Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Chelsea Pensioner records - Harvey Fitzhenry

The first of two more British military records now digitised on Findmypast from the National Archives WO97 series.

Corporal Harvey Fitzhenry No. 4881 Royal Artillery seems to have been an exemplary rank and file soldier.
The commendations from his senior officers read thus:
His conduct has been very good. He is in possession of two Good Conduct badges.
In possession of 3rd Class School Certificate
His name does not appear in the Regimental Defaulters sheet
He joined the army at the rank of driver on 29 November 1870, was promoted to Bombardier in March 1876 and was promoted again to Corporal in November that year.
He was discharged from the Army on 8 January 1880 having completed a total service of 9 years and 41 days, of which 5 years and 102 days were on service in the East Indies.

The reason for discharge was a large inguinal (groin) hernia first noted in India in 1878 "when under treatment for Ague" and "his duties as a mounted soldier may have given him this condition. The rupture is controlled by a truss". It's good to note that this "had not been aggravated by intemperance or vice"

The final page of the document describes him thus:
No. 4881 Corpl Harvey Fitzhenry
referred to in the preceding pages, by
Trade a pocket book maker
born in the parish of St Andrews
Near the town of Holborn,
In the county of Middlesex
And attested to the Royal Artilliary regt
At Woolwich in the county of Kent
On the 29 November 1870
Aged 20 6/12 years

His final description this day
aged 29 7/12
Height 5 foot 4 and a half inches
Complexion fresh
Eyes grey
Hair brown
Trade: pocket bookmaker
Marks or scars upon the face or on any other part of the body: considerable prominence of the right hip.

Intended place of residence:
11 Startham Road
Stoke Newington
Oh, it should be so easy to find this man back in civilian life.
But no.
This is all I have of him.
He makes one census appearance in 1871 when he was in barracks.
No birth marriage or death records.
No baptism entry at St Andrews Holborn.
No Fitzhenrys living in Statham Road.
A nom de guerre perhaps?

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  1. Just a thought.....Harry is very close to Harvey.....could our mystery man be a Harry FH ??

  2. Is that you lurking there Lesley?!

    This certainly seemed a possibility. I cross referenced Harvey Fitzhenry the soldier against Harry Fitzhenry (1855-1936)the print founder's commercial traveller from Family group 4 (Lesley Champion's tree). There seemed to be no clashes APART from the birth year - Harvey gave his birth year as 1850 and Harry's birth was registered in 1855. And they were both born in St Andrews Holborn and Harry was christened at St Brides chruch in that district.

    But then I found Harry in the 1871 census. He was a patient in the Metropolitan Asylum at Gospel Oak, Hampstead, aged 16, a journeyman type setter. This was a fever hospital.

    The search continues!

  3. Thanks for that Jo!!
    Yep it is me (Lesley) I am embarassed to say I wasn't sure how to sign in?!!!~~~~