James Young

Author: Sylvia Sellwood
Date published: 20/10/2016

James Young - A Victorian Soldier

Sylvia Sellwood

James Young was born in Newbury in 1823. In 1858 at the age of eighteen he enlisted in ‘The Buffs’. He remained in the Army for twenty one years during which time he saw service in many parts of the British Empire.

He was in India for two and a half years where he was at the Battle of Punniar (1843) one the shortest battles in history lasting less than twenty four hours. For this he received the Bronze star of India. After this, his regiment was in Ireland for two years and Malta for three. In November 1854 they wintered in Greece before taking part in The Crimea War. He was at the Battle of Sevastopol for which he received the Crimea Medal with the Sevastopol Clasp and the Turkish Medal.

His regiment was recalled to Malta and then spent two and a half years in Cyprus before returning to India (Calcutta). In 1859 he spent six months in Canton, China stationed at Dumdum returning to England in1861.The battalion was then stationed at The Wellington Barracks in The Tower of London for two years before moving to Aldershot in 1863.

He was discharged in 1863 with five good conduct medals, the medals already mentioned and a Medal for Good Conduct and Long service with a gratuity of £5. He also had an Army Pension.

He was never Court Marshalled but had been entered in the Regimental Defaulter book three times.

By 1881 he was living in Chapel Street, Thatcham with his wife Eliza who had been born in Dorset. She died in 1886 and is buried in Thatcham. In the 1891 census he is living in Westcombes Bridges, Newbury with his second wife Anne Eliza and three daughters, Irene, Gertrude and Daisy. Gertrude died in 1902 aged 12 years and is buried with her father.

During his time in the Army he was an officer’s servant and when he retired was given a silver goblet as mark of respect by the Colonel. This was mentioned in his obituary in the NWN which also said that he was well known as a waiter and a familiar figure in the Cricket Ground.

The History of the Buffs

Raised in 1665 as the Holland Regiment, and absorbed into the standing army of Charles II - although the lineage can be traced back to 1572 and the 'trained bands' of men from the city of London serving in Holland to free the United Provinces from Spanish domination. (Bands which formed the nucleus of the Holland Regiment) This ancient link gave the regiment the privilege of marching through the City of London "Drums beating, colours waving and bayonets fixed". In 1669 they became known as the Prince of Denmark's Regiment. 1747 saw the name "Buffs" come into popular usage from the colour of the facings of the uniform - becoming part of the official title by 1751 as "The Buffs" or 3rd Regiment of Foot. A second battalion of the regiment was operational 1803-1815, 1857-1881, 1881-1949.

History extract © North East Medals 2007 www.northeastmedals.co.uk/british_regiment/buffs_royal_east_kent_regiment.htm

he served in the army for 21 years and 9 1/2 spent abroad.

Enlisted 1841.

In India Bengal for 2 1/2 years during which he took part in the battle of Punniar one of the shortest battles ever 28th/ 29th December 1843 and received the bronze star.

1845 regiment returned from Bengal to England.

1846 in February moved to Gosport in October went to Ireland.

1850 regiments headquarters were in Limerick.

1851 left for three years in Malta.

1852 headquarters in Malta at Boyle.

1854 October in Greece and landed November 15th and wintered in Athens.

1854 to 1855 Crimea war and received Crimea medal with Sevastopol clasp issued by the Sultan of Turkey (only 875 were given to the "buffs").

1855 recalled to Malta

1856 posted to Cyprus for 2 1/2 years

1857 returned to India Calcutta

1859 spent six months in China (canton) stationed in Dumdum.  He took part in the China war 1856 to 1860

1861 returned from China

1861 to 1863 stationed at the Tower of London Wellington barracks

1863 the battalion moved to Aldershot

1863 discharged

Sources:North East Medals 2007

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