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LIVES OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
The E.J. Boys Archive

Amended 9.5.11

1560, Private Thomas BLAMIERS - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born at Canterbury.

Enlistment

Enlisted at Birmingham on the 30th of April 1854.

Age: 23.

Height: 5' 6".

Trade: Gun-smith.

Features: Fresh complexion. Hazel eyes. Brown hair.

Service

From Private to Armourer-Sergeant: 27th of September 1854.

At Scutari from the 22nd of September 1854, and appointed to act as Armourer-Sergeant at the Scutari Depot on the 16th of November 1854.

Rejoined the regiment in the Crimea on the 11th of May 1855.

He was shown again on a nominal roll of men of the Regiment made out at the Cavalry Depot, Scutari, on the 9th of November 1855, and as being On Duty there as an Armourer from the 4th of November.

Re-enlisted at York for a further 12 years service at the age of 35.

The muster rolls show him as going to Birmingham on the 7th of January 1874, his position being taken by a William Blamiers, who came in from the 9th Foot as No. 2473/1515. These two men were of course brothers.[See Further information, below]

Discharge & pension

Discharged, "after completed service", from Canterbury Cavalry Depot on the 4th of October 1881.

Served 27 years 6 months. 20 years 10 months with the 13th Light Dragoons and 6 years 8 months at the Depot. In Turkey and the Crimea, 2 years and 2 years 11 months in Canada.

Conduct and character, "very good". Would now have had six Good Conduct badges if not promoted.

Aged 50 years on discharge. To live in Manchester.

Awarded a pension of 33d. per day. (His pay as an Armourer Sgt. was 5/3d. per day, only 1d. less than the Regimental Sgt. Major of the Depot.)

He does not appear to have married during his Army service as he is not shown on the Depot "married roll" at the time of his discharge. [See "Life after service" for details of a later marriage.]

Blamiers must have transferred into the Corps of Armourers after leaving the 13th Hussars as he went on to the Cavalry Depot at Canterbury in that Corps on the 1st of February 1875, with the Regtl. No. of 41.

1881 Census

Cavalry Barracks, Northgate, Canterbury.

The 1881 Census Return show him as Thomas Blumiers, unmarried, "Soldier, Armorey [sic?] Sergeant", aged 50, born in Canterbury.

Also shown in the same household is an Emma Brown, aged 23, a nursemaid born Aldershot.

Medals & commemorations

Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasp for Sebastopol and the Turkish medal.

Lummis and Wynn state, "Name does not appear on the medal roll", but he is to be found on the Sebastopol clasp list.

Awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal on the 24th of October 1873, with a gratuity of 15.

Life after service

A "Thomas Blamiers" was appointed a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London on the 2nd of April 1882. He was then 51 years of age and was still serving as such at the time of his death, having been so for 35 years. His number was 626, and the Tower records state that he had "served in the Crimea during the whole of the Russian War, was present at all the Battles and Engagements in the Crimean campaign and the Siege and fall of Sebastopol. (Medal and four clasps. [sic])"

Extract from the United Services Gazette for the 16th of May 1885:

"13th Hussars - The last member of the regiment discharged from the service who served with the old 13th Light Dragoons in the Crimea was Staff Armourer-Sgt. T. Blamiers, who served nearly thirty years. Mr. Blamiers held his rank with a clear defaulters' sheet, yet strange to say, the authorities have given him a much smaller pension than he appears to have been eligible for."

Marriage registered

Thomas Hepper Blamiers married Hannah Hunt, June Quarter 1885, London City.

1891 Census

44, North Holmes, Toronto Villa, Canterbury.

Thomas H Blamiers, 62, living on own means, born Canterbury.

Hannah Blamiers, 50, born Southall Middlesex.

A Servant is also shown.

Death registered

Hannah Blamiers, 68, September Quarter 1909 in Canterbury.

Death & burial

Died 6th of February 1917.

Extract from the "Kentish Gazette" for the 10th of February 1917:

"Crimean Veteran's Death"

"The death took place at his residence, Toronto Villa, St Martin's Avenue, Canterbury, on Tuesday, (the 6th.) of a much respected citizen in the person of Mr. Thomas Hepper Blamiers, aged 88. He was one of the few remaining Crimean veterans. He held the rank of armourer during the campaign and was well known to Miss Florence Nightingale. Mr. Blamiers was a prominent Freemason and had held the post of Arch Mason. He was 88 years of age."

The "Burials in the Parish of St. Martin's, Canterbury" show that a Thomas Hepper Blamiers, of Toronto Villa, St Martins Avenue, was buried there on February 9th 1917, aged 88 years, by W.L. Greene (Rector). After the entry is added the word "Full", with no other explanation. From previous knowledge it could be that there was no room for any further burials. No plot number was given, but being in the "Burials" register, one can only assume that he was interred in the churchyard. The local History Society has made an inventory of the gravestones in the graveyard, it being much vandalised, but have no record of one for him.

The administration at Canterbury of his re-sworn estate on 13th March 1917 of 4,333/14/7d. was granted to Ann Wilkinson (wife of Benjamin Wilkinson.)

By 1990 his former home was an area of modern housing next to St. Martin's Church. It would seem that this is a substantial property, and the present estate is built on its site and garden.

Further information

Thomas Blamiers' brother William was born in Dundalk, Ireland, and had enlisted on the 1st of February 1852. The India Office records show an Armourer-Sgt. William Blamiers of the 13th Hussars died at Lucknow of "Valvular disease of the heart" aged 49 years. He was buried in the Cantonment Cemetery there on the 15th of January 1877 by the Revd. J. Stewart Dyer, Chaplain.

The Royal Military Asylum, Chelsea records contain the following entry for William Blamiers' son, also called William:

Blamiers, William, admitted 7 Oct 1856, aged 7, parent regt 13th Light Dragoons father William, mother Agnes, delivered back to his mother 25th Oct 1862. [RM]

The Probate records at the National Archive show the following entry:

1877 BLAMIERS William, armourer sergeant HM 13th Regiment (Hussars), bachelor, died 14th January 1873 at Lucknow, India. Administration granted at London on 2 August to Thomas Blamiers, Cavalry Depot, Canterbury Kent, armourer sergeant, the brother and one of the next of kin, under 20 in England. [RM]

References & acknowledgements

Registration of marriage and death, and Census information for 1891, kindly provided by Chris Poole.


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