Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Frederick's Figge's Marsh Military Mates

Following his banishment to boarding school, Frederick was fortunate to come to know the brother's McRae, MacRae or M'Rae.

The 1861 census lists both brothers, their widowed mother and teacher Albert Grover boarding at the schoolhouse in Mitcham, Surrey. Archibald is roughly Frederick's age and Henry around three years younger. The boys' inevitable journey into the military would have made their Surgeon father, James and their mother, Emma Caroline proud.

My understanding of army rank and regiment is sketchy but first record found of Archibald attests that he became an Ensign on 11th January 1867 at the age of 19. His career starts with the 36th (The Herefordshire) Regt. Of Foot. Quickly he rises to Lieutenant by 1871 as part of the Punjab Frontier Force. Wing Subaltern, Quarter Master, Wing Officer, Adjutant and Wing Commander by 1883, he served in the '22nd (Punjab) Bengal Native Infantry (late 11th Punjab Infantry)'. The 22nd had their headquarters at Peshawur. We can speculate that Archibald felt somewhat at home in this part of the world as Emma's children were born and christened in India, Dr McRae had belonged to the Bengal Medical Service.

Archibald eventually becomes a Major but it is Henry Napier McRae CBE who becomes the subject of many a story of war gallantry and heroics...

Sources:
The New Army Lists of 1867, 1874, 1875, 1878 and 1883
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family Search Index
Richard Cannon Historical record of the Thirty-sixth, or the Herefordshire regiment of foot

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