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5656 Sapper
(John) CORNELIUS FREEMAN
[1]
Royal Engineers

by

Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis.
2003. All Rights Reserved.

1. INTRODUCTION

Unless otherwise noted, the details supplied in this narrative were obtained from the soldier’s service papers (WO97/2835) at the Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey. Freeman enlisted in the Army using the given name Cornelius. Research indicates that his name was actually John Cornelius Freeman. It appears that for some reason he chose to drop the first name John. His son appears to have done the same thing with his given name. The evidence behind this assertion will be provided in subsequent sections of this narrative. For simplicity, Sapper Freeman will be referred to as Cornelius Freeman throughout the remainder of this narrative.

2. EARLY LIFE AND FAMILY INFORMATION

Cornelius Freeman was born in the Parish of St. Mary’s, in the town of Woolwich, in the County of Kent on the 27th of April 1844 [2]. St. Mary’s Church is located south of the Royal Dock Yard and north of the Royal Infantry and Royal Artillery Barracks in the heart of the Woolwich military complex [3]. It is probably safe to assume that Cornelius Freeman was the son of a serving soldier or an ex-soldier who was working at Woolwich Arsenal. The place of his birth and the fact that he would enlist in the Army as a Boy Soldier are two pieces of evidence to validate this assumption.

The 1851 Census of the British Isles shows that a John Freeman, age 10 [4], was born in Woolwich, Kent and was living at Beresford Square when the census was taken [5]. Young John Freeman is listed as a "scholar" in the census returns. The 1851 Census also shows one John Freeman, age 48, a Chelsea Pensioner, living at Beresford Square. The elder John Freeman was born in Cherry Oaten, Huntingdonshire [6]. Since he was a Chelsea Pensioner, the elder Freeman must have been a soldier in his younger days. This fact and the fact that both Freemans are living at Beresford Square are strong evidence of a father-son relationship.

Since the elder Freeman was 48 years old in 1851, his birth year would have been 1803 [7]. A check of the Vital Records Index for the British Isles from 1538 to 1888, for any child born in Huntingdonshire in 1803, revealed that a son named John Freeman had been born to William and Mary Freeman of Hartford, Huntingdon [8] and that the child had been christened on the 30th of November 1800. This three-year difference can be explained by the lack of accuracy with regard to dates in the early 19th century. The Vital Records Index also shows that William and Mary Freeman had two other sons, William (born in 1803) and Charles (born in 1813).

3. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

The following is a description of Cornelius Freeman at the time he enlisted in the Army in 1858:

Age:

14 years and 90 days

Height:

4 feet 7 inches

Complexion:

Fresh

Eyes:

Blue

Hair:

Brown

Distinctive Marks:

None

The following is a description of Cornelius Freeman at the time he was given a medical examination at Portsmouth in 1860:

Age:

15 years

Height:

5 feet inch

Weight:

79 pounds

Small Pox Marks:

None

Vaccination Marks:

Left arm

When Vaccinated:

1858

Hair:

Brown

Pulse:

64 beats per minute

Respiration:

16 inspirations per minute

Muscular Development:

Moderate

4. ENLISTMENT AND TRAINING

Cornelius Freeman enlisted in the Royal Sappers and Miners as a Boy Soldier [9] at Brompton Barracks, Chatham, Kent at 10:30 a.m. on the 26th of July 1858 [10]. He was enlisted by 1995 Sergeant James Douglas, R.E. [11] with the promise of a free kit. As mentioned previously, the fact that he enlisted as a Boy Soldier is substantial evidence that he was the son of a soldier (or ex-soldier). The fact that he enlisted at Chatham, the home of the Royal Sappers and Miners, is evidence that his father may also have been a Sapper.

Young Cornelius was required to answer a number of questions normally put to recruits on their enlistment into the Army. He indicated that he had no trade or calling and that he was not an apprentice. He was, of course, not married; he had no physical disabilities and had never been previously rejected for naval or military service. He also indicated that he had no prior naval or military service in the Militia, Regular Forces or the East India Company.

Following a cursory medical examination by an Ordnance Medical Officer, administered on the same day as his enlistment, Cornelius Freeman was found to be fit for military service. All that remained now was for him to swear the Oath of Attestation.

Cornelius Freeman swore the Oath of Attestation before a Magistrate at 11:45 a.m. on the 28th of July 1858 at Rochester, Kent. His enlistment was for a period of 15 years and 275 days [12]. Since young Cornelius could not write, he had to make his mark on the attestation paper (an "X") that was witnessed by 2nd Captain T. Herbert, R.E. [13]. Final approval for Freeman’s enlistment was given on this same date at Chatham by Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Augustus Yorke, R.E., the Assistant Adjutant General [14].

Cornelius Freeman remained at Chatham where he underwent training as a Boy Soldier until the 26th of April 1859 when he was posted to Portsmouth to serve as a Bugler [15] with the 36th (Service) Company, Royal Engineers [16].

5. ASSIGNMENTS AND CAMPAIGN SERVICE

The 36th (Service) Company was a relatively new unit, having been formed in July of 1858. The function of the service company was to control a number of men who were undergoing instruction and training prior to assignment to a field unit. As with most companies of the Royal Engineers at the time, the service company had two buglers on its establishment.

On the 1st of April of 1861 the 36th (Service) Company moved from Portsmouth to Chatham and was redesignated the 36th (Depot) Company. Bugler Freeman continued to serve in the 36th Company until the 1st of October 1861 when he was posted to the ranks as a Sapper in the 26th Company, R.E. at Chatham [17,18].

The 26th Company left Chatham on the 19th of December 1862 and moved to Weymouth in Dorsetshire. The 26th Company was a field company with a mission much different than Freeman had experienced in the service and depot companies. His job now was to undertake field engineering tasks in support of cavalry, artillery and infantry units when on campaign.

The 26th Company remained at Weymouth until the 29th of December 1869 when it sailed to Malta on board HMS Simoon. Sapper Freeman served on Malta until 1872 when it appears that he was reassigned to the 9th Field Company, R.E. [19]. On the 1st of June 1870 while on the island of Malta, Sapper Freeman re-engaged to complete 21 years of service with the Colours [20].

Freeman left Malta on the 18th of October 1872 to join his new company. He arrived on the island of Bermuda on the 30th of November 1872. His service for the next 8 years consisted of alternating postings to Bermuda and Halifax, Nova Scotia, depending upon the season of the year. The company appeared to spend the winter months on Bermuda and the spring, summer and autumn months in Halifax.

On the 19th of June 1880 Sapper Freeman was posted back to England where he rejoined the 26th Field Company at Shorncliffe in Kent [21]. He served at home until 1883 when he took his discharge from the Army.

6. PROMOTIONS AND CONDUCT

a. Promotions: Sapper Cornelius Freeman received no promotions during his time in service. This may be explained by his lack of education and perhaps an intelligence deficit.

b. Conduct: In January 1860, while still serving as a Boy Soldier, Cornelius Freeman’s habits were described as "regular" and his conduct as "very good." He was posted to the ranks as a Sapper upon reaching his 18th birthday. He received the following Good Conduct Badges during his time in service [22]:

Date of Award

Good Conduct Badge

29 April 1865

Authorized Good Conduct Pay at 1.d per day

29 April 1870

Authorized Good Conduct Pay at 2.d per day

29 April 1874

Authorized Good Conduct Pay at 3.d per day

29 April 1878

Authorized Good Conduct Pay at 4.d per day

29 April 1883

Authorized Good Conduct Pay at 5.d per day

In addition to the Good Conduct Badges and Pay indicated above, Sapper Freeman was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal [23] and a gratuity of 5 by General Order 103 of 1881.

Although he received the Good Conduct Badges and medal indicated above, his conduct was not always above reproach. His name appears five times in the Company Defaulter’s Book for the infractions indicated in the table below.

Date of Infraction

Nature of Infraction

Punishment

19 February 1861

Absent from tattoo for 3 hours

Admonished

5 July 1861

Drunk in a barracks room at Chatham and abusive to a Corporal Confined to a guard room cell for 48 hours, confined to barracks for 14 days, no leave for 3 months

6 April 1867

Drunk in the street

Admonished

18 September 1867

Absent from working parade from 12:50 p.m. until 8:45 a.m. the following day. Confined to barracks for 7 days, no leave for 3 months

23 May 1872

Absent from tattoo for 10 minutes

Admonished

7. EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS

a. Education: Sapper Freeman earned no Certificates of Education during his time in service. This lack of education is probably the reason that Freeman was never promoted above the rank of Sapper [24].

b. Qualifications: Sapper Freeman earned the following qualifications during his time in
the Army:

Date of Qualification

Qualification Earned

26 April 1859

Appointed as a Bugler

1 October 1861

Posted to the ranks as a Sapper

30 November 1866

Qualified as a Mason

8. MEDICAL INFORMATION

The following medical information was taken from Sapper Freeman’s service records during his time in service:

Location

Date of
Admission

Ailment

Period of Hospitalization
or Treatment

Weymouth, Dorsetshire

16 Jul 1864

Gonorrhea

Admitted to hospital. Released from hospital on 6 Aug 1864.

Weymouth, Dorsetshire

27 Feb 1868

Contusion
of the knee

Admitted to hospital after an accident. Released from hospital on 16 Mar 1868.

Malta

13 Jul 1871

Preventive Medicine

Revaccinated against small pox.

Malta

16 Nov 1871

Sprain

Admitted to hospital after an accident. Released from hospital on 28 Nov 1871.

Malta

2 Feb 1872

Boil

Admitted to hospital. Released from hospital on 8 Feb 1872.

9. MARRIAGE AND PERSONAL INFORMATION

Sapper Cornelius Freeman married Louisa Hansford at Weymouth, Dorsetshire in 1864, without leave [25]. Louisa Freeman gave birth to a son, Charles Cornelius, who was christened at Holy Trinity Church in Weymouth on the 24th of December 1865. It is the record of this christening of their child in the Vital Records Index of the British Isles [26] between 1538 and 1888 that gives the first indication that the name Cornelius was the middle name of Sapper Freeman. The record clearly shows that one John Cornelius Freeman and his wife Louisa had a son named Charles Cornelius Freeman [27].

Louisa Freeman and son Charles Cornelius accompanied Sapper Freeman from England to Malta in 1869 and thence to Bermuda in 1872. In 1876 they went with him to Halifax, Nova Scotia where the Army finally recognized their marriage and Mrs. Freeman was placed on the married rolls on the 14th of August 1876. After all the hardships she endured while living in the barracks with her husband and caring for their small son, Louisa Freeman was not to enjoy her new-found place on the married rolls for very long. She died at Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 6th of April 1877; not even eight months after the Army formally recognized their marriage. It is not known how Sapper Freeman cared for his son as he continued to serve in Bermuda and Canada until 1880. It is likely that young Charles was sent home to England to live with relatives.

Sapper Freeman returned to England in 1880 and in that same year he married a second time, and again without leave. His bride was Miss Rebecca Falkner of Weymouth, Dorsetshire. The 1881 British Census shows that a 15-year old boy by the name of Cornelius Freeman was serving as a Boy Soldier at the School of Military Engineering, Brompton Barracks, Gillingham, Kent. Charles Cornelius Freeman would have been 15 years old in 1881, and as the son of a serving Sapper it is most likely that this is the son of Sapper Freeman. Young Charles followed in his father’s footsteps and enlisted in the Royal Engineers as Boy Soldier. Charles’s enlistment in the Army would also have relieved Sapper Freeman and his new wife of the hardship of raising a young boy on the meager pay of a Sapper.

10. DISCHARGE

Sapper Cornelius Freeman was discharged from the Army on the 1st of May 1883 on the termination of his second period of limited engagement. His total service was reckoned as shown in the tables below:

Location

Period of Service

Home

28 July 1858 – 28 December 1869

Malta

29 December 1869 – 17 October 1872

Bermuda

18 October 1872 – 8 April 1876

Halifax, Nova Scotia

9 April 1876 – 25 November 1877

Bermuda

26 November 1877 – 2 May 1878

Halifax, Nova Scotia

3 May 1878 – 12 November 1878

Bermuda

13 November 1878 – 1 May 1879

Halifax, Nova Scotia

2 May 1879 – 18 June 1880

Home

19 June 1880 – 1 May 1883

Location

Period of Service

Home Service

14 years and 106 days

Service Abroad

10 years and 172 days

Total Service

24 years and 248 days

Sapper Freeman did not have any campaign service, therefore his only medal entitlement is the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

11. POST SERVICE LIFE

No information is available concerning the life of Sapper Cornelius Freeman after he left the Army in 1883 except for that shown in Addendum No. 1 below.

ADDENDUM NO. 1

RECORDS OF THE 1901 BRITISH CENSUS
[PRO Reference RG13, Piece 734, Folio 133, Page 22, Schedule Number 116]

The 1901 British Census verifies that Cornelius Freeman was born in Woolwich, Kent. The census record shows the following details:(*)

Civil Parish:

Gillingham

Ecclesiastical Parish:

St. Marks, New Brompton

Parliamentary Borough or Division:

Chatham

Administrative County:

Kent

At the time of the 1901 Census, Cornelius Freeman was 57 years old and living with his wife and children at 4 Britton Farm Street in Chatham, Kent. Freeman's occupation is listed as an employed "Stone Mason." Freeman's wife, Rebecca, had been born in Weymouth, Dorsetshire and was 53 years old at the time of the census.

Cornelius and Rebecca Freeman had five children living with them at the time of the census: Arthur, 19 years old was a Carpenter; Walter, 17 years old was a Boilermaker Labourer; James, 14 years old was a Plumber's Apprentice; Fred, 13 years old; and Amy, 15 year old. The census lists the children's places of birth as shown below. Their probable years of birth, plus or minus one year, are shown in parentheses after their names.

Arthur (1882): Sandgate, Kent
Age at the start of the Great War: 32 years.

Walter (1884): Old Brompton, Kent
Age at the start of the Great War: 30 years.

James (1887): Gillington (probably should read Gillingham), Kent.
Age at the start of the Great War: 27 years.

Fred (1888): Gillington (probably should read Gillingham), Kent.
Age at the start of the Great War: 26 years.

Amy (1886): Old Brompton, Kent

Except for Arthur, all of the children were born after Sapper Freeman was discharged from the Army in 1883. Based on the birthplaces of the children born between 1884 and 1888, it appears that Freeman settled in the Chatham, Kent area after his discharge.

Since it is possible that all of the Freeman boys would have been of military age at the start of the Great War of 1914-1918, a check of Soldiers Died in the Great War was made to see if any had been casualties during that war. The search produced negative results.

ADDENDUM NO. 2

Descendants Of John Freeman
[The following information was kindly provided by Mrs. Pamela Wooley, a fourth generation descendent of Cornelius (John) Freeman]

First Generation

1. John Freeman was born about 1803 in Huntingdonshire.

John married Elizabeth about 1830. Elizabeth was born about 1809 in Bridge, Yorkshire.

They had the following children:

2M i. William Henry Freeman was born in 1833 in Bermuda, West Indies.

3M ii. George Freeman was born in 1837 in Woolwich, Kent.

+ 4M iii. John Cornelius Freeman was born on 27 Apr 1844.

5 F iv. Mary Ann Freeman was born in 1846 in Charlton.

6M v. Charles Freeman was born in 1848 in Woolwich, Kent.

7 M vi. Arthur Freeman was born in 1850 in Woolwich, Kent.

Second Generation

4. John Cornelius Freeman (John) was born on 27 Apr 1844 in Woolwich, Kent.

John married (1) Louisa Hansford in 1864 in Weymouth, Dorset. Louisa died on 6 Apr 1877 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

They had the following children:

8 M i. Charles Cornelius Freeman was born in Weymouth, Dorset. He was christened on 24 Dec 1865 in Holy Trinity Church, Weymouth, Dorset.

9 F ii. Emily Louisa Freeman was born in Weymouth, Dorset. She was christened on 5 Sep 1867.

10 F iii. Florence Freeman was born in Weymouth, Dorset. She was christened on 30ct 1869.

11 F iv. Kate Freeman was born in 1873 in Bermuda.

12 M v. Robert Freeman was born in 1875 in Bermuda.

John married (2) Rebecca Falkner in 1880 in Weymouth, Dorset. Rebecca was born in 1849 in Weymouth, Dorset.

 They had the following children:

+ 13 M vi. Arthur Freeman was born in 1882.

14 M vii. Walter Freeman was born in 1884 in Old Brompton, Gillingham, Kent.

 15 F viii. Amy Freeman was born in 1886 in Old Brompton, Gillingham, Kent.

 16 M ix. James Freeman was born in 1887 in Gillingham, Kent.

 17 M x. Fred Freeman was born in 1888 in Gillingham, Kent.

Third Generation

13. Arthur Freeman (John Cornelius, John) was born in 1882 in Sandgate, Kent.

Arthur married Florence Kate Walters about 1908 in Gillingham, Kent.

They had the following children:

+ 18 M i. Donald Freeman was born on 16 Dec 1909. He died on 15 Jan 1976.

Fourth Generation

18. Donald Freeman (Arthur, John Cornelius, John) was born on 16 Dec 1909 in 91 Imperial Road, Gillingham, Kent, England. He died on 15 Jan 1976 in All Saints Hospital, Chatham, Kent, England.

Donald married Ida Lucy Staniland on 1 Sep 1930 in St Mark's Church, Gillingham, Kent, England. Ida was born on 7 Nov 1908 in Gillingham, Kent. She died on 9 Jan 2002 in Corby, Northamptonshire. She was buried on 16 Jan 2002 in Kettering Crematorium, Northamptonshire.

They had the following children:

19 F i. Maureen Freeman was born in Nov 1930 in Gillingham, Kent.

20 F ii. Ruth Freeman was born in Aug 1932 in Gillingham, Kent.

21 M iii. Douglas Clifford Freeman was born in Nov 1933 in Gillingham, Kent.

+ 22 F iv. Sylvia Shirley Freeman was born in Nov 1934.

23 M v. Ken Freeman was born in Mar 1937 in Gillingham, Kent.

Fifth Generation

22. Sylvia Shirley Freeman (Donald, Arthur, John Cornelius, John) was born in Nov 1934 in Gillingham, Kent.

Sylvia married (1) John William Roberts in 1955. John was born in 1934.

They had the following children:

24 F i. Yvonne Ann Roberts was born in Oct 1956 in Gillingham, Kent, England.

25 F ii. Yvette Roberts was born in Dec 1961 in Slough, Buckinghamshire, England. She died in 1977 in Scotland.

26 F iii. Michelle Roberts was born in Mar 1966 in Chiswick, London, England.

Sylvia married (2) Geoffrey Arthur Springett never married. Geoffrey was born on 5 Nov 1947 in County Hospital, Pembury, Kent, England. He died on 28 Mar 1991 in Rainham, Kent, England. He was buried on 11 Apr 1991 in Medway Crematorium, Chatham, Kent, England.

They had the following children:

27 F iv. Jennifer Springett was born on 8 Dec 1970 in All Saints Hospital, Chatham, Kent, England. She was stillborn in All Saints Hospital, Chatham, Kent, England.

28 F v. Pamella Jane Springett was born on 30 Sep 1971 in All Saints Hospital, Chatham, Kent, England.

Pamella married Tony Woolley on 13 Jun 1992 in St Margaret's Church, Rochester, Kent. Tony was born on 6 May 1962 in Rochester, Kent.

REFERENCES:

1. Documents

a. Soldier’s Papers (WO97/2835) consisting of:

(1) Attestation Papers

(2) Medical History

(3) Troop and Company Defaulter’s Book

(4) Record of Service

b. London Gazette, 10 July 1855.

c. London Gazette, 17 October 1856.

2. Books

a. COCKERILL, A.W. Sons of the Brave: The Story of Boy Soldiers. Leo Cooper, London, 1984.

b. CONOLLY, T.W.J. Roll of Officers of the Corps of Royal Engineers From 1660 to 1898. The Royal Engineers Institute, Chatham, Kent, 1898.

c. FARWELL, B. Mr. Kipling’s Army: All the Queen’s Men. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1981.

d. GRIERSON, J.M. Scarlet Into Khaki: The British Army on the Eve of the Boer War. Greenhill Books, London, 1988.

e. PORTER, W. The History of the Corps of Royal Engineers. Volume II. The Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham, Kent, 1952.

f. SKELLEY, A.R. The Victorian Army at Home: The Recruitment and Terms and Conditions of the British Regular, 1859-1899. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 1977.

3. Genealogical Sources

a. 1881 British Census. Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 1999.

b. Census Records: United Kingdom, 1851. Family Tree Maker, CD272, The Learning Company, Inc., October 2001.

c. Vital Records Index of the British Isles from 1538 to 1888. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1998.

4. Maps

a. BARTHOLOMEW, J. Reference Atlas of Greater London. John Bartholomew & Son Ltd., Edinburgh, 1957.

b. MICROSOFT EXPEDIA MAPS. http:\www.expediamaps.com

5. Miscellaneous Sources

GASE, S. Movements of Royal Engineer Companies. West Drayton, Middlesex, 2001.

ENDNOTES

[1] Freeman apparently did not use his full name when he enlisted in the Army. The circumstances surrounding the name he used are discussed fully in the text of this narrative.

[2] This is believed to be his date of birth, although there is evidence that he might have been born in 1841.

[3] The military installations in the Woolwich area today (2001) are much the same as they were in 1809.

[4] If this is the same (John) Cornelius Freeman who is the subject of this research, then he may have been born in 1841 rather than 1844. Such errors in dates where common during the Victorian period.

[5] Beresford Square is in the heart of Woolwich Arsenal and is located at the intersection of four thoroughfares just to the north of the present Woolwich Arsenal underground station.

[6] Huntingdonshire no longer exists in England today. Much of that old county now makes up Cambridgeshire. There is no town named Cherry Oaten in England today, however, there is a Cherry Hinton located in the southeast of the city of Cambridge. The word Hinton could have been misread as Oaten by the Mormon Church researcher when transcribing the word from the census records. Such errors are common in the splendid work done by the Church.

[7] Or about 1803, given the inherent inaccuracies associated with keeping track of dates during this period.

[8] The town of Hartford still exists in Cambridgeshire today and is located approximately 23 miles northwest of the city of Cambridge.

[9] See Age and Physical Requirements for Soldiers in the British Army (Victorian Period).

[10] See Recruitment of Boy Soldiers.

[11] Sergeant Douglas served in the Crimea War of 1854-1856. Douglas, then a Corporal, took part in the bombardments and assaults on Sebastopol and was wounded in action on the 25th of June 1855. His name appeared on the London Gazette casualty roll dated the 10th of July 1855.

[12] See Periods of Enlistment for the Corps of Royal Engineers. Note that the period of enlistment in the Royal Sappers and Miners in the mid-19th century was for a lot longer period of time than in the late Victorian period.

[13] The witness’s name appears to be T. Herbert on the attestation paper, however no officer by this name appears on Connolly’s Roll of Officers of the Corps of Royal Engineers From 1660 to 1898.

[14] Frederick Augustus Yorke. Regimental Ranks: 2nd Lieutenant, 5 Oct 1831; Lieutenant, 12 Aug 1835; 2nd Captain, 20 Jun 1844; Captain, 1 Sep 1847; Lieutenant Colonel, 1 Apr 1855; Colonel, 5 Jan 1864. Army Ranks: Colonel, 1 Apr 1858; Major General, 2 Feb 1866. Retired on full pay, 2 Feb 1866. Died at Tunbridge Wells on 29 Apr 1899.

[15] See Duties of a Royal Engineer Bugler.

[16] On the 1st of October 1859 the gallant services of the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners were rewarded at the close of the Crimean War by the grant of the title Royal Engineers. In the London Gazette of the 17th of October 1856 the change was thus announced--

"The Queen has been graciously pleased to direct that the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners shall henceforth be denominated the Corps of Royal Engineers."

This reorganization put the non-commissioned officers and other ranks in the same Corps as the officers. As a consequence of this royal grant the rank and file were no longer known as Privates, but Sappers.

[17] It is curious that he was posted to the ranks on this date as a Sapper, since this was usually done when the Boy Soldier attained the age of 18 years. On the 1st of October 1861 he would only have been 17 years old. His Record of Service even contains an entry indicating that he attained the age of 18 years on 29 April 1862. Skelley indicates that in 1861 the minimum age for enlistment was 17 years. If that is the case, then Freeman’s posting to the ranks on the 1st of October 1961 would qualify; however, it is still curious that his service records make special mention of the date that he turned 18 years of age.

[18] Freeman’s assignment to this company is not specifically stated in his service papers. However, thanks to the work of Stuart Gase of West Drayton, Middlesex, as augmented by the author, research indicates that this is the only company in the Royal Engineers establishment that fits Freeman’s service record in time and location.

[19] Ibid.

[20] See Re-Engagement in the Regular Army.

[21] Freeman’s assignment to this company is not specifically stated in his service papers. However, thanks to the work of Stuart Gase of West Drayton, Middlesex, as augmented by the author, research indicates that this is the only company in the Royal Engineers establishment that fits Freeman’s service record in time and location.

[22] See Good Conduct Pay.

[23] This medal is in the author’s collection and was the motivation for this research.

[24] See Certificate of Education.

[25] See Marriage of Soldiers During the Victorian Period.

[26] Vital Records Index, FHL Number 1239253, Dates: 1836-1880.

[27] It is possible that Sapper Freeman named his son after his uncle Charles.