Thursday 5 April 2012

Recruiting sergeants

Here are some nice images of recruiting sergeants in the nineteenth century. I only discovered recently, that three twisted ribbons worn on the sergeant's hat or cap denotes the appointment as a recruiting sergeant. The image above is taken from the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment website and shows a recruiting sergeant circa 1810.

This detail above is taken from a painting by John Mulcaster Carrick and dates to 1862.

This painting, artist unknown, probably dates to later than the Carrick painting and again, the sergeant's ribbons are clearly visible.

Finally, the photograph above was published by Coldstream on the Gentleman's Military Interest Club forum in 2010 and depicts a recruiting sergeant from the Coldstream Guards and possibly the civilian recruiting agent standing by his side.

Military Service and Pension records can be searched and downloaded from Ancestry and Findmypast. Both companies offer FREE 14-day trials.

Army Form B.265

Army Form B.265 was introduced in October 1880 with an initial print-run of 25,000 copies.  It was a short service attestation form, the recruit being asked:

"Are you willing to serve for the term of twelve Years, provided her majesty should so long require your services, the first six years in army service, and the six remaining years in the 1st Class of the Reserve?"

William Barrow answered "Yes" to this question when he joined the Rifle Brigade on the 10th May 1881 although had he but known it, the form he was signing up on had already been superceded by a second version which was published in a short print run of 2000 in March 1881.  In fact, there would be many versions of this attestation form over the coming years and B.265 was an enduring attestation form which would be used  - in various iterations - certainly into the First World War.

The version above is the 22nd iteration of Army Form B.65 amd dates to March 1889 and a print run of 120,000.

All document images reproduced on this post are Crown Copyright, The National Archives. Pension records can be searched and downloaded from Findmypast which offers a FREE 14-day trial.