27 January 2019

The Muster Roll of Angus


I recently bought The Muster Roll of Angus with the express purpose of uploading soldier portraits to my British Army Ancestors website. At the back of the book there are a number of pages similar to the one above which refer to an index of soldiers published elsewhere. So, for instance, the man in the third row down, second from left, is number 82 and his entry reads:

Allan, Hubert A, King Street, Montrose; Bombardier, Royal Artillery - 1895.

It's useful information and the date is particularly helpful as this is the date that the man enlisted. For men with unusual names, it's a fairly straightforward task, armed with their regimental details, to find them in medal rolls and on British Army Ancestors. However, for men with common names, knowing the year they enlisted is helpful because it enables me to eliminate some soldiers when it comes to searching for the correct Robert Campbell or John MaDonald. Thanks to the earlier research I have done on regimental numbers it is very easy to quickly see whether I have the right man.

For instance, the man below is indexed as: 

Boath, James, Ponderlaw lane, Arbroath; lance-corporal, 1st Cameron Highlanders - 1897. Medals, Khedive and Egyptian (Atbara and Omdurman).


This man must be 3897 James Boath, the number 3897 dating to about the end of February 1897. I've added James's photo to British Army Ancestors and I'll be using the same logic to add other photos as well. I would imagine that the photo above dates to 1897, certainly before he'd been appointed lance-corporal and before he'd been awarded his campaign medals for the Sudan. For service during the Boer War (which is what the Muster Roll of Angus commemorates), he would go on to earn the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps for Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen, Cape Colony, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902. He would also serve with the 12th Mounted Infantry.

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4 comments:

RedLichtie said...

Paul,

Good to see you've acquired a copy of this marvellous book.

Being from Arbroath it's a superb resource. If only other areas had all made such books.

There was a second edition, but it's simply a reprint, no changes whatsoever were made.

Is your copy made out to anyone? I've seen a few with hand written dedications.

All returning men and families of the deceased were presented with a copy upon it's publication.

Cheers,
Derek.

Paul Nixon said...

I'm slowly adding the photos to http://britisharmyancestors.co.uk/, Derek. If you have a look at the Gallery page you'll see some now. My copy is inscribed and I'll add that detail to the psot on this blog. I was not aware, though, that returning men were presented with a copy. I had also thought that there were some slight variations in the reprinted edition, mostly concerning the photos and accompanying text.

RedLichtie said...

Paul,

I sat down with both editions in Arbroath library and casually turned each page looking for any obvious differences. If there were any they were so small as to not arouse my curious eye.

Arbroath Herald adverts say the second edition is larger, but i've my doubts. It may be a case of being better produced, better typesetting and reproduction of photos?
I'll have another look at the two more closely next time i'm in the library.

The 29/08/1901 Arbroath Herald has a full account of the muster roll book presentation day by the Countess of Airlie, along of Lord and Countess Strathmore.

Cheers,
Derek.

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks Derek, I shall check out the Arbroath Herald if it's on the BNA site. I see my copy has the name Irene M Harper from the Harper House House Library, abd a date of 1925 but that's all I have written in my copy.