Early Soldiers 2016-10-25T14:25:45+00:00

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Early Soldiers

In the course of our research we have come across snippets of information about people from Thornbury and the surrounding areas who served in the Army during the 1800’s.  Most of the records were found in the catalogue of the Public Records Office or on the Ancestry website.  We have included the records of men who were said to have been born in Thornbury, but please note that this would include people born outside of the town.  Click on the links on the left to read about the people from Thornbury and the surrounding areas who served as seamen in the Royal Navy during the 1800’s or in any capacity in other wars.

In a few cases we have discovered interesting information about their experiences and their families and these can usually be found by clicking on the underlined hyperlink contained in the text below.  We particularly recommend looking at Hector Maclaine Jnr.

Francis Bain – service records show that he was born in Thornbury and served in the Royal Horse Artillery Soldiers Unit 5 Battalion.  He enlisted in 1807 aged 12 years.

John Barge – service records show that John was born in Thornbury and served in the Royal Horse Artillery Soldiers Unit 3 Battalion. He  enlisted in 1805 for 21 years.  The records appear to suggest that he served between 1805 and 1815.  The reason given for his discharge was ‘Pension’.  It seems likely that John was the John Barge born on 15th September 1780 and baptised in Thornbury on 28th December 1785.  He was the son of John and Betty Barge.

The family seems to have more than one link to the military.  John Barge appears to have had a brother called Guy Barge who was born 16th October 1778.  His parents were described as John and Elizabeth Barge.  Guy and his wife Sarah had a daughter Mary who was born 16th August 1810 but not baptised until 2nd February 1812 at which time Guy was said to be a Private in the South Glos Militia.  However when their son John was baptised on 20th March 1814 in Thornbury Guy said to be a Private in the North Glos Militia.

James and William Barnett – research in to the family who lived for some time at Stokefield Cottages showed that two of the children of James and Sarah Barnett joined the Army.  William Barnett who was baptised in Thornbury in 1822 became a Private in the 14th Dragoon Regiment and died in Bombay aged 25 and James Barnett baptised in Thornbury in 1826 became a Private in the Royal Artillery and died in Bengal aged 39.  Click here to read more

James Bell – joined the Royal Artillery at Bristol on 5th January 1877.  He received no bounty but a free kit.  He was a farm labourer aged 19 years and one month.  He said he was born in Thornbury.  He signed on for 12 years.

George Cave – service records show George was born in Thornbury and served in the 14th Foot Regiment.  He appears to have served between 1832 and 1853.  He was discharged aged 43.  His discharge papers on the Find My Past website show that he was 21 and a wood sawyer when he signed on for the 14th Regiment of Foot on 1st February 1832.  He was discharged on 19th October 1853 because he was unfit for for further military service.  He was discharged in Limerick.

William Chappell – service records show that he was born in Thornbury and served in the 23rd Foot Regiment.  They show he was discharged aged 36 after a period of 12 years service.  The date of the record is 1807, so we assume that was year he was discharged.

William Comley – service records show William was born in Thornbury and served in the 56th Foot Regiment.  He appears to have served between 1814 and 1827 and was discharged aged 41.  William’s discharge record on the Find My Past website shows that he signed up for unlimited service with the 56th Regiment of Foot at London on 14th April 1814 aged 28 years.  Most of his time (July 1815 to July 1826) he was in the East Indies and his discharge was on the grounds of chronic rheumatism which appeared to the effects of tropical service.  When he was discharged at Manchester he was 41 years old, five feet six inches with dark hair and eyes.  By trade he was a servant.

Charles Cullimore – service records show that he was born in Thornbury and served in Royal Artillery 5 Battalion.  He enlisted in 1855 aged 20 and was transferred to Field Batteries Detachment in 1858.  The 1861 census shows he was a soldier based in Devonport and he was described as a driver.

We believe that Charles was the one baptised on 7th May 1837 who was the son of James Cullimore, a labourer and his wife, Frances who lived at Crossways.  The 1851 census shows them in Kington.  The 1861 census shows his parents living in Easton Hill, but by then Charles was in the Army.  By the 1871 census he was back in Thornbury where he was a farmer of 80 acres at Upper Morton.  He was living there with his brother, John, who was a land owner.

James Cullimore – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in 81st Foot Regiment.  It appears he may have served between 1840 and 1852 and was discharged aged 31.  His discharge papers appear on the Find My Past website and they show that James was a shoemaker aged 19 years when he signed on to join the 81st Regiment of Foot in Bristol on 11th May 1840.  He was discharged in Dublin on 21st May 1852 as he was unfit for further service.

John Davis – John enlisted in the 5th Regiment of Lancers and was discharged at Harwich on 25th February 1878.   Although the conduct of John Davis was said to have been very good and he was in possession of four good conduct medals it seems that he had been mentioned 17 times in the Defaulters Book and once tried by Court Martial.  He had medals for his service at Alma, Inkerman & Sebastopol during his 22 years service.

John Davies (or Davis) – service records show that John Davies was born in Thornbury and served in the 28th Foot Regiment 3rd Garrison Battalion.  He appears to have served between 1808 and 1816 and was discharged aged 42.  John’s discharge papers on the Find My Past website show that he enlisted with the 3rd Garrison Battalion at the age of 34 years.  It is hard to read the document but he may have been a wheelwright.  He was discharged at Chatham on 20th December 1816 at the age of 42.  He had brown hair and grey eyes.  He was discharged in consequence of his battalion being disbanded and contracting a fever in Spain.

We believe that this was John Davies who married Hester Hopkins in Thornbury on 18th May 1807.  The 1861 census shows ‘Hester Davis’ was then living in Grovesend with her son, Samuel and his family.  Hester was described as a soldier’s widow.  She died aged 91 and was buried on 31st July 1864.  Her burial record  also uses the name of ‘Davis’.

John Edmonds – an indenture written in 1820 relating to a property in St Mary Street which had been the property from John Edmonds, formerly a carpenter and since a private in the First Regiment of Royal Scots.  A letter found in the safe of the United Reformed Church in 2011 was discovered to be from a comrade of John Edmonds in the army.  They both appear to have been in the Second Battalion of the Royal Scots.  The letter was sent from Trichinopoly in South Eastern India in July 1822.  We believe that this is now called Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, and that the British Army had a garrison there.  The contents of the letter describe a heart-breaking story of John’s experiences and his death.  Click here to read more

Edward Percival Ellis – appears to have been known as “Percival”, presumably to distinguish him from his father Edward Charles Ellis.  Percival’s father Edward had been a chemist in Thornbury at 43 High Street but went bankrupt and the family moved to Cardiff.  Percival was baptised Edward Percival Sainsbury Ellis on 4th December 1872 at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury.  Percival was a draper’s assistant aged 19 years and four months when he enlisted at Aldershot into the Medical Corps on March 22nd 1892.  Read more about Richard Ellis

John Facey – service records show that John was born in Thornbury and served in the 35th Foot Regiment.  He enlisted at the age of 26 years appears to have served six years and three months service between 1805 and 1811.  He was discharged because he had lost three fingers of his right hand from a gun shot wound in action on 7th August 1809.  At the time of his discharge he was about 33 years old and 5 feet five inches tall with brown hair and grey eyes.  It seems likely that this was John Facey born on 5th February 1779 and baptised in Thornbury on 17th December 1779.  He was the son of Benjamin Facey and his wife, Sarah.

James Gardner (or Gardener or Garner) – service records shows James was born in Thornbury.  They appear to show that James enlisted in the 70th Regiment of Foot and served in the 69th Regiment from 1807 to 1812.  He was promoted to corporal on 9th May 1812 and served in the 61st Foot as a corporal until 24th February 1814.  His record says he was discharged aged 33 after 8 years and 5 months service on 5th May 1814 because he was unfit for further duty due to “an imperfecture of the right ancle”.  He was five feet six inches with dark hair and hazel eyes.  His trade was a cloth dresser.  We are not sure if this applies to his service in one of the regiments, as another comment seems to imply he served for a short period in 1815.  

John Garner – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in 32nd Foot Regiment.  It appears he may have served between 1800 and 1819 and was discharged aged 38.

Luke Greenman – he enlisted in the 60th Rifles in Gloucester on 25th May 1838 for which he received a bounty of three pounds and a further two shillings and six pence when he attested.  He was described as a labourer aged 17 years 5 months, 5 ft 6 inches, dark brown hair, hazel eyes, fresh complexion with a fresh scar on left side of chin.  He was born in Thornbury.  On 31st May 1852 he was discharged on the grounds of being unfit for duty through severe rheumatism.  He had served over 13 years as a Private, including one year 1 month in Corfu, two years 11 months in Jamaica and three years 1 month in Quebec.  The Regiment Default Book lists several cases of drunkenness whilst Luke was on duty, at Tattoo or in Barracks and there was one case of breaking out of barracks and one case of absent on a march.  Luke was court martialled in Jamaica on 29th November 1843 for insubordination (he had refused to get ready for parade on two occasions) and sentenced to 56 days imprisonment with hard labour.  It was noted his conduct had otherwise been good and he had been awarded one good conduct badge.  When he was discharged it was noted that he was 31 years 5 months, 5 ft 7 1/2 inches, light brown hair, hazel eyes and sallow complexion.

Luke was the son of Richard Greenman, a labourer and his wife, Sarah.  They were living in the Borough of Thornbury at the time Luke was baptised on 21st January 1821.  Luke returned to live in Thornbury following his discharge.  The records of Quarter Sessions shows he was charged with stealing a basket, 2 oz of tea, one lb of sugar and other things.  He was released with no case to answer for.  The court notes indicate that he was now married and that he had working as a labourer for Mr Cullimore of Alveston for two years.  The 1861 and 1871 census show Luke and his wife Margaret (who was 8 years older than Luke and came from Ireland) were living in Knapp Road, Crossways.  Luke died aged 51 and he was buried on 20th July 1874.

Richard Harris – service records show that he was born in Thornbury and that he served with the 57th Foot Regiment.  He enlisted in Plymouth at the age of 27 on 25th August 1807.  He was described as a labourer, 5 ft 5 inches, dark brown hair, grey eyes, fresh complexion with a round visage.  His initial contract was for a period of 7 years, but he was discharged in 1813 having served only 6 years and 2 months.

Richard was likely to have been the “base-born” child of Sarah Harris and baptised 17th May 1780.  His mother may have married his father as Sarah Harris married a Richard Croome on 29th October 1783.

Thomas Hatherell – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in the 81st Foot.  He appears to have served between 1831 and 1852 and was discharged aged 39.  Thomas was baptised in Thornbury on 24th January 1813, the son of John Hatherell, a maltster and his wife, Mary.

John Hayman – service records show that James was born in Thornbury and served in the 40th Foot Regiment.  It appears that he served for a short time between 1851 and 1852 and was discharged aged 18.

William Heart – service records show that he was born in Thornbury and served in Royal Artillery 13 Battalion.  He enlisted in 1855 aged 22 and the records appear to suggest that he only served for a short time in that year.

Paul Hill – service records show that Paul was born in Thornbury and served in 3rd Foot Guards.  He was discharged, possibly in 1800, aged 28 after 11 years service.  Scribes Alcove has a record of his burial at Thornbury on 7th October 1801 aged 28.  We suspect that Paul is the Paul Hill born about 1771 and baptised in Thornbury on 15th February 1779.  He was the son of Mary Hill.  The baptism record has a note saying ‘Being Ill’ which might explain the delay in baptising him.

Frederick Iles – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in the Royal Artillery 3 Battalion.  The 1841 census shows him as an agricultural labourer living with his mother, Ann in Crossways.  He enlisted in 1848 aged 21 and was transferred to the ‘Invalid Battalion’ in 1857.  According to a family tree on ancestry website, Frederick reached the rank of Sergeant, was present at the battles at Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman and the siege of Sebastopol and he was awarded the French Military War Medal for services in the Crimea.  After the Crimea he served in County Clare, Ireland.

It seems that Frederick didn’t leave the service in 1857. He married Emma Cossham in the Bristol area in 1859 and they seemed to go to Ireland where their daughter, Mary Ann, was born about 1860.  The 1861 census shows them living in Middlesborough where Frederick is still being described as Sergeant Royal Artillery.

The 1871 census shows Emma had returned to live in Crossways and was living with her children, Alma Frederick aged 9, Frederick Charles aged 7, Emma aged 5 and George Cossham Iles aged 2, all born in Middlesborough.  We assume that Frederick was serving away at the time.  The 1881 census shows him, now a R. A. Pensioner living at Crossways Lane with Emma and three of the children.  Emma died aged 61 and was buried on 13th November 1891.  Frederick died aged 66 and was buried on 7th January 1892.

John Kendall – service records show John was born in Thornbury and served in the 81st Foot Regiment.  He appears to have served between 1831 and 1833 and was discharged aged 44.  He may be the John Kendall born on 27th May 1810 and baptised at Falfield on 21st October 1810.  He was the seventh child of John Kendall, a labourer and his wife, Hannah.

Robert Luce – the monumental inscription of his parents grave in St Marys churchyard shows Robert died November 13th 1854 in the camp before Sebastopol aged 23 years.  He was with 7th Royal Fusiliers under Sir G. Brown at battles of the Alma and Inkerman and also siege of Sebastopol for which honours were received.  Robert was born about 1831, the son of John Luce and his wife, Ellen (nee Saniger).  Click here to read more

Jeremiah Machan – service records show Jeremiah as having been born in Thornbury town and serving as a Private in the 32nd Foot Regiment.  He enlisted in Bristol on 7th January 1839 for which he received a bounty of three pounds and was given a further two shillings and six pence on the day he attested.  He was described as a labourer, aged 18 5 ft 10 and 7/8 inches, light hair, grey eyes and fair complexion.  He signed on for unlimited service, but he only served for three and a half years.  In that short time he had risen from Private to Corporal and then promoted to Sergeant, but he was reduced to Private again in August 1841.  The records say he was discharged as being ‘unfit for further duty for medical causes without being attributable to neglect, design vice and intemperance’.  The record show that his elbow joint was enlarged and rigid.  It was also noted that he had been court martialled for breaking out of barracks after tattoo on 12th August 1841 and since that time his conduct was found to be ‘generally unsteady’.

Hector Maclaine snr – born in Scotland Hector married Martha Osborne, the daughter of William Osborne of Kyneton House, Thornbury.  Following the death of William Osborne, Hector inherited Kyneton House and other property in the town.  According to the memorial erected in St Mary’s Church, Hector ‘served in the 64th Regt. in the West Indies and Surinam,  joined the 57th Regiment in Portugal in 1811 as Captain, and was present everywhere with Lord Hill’s Division.  He fought at Victoria, Roncesvalles, the Pyrenees, in front of Pampluna, at Nivelle, Tarbes, Orthes and Toulouse.  Besides constant skirmishing, as he was attached to, and frequently commanded the Light Companies of Gen. Byng’s Brigade.  He was wounded and received a medal for his distinguished conduct at Nivelle.  He served afterwards in North America and France.  After the war he resided many years at Kington in this parish, and departed this life the 15th January 1847, aged 62‘.  Click here to read more

William Osborne Maclaine – born in Valenciennes in France in 1818, the son of the above Hector Maclaine.  William was a military man like his father.  He was appointed Deputy Lieutenant on 13th July 1852.  The Edinburgh Gazette reported that Cornet William Osborne Maclaine to be Lieutenant on 7th November 1854.  The London Gazette reported that he resigned his commission in the Yeomanry Cavalry on 3rd May 1872.  Following the death of his father in 1847 William inherited his property in Thornbury and he continued to live in the family home at Kyneton House.  Click here to read more

Hector Maclaine Jnr – born in 1851 at Murtle, Aberdeenshire.  He was commissioned into the Royal Horse Artillery in 1872.  He served for many years in India.  In December 1879 he volunteered for service in Afghanistan where the English forces were fighting a claimant to the Afghan throne, Ayoub Khan.  Hector was sent to the Khyber Pass.  His exploits and tragic death in August have become well known in Thornbury where the local people made a collection and erected a stained glass window in St Mary’s Church and a fountain in Hector’s honour.  Click here to read a more detailed account of his story

William Martin – service records show that William was born in Thornbury and served in the 9th Dragoons.  The records appear to show William served between 1812 and 1840.  He was discharged aged 44.

Jacob Mills – in our research into Coombe Cottage in Gloucester Road we discovered that Jacob Mills who was living there in 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses.  Jacob had had a colourful life serving with the 76th Foot Regiment.  His travels included seven years in Canada, almost seven years in West Indies, four months in Bermuda and some time in Ireland where he got married and had two sons.  Interestingly Jacob took his two sons to the West Indies where one died of yellow fever.  Jacob then left the other son, George, in Bermuda in the care of the Army when he came home and little George became a drummer boy aged 11 years one month.  Click here to read more

William Morgan – in 1813 William then aged 23 signed on for the Light Dragoons.  He was said to be a labourer, 5 ft 7 ins tall with brown hair and blue eyes.  He was offered a Bounty of £13 8s but received one guinea of this on signing.  He signed on with the 11th Regiment of Dragoons at Hounslow in Middlesex and was discharged 31st October 1837.  He was still a private and his regimental number was 157.  The discharge papers mention that he had been at Cawnpore Bengal.  Although he was a private when he was discharged it is possible that at one time he was promoted to corporal as the 11th Regiment of Light Dragoons awarded a medal to Corporal William Morgan for his service at Waterloo.

George Nelmes – service records show George was born in Thornbury and served in 3rd Foot Guards.  They appear to suggest that he served between 1831 and 1853 and was discharged aged 45.

John Charles Parnell – John was baptised on 4th August 1872 and was the son of George Parnell (a gardener, probably for Admiral Henry Craven St John of Stokefield House) and his wife Lousia nee Withers of Olveston.  John was a labourer aged 18 when he signed on in Dublin for the Gloucester Regiment on 13th June 1890.

John Pick – we know that on 10th May 1877 Corporal John Pick was discharged from 16th Regiment of Lancers after 21 years of service.  Eleven years of this service had been in the East Indies.  His conduct was very good and he had good conduct badges and a third class certificate of education.  He appeared in the Regimental Defaulters Book twice.

Thomas Pinnell – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in 1st Foot Guards.  It appears to show that he served between 1799 and 1818 and was discharged aged 40.  The Find My Past website has a certificate of discharge from the Grenadier Guards which explains that he signed on in Bristol on June 3rd 1799 aged 21 and that he had been a labourer.  On his release aged 40 he was said to be 5 ft 9 ins with brown hair and grey eyes.  His record also shows that he served at Waterloo and Corunna

Daniel Pitcher – Daniel was baptised in Thornbury on 9th January 1824.  He was the son of Obed Pitcher and his third wife Hannah.  Click here to read more about the family.  A memorial to him in St Mary’s Church shows that he died on February 27th 1848 aged 24.  The memorial says that Daniel was a Trumpet Major in the 14th Light Dragoons and that he died in “East Indies”.  We believe this may have been in Bengal.  Although we cannot read the name of the place he died it appears to say Mirzawalla.

William Sergeant Raggatt – William enlisted on 3rd June 1889 into the Royal Engineers.  He was the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Raggatt.  At the time of his enlistment he was 24 years old and a wheelwright and had previously served in the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.

William Rumbold – in our research into 44 Castle Street we discovered that William Rumbold who was baptised in Thornbury in 1851 had served in the 1st Battalion of 14th Foot Regiment.  He joined the Regiment on 30th September 1864 when he was aged 18 years and three months.  He was a footman when he signed on to enlist.  He was posted to India about 1868 and served there for about 10 years.  Click here to read more

Maurice Sainsbury – was discharged at Portland on 23rd May 1879.  He had served 20 years and 347 days and had been at Gibraltar, Mauritius and the Cape of Good Hope with 32nd Regiment of Light Infantry.

William Sainsbury – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in the 62nd Foot Regiment.  He appears to have served between 1851 and 1853 and was discharged when he was aged 20.  His discharge papers which appear on the Find My Past website show that William who was a labourer signed on for the 62nd Regiment of Foot on 21st April 1851 aged 17 3/4 years.  He was discharged on medical grounds

William Charles Savery – William was born in Thornbury in 1876.  He served an apprenticeship for Mr Olds in Thornbury for three and a half years.  He joined the Welsh Regiment in 1895 at the age of 19 years and served as a bootmaker in India for eight and a half years.  He then went to South Africa for three and a half years.  He continued in the service in the First World War until 1917 when he was discharged.  Click here to read more

James Simmons – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in the 1st Foot Guards.  He appears to have served between 1800 and 1826 and was discharged aged 47 suffering from rheumatism.  His discharge papers on Find My Past website show that he has signed on for the First Foot of Grenadier Guards on 23rd February 1800 when aged 27 years.  He had signed on for unlimited service.  His record shows that he fought at Waterloo.  He was still unable to sign his name when he was discharged but made his mark.  On discharge he was 47 years old and 5 ft 8i ns 3/4.  He had black hair dark eyes and a brown complexion.

Sidney Albert Symes – born in Thornbury in 1860, the son of William and Matilda Symes.  Sidney joined the Royal Engineers.  In the 1880’s he fought in Egypt and Sudan.  In the 1891 census he was a lance corporal living in barracks in Chatham.  By the time of the Boer War he was a Company Sergeant Major.  He died in Bristol in 1910.  Click here to read about his family

John Taylor – service records show John was born in Thornbury and served in the 3rd Foot Guards.  They appear to suggest that he served between 1800 and 1814 and that he was discharged aged 35.  It seems likely that John was John Taylor born on 6th January 1780 and baptised in Thornbury on 3rd May 1780.  He was the son of John and Hannah Taylor.

John Taylor – service records show John was born in Thornbury and served in the 16th Dragoons (Light).  He appears to have served from 1812 to 1836 and was discharged when he was aged 43.

Samuel Taylor – service records show that Samuel was born in Thornbury.  Initially he enlisted with the 19th Dragoons (Light) on 18th November 1791 and he served with them for 7 years in the ‘East or West Indies’.  He was invalided out of their service.  He re-enlisted with the 22nd Dragoons (Light) on 24th February 1798 when he was described as being a mason, aged 29, 5ft 11 1/4 inches, brown hair, hazel eyes, fair complexion.  He was discharged aged 44.  The records appear to show that he served between 1791 and 1817.

Hugh Stanley Thurston – Hugh was born in Blandford Forum on 21st May 1869.  He was the son of Hugh Kingsmill and Rosalie Thurston.  On 27th July 1892 he was commissioned as Surgeon-Lieutenant after taking the MRCS and LRCP in London in 1891.  In 1897-98 he served as Surgeon-Captain on the North West Frontier in India.  In 1902 he served in South Africa taking part in operations in Cape Colony and Transvaal.  In 1904 he became a Major RAMC and in 1911 he took charge of the Military Hospital in Valetta, Malta.  In the First World War he served in France, initially as Assistant Director of Medical Services and then as the Director of Medical Services.  He reached the rank of Colonel.  In 1919 he was created Grand Officer of the Military Order of Avis by the President of Portuguese Republic.  He retired in 1921 and was awarded the ‘Medaille de la Reconnaissance en Vermail’ by the President of France in 1926.  He was also awarded the C.B.E.  Hugh died in London on 18th November 1945 and he was buried in Thornbury Cemetery.  There is a memorial table to Hugh on the North Wall of St Mary’s Church, Thornbury.

Charles Tindale – service records show that Charles was born in Thornbury and served in the 1st Foot Regiment.  He appears to have served between 1813 and 1837 and was discharged aged 38.  His discharge papers on the Find My Past website show that he was fifteen years old and a cordwainer when he signed on for the 1st Regiment of Foot at Thornbury. His career was varied.  He was promoted to Corporal on 24th August 1827 and then to Sergeant on 1st April 1828.  He was reduced to private on 31st August 1829 and remained a private until his discharge on 15th July 1837.  His record shows that he was in the East Indies for ten years from 2nd September 1820 to 13th August 1831.

Albert Trayhurn – his discharge record shows that he was entitled to a medal for his service in Burma between 1885 and 1887.  Albert enlisted on 20th March 1880 at which time he was a 21 year old labourer.  He was the son of James and Ann Trayhurn of Horseshoe Lane

Richard Trayhurn – service records show Richard was born in Thornbury and served in the 96th Foot Regiment.  He appeared to serve between 1824 and 1848 and was discharged aged 41.  It seems likely that he was the Richard Trayhurn born on 14th July 1804 and baptised in Thornbury on 29th August 1804.  He was the son of Thomas Trayhurn and his wife, Susanna.

Charles Tustin – service records shows that Charles was born in Thornbury and served as a private in the 61st Foot Regiment.  He enlisted on 25th September 1798 at the age of 24 years and served for 16 years.  He was discharged aged 40 in 1815.  He had been wounded in the right thigh at Talavera on 28th July 1809.  He was a weaver by trade and was 5 feet five inches.  The service records included a reference to ‘Kilmainham (Ireland) A8516’ which might suggest he was in prison at some time.

William Walker – service records show William was born in Thornbury and served in 73rd Foot Regiment.  It appears William served between 1832 and 1853 and was discharged aged 39.  The discharge papers for William Walker appear on the Find my Past website show that he was 18 years old when he signed up for the 73rd Regiment of Foot at Bristol on 14th April 1832.  His 21 years service included three months at Gibraltar, three years in North America and in South America from 7th December 1845 to 11th August 1846 and in Cape of Good Hope from 12 August 1846 to 18th August 1847.

Edwin Weeks – service records show Edwin was born in Thornbury and served in the Royal Artillery 1 Battalion.  Edwin enlisted in 1837 aged 22 and transferred to 9 Battalion in 1841.  The records continue to say he was discharged in 1843 and give the reason ‘Dead’.  Edwin was baptised in Oldbury on 20th June 1813.  He was the son of John Weeks, a farmer and his wife, Elizabeth who lived at Oldbury.  He died 13th November 1843 aged 33 and was buried in a grave in Thornbury St Marys Church.

Luke Wheeler – service records show Luke was born in Thornbury and served in the 18th Foot Regiment.  He was discharged aged 33.  The records appear to imply that he served from 1840 to 1849.

John Williams – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in the 50th Foot Regiment.  They appear to suggest that he served between 1807 and 1814.  He was discharged aged 25.

Frederick Williams – service records show that he was born in Thornbury and served in the 31st Foot Regiment.  The records say he was discharged aged 21 and appear to show that he had served from 1843 to 1846.  It seems likely that this is the Frederick Williams who was later living as a Chelsea Pensioner in 19 Rock Street and who died in suspicious circumstances – click here to read more

George Wilson – service records show George was born in Thornbury and served in the 14th Foot Regiment.  He appears to have served between 1839 and 1850 and was discharged aged 29.  Another George Wilson joined the 34th Foot Regiment on 10th January 1848 when he was seventeen and a half years.  He served with them until 1869 when he was intending to live in Edinburgh.  His service papers say he was born in ‘Onsbury near Thornbury, Gloucester’.  We don’t know if there was any connection between these two Georges or between either of them and the Thomas Wilson mentioned below.  We know that Thomas had a brother George but his age (born about 1846) makes it unlikely that he is either of the solders referred to.

Thomas Wilson – service records show he was born in Thornbury and served in Royal Artillery 3rd Battalion.  He enlisted in 1848 aged 20.  The records note that he was transferred to ‘Invalids’ in 1857.  He had been fighting in the Crimean War when he was kicked by a horse on his right ankle, making him lame.  He was sent back to England and discharged in 1859.  Click here to read more

James Workman – service records show that James was born in Thornbury and served in Royal Artillery 8th Battalion.  He enlisted in 1853 aged 21 and appears to have only served for a short period in 1853.

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