The Orphans & The Duke of York’s Military School
Royal Military Asylum in
Stop Press! Fluke find of Charles, poor little bugger…..
All I did was bung in Gambles and thought ..... it! This was the result:
(Info on census card shows: name, occupation (schoolboy), age and place of birth.)
Found him in an Asylum of
all places. Creepy name for a, me thinks, sort of Military Boarding School.
Teachers all military, all boys’ school, all aged between 9 and 14 and born all
over the world. 2nd Bn Essex Regiment was in
Charles was sent to
Wrong! It darn well is an Asylum located on
the grounds of
Crumbs, it is not, it’s more of an Orphanage: The Duke of York’s Royal Military Asylum for Children of Soldiers, later called The Duke of York’s Royal Military School !
The Royal Military
This institution is also
HISTORY DURING THE SNOW ERA (1813-58) The Asylum was a boarding school for children who were orphans or in
need of the Army's charity. It was formed in 1803 with the name "The Royal
Military Asylum for Children of Soldiers of the Regular Army" and remained
at its location until 1895. Thereafter the name of the school was changed
to The Duke of York's
For a long time I was wondering whether Thomas Gambles was killed in action and now I’m convinced this is true: I found the poor little basterds Charles and Albert in the ledgers of this Asylum, or as it was actually called after 1892: Duke of York’s Military School, which took boys from the age of 9 to 14 or so and educated them until they could (voluntary) join a regiment. Evidently this is what happened. The mystery though is what happened to their Mum…..This is where I found Gambles Charles F and Albert E, both Essex Regiment (Father’s Regiment)
All names entered into W0143/27 and WO143/78 All Names Index
Here only Charles is mentioned as transferred to Duke of York’s School.
to the Royal Military Asylum,
Charles’ age was 12 on
Thomas Gambles must have
died or was disabled (?) somewhere between 1897 and 1903. His regiment was
Conclusion: Looking at the dates Thomas must
have died in
Okay, there is always a chance the boys were sent here for their education, but the fact that I can’t find Thomas at all, no birth, marriage, death, resurrection, etc. does seem to point to the more dramatic theory….Another possibility is that their Mum died and Thomas sent them to England???
Series details for WO 143
Royal Military Asylum for Children of Soldiers
of the Regular Army, later Duke of York's
background Provision of
education for soldiers and their children was provided at regimental schools,
which began to be established in the second half of the eighteenth century. A
Corps of Army Schoolmasters was formed in 1846. On
the regimental schools there were two boarding schools for children of serving
or deceased officers. These were the
In 1892 the latter was renamed the Duke of York's
Royal Military Asylum for Children of Soldiers of the Regular Army, 1801-1892
Alongside the regimental schools there were two boarding schools for children of serving or deceased officers. There are other examples of boys 'Not Admitted' and shown as ' Provided for, a standard fee was paid to the relative or foster person to care for the child until old enough for admission to the RHMS or until such time that the child reached the normal discharge age of 14.
Always wondered why this
photograph of Charles was made in
This is where school was:
Now for the fun part:
At the time this article appeared, the British monarch was Queen Victoria, who had ascended to the throne in 1837.
The Electrician (London),
May 26, 1899, page 144:
The Queen and the Electrophone.--Her Majesty heard the electrophone for the first time on Wednesday, when she listened at Windsor Castle to the boys from all the naval and military schools and the Duke of York's school singing "God Save the Queen" at Her Majesty's Theatre, in London. Afterwards the Queen and her guests had the opportunity of listening to the concert at St. James's Hall.
‘The great majority of boys
joined the army at the age of fourteen as band-boys or drummer-boys. From the
Excerpts from: Play Up Dukies, Duke of York’s Royal Military School 1801-1986 by George Shorter, Drum major: the male leader of a band (= a group of marching musicians) especially in the army.
Bandmaster: someone who conducts a military band.
If it is exceptional that the above person was promoted to lance-corporal at eighteen it might be significant that Charles was a lance corporal at twenty!
 In the case of Thomas: pensioner of long service and good conduct? – did he have a medal – T.N.A. !
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