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age Irish lad join British Army in Cork?

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Valerie Report 31 Jan 2019 23:48

Could someone advise me the earliest age my g/grandad could've joined the British Army -in Cork (b1829).

I have him joining HEIC (London) 1853 age 23 - but nothing prior to that - he may have served some time in Ireland first?



ArgyllGran Report 1 Feb 2019 09:53

I think this article is talking about late 1700's to early 1800's -

"Among these recruits would also be boys. A 14 year old could enlist with his father’s or, failing a father, his family’s consent. He would probably have been initially trained as a drummer or a bugler but not be allowed to carry arms until he was eighteen years of age. These boys otherwise lived with the soldiers and were deemed to be worthy of military investment but their service prior to reaching the age of 18 would not count toward a pension. Not widely acknowledged is that in earlier times all regiments had other young boy followers. These would have been orphans, runaways and foundlings. They lived amongst the men and were victualled by the regiment. They were seen by the War Office as potential future NCOs as a consequence of being totally immersed in army life and knowing nothing else."

But maybe 1853 was his first joining. Do you have any reason to think he had been in the army before?


ArgyllGran Report 1 Feb 2019 10:03

"In 1830 no less than 42.2% of all non-commissioned officers and men throughout the British Army were Irish. . . . . . . . . .
In 1871 some 4.38% of all eligible Irishmen (15 - 54 years of age) joined the British Army . . . . . . ."


Valerie Report 1 Feb 2019 10:09

Thanks for that helpful information.... his father had been in the army- in seems possible he was too - accepted at age 14...or 18.

He did eventually receive a (Chelsea) pension after 16+years in the HEIC in Madras -
so thought it likely he spent his earlier years in a Cork regiment.

Thank you again - Valerie