Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Fife Military History Project

Among the many interesting people I met at the Fife Family History Fair on Saturday was one gentleman who has undertaken a very ambitious but fascinating project. I got hold of a copy of one of his "flyers", and I'm sure he won't mind me reprinting the text here for anyone who might be interested:


Did your Ancestors guard prisoners of war with the Fife Militia, ride in the Fifeshire Yeomanry or join thousands of others in the Volunteers guarding the Fife coast against the French in the Napoleonic Wars?


Did they join the Volunteer movement in the Victorian era and join the Fife Rifle Volunteers, Fife Artillery Volunteers or Fife Light Horse?


Did they join up in the Great War and serve in the 7th (Fife) Royal Highlanders, Fife Royal Garrison Artillery or Fife and Forfar Yeomanry?


The Fife Military Project is an attempt to gather as much information as possible about Fifeshire's Militia, Volunteer and Territorial past and publish a website that will enable their descendants to learn more about them.


To illustrate the kind of information that I am acquiring from archives here is an extract of one of my ancestor's pension documents transcribed from the National Archives in Kew.


"His Majesty's Second Battalion. Royal Regiment Of Artillery. Whereof the Marquis of Anglesey is Colonel.

These are to certify That Sgt Andrew Gordon born in the Parish of Balmerino in or near the town of Balmerino in the County of Fife was enlisted for the aforesaid regiment at Yarmouth in the County of Norfolk on the Twenty third Day of April 1805 at the age of nineteen for unlimited service from the Fifeshire Militia. That he has served for the space ofTwenty two years and two hundred forty four Days, after the age of Eighteen"

"To prevent any improper use being made of this discharge, by its falling into other hands, the following is a Description of the said Andrew Gordon. He is about forty two Years of Age, is 6 Feet, Inches in height, Black Hair, Blue Eyes, Dark Complexion; and by Trade or Occupation a Shoemaker"


My name is Richard Dickens and I've spent the last 7 years researching into Fife's military heritage and I'm hoping you may be able to help with this project.

Please contact me at fifemilitia@googlemail.com if you have any information, items, pictures or documents on relatives who served in the Fife regiments.

I will be ready to bring the Fife Military Project online in the next year starting with a complete database of every soldier who served in the Fife Militia from 1798-1855.


I wish Richard every success with his project, and I look forward to seeing the results of his research. I'll be contacting Richard myself to see what assistance the Scottish Military Research Group can provide.

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