William Stephen Blackman was born in Fareham, Hampshire on 24 October 1856. He enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 24 October 1871 and was assigned to the Portsmouth Division with registration number 145.
There was a William S. Blackman, Drummer, R. M., who served on HMS Argus during the Ashanti War in 1873-74. (Most likely the same Blackman).
In 1875 Blackman married Rosina Holloway in Alverstoke, Hampshire.
On 14 April 1877 Blackman was one of the marines assigned to the recently commissioned HMS Active.
During the Cape Frontier Wars in 1877-78, Blackman served ashore with the Naval Brigade.
On 19 November 1878 Blackman was a 22 year old Sergeant when he landed ashore at Durban as part of ‘Active’s” Naval Brigade for the Zulu War. As Sergeant, Blackman would have been second in command of the Royal Marines, under Lieutenant Dowding. He served at Fort Pearson on the Lower Tugela until becoming part of Pearson’s Number One Column. He fought at the Battle of Inyezane, and accompanied the Column to Eshowe. In March Blackman was sick in the hospital where his condition was described as ‘bad.’ In April 1879, after returning to the Fort Pearson, Blackman was invalided back to England. For his service, Blackman was awarded the South Africa Medal with clasp “1877-8-9.” (On the Medal Roll he is listed as W. T. Blackman.)
At the time of the 1881 census Blackman was a Colour Sergeant on the troopship HMS Euphrates.
In September 1881 Blackman was serving at the Forton Barracks, Portsmouth.
In 1891 Blackman was a Quartermaster Sergeant at the Royal Marine Depot Hospital Barracks and Infirmary in Walmer, Kent.
There was a William Stephen Blackman, date of birth: 24 October 1856, promoted to Honorary Major on 19 June 1899.
During World War One a Major William Stephen Blackman, RMLI, was Secretary to Surgeon, Vice Admiral Sir William H. Norman and Surgeon Rear Admiral William W. Prym at the Royal Naval Hospital in Plymouth. For his work there he was recommended for recognition, and on 22 August 1919, Blackman was awarded “Officer of the Order of the British Empire” (O.B.E.). He also received the World War One Naval War Medal.
Blackman died in Devonport in 1924
Petty Officer Tom
Do you, or Tim, know what the inscription is on his memorial ? I can't make out anything other than his name.