Indian Mutiny Medal, Sergeant Major George Toes, 87th Regiment of Foot, the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Long server who served over 21 years with 10 years in India and 1 in Hong Kong and China.
Officially impressed: “1598 SERGt MJr GEO TOES 87th REGt”
A slightly later issue being officially impressed including service number.
This is identical to a few other issues to this particular regiment such as the medal of 2606 Qr Mr Sergt G.B. Freeman of the Regiment, whose medal was sold in 2005 and another to 3319 Thos Faulkner 87th Regt in 2003.
Sergeant Major George Toes, 87th Royal Irish Regiment, was born circa 1825 in Thorthganby, York, Yorkshire.
He attested for service aged 17 on 26th August 1842 for the 87th Regiment.
He served a full career of over 21 years, which included 10 Years 9 Months in the East Indies (1849-1859) and 1 Year 1 Month in China (1860-1861).
He set off with the regiment from Gravesend in April 1949, arriving in Calcutta, India on 31st July 1849. They served around Bengal and were deployed during the Indian Mutiny in the North West Frontier of India, as such the regiment all received medals without clasps.
He went on with the regiment after over 10 years in India to Hong Kong, China, for a year during the ongoing nearby war in China, before returning home in 1861 with the regiment.
Upon his discharge his conduct was said to have been “Excellent, and he was when promoted in possession of no good conduct badges, had he not been promoted he would have been now in possession of four good conduct badges.”
It was said upon his discharge in 1864 that: “He has no medals”, due to a slight court martial mishap he lost his Sergeant’s stripes and was demoted to private, so although excellent, missed out on a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
The Mutiny Medal was likely then issued in the mid to late 1860s.
“He has been twice entered into the regimental defaulters book, He has been once tried by Court Martial.
His promotions etc:
Private 26th August 1842 – 19th July 1845
Promoted Corporal, 20th July 1845 – 12th August 1847
Promoted Sergeant, 13th August 1847 – 23rd April 1848
Tried and sentenced to be reduced.
Prisoner from 24th April 1848 to 1st May 1848
Released to Private, 2nd May 1848 – 12th October 1848
Quickly remained his ranks
Promoted Corporal, 13th October 1848 – 10th October 1849
Sergeant, 21st October 1849 – 2nd April 1854
Colour Sergeant, 3rd April 1854 – 4th March 1858
Sergeant Major, 5th March 1858 – 31st December 1860.
Continued his service as Serjeant Major from 1st January 1861 – 15th November 1864.
Total service 21 years 90 days, he had claimed his discharge to pension after completing his 21 years terms of service.
Naturally after leaving the full time Army, he remained in connection with the Army.
Choosing to settle in Uxbridge, Middlesex, he took up a Staff role as Staff Sergeant Major to the Royal Elthorne Light Infantry Militia for the next 13 years.
He took up a post on the Militia Staff, and received a good increase in his pension as of 1878 for his further services.
Around this period he took up the leader on the “William the Fourth Public House” in Langley Broome.
The Uxbridge Gazette, 4th october 1879 recalls:
“The licese of the William the Fourth Pub, Langely Broome, was transferred from John Pavitt to George Toes, late Sergeant Major 5th Royal Elthorne Militia, and the latter then applied to have the license of the house endorsed from him to William David Harris, late occupier of the Tap at Skindle’s Hotal, Maidenhead. The request was granted.”
He died in Yorkshire during 1896.
His death in the Yorkshire Gazette, 29th August 1896:
“TOES – On the 24th Instant, at 27 Bootham, York, George Toes, late Sergeant Major of the 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers and 13 years as Staff Sergeant Major of the Royal Elthorn Light Infnatry Militia, Uxbridge, Middlesex, aged 70.
He was very respected and his retirement celebration where everyone got quite merry and drunk and he was presented with a decorative Meerschaum Pipe, is noted in the Uxbridge Gazette on 20th April 1878 that reads:
“PRESENTATION AND SOCIAL GATHERING
On the evening of the 11th Inst. the staff sergeants of the 5th Middlesex