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Lord Chelmsford Said .Buller is ‘one of the finest soldiers of the century’, so modest and reticent –that it was difficult to say for what individual deed he had got the Victoria Cross as he had been doing acts worthy of it all along the line
 
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Rorke's Drift A Soldier's Story with presenter Major John Thomas
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 Combat Soldier 1879

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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7086
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 51
Location : Down South.

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PostSubject: Combat Soldier 1879   Combat Soldier 1879 EmptyThu May 21, 2009 11:59 pm

In 1879. what was the average age of the combat soldier.
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90th

90th

Posts : 10088
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PostSubject: avge age   Combat Soldier 1879 EmptyFri May 22, 2009 2:00 am

hi littlehand

i have checked a few publications but cant find anything concerning age, i would estimate l8-24. their average height
was only 5ft 4 in. cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Combat Soldier 1879   Combat Soldier 1879 EmptyFri May 22, 2009 8:19 am

Hi Littlehand,

I've just flicked through a few books and found some ages for you, they are all Rorke's Drift men and the ages given are their age at the time of the defence.

Henry Lines 35
William Allan 39
John Waters 40
John Shergold 39
Patrick Galgey 28
John Barker French 38
Gunner Howard 29
Thomas Moffatt 26
Garret Hayden 27
Sgt Windridge 37

Many were also still in their teens.

Cheers
Bookworm
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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7086
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PostSubject: Re: Combat Soldier 1879   Combat Soldier 1879 EmptyFri May 22, 2009 10:39 am

Thanks for your replies.

Bookworm I always thought the defenders were a lot younger than what you have quoted. So there wasn’t really an average age back 1879.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: avge age   Combat Soldier 1879 EmptyFri May 22, 2009 10:53 am

hi all

i will try and look through some more paperwork and see if i can find an average age.

cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Combat Soldier 1879   Combat Soldier 1879 EmptyFri May 22, 2009 11:07 am

Hi Littlehand,

There has to be an average age, the trouble is not all of the correct ages of the men are known. Whilst some deliberately added years for one reason or another, others deducted them. One that immediately springs to mind is James Marshall who enlisted when he was 20 stating his age as 18.

As a general average, men enlisted between the ages of 18 - 25, they served 6 years with the Colours and were then discharged to the reserve. Others re-engaged for such term as would complete 21 years service.

Cheers
Bookworm
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John

John

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PostSubject: Re: Combat Soldier 1879   Combat Soldier 1879 EmptyFri May 22, 2009 2:25 pm

ARMY DISCIPLINE AND REGULATION ACT, 1879—ENLISTMENT OF BOYS


23 June 1881
MR. GREER
Asked the Secretary of State for War, With reference to Article 663 of Royal Warrant, 1st May 1878, by which it is provided that Boys of 14 years and upwards, specially enlisted under the Army Enlistment Acts of 1867 and 1870, shall reckon only such portion of their services towards pension as they may render after they shall have attained the age of 17 years, and to Article 81 "Army Discipline and Regulation Act, 1879," by which it is provided that a soldier of the Regular Forces may Be re-engaged for such further period of army service as will make up a total continuous period of 21 years of army service, reckoned from the date of his attestation, and inclusive of any period previously served in the Reserve; and, whether, it being impossible, under 1106 these Articles", for boys between 14 and 17 years of age, specially enlisted under the Army Enlistment Acts of 1867 and 1870, to obtain a pension, he has yet had time to consider the necessity of altering "The Army Discipline and Regulation Act, 1879," so as to enable boys enlisting under 17 years of age to re-engage in order to enable them to complete 21 years' service from date of their attaining 17 years of age?
MR. CHILDERS
Sir, I am happy to be able to state to the hon. Gentleman that, after carefully considering this question, we arrived at the conclusion that after 21 years' service men enlisted as boys should be able to obtain a pension; and if he refers to the Revised Memorandum, at page 3, in the Note to Clause 14, he will see this decision recorded.
MR. GREER
Asked the right hon. Gentleman whether that decision referred to future enlistments, or was it to have a retrospective effect?
MR. CHILDERS
I cannot at this moment answer the Question; but it will be the rule of the Service.
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