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Armourer Sgt 1st division Royal Marines

PostPosted: September 27th, 2017, 4:31 pm
by devils own
Good Evening
I have an ancestor 4th great grandfather who enlisted into the Royal Marines Dec 1811, trade as a whitesmith into the first div at Chatham. sailed on HMS Prince of Wales in Jan 1812 -July 1814. onshore till 1846. Their a article in a Kent news paper at an inquest in 1844 where he is named as Armourer of the division. Trouble is I can find no records where he would have become an armourer. An Armourer I would believe is a specialist job for the Division. His name was Joseph Darran/ Daran.
Can anybody help as regards Marine Armourers.

Kind Regards


Re: Armourer Sgt 1st division Royal Marines

PostPosted: October 10th, 2017, 10:35 pm
The Armourer Sergeant was one of four, RM division, HQ ‘staff sergeants’ from 1803. They were the sergeant-major, the quarter-master-sergeant, the pay-master-sergeant and the armourer-sergeant. All were ‘specialists’, two worked for the commanding officer and two worked with the quartermaster. The armourer-sergeant with the latter. Men enlisted already trained as armourers, having completed an apprenticeship with a gunmaker, where weapons of the time were made individually by hand and not machine produced as they later were. They were in effect directly employed civilians, who learned the military life on-the-job and were given the rank of sergeant from the outset. They were generally excused guard and most routine parades less those for the whole unit (general musters). They tended to stay with their division for long careers.
From very early days the central focus for Board of Ordnance gun making, to supply the War Department and Admiralty, was at the Tower of London, but the Napoleonic wars led to an offshoot at Lewisham (followed quickly by another at nearby Enfield), in a tributary waterway South of the River Thames, in order to cope with the surge in demand.