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2nd Regiment Life Guards + 6th dragoon guards- Ward family

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2nd Regiment Life Guards + 6th dragoon guards- Ward family

Postby LizzieBvB » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:06 pm

Hi all,

Can anyone help me with working out how and where someone would join the 2nd dragoon guards?
I'm looking into an ancestor Seth Ward born 1796 in Repton, Derbyshire. He served in the 2nd regiment of dragoon guards before he was invalided out in I believe 1815. I have found his discharge papers but no other records.

I was wondering how someone ends up in the dragoon guards as I understood they were normally members of the upper classes? As far as I know he was a labourer, son of Henry Ward (possibly a farmer) and a Sally, also from Repton.

Seth's son also went on to become a calvary officer (John Ward corporal in the 6th Dragoon guards who I know served in the 1857-59 indian mutiny and the Crimea). I presume he may have been accepted into the calvary as his father served? I cannot find any service records for him but I know his regiment from his marriage certificate and medal rolls.

Any help is appreciated.
many thanks
LizzieBvB
 
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Re: 2nd Regiment Life Guards + 6th dragoon guards- Ward fami

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Where? So far as I know, cavalry regiments tend not to be associated with places, or at least, not for long. So anywhere the regiment was based at the time, I think.... But see below...

How? Err - your text doesn't match your title here - but based on FindMyPast, I suspect you meant to write that Seth served in the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards. In which case, if you look at the Discharge Papers on FMP, you will see that it says that he joined at Derby on 24 Nov 1815 and served for 2 years, 346 days. Which took him up to 5 Nov 1818 before discharge on ill health grounds.

The requirement for someone to be of elevated status to join the Life Guards (or the Foot Guards) applies to officers, not to enlisted men. No doubt there was some reflected prestige after they'd joined up, but for an ordinary soldier, the Army couldn't be choosy. The real reason that he ended up in the Life Guards, I suggest, is contained in his description on the Discharge Papers - he's 5 foot 11 3/4 inches tall - over 6 foot in his cavalry boots, I guess! That would make him of interest to the prestige regiments.

As for John Ward, a corporal is not an officer - officers are cornet / ensign (later known as 2nd Lieutenant) and Lieutenant upwards. They (usually) had to pay money for their commissions so generally they did indeed need cash. But ordinary soldiers didn't. NB - corporal, sergeants, sergeant major, etc are referred to as non-commissioned officers, which is not the same as commissioned officers, while the word "officer", on its own, means commissioned officers.
Adrian
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Re: 2nd Regiment Life Guards + 6th dragoon guards- Ward fami

Postby LizzieBvB » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:33 pm

thanks for your reply!

yes, sorry I indeed meant 2nd regiment of Life guards for Seth Ward.
His son John Ward was in the 6th dragoon guards and the 10th Royal Hussars calvary. So two generations of calvary soldiers.

So if I understand correctly anyone could join and have been accepted into calvary units, even the more elite ones? Providing they perhaps matched certain criteria such as height? Motivations will now never be known but I suppose it offered good prospects for the younger son of a farmer (Seth) that was not likely to inherit.

It just seems interesting that a father and son both ended up in calvary units, albeit different ones. Seth Ward died when John was a baby so I was wondering if John 'chose' to join a calvary unit like his father or if he ended up in one by coincidence.

Do you know if many service papers survive for these kind of units from this time period? if they did is it normally possible to locate them online? or is a trip to the National archives normally needed?
LizzieBvB
 
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2nd Regiment Life Guards + 6th dragoon guards- Ward family

Postby brunes08 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:20 pm

I came across a similar query like this some time ago. Unlike today where individuals can go to recruiting offices etc, back then the regiment went out to different towns and cities and recruited on the spot. At least that was my understanding of how someone from one area could join what might appear to be a regiment from a completely different County. It may be that they were recruited because they were experienced horsemen.
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Re: 2nd Regiment Life Guards + 6th dragoon guards- Ward fami

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:12 pm

Anyone could enlist as an ordinary soldier into the elite regiments. I suspect that there would be informal criteria for the more popular and more elite regiments - height would be a desirable factor, while if you had an elite cavalry regiment, you wouldn't want someone who sat on a horse like a sack of potatoes.

I would think it highly likely that the son was motivated to join the cavalry to follow the father - traditions aren't just for the upper classes!

As for the surviving papers, you need to start by looking at the TNA Research Guides (sorry don't have the URL to hand on my phone). Essentially though, the only detailed papers for individuals at this time are for when soldiers were discharged to pension - the father got one, I presume under ill health arrangements.

Theoretically all these are on FindMyPast and I saw Seth's papers there.

John's papers are another matter. Ancestry has some stuff but only the indexes. The actual images are only on Fold3, which needs an extra subscription.

Some of the Fold3 stuff, quite possibly all of it, can be found either on FMP or as a download from the TNA site - sometimes as a free download!

My problem was that I could find what looked like your John in Ancestry as an index pointing to Fold3 (which I don't have), but I couldn't find the corresponding image on FMP. So either they are indexed differently (possible) or I saw it but didn't recognise it. And remember that I don't even know for certain that it was your John.

I also didn't see any medal roll entries and I've forgotten where they are anyway!

So a lot of it is online if the guy gets a pension. Suggest that you read those guides from TNA for starters.

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Adrian
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Re: 2nd Regiment Life Guards + 6th dragoon guards- Ward fami

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:11 pm

Got him on FindMyPast - if he is yours.....

To find him on FMP you need to go into the "Military, Armed Forces, etc" section, then "Regimental & Service Records". Search for John Ward with Soldier Number 1853 because that's the interesting one on Ancestry / Fold3.

You will find a line for
Ward John 1825 — 1843 British Army Service Records Rupton, Derry, Derry (Londonderry), Ireland

From there you can go to the WO97 image on FMP, which is the same as what Fold3 holds. Err - not that promising is it? Well, the original document says "Rupton" - which I hope is Repton. "Derry" isn't Derry, of course, but Derby. But it's not quite that daft because he's discharged at Cahir, which is in Co. Tipperary, so Ireland is not stupid. Just wrong!

Anyway, this chap was born at Repton, joined up in London in 1843. Now he's 5ft 10in so if it is him, then he's inherited his father's height. He is, however, going to reside in Exeter. Is that a problem?

Why didn't I find him before? Because Ancestry had indexed him as "Sixth Regiment of Dragoon Guards", so I was using a keyword of "Dragoon". But FMP have indexed him as "6th Reg Of Dn Guards" because, actually "Dn" is all it says on the top of the papers! I had to drop the regiment entirely and just search on name and number.

Now - I suspect this looks like the other stuff like the medal roll that you've found but you really need to think whether this is your chap or not, first....
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Re: 2nd Regiment Life Guards + 6th dragoon guards- Ward fami

Postby LizzieBvB » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:23 pm

Hi,

I only just saw your reply.

This is indeed definitely my guy! The family all lived in Exeter (we were actually surprised to see he came from Repton).

I have managed to download the papers and it's also confirmed that a census record I possibly found for him is also correct (incorrectly states place of birth as Ireland).

Many thanks for your help!
LizzieBvB
 
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