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TACA HOMELIVES & TIMESON THE MOVEPOSTINGSACCOMMODATIONHEALTHCARE & HOSPITALSSCHOOLINGMEMORIES & MISCELLANEAFAMOUS ARMY CHILDRENHISTORY MATTERS1914–18FORGOTTEN FACESARMY CHILDREN'S GRAVESCURRENT & RECENT RESEARCHLINKS & LITERATURECONTRIBUTING & CONDITIONSCONTACT TACATACA LATEST If you have an army child or two in your family tree, it may be possible to learn more about them by consulting certain family-history resources, while reading about the military conflicts in which the British Army has been involved over the centuries, and their historical context, may help to inform you about the times, and circumstances, in which they lived.
Captioned 'All through walking with a soldier', the comic postcard shown below, which is around a century old, reflects the prevailing Victorian and Edwardian belief that most army children were members of large families..
They said that wives of soldiers were sometimes allowed to accompany their husbands overseas, but no provision was made for their support if their soldier husband was killed. I must say that as much as I am interested in the boy, I am perhaps more interested in finding his mother, in particular to find out what her fate was. If so, she must have died quite young as it seems that the boy had no real knowledge of his parents.
I hope to find out a lot more about him.’Although, as Wendy states, her great-great-great-grandfather’s parentage is currently unknown, the combination of his birth in England; his enlistment at such a young age in Ceylon; and the comparable enlistment of other soldiers’ young sons as drummer boys suggests that he was indeed an army child.
The 50th's stay at the Gibraltar station would be recorded in Kinsella's Prompted by previous TACA correspondence about the enlistment of army children as drummer boys during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (see above, ‘TACA CORRESPONDENCE: ENLISTMENT AS A DRUMMER, AGED FIVE’ and ‘TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BOY SOLDIERS AND EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY REGIMENTAL MUSTER ROLLS’), Wendy Laigne-Stuart has been in touch regarding a similar case.
She writes:‘I read the comment about the seven-year-old who was enlisted.
He beats James Wade, aged seven, who enlisted – also as a drummer – in the 9th Foot (The Royal Norfolk Regiment), served throughout the Peninsular Campaign and got his discharge at the age of twenty-nine, having served his twenty-one years. I suggest that if Murray enlisted in the 50th Foot, that was the unit in which his father served, which means that he will be found in the muster rolls of the regiment for the period.
The rolls will record his age, date and place of enlistment (which is a clue to his parish), and trade or occupation on enlistment.
His records state that he was born in Chatham, Kent, in 1800, and those facts are stated consistently throughout his life.