Meritorious Service Medal, VR issue, Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, VR, 1780 Sergeant Major and Colour Sergeant Thomas Hunter, 35th Foot, the Royal Sussex Regiment.
Army LS&GC Officially impressed: “1780 Cr SERJt THOs HUNTER 35th FOOT” One edge bruise at 6 o’clock
Army MSM VR issue, officially engraved: “Sjt Maj: T. HUNTER 35th: Foot:”
With full copy service papers.
A rarely seen MSM to the 35th or Royal Sussex Regiment. This is his full entitlement of medals.
Ian McInnes The Annuity MSM 1847-1953, lists only 7 known MSMs awarded to the 35th Foot from 1847-1953, this one a new addition to the small list.
Dundee Evening Telegraph, 8th January 1903 reports his death:
“VETERAN STIRLING SOLDIERS DEAD
There have passed away at Stirling within the past few days 3 veteran soldiers who have seen much service.
Sergeant-Major Thomas Hunter, of the Stirlingshire Militia, who has passed away in his 75th year, belonged to a family of 7 sons, all of whom served in the army, while his father was also a soldier, and his mother was a soldier’s daughter.
After 21 years in the Royal Sussex Regiment, he transferred with the rank of Colour-Sergeant to the Permanent Staff of the 3rd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
He was promoted to be Sergeant-Major in April 1880, and served in that position for over 6 years. His term of Army life extended over the long period of 42 years and 7 months.
Sergeant Major Hunter in his later years took a deep interest in the Boys Brigade movement.”
A local obituary in the Kilsyth Chronicle, 9th January 1903:
LONG MILITARY SERVICE
On Sunday, a veteran soldier, in the person of ex-Sergeant Major Thomas Hunter of the Stirlingshire Militia, passed away at his residence, Bow Street, Stirling, aged 75.
The deceased belonged to Dunfermline, and his father was a soldier, while his mother was a soldier’s daughter…..
..Hunter volunteered for the Crimea, but was not accepted for service. He was, however afterwards sent to India, and did 11 years campaigning there in the settling of the country after the Mutiny.
He possessed the good conduct and the meritorious service medal – the latter a distinction which few soldiers can earn nowadays, because it requires a very lengthened term of service with no black mark on his sheet.
The deceased had 44 years service with the Colours”
Sergeant Major Thomas Hunter, a long serving Scotsman in the Royal Sussex Regiment, was born during 1826 in Dumferline, Fife, Scotland.
Aged 18, having worked as a Weaver, he enlisted for the Army on 6th January 1844, joining the 93rd Highlanders.
A few months later, he would “Transfer at his own request to the 35th Regiment on 30th June 1844” joining the 35th Foot, for the next 20 years.
Began his service as a Private of the 35th Foot on 1st July 1844
Promoted Corporal, 1st February 1849
Promoted Sergeant, 12th June 1852
Promoted Colour Sergeant, 1st December 1856
Deprived of his Colours, 12th April 1858
Promoted again to Colour Sergeant, 18th February 1859
Deprived of his Colours, 30th Dec 1859
Once again Promoted back to Colour Sergeant, 9th October 1860.
Discharged from active service on 20th October 1864, having injured himself during 1862 “From the exertion of the March from Agra to the Plain in 1862”
Discharged on 4th April 1865, following 21 years 92 days service.
Of Which 11 years 177 days was spent on service overseas, consisting of 1 year 186 days in East Mauritius and 9 years 356 days in the “East Indies”.
His time in the Royal Sussex Regiment was now over, and he finally returned back home to Dunferline.
However not happy with his retirement, he took up a posting as the Sergeant Major on the Permanent Staff of the 3rd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
On 1st June 1886 he was granted a pension increase to 36d for having completed a further 21 years in the role as Sergeant Major.