Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

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Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby TomG » 29 Jun 2017 10:23

I am new to this forum, and hope forum members can assist me.

I have obtained the Discharge Document for Thomas Buckley RE. It states that he was awarded the India Medal with one clasp. However, it does not identify the awarded clasp. Thomas, was Thomas Newton John Buckley 1831-1857, born Cheshire and died Isle of Man.

At discharge in Cape Town South Africa in 1862, the Discharge Record records him as being in the 12 Company of Royal Engineers, and states that he served in India 2yrs 7mths, but it does not give dates.

Could anyone please help me to determine what Indian Medal clasp he was awarded, and what Royal Engineer Company he served with in India. Any assistance from forum members, would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
TomG
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby almaboy » 30 Jun 2017 12:39

Welcome Tom.

The discharge papers for Thomas Buckley are available online at Findmypast and show that he originally enlisted into the 1st Dragoon Gds in 1851. He transferred to the Royal Engineers (then known as the Royal Sappers and Miners) in October 1854, and although his papers show service in Turkey for almost a year, he doesn't appear to have qualified for a Crimea medal.

He seems to have enjoyed pretty rapid promotion, having made Colour Sgt by 1858, but two spells of imprisonment saw him reduced to sapper by 1861.

As regards his Indian medal, I can't find him on any medal rolls but the RE definitely served in India, and if he did receive the Mutiny medal it would have most likely had the 'Central India' clasp.
See here for some details: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=10707

The other possibility is that he received the India General Service medal 1854-95 with a clasp for service sometime during his service, but as I said, at present he doesn't appear to show on any rolls. More digging needed!

If you would like a copy of the discharge papers, send me an email addy via PM and I will forward them on.

Kind Regards
Tony.
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby crimea1854 » 30 Jun 2017 15:04

There is a Colour Sgt. Thomas Buckly, 21st Coy RE on the Dix Noonan Web Indian Mutiny Roll compiled by Kevin Asplin. This shows entitlement to the Central India clasp, looks a good match for your man.

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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby almaboy » 30 Jun 2017 15:46

Good spot Martin!

I concur, has to be the same guy. Lazy researching on my part, I checked Kevins roll but didn't try alternative spellings :oops:

Tony.
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby TomG » 01 Jul 2017 01:39

Gents,
Thank you both. I have Thomas Buckley's 5 page Discharge Document and another page about his service, but all very limited on actual dates. One entry looks like Maritime 8 months, I presume this is travel to and from his postings by ship - your thoughts? Can you shed any light on why he was at Cape Town in 1862?

The Discharge Documents states he was a deserter and was Court Martialled 4 times and in Defaulters book 3 times. The document credits him with 10yrs 7mths service but his total time was actually 12yrs 3mths, I suspect his desertion time and imprisonment time were deducted from his service.

The time he spent in the 1st Dragoon Guards 2yrs 11mths ? Is on the same line as Turkey 11mths. Did the Guards serve in Turkey Crimea?

I have tried a few times to insert an image in this reply, but can't seem to figure it out.

Regards,
TomG
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby TomG » 01 Jul 2017 01:59

Forum 1.jpg
Buckley Service Details
Forum 1.jpg (60.78 KiB) Viewed 330 times


Please see attached image
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby TomG » 01 Jul 2017 02:46

Forum 2.jpg
Photo believed to be Thomas Buckley
Forum 2.jpg (121.35 KiB) Viewed 326 times


This photo seems to be consistent with a Colour Sergeant RE. Your thoughts?

Regards.
TomG
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby almaboy » 01 Jul 2017 10:24

Tom

I think you will find 'Maritime' is actually 'Mauritius'. As for being in Cape Town, the RE could be found serving in all parts of the Empire during this period, and there was a strong British presence in the South of Africa following a series of punitive wars in the 1840-50's. The 1st Dragoon Gds did serve in the Crimea, but they were very late into the campaign and saw no actual combat. The chances are Buckley was part of a late draft that arrived after Sebastopol fell and did not qualify for a medal.

Buckley was actually discharged proper at Netley, which was the main British Army medical facility situated near Gosport. He would have been released from the RE to travel back there for a final medical examination and discharge.

As to the photo, not my area of expertise but I'm sure there will be someone along shortly who can be more helpful.
Tony.
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby TomG » 02 Jul 2017 08:22

Thanks Tony,
'Mauritius' is more likely. Thanks for your thoughts on his service. The discharge papers were drafted in Cape Town, and as you say, finalized in Netley. Do you have access to records other than the 5 discharge papers for Buckley?

Regards,
TomG
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby almaboy » 02 Jul 2017 09:26

Tom

In order to gain a complete picture of his service you would have to search the muster rolls (currently held at The National Archives) for both units that he served in. These are the quarterly pay lists and contain information on where he was stationed at any given time, as well as promotions/reductions in rank and some details of his periods of imprisonment.

Unless you can attend in person, you would have to engage the services of a professional researcher. Given the length of time that he served, it probably wouldn't be too cost prohibitive to consider the latter. The other possibility is the Museum of the Royal Engineers at Chatham: http://www.re-museum.co.uk/. They may be able to assist you further.

Tony.
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby TomG » 04 Jul 2017 23:43

Tony,
Thanks for the information. A visit to the National Archives is not possible as I live in Australia. I will investigate a researcher, if you know of one, please let me know. This research all began as a favour to a neighbour who is the nephew of Buckley's 19yr old grandson who was killed at Gallipoli in the Australian Army in 1915. It all started with a request for help to get the WW1 medal ribbons replaced. Strange how things escalate.

Thanks again for all your help.

Regards,
TomG.
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby Frogsmile » 07 Jul 2017 09:43

TomG wrote:
The attachment Forum 2.jpg is no longer available


This photo seems to be consistent with a Colour Sergeant RE. Your thoughts?

Regards.
TomG


The photo shows a sergeant of RE, Tom. At that time there was very little consistency in badges of rank between the different arms of the British Army and both, RE and RA sergeants wore 3-stripes with crown over (the RA with a gun in between). Colour sergeants of RE, along with most infantry regiments, had a special badge, initially comprising an upright staff and union flag with crossed swords superimposed over a broad (double lace) single chevron, with large crown over, all in gold bullion embroidery. This badge later changed to be incorporated with the traditional 3-stripes, creating a large badge worn on both arms.

For a short time after introduction of the rank (1815) the RA counterpart wore a similar badge, but his title was officially Company Sergeant in recognition that the guns were the equivalent of colours (and artillery were organised in companies that only became 'batteries' once deployed).

It was not until 1881 that a concerted effort was made to standardise badges of rank across the Army, but even then this was resisted and exceptions made for Foot and Horse Guards and some regiments of line cavalry. It was at that point that RE SNCOs were ordered to wear a grenade with their badges of rank. Not until the end of WW1 were the final changes made leaving us largely with what we have today.
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby TomG » 07 Jul 2017 10:42

Thank you Frogsmile.

Do you happen to have an image of the insignia of a RE Colour Sergeant? Do you know where I might find the image? Buckley was promoted to Colour Sergeant RE 08 May 1858 and reduced back to Sergeant 30 Jul 1860.

Regards,
TomG
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby Frogsmile » 07 Jul 2017 11:57

TomG wrote:Thank you Frogsmile.

Do you happen to have an image of the insignia of a RE Colour Sergeant? Do you know where I might find the image? Buckley was promoted to Colour Sergeant RE 08 May 1858 and reduced back to Sergeant 30 Jul 1860.

Regards,
TomG


Yes, here is a photo of Colour Sergeant Joseph John Stanton Royal Sappers and Miners, circa 1855. The B&W image can be obtained from the online connection of the National Army Museum. In the group image you can see two RS&M colour serjeants in tunics and a sapper in the same pattern shell jacket as your sergeant above.
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Re: Thomas Buckley #1938 Royal Engineers

Postby TomG » 08 Jul 2017 01:53

Thanks Frogsmile.
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