bigjohn

There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

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    I was born in 1939 BC. That's 'Before Computers'. Luckily I survived the following events in my life, such as World War II, The London Blitz, Rationing, and worst of all... Archbishop Temple's School.

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    During the mid 1950s I was enjoying Rock 'n' Roll and being a first generation teenager, when suddenly, just like Elvis, I found myself in uniform during 'The Cold War'...and then

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    During the 'Thatcher Years' I lost my hair and a lot of people lost a good deal more. My career fluctuated to say the least as I was demoted, promoted, fired and hired a number of times, but still I managed to stagger on into a welcome retirement and to celebrate 50 years of happy marriage.
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(2) … Now I know !

Posted by Big John on November 22, 2013

Following on from my last post, I thought that if I continued my on-line research into my family’s history I might find at least one ancestor from the 18th or 19th century of whom I could be proud, for in the 20th century many members of my family had served their country in both war and peace, and a possible ancestor of mine, with the same name as me, is listed in 1415 as a “Yeoman Valettus Archer” on the muster roll of Henry V’s army at ‘Agincourt’.

I was hoping to find some record of, say, a soldier who had fixed his bayonet and held his ground in the British square at ‘Waterloo’ when the French cavalry charged, or of a young crew member on H.M.S. Victory, who braved the cannon balls at ‘Trafalgar’, or even a trooper at the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ who rode “Into the valley of death” with Tennyson’s famous “six hundred”: but no such luck; as once again my search turned up reports of petty theft, poaching and more sentences to “hard labour”.

However, I did locate a copy of a newspaper dated 16th January 1832 which showed that my great-great-great uncle James was on a list of men who had volunteered to serve in The Royal Sussex Regiment of Militia.

At last ! .. I thought .. Could this be my family hero ?

I read on, and soon discovered that this was not to be, for, at the end of the list of names, there was an order to local officials for … “the Discovery and Apprehension of the foregoing Men who severally omitted to attend for Training and Exercise are deemed …

… DESSERTERS !

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5 Responses to “(2) … Now I know !”

  1. Grannymar said

    Maybe they desserted for dessert! ;)

  2. For most of my formative years, my grandmother bragged to me that she could trace her ancestry straight back to William the Conqueror. When I got older, I decided that grandma must have kissed the Blarney Stone. I’m still trying to trace my ancestry through her family, the Loys of Middlesburg, but have haven’t gotten past the parts of the family that were famous for brawling and getting thrown in the local jail for what we, today, call “drunk and disorderly.” Oh, well.

  3. Big John said

    Their spelling, not mine, Grannymar. :-)

    Betty … If you ‘double up’ your ancestors all the way back to 1066. You will find that we are all related to about 400 million people, so old Bill the Conquerer has to be one of them ! :-)

  4. rummuser said

    The Second Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment stationed in India, was part of the Black Mountain Expedition of 1888, as one of many battles fought along the North-West Frontier Province. I don’t know if any of the Militia ever came over, but may be if you direct your research further Eastward, you may strike pay dirt.

  5. Ginnie said

    Well, with this entry and the last I am starting to see where you inherited your renegade spirit !!

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