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Royal Horse Artillery Quartermaster early 1800s

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Royal Horse Artillery Quartermaster early 1800s

Postby Joolz_p » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:51 pm

Hi .
I need some advice ,as I know very little about the British army ,yet alone the RHA in the 1800s .
I have an ancestor , one William Breatt . He is shown as being in receipt of an army pension in 1830. He lists his occupation as Quarter Master RHA on the baptism register of his daughter in 1825. His children's birth records read more like a map of European and British social unrest of the early 19th century , namely Woodbridge,Woolich,Colchester,France,Pontefract,Limerick and Dublin. !! .

So as a Quartermaster would he have had a specific rank ? . I believe by tradition a QM is a NCO from the ranks . ?? .
I also presume that as his children were born all over the show, his wife followed him round ?? . Was this a privilege of rank ?? .
The pension of £2/2s being paid , no mention of whether that was for a week,month,year etc .. ?.

Any help with the above questions , or any other observations is gravely appreciated...

Many thanks

Joolz_p
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Re: Royal Horse Artillery Quartermaster early 1800s

Postby junkers » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:11 pm

The Quartermaster is a specific rank (don't know what he did). Woolwich is the HQ of the Artillery and they were stationed across 'the Empire' including Ireland. Wives did go with their husbands, not near the fighting of course. The pension is I am sure an annual pension. There is quite a lot of information about him on The National Archives website (see the Discovery website) and not all will have been digitised.
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Re: Royal Horse Artillery Quartermaster early 1800s

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:26 pm

1. So far as I can see, the pension is 2s 2d per day.

FindMyPast has a record for him in WO23 Royal Hospital Chelsea: Admission Books, Registers, And Papers 1702-1876, which shows 2/2 in a column headed "Rate per day". This matches up with something I copied off the Victorian Wars Forum, which said:
service pensions were often inadequate. Normal rates started at 8d to 1s 6d per day for a private and ran to as high as 3s per day for a top sergeant.


2. For the life of me, I cannot find his WO97 papers on FMP - the index for him points to a Joseph Boydell.

3. FMP has a WO22 Royal Hospital Chelsea: Returns Of Payment Of Army And Other Pensions 1842-1883 page for him that confirms that his pension ceased by reason of death on 15 Dec 1850, and that the rate was 2/2d (2 shillings and two pence).

4. As for his rank, the WO23 document shows the rank list as Private, Corporal, Serjeant, Quartermaster Serjeant, Serjeant Major. (Note the spelling of Serjeant!). This would imply that he was not a commissioned officer and that his rank was roughly equivalent to today's Staff Sergeant (spelling!) in the British Army. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staff_sergeant#United_Kingdom. I am slightly confused over Quartermasters as Richard Holmes' book Redcoat implies that infantry quartermasters of this period were effectively, but not wholly, commissioned officers. Maybe the artillery was different - that would seem so from the WO23. These days "company quartermaster sergeant" is an appointment (i.e. a job title), not a rank, just as Regimental Sergeant Major is now an appointment for someone of rank Warrant Officer Class 1 (usually? always?).
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Re: Royal Horse Artillery Quartermaster early 1800s

Postby MaureenE » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:28 am

There were Quartermasters who were officers, and there were quartermaster sergeants.

Here is a List of Quartermaster Officers of the Royal Artillery
https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.3901500 ... %3Bseq=330
Page 158 List of Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery from the Year 1716 to 1899 by John Kane, William Harrison Askwith, 4th edition, 1900

A quick look, I did not see William Breatt, indicating he does not appear to be an officer

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: Royal Horse Artillery Quartermaster early 1800s

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:43 am

Ah - Quartermasters *and* Quartermaster Serjeants. That would make sense and explain my confusion.

And I think from memory that this guy is explicitly marked up as a Quartermaster Serjeant.

Thanks

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Re: Royal Horse Artillery Quartermaster early 1800s

Postby Joolz_p » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:47 pm

Hey ,
Many thanks for the advice , things seem a little clearer now.
As a matter of interest , William upon his discharge from the army , went to live in Tipton West Midlands.He is listed as a butcher, with a freehold property and premises. This guy had the insight to make a home and business in an up and coming area.An area that would soon be an industrial colossus . An area that would attract new arrivals from all corners of the country, and to that end they would need feeding . Maybe as a QM he would know all about supply , and demand . Big up Bill then .
Thanks again
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