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The E.J. Boys Archive

Last amended 7.6.11. Minor edits 18.2.14, 5.4.14.

1207, Private Benjamin MARSHMAN — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born at Arcott, Madras, on the 31st of July 1827, the son of Private Thomas Marshman on the 13th Light Dragoons and his wife Mary. He was christened on the 24th of August by the Revd. R. Smythe, Chaplain.

"Unfit for further service. — After examination at this hospital I am of the opinion that Private Thomas Marshman is, from length of service, totally incapable of performing the duties of a dragoon and is likely to be permanently incapacitated for military duty, His activity is failing. His conduct in hospital has been 'Exemplary'. Conduct and character: Parole testimony of Lt. and Adjutant Floyd was of the opinion that his conduct has been that of a good and efficient soldier — seldom in hospital, trustworthy and sober.


Enlisted "By Authority" at Hounslow on the 8th of November 1843.

Age: 16 years 3 months.

Height: 5' 8".

Trade: Tailor.


1851 Census

Piershill Barracks, Leith South, Midlothian, Scotland.

Note: It has not been possible to consult an image of the original Scottish Census document. The above information relies on the transcription available 28.3.2012, which is not always accurate.

Members of the Light Brigade in Piershill Barracks at this time, who would later go to the Crimea, include 1127 William Cresdee 13LD, 1029 Joseph Gammage 13LD, 762 John Linkon / Lincoln, 1140 Robert Lowthorpe 13LD, 1319 Daniel Mahoney 13LD, 1367 Isaac Manning 13LD (appears as Isaac "Maussings"), 1207 Benjamin Marshman 13LD, 1208 Edward Martin 13LD, 1339 Thomas McBrine 13LD, 1341 John McCann 13LD, 1254 James Pamplin 13LD, 1424, 1424 Robert Stanger, and many more.

1851 Census

Piershill Barracks, Leith South, Midlothian.

Benjamin Marshman, 24, Private Soldier, born Arcot, East Indies.

Joined the regiment in the Crimea from Scutari on the 15th of May 1855. He had been there from the 22nd of September 1854.

Tried by a Regimental Court-martial on the 26th of March 1856 for "being asleep on his post, and drunk". Sentenced to 30 days imprisonment, with hard labour.

From Private to Corporal, 1st of April 1859.

1861 Census

Cavalry Barracks, Hamilton, Lanarkshire.

Benjamin Marshman, 33, Corporal Army, born East Indies.

Julia Marshman, 21, born Ireland.

Elizabeth Marshman, 1, born Hamilton, Lanarkshire.

Confined, 14th of May 1862 and reduced to Private by a Regimental Court-martial on the 15th of May.

In the Guard Room, 6th-12th of June 1867. Tried by Court Martial (for an unspecified offence) on the 1st of September and in a Military Prison in Toronto until the 29th of September 1867.

Transferred to the 4th Brigade of the Royal Artillery at Toronto, Canada, on the 1st of September 1868. Regimental No. 4345.

Next of kin (in 1868): Wife, Julia Marshman. They are shown in the Regimental "Married roll" from the 22nd of November 1858.

Discharge & pension

Discharged at Toronto on the 7th of March 1869, at "Own request, after 24 years' service."

Served 24 years 38 days. In Turkey and the Crimea, 1 year 1 month. Canada, 3 years 4 months.

Conduct and character: "has been very good".

In possession of three Good Conduct badges.

Twenty-one times entered in the Regimental Defaulter's book. Three times tried by Court-martial.

Aged 46 years 6 months on discharge.


Documents confirm the award of the Crimean medal with one clasp and the Turkish medal.

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

Not recorded by Lummis and Wynn.

A letter was sent from the Horse Guards, dated the 16th of November 1857, to the Officer Commanding the 13th Light Dragoons:

"Sir, — In acknowledging the receipt of the proceedings of the Board held to enquire under which the man named in the margin, (1207 Benjamin Marshman) lost his Crimean medal, I am directed to acquaint you that unless more complete and conclusive evidence can be addended that the loss being attributable to circumstances entirely beyond the man's control, then HRH cannot recommend the issue of a fresh medal at public expense. But I am at the same time to inform you that he may have a fresh one at his own expense if he so desires,

I have the honour etc. etc,

W.A. Forster, DAG."

EJB: There is nothing on the Sebastopol clasp medal roll to suggest that a fresh medal was ever issued.


Life after service

To live in Toronto, Canada on discharge.

Death & burial

References & acknowledgements

Census information for 1851 and 1861 kindly provided by Chris Poole.

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