Archive for July, 2012


The 69th Regiment of Foot arrived in Madras, India. I think the Madras here refers to the Madras Presidency, not the later city of Madras. William transferred from the 69th Regiment to the 66th Regiment in 1864 and then to the 2nd Battalion, 1oth Regiment in 1865. In 1865, this last regiment was stationed in Bangalore. William and Lydia’s first child, Thomas, was born on March 24, 1866, in Bangalore, Madras, India. William also re-enlisted for another 11 years when he was in Bangalore.

Bangalore is located on India’s Deccan Plateau and is 3000 miles above sea level. The gives it one of the best climates of the cities of India. The British established a cantonment, or military post, in Bangalore in 1801. The Bangalore Cantonment (1806–1881) was a military cantonment of the British Raj based in the Indian city of Bangalore. The cantonment covered an area of 13 square miles. By area, it was the largest British military cantonment in South India.The origin of the word cantonment comes from the French word canton, meaning corner or district. Each cantonment was essentially a well-defined and clearly demarcated unit of territory set apart for the quartering and administering of troops.The heart of the Bangalore Cantonment was the Parade Ground. The Civil and Military Station (CMS) grew around the Parade Ground.

The Parade Ground is in the upper right of this photo.

The British garrison stationed in the cantonment included three artillery batteries, and regiments of cavalry, infantry, sappers, miners, mounted infantry, supply and transport corps and the Bangalore Rifle Volunteers. The Bangalore Cantonment was directly under the administration of the British Raj, while Bangalore City itself was under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Mysore. The Bangalore Cantonment was less crowded than Bangalore City and had a colonial design with a population that consisted of residents from other parts of India and Britain. In the nineteenth century, it had clubs, churches, shops, and cinemas. It also had a strong European influence with public residence and life centered around the South Parade. The area around South Parade was famous for its bars and restaurants with the area known as Backpally becoming a one-stop shopping area.

July 23, 2012 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

Early Assignments

In an earlier post, I listed the places where William was stationed before his regiment (69th Foot) went to India. The Nafziger Collection adds more detail to the information I found in William’s pension records and also contain a few contradictions.

Remember that William attested into the Army in Perth in 1854 when he was only seventeen years old. The rest of the information in this paragraph come from the Nafziger Collection. Since he was underage, he did not receive his first assignment with the 69th Regiment until 1855 when he went to Barbados in the West Indies (part of the British Empire). His regiment then went to the Madras Presidency in India from 1857 to 1859. From September, 1859, to 1862, the men were in Burma, living in the cities of Tonghoo (or Toungoo or Taungoo) and Moulmein. Rangoon is mentioned in the history of the 69th Regiment but not in the Nafziger Collection.

July 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm Leave a comment

Information on William’s Regiments

As I have been doing research on my gg grandfather William Hall, I have gathered quite a bit of information on his military service in India from 1857 to 1877. The first items I had were the birth records (from LDS) for his four children born in India, Thomas born on April 24, 1866, in Bangalore, James born on July 3, 1968, in Secunderabad, Jane Isabella born on May 22, 1871, in Port Blair, and  Florence Edith born on May 15, 1874, in Bangalore. Florence Edith (Ada) died on September 27, 1876, in Wellington.

I also knew that William had been in the 69th Regiment of Foot from 1854 to 1863, in the 66th Regiment of Foot 1864, in the 2nd Battalion 10th Regiment of Foot from 1865 to 1871, and in the 89th Regiment of Foot from 1871 until he left India. I got this information from his Chelsea pension papers that I found on Find My Past UK.

My first assumption was that William had been stationed in the places where his children had been born, among others, but I didn’t know what these others were. Then I learned of a wonderful military research tool from an extremely kind and helpful member of RootsWeb’s India List. It is called the Nafziger Collection of Orders of Battle. This collection was started by George Nafziger as an aid to war gamers, and it consists of over 7000 pdfs of orders of battle from all over the world from 1700 to 1945. It contains original archival documents, most broken down to the regimental level. George Nafziger donated his collection to the United States Army  I could now look up the locations of the regiments that William served in for his whole military career. What a treasure!

July 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm Leave a comment

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My Mom Ada

This blog traces the family history of my mom, Edith Porter Duffy. From the time I was a little girl, my mom would tell me stories about her family, who all called her Ada. I only wish I had asked her more questions while she was still here!

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