, it was in the quarter ending 1st April 1872 that Phasey 'enters
State Band and takes Euphonium or trombone'. Throughout his career in
the State Band, he also, along with several other colleagues, did duty
with the Queen's Private Band, although he was not officially a member
of the latter'.
[N.B.- Curiously in that quotation euphonium is written with an E and
trombone with t The mentioned letter of William Cusins is very short:
it only reports 'the death of Mr. A. Phasey the trombone player in the
Queens' State Band. He had served since 1870'. But let us mind: there
is a large stamp on the copy I received with 'Copyright reserved to H.
M. The Queen. Not to be reproduced or sheen (sic) to persons other than
the recipient without the written permission of the Librarian, Windsor
Castle, Windsor, Berks'.]
There are two things still not clear in the dossier of Alfred James
Phasey as I see it for the moment. I shall say that to John Roberts next
time I shall write to him but you are also concerned.
||In 1859, A.J. Phasey was appointed professor at the
recently established Royal Military School of Music. In his booklet
Hall & Phasey (1996), John Roberts reproduces a photo of the
teaching staff with the legend: giving the names of the professors
under the headline 'THE PROFESSORS, 1859'. I have a copy of exactly
the same photo reproduced in a supplement to the 'Orchestral Times',
September 1904, with the names of the professors printed differently
and below them: 'The Professors at Kneller Hall in 1859'. Yet,
John Roberts, in 'A Victorian bandmaster" (Family Tree Magazine,
2005,21, No 1, p. 74) writes: ' .. and his photograph was taken
with his colleagues in 1862 ..';. In your internet correspondence
dated 8 June 2005 you reproduce also that photo but with a third
way of printing the names of the professors, there is no date in
the legend, but in your notice of 2005 you write 'he is, however,
identified with the euphonium in an 1862 photograph of the teaching
staff of Kneller Hall'. So what: 1859 or 1862?
||Its seems that none of the A.J. Phasey sons has ever been a student
at Kneller Hall and I wonder if he has been a professor really
on duty there till the end of his life in 1888. Could he combine
that duty with the so many other activities he had elsewhere after
13 July 2007
Thank you for your letter dated June 2007, the biographical detail of
Handel Phasey, Handel's children, and your notes on the March,
Royal Honorable Artillery Company. I have discussed the matter with my colleague
and now respond by electronic transmission as you suggested. All you
have written will interest to scholars of musicology immensely and those
interested in the history of the euphonium. Our concern, however, centres
on the life and times of Professor Alfred J. Phasey, a former student
of the Royal Military Asylum, Chelsea. So it is to your remarks on Alfred
Phasey (1834-1888) that I respond. Please excuse me for not commenting
on other matters you mention; I am not sufficiently qualified to do so.
Alfred J. Phasey was admitted to the Royal Military Asylum, Chelsea,
in 1839 at the age of five years and seven months. His subsequent career
was all as related in the illustrated article published on at URL http://www.achart.ca/york/phasey.htm.
A companion article on the teaching staff of the Royal Military School
of Music, Kneller Hall, to which reference will be made shortly, appears
at URL http://www.achart.ca/york/professors.htm.
In answer to particular points you raised, you are mistakenly under
the impression that I meant 'Queen's State Band' when I wrote of 'state
orchestra'. Refer to the last paragraph of the Professor A. J. Phasey
article and note the passage in question:
Hardly a leading orchestra in the capital was without his services
at some time during his career: the Crystal Palace Orchestra, the Philharmonic
Society of London, and the 'state orchestra' (an orchestra assembled
for state occasions and performances) and, when required, as a member
of '...the Queen's [Queen Victoria] private band, although he was not
officially a member of ...(it).' [Quoted from a letter dated 7 February
2000, over the signature of Miss Pamela Clark, Deputy Registrar, of
the Royal Archives.]
In this context, 'State orchestra' is an orchestra - not a band -
assembled from the available musicians of the capital and its environs
for state occasions at which members of the royal family might or might
not have been present. The reference to state orchestra is clearly
separate from the quoted passage "as a member of '...the Queen's private band,
etc.'" I am in possession of a copy of Miss Pamela Clark's letter
to you, so I am well aware of the distinction drawn between 'Queen's
State Band' and the 'Queen's Private Band'. You will agree that 12-word
quotation taken from that letter is correctly stated. Incidentally,
in view of your nota bene (mark well) insertion, should you not be
concerned that the '...written permission of the Librarian...' , was
and is needed to share the contents of this letter with others? It
is now in the public domain through no fault of ours; a small point,
perhaps, but in the circumstances, worth mentioning.
Coming now to sub-paragraph (1) of your letter and Phasey's appointment
as Professor of the Euphonium at Kneller Hall, I do not know if he remained
a professor of that institution until he died. It is possible that he
combined the duty with other activities. I am also quite sure that moonlighting
among 19th Century professors was as prevalent a practice as it is today.
As a professor emeritus of zoology you will, I am sure, agree with this
observation. Regarding the group photograph of Kneller Hall professors
to which you make reference, I have no knowledge of photographs other
than the one that appears with the article. Therefore, in answer to your
'So what: 1859 or 1862?' question, 1862 is clearly the year as shown
on the top line of the photograph (see below).
A. W. Cockerill
17 July 2007
Sue, As I am attaching a .pdf file, I have not forwarded the Britreg
list. So attached find those boys sponsored by the 5th of Foot. The age
of discharge is as accurate as possible without the aid of a birth date.
In the main they were discharged on or near their 14th birthday. The
first to volunteer from the RMA was a Michael KEATING in 1805 at age
14. If I had had a name, I could have checked for his attendance at the
school. However the attached .pdf does include all of the 5th Regt of
Foot. I will be interested in discovering if there is a possible hit
18 July 2007
Peter, Thank you so much. Unfortunately I can find no mention of my
3x great grandfather on this list .His name was Henry Hill and I have
found him first enlisting in March 1805 under the heading of BOYS. The
bindings of this muster book is very tight and all that can be read is
the first three letter of place of joining. Based on the fact that the
5th were stationed in Chichester at this time I am assuming that he may
well have been from Pulborough, Sussex. He is listed as labourer so again
assuming that this could mean he was about 14 or 15 at the time and possibly
from a poor background. He certainly could write his own name by 1815
when in the November he married Maria Carter at Clewer a small village
at the base of the hill on which Windsor castle is built, but not as
stylishly as his new wife whose hand was much better formed.
The thing that had me perplexed was where he went to after march 1805
and until December 1806 when he shows up on 25th December at Nottingham
with the 2nd/5th.listed under drummers and fifers. He stayed with the
2nd/5th through to 1816 when he was transferred from 'depot' upon the
disbandment of the 2nd and he transferred into the 1st/5th under the
heading of musician or band and turned up in Gosport where his son Henry
was born in FORT MONKTON in June of this year. Later he changed to private
and was such afterwards and at the point when he went to serve in the
west Indies and died of disease in Dominica in March 1823 having served
18 years and having been injured in Lisbon in 1811. He was not entitled
to a pension as he hadn't served the full turn and so with no pension
to pay out the service and attestation papers were destroyed. God only
knows what happened to poor Maria or if there were other siblings as
I haven't yet managed to discover although I believe they would have
returned to her family in Bucks as this is the area where Henry Jnr turned
up later in life. If you have any other thoughts on this that you could
chuck into the pot I would be VERY pleased to have them. Thanks a lot.
18 July 2007
Sue, My colleague in Canada is more knowledgeable on boy soldiers
than I am. so I'll double check with him. In the 1800, soldiers enlisted
at age 18 & above. Boys from 14. In the modern Army, man service
begins at 17 and a half. I can't imagine it being much different then.
But will confirm when I hear from Art Cockerill. Re the HILL Surname.
We have followed several of the boys throughout their lives and written
several mini bios. My one ambition, it still is, is to trace an RMA
Boy called Ocean HILL. Nothing. With such an unusual name I considered
it a doddle, Also, pleased that you found our web sites interesting.
Art, what do you know of the age boys were enlisted in the early 1800s.
Sue, In 1800, boys as young as seven were accepted for full-time military
service [the youngest case on record was James Wade of the 9th Foot
- The (Royal) Norfolk Regt. He served throughout the Peninsular War
and ended his service at age 28 after 21 years service]. More generally,
boys were accepted as drummers from age 10 onwards and, again in general,
boys from the RMA joined their regiments at age 14 (some were 13).
Enlistment of RMA boys was later changed to 14½ years, a practice
that continued through the WWI and WWII. On interest to others, boys
in Canada were subject to the same rules of engagement as those in
the UK. The youngest boy to enlist was age 9 in 1937. The youngest
Canadian in World War I was 13 years of age, he served in the trenches
went over the top numerous times and finished the war at age 18 a sergeant
major. In WWII, the youngest soldier was age thirteen also; his unit,
fought in Italy and in Northern Europe. There were about 7,000 boy
soldiers in the Canadian forces during WWII, many more thousands in
the British Army. The age for enlistment (or change of boy soldiers
status) to man service was to my knowledge, always 18, but recruiting
sergeants frequently overlooked recruits of a younger age and encouraged
them to sign for the King's shilling.
22 July 2007
Thank you so much for this information. It has been of great help. Given
that he most likely joined between the ages of 10 and 17 as a drummer
and was full age when he married in November 1815 I will now assume his
birth date to have been between 1788 and 1794. As I can see PUL....under
the joined at section of the muster (can't read the rest under a tight
binding !)and knowing that the 5th were stationed at Chichester in Sussex
at the time. I can now trawl the parish records for PULBOROUGH Sussex
between these years and keep my fingers X'd that there are not too many
Henry Hill's in the right time frame in the area! Unless you can think
of anything else that may be found in the musters that tie this time
frame down tighter? Would the musters show him as getting a increase
in pay at 18 ? If he was moved to the ranks would this have been at 18
or not? And lastly would boys of different ages have been paid different
22 July 2007
Sue, I don't believe muster rolls recorded what soldiers were paid.
As I recall - recorded were name, rank, date of enlistment, occupation
before enlistment, whether present, absent or on command (elsewhere on
duty). The important entry from your point of view would be the rank.
A boy soldier was recorded as BOY, so if and when he transferred to 'man
service', his rank would be recorded as PTE or PRIVATE. Boys of differing
ages would not be paid to a pay scale within that rank. They might have
'extra' pay for, say, a good conduct strip [I don't know when GC stripes
came into use. Peter might know.]. Further than that I'm afraid I can
be of no further help.
Duke of York's cricketers
11 July 2007
I was at Saunton Sands Hotel in North Devon, and joined the Duke of
York's Royal Military School there in 1944. In regard to your photographs
of the groups on your And Friend's page, I recognize C.S.M. O'Dell as
the person in the first photograph as being the C.S.M. in charge of Wolfe
House. The one second on the back row right, with the medals. I joined
Wolfe House from my move from Haig House, the head of which was C.S.M.
Justice. It was C.S.M. O'Dell that promoted me to Colour Corporal after
I'd been with Wolfe House after a while. Unfortunately, I don't recognize
any of the boys in the pictures though. I am 74 years old now and my
Mother recently died, at the age of 103. Among her possessions, we found
a photograph of a 1st. Eleven Cricket team-1947, which shows a young
man named M.E. Fox as one of the players, but no indication as to which
cricket team it was. The only thing that I can think of is the DYRMS
for that. I did know another Fox there, but had no knowledge whatsoever
as him being related to me. So to me, and other members of my family,
it's a complete mystery as to why my Mother had this photograph. Obviously,
I don't expect you to be able to tell me, but perhaps you could tell
me how to find out how I might be able to? Is there a bursar or someone
of that nature at the school that I could contact? If not, then it 's
worth a try by me. But a lot of years have gone by since those days.
11 July 2007
Rick, It's always a pleasure having contact with Dukies, especially
anyone from my era. Thanks for identifying CSM O'Dell. His is a new face
to me and might well have arrived after I left in 1943. CSM Justice is
familiar to me; nice fellow. In 1939, they bundled us newcomers straight
into the senior houses; I went into Kitchener and never was in Haig.
My best suggestion about the photograph is to send me a scanned copy
if that's no problem (and Peter Goble, too - he might recognize some
faces). If we can't help, I'll post it on the web and ask if anyone else
recognizes M. E. Fox. I don't know that there'd be any point in inquiring
of the Bursar. If Peter disagrees I expect he'll say so. Speaking only
for myself - because I don't know what anyone else's experience is -
I've yet to have an answer to a single inquiry I've made of the school
staff with the exception, that is, of the Bursar, Lt. Col. R. Say, who's
12 July 2007
Art. Thanks very much for your very quick response to my e-mail and
for the help that you've offered me regarding my mystery cricket photograph.
What I really need is just a confirmation, if possible, of whether it's
a team from the DYRMS that the photo depicts. So any recognition of anybody
shown will do. not just M.E. Fox. As you can see, there's absolutely
nothing in the photo that indicates where or what cricket team it is.
Being fairly old now, the photo is not of very good quality, but I've
tried to enhance it as much as I possibly can. I guess that they didn't
have digital cameras in those days.
Just as a humorous note, I was terrified of CSM Justice when I first
joined the school. I was evacuated to a small village in Wales during
the first part of the 2nd World War, at 7 yrs of age. The head master
of the school there didn't like us evacuees much and seemed to be a bit
of a monster to us. When I was being naughty, I was always threatened
with confrontation with him by the people that I was living with if I
didn't behave myself. CSM Justice was the spitting image of him.
12 July 2007
Rick, There's not the slightest doubt that the cricket team in the photograph
is the school's first eleven for 1917 - even though I don't recognize
a single face; nor will Peter either. I doubt the value of putting it
on the web because we'll be relying on a descendent or relative of someone
in the photograph who recognizes a forebear. All the people in this photograph
will be by now stone dead. The give away is the pavilion, which Peter
will confirm for certain is the cricket pavilion on the playing fields.
See for yourself. Go to URL http://www.achart.ca/york/fowler.htm and
look at the building behind Warrant Officer Alfred Fowler and his wife
Lucinda - it's identical to the one behind the first eleven in your photograph.
They are the same. Do you not agree? It's a clear photograph. If we had
more detail of the people in it and something of their careers it might
be worth posting. As it is, school publications are brimming full of
cricket teams, soccer, rugby, field hockey teams through the ages, so,
unless there's something special about a photograph of this kind, it
is not worthwhile publishing. Sorry about that, Rick, but one has to
be candid about our school history. On the other hand, there must be
some reason why it is in your possession. I urge you to do some digging,
tell us what you know or can find out. Perhaps your mother's brother
was on the team. You said she had it. How did she acquire it? Interesting
possibilities. Okay! So get digging.
13 July 2007
Sir, I was interested to read the article by Michael Kelly and his time
in the Royal Hibernian Ac. I'm researching a musical family called Distin.
The father played the Hibernian horn in 1835. Do you have any information
13 July 2007
Ray, I regret to tell you that I have no information on the 'Hibernian
horn' of 1835. This is news to me. My colleague might have information
on the subject, I have copied him with this response.
13 July 2007
Art, I doubt that this Hibernian Horn had anything to do with the
RHMS. If you remember, Col T.C. O'Colomb, appointed Commandant in 1843,
engaged Henry Gibbons as the Headmaster. He organised end encouraged
the formation of the RHMS Band & Corps of Drums. With the loss
of almost all of the Hibernian records, I have no way or proving either
way. A logical answer, is that it was brought across to Ireland by
the Scottish migration. If you remember, Ripon City has a Horn Blower,
I think it is in the Region of 3 feet from the Bell to the mouthpiece.
Perhaps a letter to the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall,
or the National Army Museum may be fruitful, Not forgetting the Royal
College of Music. A quick skid through the Web provides no further
clues. If you have a written description of the instrument, it may
help in considering other options. Sorry I can't be of more help
18 July 2007
Peter, I spent an afternoon at National Archives (a new experience).
In the box for WO12/11939 I discovered a loose, undated paper among
the Pay Rolls for the KGL at Bexhill as the bad reproduction attached.
and Children" "Vouchers 84 & 85..........The authority
for subsisting the wife and 2 Children of Private Stanky is reqd." Could
this be the Sawkie mentioned in COM. Entry 1743 SAWKIE John aged 9
in 1814. I raced through the RMA Commissioners minute book 1801-1813
and could find no entry for the KGL, I think they come to the RMA after
I am still struggling to translate the script of the School registers
from the Garrison School at Bexhill for that period. The saving grace
some times seems to be names are strictly alphabetical the scripted "Hs" that
look like "Ks" Have "Js" in between! - Sometimes!
I would be long before my autumn possible visit to Aldershot - when
I hope to see if the barrack buildings used by my (Schoolie) Grandfather
are still the same
19 July 2007
Peter, Who gave you permission to escape from the dusty records? Nice
to hear from you. Like Art & I, you keep pressing on against all
odds. Attached the KGL info you refer to, Sawky was admitted in 1814.
Hope this is of use.
Peter, I am now standing to attention (can't salute - no hat), seeking
permission to speak. I think you omitted to attach the Sanky information
or at least it did not appear. I found the Minute book fascinating, the
minute detail which concerned the governing body, Nowadays it would be
so watered down by mealee mouthed politicians and lawyers as to become
virtually unintelligible. Nowadays you send soldiers to shoot somebody
then court-martial them for doing so!
19 July 2007
Peter, It seems I've been in the cupboard too long or, as they say
in German "Ich haber keine tasse im shrank" or, I have no
cups in the cupboard or the lights are on, but no one's at home. Attached
the snippet for the KGL [Data supplied.]
30 June 2007
I am searching for my husbands Grandfather. who according to is war
records attended The Royal Hibernian Military School until he went to
East India. or East Indies in 1885 or 1887.I have tried to look at the
names on your page for the Hibernian names. I get the pdf file up but
no names. it may be something I am doing wrong with my computer. just
thought I would ask what you think it may be. I have been in touch with
you before. Is name was John Robert Wallace. or he may just use John.
He was born 1871-72. Hope you can be of some help.
30 June 2007
Brenda, There is no trace of a J R WALLACE attending the RHMS between
1887 and 1900. As I stated in my last communication with you, the answer
lies in his attestation papers, see attached PDF. This segment must be
completed by the Recruiting officer, a Tick or Yes + his initials to
indicate the boy had been educated at the RHMS or RMA. The records at
the PRO are quite accurate and admissions between 1877 and 1907 can be
found in WO143/79 RHMS Male admissions (Alphabetical). None of the details
have changed since my last communication with you.