Beth wrote:My great x 3 uncle, Richard Duty, born 1838, joined the 2nd Battalion 19th Foot in June 1860.
He married whilst on furlo' in December 1861
His wife appears to have accompanied him for the rest of his army life, for his children were born where the battalion was stationed. (The first, in Ireland, in 1863; the second & third in Tonghoo, Burma, 1865 & '67; the fourth in Bangalore in 1869)
His army life seems to have been cut short by illness - he spent the last nine months of his service in the sanitorium at Kussowlie, near Shimla.
He left India for England on 17th November 1870 & was back in his home village by April 1871, when the family was recorded in the census of that year (as Doughty)
I understand that lots were drawn to determine which wives should accompany the battalion on their postings but, if this were the case here, they would seem to have had exceptional luck!
They both came from very poor, agricultural labourer families; I find it impossible to believe that they could have paid for her passage themselves. He was illiterate & remained a private for the whole period.
Did some regiments pay for all wives to come?
I have looked at the pay rolls/muster rolls for the period covering his service & can find no mention of any wives "on the strength"; however women & children are mentioned in the report of the regimental surgeon.
Any thoughts would be most welcome
Beth wrote:Fear Frogsmile, Peter, Les & Grumpy
Thank you all for your help. The information you give about the 32nd is fascinating Les & I'm looking forward to following up the references given both by you & by Frogsmile.
I have now realised that when I made my first post I was working on an incorrect assumption - having seen that Richard Duty's four eldest children were born overseas between 1863 -69, I automatically assumed that he would have come back to England between postings. This was obviously a silly error, based on what little I know about tours of duty in today's army.
In fact from the pay lists & muster rolls it is clear that after sailing for Rangoon from Cork, on 25th August 1863, Richard did not leave Burma/India again until 17th November 1870. He was always attached to the same regiment, 2nd/19th. At the time of sailing he must have been accompanied by his wife, Emma, & first baby. Emma would therefore only have needed to be lucky in the ballot once.
This raises some other interesting questions though.The battalion did not return to England between being posted in Ireland in the spring of 1861 & leaving for Burma in August 1863. During that period, Richard had two periods of furlough. During the first, from 1st November - 29th December 1861, he married his wife. (Interestingly, his marriage certificate records his occupation as 'labourer' rather than soldier). The second was longer, & ran from 1st November 1862 to 19th January 1863.
Presumably he would have needed permission to marry? Was such permission ever refused?
Given that he married in England, whilst the battalion was stationed in Ireland, would his wife have had any automatic right to join him over there? Given that their first child was born in Ireland in 1863, they evidently found a way. Presumably her husband would have had to find her fare?
When soldiers were given furlo', did they also receive an allowance to pay for their journey back home, or did they have to finance that themselves?
Thanks for any help
Beth wrote:Hello Frogsmile,
Thanks once again for your informed & helpful comments. I'm looking forward to reading the books you recommended as soon as the library can get hold of them for me!
It's a very interesting & fair comment you make regarding the different attitudes displayed by men (& their wives) to service in India. I seem to remember that in the very early days of the East India Company some of the senior British officers were fairly well integrated into Moghul society. But that as time went on, this became less acceptable. Such a shame.
Les Waring wrote:Interesting is the total lack of mention of liaisons/marriages with Indian women; many hundreds of adult males over 12 years in India with the 32nd and nothing! One suspects that this was a taboo topic
Les Waring wrote:Whilst on the topic, I wonder if anyone can come up with info. to ‘beat’ the 32nd’s sad claim to be the ‘most massacred’ in terms of the women and children. The numbers, from the regiment’s depot coy., who died during the two-week siege of Cawnpore or were massacred after the surrender were ‘45 ‘European’ ladies and women and 54 children. ‘ (Swiney p.182.*)I think there were 4 ‘ladies’, whose deaths were obviously more regrettable than those of mere ‘women’ . * Swiney – Historical Records of the 32nd (Cornwall ) light Infantry...
Whilst the number of women and children who died/were killed on the retreat from Kabul (1842) may have been greater, they ‘belonged’ to a number of units, but perhaps there are cases of mass deaths of wives and children of an individual unit from cholera or other diseases, especially in India or the West Indies.
Beth wrote:What I didn't think to check when I was in the National Archives was how long his battalion stayed on in India after he left. Compared to the 32nd, the 2nd/19th seem to have had a pretty easy run in Burma/India. Whilst in Burma, my chap was on detachment in Tonghoo. (One company was there, the other nine were stationed at Thayetmyo). He remained in Tonghoo until the end of January 1868, when the whole battalion moved south to Bangalore. As far as I can see, they weren't involved in any major conflicts - shows how variable your chances were I guess.
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