14 December 2015

Kalapoosh! 7th Hussars transfers in 1886

Edwin Mole, a troop sergeant major with the 14th Hussars, and back in England in 1886 just prior to the regiment's return from India (or Kalapoosh, as it was known to the men), writes:

“Judge then our feelings of dismay when one Sunday, about four months before the 14th was expected home, on returning from church parade, every man of our depot was ordered to parade in front of orderly-room. Colonel G then called the troop to attention, and to the surprise and mortification of both Captain T and myself, read out an order that all our men under three months’ service were to be forthwith transferred to the 7th Hussars and that all over that service might volunteer for the same regiment, which was just proceeding to India to relieve the 14th. To make matters worse, he pointed out to those who desired to see foreign service, that now was their time, for as the 14th was coming home and would remain in England for some years, unless they accepted this chance, all their soldiering would be in the United Kingdom. The argument was irresistible, for Kalapoosh was every young fellow’s ambition. Before evening our depot had lost half its muster.”

I decided to explore this further by looking in series WO 97 for men transferring into the 7th Hussars in 1886. It didn't take long before I found what I was after.

In the list below, the names of the recruits are followed by their previous Hussars regimental number and Hussars regiment, followed by their new 7th Hussars regimental number and their date of transfer. As we can see, the 14th Hussars were not alone in losing men to Kalapoosh:      

Augustine John Welsh, No prior service, 3004 7th Hussars, 26th August
Edward Ellis, No prior service, 3007 7th Hussars, 1st September
Charles Duck, No prior service, 3012 7th Hussars, 15th September
Henry Brereton, No prior service, 3020 7th Hussars, 20th September
John MacQueen, No prior service, 3021 7th Hussars, 20th September
Headley Frederick Griggs, No prior service, 3023, 7th Hussars 21st September

14th Hussars transfers

William John Davis 2400 14th Hussars 13th June 1884; later 3026 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Fred T Harper 2427 14th Hussars 13th October 1884; later 3027 7th Hussars, 23rd September
John Rhodes 2585 14th Hussars 9th January 1886; later 3028 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Henry Peck Naylor 2538 14th Hussars 29th August 1885; later 3029 7th Hussars, 23rd September
William Bull 2473 14th Hussars 4th June 1885; later 3032 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Robert Bishop 2490 14th Hussars 25th June 1885; later 3033 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Thomas Clarke 2477 14th Hussars 11th June 1885; later 3038 7th Hussars, 23rd September
George Ernest Harris 2484 14th Hussars 19th June 1885; later 3040 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Thomas Hendley 2461 14th Hussars 29th May 1885; later 3041 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Charles Le Court 2505 14th Hussars 16th July 1885; later 3042 7th Hussars, 23rd September
John Edward Murtan 2529 14th Hussars 14th August 1885; later 3043 7th Hussars, 23rd September
William Bevan 2446 14th Hussars 19th March 1885; later 3050 7th Hussars, 23rd September
George Ernest Whitmarsh 2474 14th Hussars 6th July 1885; later 3056 7th Hussars, 23rd September

Joseph McCullie, No prior service, 3058 7th Hussars, 5th October

19th Hussars transfers

Robert Bousfield 2801 19th Hussars 25th November 1885; later 3065 7th Hussars, 12th October
William Charles Cook 2785 19th Hussars 9th November 1885; later 3066 7th Hussars, 12th October
Robert Barclay 2609 19th Hussars 30th June 1884; later 3067 7th Hussars, 12th October
Benjamin Burton 2133 19th Hussars 27th January 1882; later 3070 7th Hussars, 12th October
Charles Butterworth 2356 19th Hussars 3rd November 1882 ; later3071 7th Hussars, 12th October
Henry James Elliott 2481 19th Hussars 14th March 1884; later 3073 7th Hussars, 12th October
Harry Thomas 2535 19th Hussars 21st May 1884; later 3080 7th Hussars, 12th October
William Smith Jeffcott 2647 19th Hussars 4th April 1885; later 3081 7th Hussars, 12th October
Henry Walker 2565 19th Hussars 10th June 1884; later 3083 7th Hussars, 12th October
Richard Allen 2848 19th Hussars 11th January 1886; later 3084 7th Hussars, 12th October

3rd Hussars transfers

Charles Robinson 2171 3rd Hussars 6th August 1884; later 3086 7th Hussars, 23rd October
William Neal 2174 3rd Hussars 7th August 1884; later 3087 7th Hussars, 1st November
William Marshall 2121 3rd Hussars 10th July 1884; later 3088 7th Hussars, 31st October

Various Hussars transfers (including another man from the 14th)

Frederick Godfrey 2532 14th Hussars 20th August 1885; later 3095 7th Hussars, 1st November
Louis Madge 2889 18th Hussars 23rd September 1885; later 3101 7th Hussars, 1st November
Richard Probert 2314 21st Hussars 20th June 1884; later 3103 7th Hussars, 1st November

15th Hussars transfers

James Henry Hannett 2076 15th Hussars 23rd January 1884; later 3105 7th Hussars, 1st November
John Paterson 2105 15th Hussars 10th April 1884; later 3110 7th Hussars, 1st November
Harry Gray 2177 15th Hussars 1st November 1884; later 3114 7th Hussars, 1st November

William Buck, No prior service, 3117 7th Hussars, 5th November
William Smith, No prior service, 3118 7th Hussars, 29th October

10th Hussars transfers

James Black 2096 10th Hussars 15th March 1884; later 3123 7th Hussars, 16th November
Samuel Clarke 1858 10th Hussars 27th January 1881; later 3127 7th Hussars
Richard Ellis 2127 10th Hussars 3rd May 1884; later 3131 7th Hussars, 16th November
Thomas Green 1946 10th Hussars 25th January 1882; later 3134 7th Hussars, 16th November
David Griffin 1935 10th Hussars 8th November 1881; later 3139 7th Hussars, 16th November

Christopher Kiddell 2174 19th Hussars 7th March 1882; later 3144 7th Hussars, 16th December

The last man on this list, Christopher Kiddell, did not make it overseas as he enlisted after the 7th Hussars had departed for India on the 25th November 1886. But there are definite sequential patterns to the transfers: a block of around 30 men from the 14th Hussars, 20 men from the 19th Hussars, 16+ men from the 10th Hussars, and others.

Edwin Mole's assertion though, that 14th Hussars recruits with under three months' service were also transferred, appears to be incorrect. I looked at 14th Hussars enlistments in 1886 and did not come across a single man who transferred to the 7th. Admittedly there are gaps in surviving service records but all those for whom records do survive spent their colour service at home in the UK. On the other hand, men with no prior service who enlisted directly into the 7th Hussars in 1886, did travel to India with their regiment. William Buck, for instance, enlisted on the 5th November 1886 and was en route to India twenty days later.

I have noticed pattern of transfer in line cavalry regiments in the past but had not considered the possibility that one of the reasons for this was to bring another regiment in the same corps up to establishment before it proceeded overseas. Edwin Mole's casual statement now sheds more light on this.

The image on this post, taken from the Navy & Army Illustrated, shows the 14th Hussars in Ireland in 1896.

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