View Full Version : Military information ..... India 1900

15-05-13, 18:48
I am researching Vivian Allport Parkinson who joined the regular army prior to WW1, and who seemed to spend the war years in India doing a military/civilian role. I have a record of him marrying Alicia Estelle Harvey in India in January 1921.
Despite hours of searching various websites I cannot find anymore information on Vivian and his whereabouts. Am I right in thinking records are kept in the National Archives and The Imperial War Museum. My problem here would be having to travel to London to search their records.
Does anyone know of an Internet site that may be of use. Stella x

Elaine ..Spain
15-05-13, 18:59
Have you tried contacting the India Office at the British Library?


15-05-13, 19:05
In 1911 census Vivian Parkinson is 21 and is in army barracks in Colchester as a private. born in DurhamHe is in Durham light infantry.

if you dont have access to ancestry already then your library ought to let you on for free. hope this helps.

15-05-13, 19:10
I have been on the website but it took me in circles looking for online records. Would they do a search for me? I am not very good at this am I x x stella x

15-05-13, 19:13
If you havent got his medal card then its on ancestry too
http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/1262/30850_A001199-00914/4482678?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk %2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3frank%3d1%26gsfn%3dvivian%2ballport %26gsln%3dparkinson%26gsby%3d%26gsb2co%3d1%252cAll %2bCountries%26gsb2pl%3d1%252c%2b%26gsdy%3d%26gsd2 co%3d1%252cAll%2bCountries%26gsd2pl%3d1%252c%2b%26 sbo%3d1%26sbor%3d%26ufr%3d0%26wp%3d4%253b_80000002 %253b_80000003%26srchb%3dr%26prox%3d1%26ti%3d5538% 26ti.si%3d0%26gss%3dangs-c%26pcat%3d39%26h%3d4482678%26recoff%3d9%2b10%2b11 %26db%3dMedalRolls%26indiv%3d1&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnRecord
He was in Durham light infantry a/sgt (acting sergeant) 10648
then Northumberland Fusiliers 26475
then IVL as SSI 10648 (dont know what those initials mean)

15-05-13, 19:16
Try clicking on the links i put up and see if they come up for you.
if that fails go to ancestry home page and put in his full name and then look down for the military option and click on that.

Elaine ..Spain
15-05-13, 19:20
I have been on the website but it took me in circles looking for online records. Would they do a search for me? I am not very good at this am I x x stella x
I've contacted them previously for some army service records for OH's grandfather and found them to be extremely helpful.
You can but try!

15-05-13, 19:21
Thanks Angelina.... I do have access to ancestry but hadnt managed to find the information you posted... That's how useless I am? I have managed to find his war medal index card and know he served with the Durham light infantry as well as the Northumberland fusiliers.
He married Alicia at st marks church Bangalore and he was a staff sergeant instructor x x x stella x

15-05-13, 19:26
Stellanne - dont say you are useless- we all have to start somewhere. in 2 weeks or 6 months you wont remember how you feel now because you will have got the hang of searching online and any way FTF is here to help and you have helped me as i now know that ssi means staff sergeant instructor which i didnt know before tonight.

15-05-13, 19:52
I have researched and believe around this time the DLI were serving in South Africa ( The Boers and BadenPowell) and Egypt (Yes, Kitchener and the Fuzzy Wuzzies!!), but that'd depend on which battalion he was with. His service number with the DLI was 10648, but he transferred to the Northumberland Fusiliers at some point and took service number 26475, again as acting sergeant. He then transferred to the 'Indian Unattached List', which was a bunch of European NCOs and civil servants sent to keep the Empire ticking overin the east, and he retook his service number 10648.

I believe the 'SS1' on the medal document, is Special Service India, which was a rank encompassing a sort of military/civil servicerole within the Indian army, sort of an overseer or foreman for public works and engineering projects, etc. Coupled with his age and the medal, I think that it's fair to assume that he was in Indiawith the Indian Defence Force before and during WW1.
I consider him a very fortunate Vivian, because the DLI in particular took a proper hammering in France and took part in almost every major battle! The colonial military in India was divided into 3major regions organised around Calcutta, Bombay and Madras and am guessing that the 'UAM' on the medal document refers to 'Unattached Madras', but that's only supposition at this point. Whatever, we can be sure he had a good tan!
1st battalion Durham Light Infantry were stationed in India throughout WW1, fighting various small actions on the Northwest Frontier from 1914 onwards. A unit of the Northumberland Fusiliers turned up in February 1916. This was the 2nd(Garrison) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. The interesting bit is that Garrison Battalions were comprised of men who were medically downgraded, either through wounds or illness, which fits nicely into Vivian's career path, ending with him on the unattached list doing civilian duties. It also gives us another date point,because we can assume that until at least Feb 1916 he was with the DLI. The 1st Battalion DLI were in Rawalpindi until August 1914, then to Peshwar and the Northwest Frontier until November 1917, so it's safe to assume that some time between Feb 1916 and Nov 1917 he became ill or was wounded, then transferred to the unattached list. I find this all very interesting....and have loads of 'presumptions' in this jigsaw of where he could be and what he could have been doing xx x Stella x

15-05-13, 19:53
So you do know loads already I know very little about the war in India or the soldiers- only thing i remember from a 'who do you think you are' is that those with mental health problems or shell shock went to a place called doolally for rest and treatment. I dont think thats the right Indian spelling so have found this link for you

15-05-13, 19:57
I will give them a try!! Fingers crossed x x stella x

15-05-13, 20:02
Angelina.... That's where the saying comes from.... 'Going doolally' when you are a bit 'bonkers' I remember my dad describing us often like that. The clues to the history are on his service medals.... That's how I know, but it is so frustrating not knowing what he did after 1921..... I certainly believe he stayed in India, as he had been there so long and his wife was born in India so her family had obviously settled there x x Stella x