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September 2007

60th Foot
Boy service to man service
Military schools
RMA Model School
SS Pemberton

60th Foot
15 September 2007

I discovered your web site after running a web search for "60th Regiment of Rifles". You were able to aid in the research of a family historian who enquired about an ancestor who served with this brigade. My 4g-grandfather John Lawson was a recruit of the 60th Regiment of Rifles circa 1831. He was deceased by 1856. At the time of his death he was a Sergeant. Further details of his life & career remain a frustrating roadblock for my grandfather and I. We presume was born in Scotland. We know he married at Auchterless, Aberdeen in 1828; that his wife was from Kinloss, Morayshire; that their son Robert was born at Nigg, Kincardine and married at Dyke, Morayshire. However, after 1831, John Lawson seems to have just disappeared! Is there anything you can tell me about the 60th Regiment of Rifles that could shed some light on the life & career of John Lawson?

Shane Laurie

15 September 2007

Shane, regarding your question of anything I can tell you about the 60th Foot the answer  regrettably is no, I cannot. This site deals with the history of the military schools. We would have a record of the children of the 60th Foot who were admitted to the Royal Military Asylum and could provide some information on them. For the date of birth and record of John Lawson, your best bet is to check the muster rolls of that regiment. To do this you might start by visiting the National Archives at URL

Art C

16 September 2007

Shane, Art Cockerill had forwarded your inquiry on John Lawson of the 60th to me, as that regiment is a specialty of mine. Since I'm primarily a medal collector, much of the information I hold on individuals relates to men who received campaign medals to the 60th Rifles/King's Royal Rifle Corps. I've searched my medal roll data bases for the 1/60th Rifles, and the 2/60th Rifles, and can't find any medal entitlements to a John Lawson for the time period you mentioned (i.e. 1832 to 1856). In order to find him, you'd have to engage a U.K. researcher and ask that a muster roll search be made to look for Lawson. If successful, you'd have a fairly good idea of the details of his service, but a 24 year muster search in the records of two battalions could prove time-consuming and costly. Should you decide to pursue a muster roll search, you could do no better that ask Kevin Asplin in the UK for an estimate of the cost/work involved. I'm attaching chronological summaries for the doings of the two battalions of the 60th from 1819 thru 1856 which will provide you with a decent basis to understand the doings of the Rifles in that period. If you do come up with the man's service details, you can then interleave them into the relevant chronology and have a really good outline of his service. Hope this proves to be of help.

Irv Mortenson
(Researcher and Collector to the 60th Rifles)

16 September 2007

Art, thank you for forwarding my e-mail to Irv. Irv, thank you for your attachment of the regiment's chronology of doings during the probable period of John Lawson's service. It's the best I could have hoped for upon making my enquiry!

Shane Laurie

Boy service to man service
17 September 2007

Art, Looking through your July correspondence, for ease of definition 'Boy service ends at 18 years old' and, ipso facto, man service begins. I think it is more controlled by "exigencies of the service" (a term which loosely translated means "shut up and do as your told"). In my case in the 1950s I moved to Man service at the age of seventeen and a half for duties and pay (17/6 to 30/- wow!), but the eight years colour service did not start until I was eighteen. These were of course officially sanctioned arrangements. In support I attach an RAF report of an Open Day in 1953. I have included the whole paper as its humorous service language may be appreciated. I can recall seeing recruiting posters to this effect for the Army. At this time of the Korean war many terms of engagement were changed: 8+4 became 9+3, National Service was extended to two years.

Peter (Cole)

[Editing note: The RAF report attached to this message was indeed humorous, but to avoid infringement of copyright by the 'Daily Mail' it cannot be reproduced here.]

Military Schools
28 September 2007

Hello, I am the friend of a desperate grandparent that is raising an unruly teenage grandson. She is at her wits end and has asked for help in putting him in a military training school. Can you please let me know if this is something she can do? Am I in the correct site? I haven't got a clue as to what is needed. Please help. Her grandson is 17 years old, she has a lot of heart problems and is very distraught.
Thank you,

Maria Novak

28 September 2007

Maria, With regret, I cannot help placing your friend's grandson in a military training school. There are 'military training schools' in the States (try that phrase out on Google), but the military school that appears on this web site is not one of them. It is an institution of the British Army and entrance is limited to the children of personnel of the British Armed forces. US military-style schools, which are run by 'civilian' enterprises, do take students of 17 I believe. I am not qualified to recommend any one of the many fine institutions available to you. I have, however, taken the liberty of sending a copy of this response to Dr. Rudolph H. Ehrenberg Jr. of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States. This gentleman whose e-mail address appears on the cc line might be able to help.

Art C

RMA Model School
1 September 2007

On browsing the 1851 census for the RMS I found my great great great grandfather Adolphus Armstrong listed as a Monitor in the Model School etc but his occupation as a labourer in fact all the Monitors were listed as this. I thought Monitors were sort of trainee teachers. I am confused and would greatly appreciate an explanation to this.

Jenny Halsey

1 September 2007

Hello Jenny,

I believe your reference is to the RMA (Royal Military Asylum). You are quite right in assuming that Monitors at the Model School were schoolteachers in training. Peter Goble has researched this aspect of the records. He concludes that monitors spent two years in training before being posted to a regimental or garrison school at home of overseas for two years as assistant teachers. They returned to the RMA for a further two years; then back to the regimental classroom and back again for a further two years training to qualify as fully-fledged sergeant schoolmasters.
          As to why monitors were listed in the occupation category of labourer I can only surmise that they probably were little more than labourers during their first two years. I might be wrong. Peter will correct me if I am. I'd also remark that language had not suffered as greatly from word inflation in 1851 as it has today. A labourer was a catch-all word and not used perhaps the same sense as 'navvy'. The other way to look at the labourer designation for occupation was that it took less time to write than 'trainee schoolteacher'; besides, trainee would not be a word used in the mid-19th century. Maybe Peter has a comment to make on this.

Art Cockerill

2 September 2007

Jenny, Thanks for your contact re Adolphus ARMSTRONG. He was admitted to the Normal School as a monitor sometime before Mar 1851. Later research suggests that it will have been in January, for most monitor admissions occurred in January & August. As all young workers were encouraged to become an apprentice, those not working at a trade would perhaps been have been classed as none tradesmen or Labourers. Not necessarily uneducated. To be accepted as a monitor, the boys had to sit an entrance examination and also be recommended by the tutors. Many of the monitors progressed to Assistant School master and Student schoolmaster, with the training covering approximately 6 years, or two years at each rank. He does not appear in any of the follow-on ledgers covering 1853-1858, Perhaps the clue to his final trade training will become apparent with the 1861 census.

Peter Goble

2 September 2007

Thank you Peter for your quick response and for your information that has cleared up one puzzle. Though he is registered as Adolphus Armstrong his full name in fact was William Adolphus. He married in 1855 and his first child was born in 1856 whilst still at Chelsea, after that he appears in India in 1857. I'm pretty sure this is all the same person as birth date and place of birth all match up and the name isn't exactly a common one. He ended up as a deputy commissary, it's the bit in between that is my next quest.


2 September 2007

Jenny, Thanks for the added detail. I have rechecked the ledger. Unfortunately he does not make an appearance; nor in the 1861 Census for the RMA. NA WO143/47 covers admissions to the Normal School from 1852-1858. No trace. I have also checked the Punishment ledgers for 1853 to 1858. No trace. A clue may well be on his marriage certificate, also the Birth Certificate of the son born at the RMA. I have slotted him into my Keep-a-look-out-for ... file. I may strike lucky sometime.


SS Pemberton
30 August 2007


The Pemberton list at is now uploaded. I've marked in bold type those young women who may be identified as having attended the Royal Hibernian Military School. Complications here arise from the fact there are two different shipping lists as well as what they call a 'disposal list' i.e. indicating their first employer. Sometimes names and other details vary. I believe I looked at your SS Pemberton list and tried to cross reference them with the info here. As you can see I didn't find them all, and some had their names spelled differently. But here may be something useful there for you.
          From memory there a couple who have an ancestor's name associated with them, for example. There are a few I found in Dublin workhouse Indoor registers of admission and discharge some years ago. They are usually marked with National Archives of Ireland (NAI) as well as RHMS. The first Young woman on the list I think is on your list. It's there that I put the link to your website.


1 September 2007

Art & Trevor, I have no data re the Pemberton, but I am aware and have checked the available data. As you say, there are no records of the female Hibs at all. As with the RMA, I consider that the females were accounted for in separate ledgers which will have been lost in 1942. An interesting thought occurred to me re the timing of the Irish Famine, 1847. Was this the catalyst that caused the RHMS to begin and continue for the next 60 years, adding the Height, weight & Chest measurements to the records held in WO143/78  Boys admissions 1847-1877 and WO143/79 Boys admissions 1877 to 1907?

If Trevor's interested, I will let him have the details of the boys admitted for 1847-1848  approx 200. This will of course be indicative of the stature of the boys for each age group 7 to 11 and will also show that the Governors must have been aware of the conditions in Ireland.. The records for the RMA for the same period, do not include any  physical measurements of the boys. On an historical note, the measurements at the DYRMS commenced in April of 1927, I have yet to discover a record or report of that project. The reference to this can be found in the Governors Minutes of  March 1927, in the same meeting that records the arrival of "Sons of the Brave" to the DYRMS 


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