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"Drummer Boys" - Boys Serving in The British Army.

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Odulf - two great pictures. I would have thought the drummer to be about 18 or 19. But the cadets firing the 12 lbs. could only have been about 13 or 14 ? So few schools today, still maintain their old cadet corps. Mervyn

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Odulf

Your photograph in post 99 of the Middlesex Regiment Drummer is excellent but I'm a little confused by the drum he has, It's too small to be the standard rope tensioned side drum of the British Army. I wonder if any members can identify it? I know the Middlesex celebrate Minden Day and so perhaps captured French drums were used or perhaps it was just a drum available in a photographers studio

Any thoughts Gentlemen, Simon

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An early group photo of the Band of the 22nd Foot Regiment, taken between 1865 and 1873.

Clearly visable on the pork pie hats are the digits 22. Please note the very young boys amongst the bandsmen, not drummers but musicians.

The size of this original photo is ca. 22x 16 cm

fodulz.jpg

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Odulf - yet another lovely old photo - just full of history. When I see a picture like this I always wonder what happened to them - and what they achieved ? They certainly had a lot of wars and battles ahead of them......

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Odulf - yet another lovely old photo - just full of history. When I see a picture like this I always wonder what happened to them - and what they achieved ? They certainly had a lot of wars and battles ahead of them......

Life was different alltogether in those days and probably the parents were happy that their boy had a future in the Army, though it was t harsh life but such was civy street.

In the Army under Wellington corporal punishment was executed by the drummers under the eye of the Drum-Major. Corporal punishment was not abolished in the Army until the revised Army Act of 1881, when the ‘cat’ finally stayed in the bag. Today it is hard to understand that also young boys could be flogged as a penalty for their mischief in the first third of the 19th century, when 100 or more lashes were common practice for certain offences. It took the humanitarians in Parliament over half a century to abolish corporal punishment in the Army. But the British never were squeamish, for the caning of schoolboys continued until well into the 20th century.

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Interesting topic. There's a wonderful painting by Lady Butler entitled 'Steady The Drums and Fifes' depicting the old 57th Foot 'The Diehards' (later The Middlesex Regiment) at Albuhera showing Drummer Boys standing rigidly to attention with shock and horror on their faces.

Corporal punishment, as an official form of punishment, was still inflicted on Band Boys and Drummer Boys serving with infantry Bns as late as the 1930s by the Band Master and Drum Major.

Boy Soldiers of the Infantry Boys Bn (later the Infantry Junior Leaders Bn) were also subject to corporal punishment 1952-53.

15 year old boys were still enlisted in the Infantry Junior Leaders Bn until the late 1960s when the minimum age was raised to 16. Junior Leaders enlisting at 15 years of age completed two and a half years of education, leadership, and military training before graduating and posting to their respective regiments - they were invariably promoted to Lance Corporal soon after (and in some cases on arrival) reaching their Bns.

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Posted (edited)

In Guernsey - during November 1917

A complete bugle platoon of 16 Boy Buglers were recruited and enlisted into the 2nd (Home) Battalion, Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, during November 1917,  they were enlisted under

 “Special Conditions” That is to say for home service and not service at the Front. They were recruited as per army regulation between the ages of 14 – 18 years of age.

The file can be found on our website on the link at the bottom right. 

http://www.greatwarci.net/army/guernsey/rgli/pdf/boy-buglers-2rgli.pdf

http://www.greatwarci.net/army/guernsey/rgli/index.htm

 

 

Does anybody have the specific Army regulation for this Special Enlistment for boys 14 - 18 years of age to be boy buglers.

 

Mark.

boy-buglers-2rgli.pdf

Edited by 1RGLI

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