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Private Thomas Ault

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Private Thomas Ault

Postby pete25 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:20 pm

My 1st cousin 3x removed, Thomas Ault, can be found onboard the ship Boardicea, 1881 census.
I've also found him in the Campaign Medal Award Rolls, 1879 (Zulu War). I believe Thomas served in South Africa.

Where can I find more information regarding Thomas's army career? I would also like to find out what medals he received and what they would of been awarded for.
Thomas was born 1857, Nottinghamshire, UK.

Any help and assistance with my questions would be much appreciated.

Pete.


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Re: Private Thomas Ault

Postby JaneyH » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:47 am

Pete,

Can I suggest you take a look at this one? http://www.victorianwars.com/

It covers the period you're interested in and has lots of discussions about the individual campaigns of this era, as well as there being separate sections to post questions about people you are researching. I joined it at Christmas and have managed to identify the uniform of one of my ancestors from a photo. Now I know which regiment I've got to find some records!

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Re: Private Thomas Ault

Postby brunes08 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:13 am

I have a copy of an ancestor's Royal Navy service records from the mid-1800s. I obtained it from the National Archives. You might be lucky.
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Re: Private Thomas Ault

Postby Jethro Tull » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:54 am

Hi Pete
Same as brunes08 I too have managed to find naval records with the national archives. I have just had a quick look for your chap and it is possible there are records there. Not available for download though. It seems he joined the royal marines in 1873 and was discharged in 1883 due to a court marshal. The medal you refer to appears to have been sent to Winchester prison in 1881. Hopefully some if this may marry up with what you have or lead somewhere else!

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Re: Private Thomas Ault

Postby pete25 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:16 pm

Hi Jethro Tull,

No, this what you write is all new to me. I only found Thomas on onboard the ship and his reference to a medal(s).

I now need to look further and hopefully I will find these details you write about.

Thank you to everyone who came back...much appreciated.

Thomas Ault is the first ancestor I've found who served in the British army before WW 1 & 2.

Kind regards,

Pete.


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Re: Private Thomas Ault

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:48 pm

Pete - as is often the case, using the exact terminology is important. Trouble is, you have to learn that terminology first! As "Jethro" indicates above, your chap was a Royal Marine, not a member of the British Army. In terms of his duties, he was indeed very much a soldier, not a sailor, but under Their Lordships of the Admiralty, not the War Office (which was the Army). Even if the ranks etc, were army-style. So if you go chasing after stuff or asking queries, use "Royal Marine", etc., as the description.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/royal-marines-other-ranks/ is the TNA Guide to researching ordinary soldiers in the Royal Marines. It looks to me like there are two big sets of records, Service Records (in TNA Class ADM 159) and Attestation & Discharge Forms (in TNA Class ADM 157). Using the TNA search queries, it looks as if he has stuff in ADM 157, but not ADM 159. I have no idea what that combination means as I've never had to learn about Marines, but it's certainly different from how the Army papers would be arranged. If you can find a copy in a library, there have been books written on researching Royal Marines.

As for what the Medal(s) would have been awarded for, what you have found are references to a Campaign Medal, issued to all those in a theatre of war as recognition of having taken part in such a campaign. Doesn't mean they came under fire, just that they contributed to the overall effort in that area. Clasps were often issued, however, for being at certain actions, although the clasps for the SA Medal seem to be specific to campaigns within the overall war. See http://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/britishguide/zulu/south_africa_zulu_medal_1877_79.htm - judging by the entry on the Ancestry Medal Roll, Thomas seems to have been "medal only" (i.e. no clasp) - see the North East Medals link for what that means.
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