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Added 2.5.2011. Minor edits 28.2.14, 1.4.14. New info. 1.11.16, 2.11.16.

902, Private Stephen SIMS — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born at Cucklington, near Frome, Somerset, and christened there on the 9th of August 1818, the son of William Syms [sic] and his wife, Johanna, nee Parsons.

His parents were married at Cucklington on the 4th of October 1803, his father having been born there, according to the parish records, "about 1778". On both occasions the family name is shown as "Sims".

See also the record of his brother, 1285 William Sims — 13th Light Dragoons.


Enlisted at Hounslow on the 28th of October 1837.

Age: 20.

Height: 5' 7".

Trade: Labourer.

Appearance: Fair complexion. Grey eyes. Brown hair.


1851 Census

Piershill Barracks, Leith, Midlothian.

Stephen Sims, 31, Private Soldier, born Wincanton.

Mary A Sims, 28, wife, born Shrewsbury.

Sarah Sims, 3, born Longford, Ireland.

John Sims, 9 months, born Piershill Barracks, Midlothian.

NB also:

William Sims [brother], 26, Private Soldier, born Wincanton.

At Scutari General Hospital from the 14th of September 1854. Sent to rejoin the regiment on the 10th of November.

He is shown on a nominal roll of officers and men of the regiment at the Cavalry Depot, Scutari, made out on the 9th of November 1855, as being On Duty there from the 4th of November.

From this he did not serve in Eupatoria with the regiment.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Hulme Barracks, Manchester, on the 21st of April 1862, at "Own request, after 24 years service."

Served 24 years 176 days. In Turkey and the Crimea: 2 years.

Aged 44 years 5 months on discharge.

Conduct: "very good." In possession of five Good Conduct badges.

Never entered in the Regimental Defaulters book.

Awarded a pension of 1/1d. per day.

Pension increase awarded on the 22nd of November 1886.

He said he intended to live in the West London Pension District on discharge, but he was in Bristol in 1862 and Shrewsbury from the 1st of April 1870 at least till 1875.


Documents confirm the award of the Crimean medal with one clasp and the Long Service and Good Conduct medal.

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

Lummis and Wynn state, "No clasps".

A supplementary roll (undated) signed by Major Henry Holden shows him as being issued with the Crimean medal (without clasp) on the 7th of October 1855.

Awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct medal on the 31st of May 1859, with a gratuity of £5.


Life after service

Birth registered

Caroline Sims [daughter], June Quarter 1865, Bedminster.

1871 Census

Atcham Vicarage, Atcham, Salop.

Stephen Sims, Servant, married, 53, Coachman, Domestic Servant, born Cucklington.

Employed by Henry Burton, Vicar of Atcham and his wife, The Hon Charlotte B Burton.

Four other servants are shown.

1881 Census

67, North Street, Shrewsbury.

Stephen Sims, 62, Railway Servant & Chelsea Pensioner, born Cucklington.

Mary Sims, 58, born Yockleton.

John Sims, 30, Post Office Clerk, born Scotland.

Caroline Sims, 16, Pupil Teacher, born Portishead.

1891 Census

Victoria Street, St Mary's, Shrewsbury.

Stephen Sims, 74, retired Army Pensioner, born Cucklington.

Caroline, 26, Certified School Mistress.

In-Pension application held over: "As man is much too ill to travel at the moment" (August 1900).

Death registered

Mary Sims [wife], aged 66 years, June Quarter 1889, Atcham.

1901 Census

23, Coton Hill, St Mary, Shrewsbury.

Stephen Sims, Boarder, widower, 84, Army Pensioner, born — Not Known (sic).

Living with Edward Perry, a Tailor, and his family.

Death & burial

Death registered

Stephen Sims, aged 83 years, September Quarter 1901, Atcham.

The death of Stephen Sims reported in the Western Daily Press, 11th of September 1901.

(Click on image to enlarge)

"The death took place at Shrewsbury of Trooper Stephen Sims, 13th Light Dragoons, who served with the Earl of Cardigan's Brigade in the Crimea. He had attained his eighty-third year, and boasted of having lived under five Sovereigns. During the latter part of the Crimean campaign Sims was orderly to Lord Harlech."

The death of Stephen Sims reported in a little more detail in the Wellington Journal, 14th of September 1901.

(Click on image to enlarge)


Mr. Stephen Sims, who served in the 13th Hussars for upwards of 24 years and was with Lord Cardigan's Brigade in the Crimea, died at Shrewsbury on Monday, having attained his 83rd year. He was in possession of the English and Turkish War Medals, also the decoration for good conduct and long service, and had been a pensioner for nearly 40 years. He boasted of having lived under five English monarchs.

While in the Crimea Mr. Sims was Orderly to Lord Harlech (then Captain Ormsby Gore), who held a commission in the same regiment and was much attached to him, which continued after both had retired from the army, Sims being an occasional visitor to his lordship at Brogyntyn, Oswestry, where, occupying prominent positions are paintings of Lord Harlech's chargers, which were in the old man's care during the war.

Deceased leaves one son, Mr. J. Sims of the Shrewsbury Post Office staff and late sergeant in the 1st Shropshire Rifle Volunteers, and four daughters.

The funeral took place at the General cemetery on Thursday, and in deference to the wishes of the family was of a private character. Among a number of beautiful wreaths placed on the coffin was one "With the deepest sympathy of the Shropshire Naval and Military Veterans Committee".

From the Broad Arrow, 14th of September 1901:

"The death took place at Shrewsbury in his 88th [sic] year, of Trooper Stephen Sims, 13th Light Dragoons, who served with Lord Raglan in the Crimea, and during the latter part of the campaign was Orderly to Lord Harlech."

From the Shrewsbury Chronicle, 13th of September 1901:

"Death. — SIMS. At Bomere Heath, Shrewsbury, Stephen Sims, aged 83. (Friends will kindly accept this, the only intimation.)

"Death of a Shropshire Veteran, — Private Stephen Sims, formerly a Trooper in the 13th Dragoon Guards [sic] (now the 13th Hussars) who served in Lord Cardigan's Brigade in the Crimea, died at Bomere Heath, near Shrewsbury, on Monday last, at the age of 83 [9th of September 1901].

He was one of the oldest Shropshire veterans, and had seen 24 years' service. He held the Turkish, Crimean and Long Service medals, and it was his proud boast that he had served under the reign of five sovereigns.

Although he was in the Light Brigade, he was not one of the famous "Six Hundred", being at the base at that time.

He was orderly to Lord Harlech (then a Major in the Dragoon Guards) in the Crimea. Lord Harlech, a year older than Sims, was much attached to his old servant."

Stephen Sims was buried in the Shrewsbury General Cemetery, Grave No. 33. 14. E.

There is a photograph of his gravestone (which also commemorates his wife, Mary, who died aged 67 in May 1889, and daughter Caroline, who died aged 78 in December 1943) in the 13th Hussar file.

Further information

1911 Census

24, Wilderspoon Road, Warrington.

Caroline Sims, 46, single, Lodger, Certified Assistant Mistress in Church School (Elementary), born Portishead.

Death registered

Caroline Sims, Daughter, aged 78 years, December Quarter 1943, Runcorn.

References & acknowledgements

Census information for 1851, 1871, 1891,1901, registrations of births and deaths, and two newspaper cuttings reporting Stephen Sims's death, kindly provided by Chris Poole.

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