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1846, Private James SHELTON — 13th Light Dragoons

Added 2.5.11. Minor edits 28.2.2014, 1.4.2014.

Birth & early life

Born at Slough, Buckinghamshire.


Enlisted at Maidstone on the 6th of March 1855.

Age: 18.

Height: 5' 6".

Trade: Labourer.

Appearance: Fair complexion. Blue eyes. Lt. brown hair.


Joined the regiment in the Crimea on the 1st of August 1855.

Transferred to the 7th Hussars on the 1st of September 1857. Regimental No. 155.

Served in the field in Oude, East Indies, 4th of February — 14th of May 1858, including the Siege of Lucknow, 2nd — 16th of March 1858.

From Private to Corporal: 12th of September 1858.

Served 5th of December 1863 — 8th of January 1864 in an expedition sent against Sultan Mohammed Khan under Brevet-Colonel H. F. McDonnell, C. B. Only three troops (145 men) of the Regiment took part in this campaign.

Tried by a Regimental Court-martial on the 25th of April 1864 and sentenced to be reduced to Private, but this sentence was remitted.

In confinement, 20th-30th of December, tried by a Regimental Court-martial and reduced to Private on the 30th of December 1865.

Re-engaged for 12 years further service on the 30th of August 1867.

From Private to Corporal: 1st of December 1867.

Tried by a Regimental Court-martial on the 28th of January for "absence" and reduced to Private.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Canterbury on the 20th of July 1869, as:

"Unfit for further service. Has Pulmonary Phthisis, with tubercular consolidation of the right lung, with attendant general debility. This will interfere with the invalid's capacity to earn a livelihood. Not caused nor aggravated by vice or misconduct."

Served 14 years 4 months. In Turkey and the Crimea: 10 months. India: 9 years.

Five times entered in the Regimental Defaulters book. Three times tried by Court-martial.

Conduct: "Indifferent — guilty of absence without leave, but he is a good and clean soldier. Not in possession of any Good Conduct badges."

Awarded 6d. per day pension "conditional" on discharge. This was made permanent on the 3rd of December 1875.

Attended for a medical examination on the 29th of April 1902 and his pension was increased to 1/- per day from the 8th of May 1902. Pension letters to the 17th of June 1902.

To live, c/o Mrs. E. Wise, Mr. Collin's Farm, Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire.

Medals & commemorations

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

Documents confirm the award of the Crimean medal with one clasp, the Turkish Medal, and the Mutiny medal with clasp for Central India [sic].

Mutiny medal with clasp for Lucknow.

Indian General Service medal, 1854-95, with clasp for North West Frontier.

Not recorded by Lummis and Wynn.

Life after service

Marriage registered

James Shelton married Sarah Ann Spencer, December Quarter 1870, St Olave.

1871 Census

16 Suffolk Street, Rotherhithe.

James Shelton, 34, Labourer in Timber Yard, born Bucks.

Sarah A, 24, born Rotherhithe.

1881 Census

19, Dyott Street, St. Giles in the Fields, London.

James Shelton, aged 45, Building Labourer Foreman, born in Buckinghamshire, with his wife, Sarah A., aged 45 [sic], born in Rotherhithe, Surrey, and three daughters aged 8 years to 9 months.

1901 Census

49, Marchmond Street, St George Bloomsbury, Holborn.

James Shelton, 65, Night Watchman, born Bucks.

Sarah, 65 [sic], born Rotherhithe.

Two children shown: Rosa, 20; John, 18, and Robert, 11.

Death & burial

His death, aged 67, is recorded in the March Quarter 1903 in the St Giles district of London. He is named in full as "James Valentine Shelton".

References & acknowledgements

Registration of marriage, Census information for 1871, and additional information for 1901, kindly provided by Chris Poole.

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