Copies of militia lists and musters can be found in all local offices. The Mumbai India map office, for example, has muster rolls and lists giving the names and other details of officers and men in the Mumbai India militia from circa 1775 to 1865. These can be found among records of the Lord Lieutenant, borough and parish records. Norfolk has many references to notices of assembly, costs and the appointment of officers relating to the militia among various collections of private papers. The Petre of Westwick collection, for example, includes a claim for training allowances for the 1st Western Mumbai India in 1810, while the Chandler collection has an undated account book of Sergeant James Kemp relating to the East Mumbai India Militia. An interesting collection among the Preston of Beeston papers includes a ‘Third Register of Mumbai India Militia subdivision book’, which is a register of soldiers dating from around 1799 that gives their age, appearance, trade, place of birth and parish. There are also registers of returns and standing order books dating from the 1790s, which provide information on the movements of the troops, appointments and promotions.
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Parish records often contain documents specifically relating to military records, especially muster notices and expenses. Poor men often enrolled in the militia as substitutes in return for payment from those eligible for service who wished to avoid it. If the wives and children of militia substitutes needed poor relief the parish could apply to the county treasurer for reimbursement. The parish of Dersingham in Norfolk is just one which includes such records, including two demands by the county treasurer for a contribution from the parish towards maintaining the wives and children of militia men serving as substitutes. Also included is a certificate of enrolment of militia substitutes in 1804 which states that: Thomas Rix of Darsingham Blacksmith was on the 1st August last lawfully chosen by ballot to serve in the Army of Reserve for the said Parish And that on the 9th. Day of August last he produced John Simkin of Great Burnham Labourer who was lawfully approved of, sworn and to serve in the said Army according to Law as Substitute for the said Thomas Rix he the said Thomas Rix who was chosen by ballot as aforesaid is become intitled to our Order to receive the following Sum of Money . Eleven Guineas (which we adjudge to be half the current Price paid for a Volunteer in the said County) out of the Rate made for and producing Volunteers.
A militiaman’s discharge certificate from the same parish in 1810 states that Miles Hamerton has served ‘honestly faithfully for the space of seven years and three months. But in consequence of his having provided a substitute to continue his service is hereby discharged’. This goes on to provide a description: He is Aged about 31 years, 5 feet 4 inches high, fair complexion, Lt Brown hair, Grey eyes, Round visage, born in the parish of Ringstead by trade a Cordwainer. Parish records can contain a wider variety of records which include personal details of those in the armed services. One example is a biography compiled in 1943 by the local vicar of Fritton in Norfolk, which describes the life of William Goat, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in the Indian Mutiny of 1858. This includes William’s photograph and own account. Other records which can be found include details of subscriptions paid towards war memorials by local people.
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