19th century

This section covers all those whose military service was totally or mainly during the nineteenth century, from the Napoleonic Wars to the Boer War, or with local militia.

Henry Francis Pitman (1860 – )     Deerhurst / Coombe Hill     Parents: Thomas Pitman & Mary Ann (née Teale)

Royal Artillery                        Regimental No: 53118

Henry Francis enlisted in the Royal Artillery in January 1886, giving his age as 23 rather than 25. He served as a Driver for eight years (nearly five of which were spent in India), then spent a further four years in the Reserve.

Joseph Pitman (1785 – 1876)     Little Witley     Parents: Joseph Pitman & Mary

66th Regiment of Foot – 1st Battalion                Regimental No: not known

Although born at Little Witley, north of Worcester, outside the core area of our research, Joseph spent the last thirty-five or more years of his life in Bredon, Worcestershire (close to Tewkesbury) so has become associated with our area. He enlisted in the 66th Regiment of Foot in October 1803, and was discharged in June 1822 because of reduced and impaired vision of his left eye (due to ophthalmia, which seems to have been prevalent in European armies of the time). By the time of his discharge he held the rank of Sergeant. Much of his service was overseas, including thirteen years in India, and twenty months on St Helena, where soldiers of the 66th Regiment took their turn in guarding the exiled Napoleon. The time on St Helena led to Joseph’s death being reported around Great Britain and as far afield as Germany, USA and New Zealand, as he was said to be “the last survivor of the veterans who had charge of Napoleon at St Helena and had been a pensioner for 50 years”. Letters to various newspapers in the following weeks demonstrated that several other veterans were still alive and enjoying their pensions.

Stephen Pitman (1872 – 1924)     Prestbury     Parents: William Pitman & Mary Ann (née Mansfield)

Royal Garrison Artillery                     Regimental No: 66256

In February 1888 Stephen spent five days in the Grenadier Guards before being discharged as ‘not likely to become an efficient soldier’: this seems to have been due, at least in part, to his height of 5 feet 7⅞ inches, just ⅛ inch below that required. A week after his discharge he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery, with his height measured as 5 feet 8 inches! He served in the RGA for 21 years, initially as a Gunner, but rising through the ranks to Company Quartermaster Sergeant by the time of his discharge in 1909. Stephen served in Malta (where he married), Gibraltar and Ceylon.

Thomas Pitman (c1779 – 1848)     Tewkesbury     Parents: William Pitman & Ann (née  Coldrick/Couldrick)

43rd Regiment of Foot – 2nd Battalion            Regimental No: not known

Thomas volunteered for the 43rd Regiment of Foot at Exeter in 1805, whilst serving in the Worcester Militia. After a little over two years he was discharged due to deafness contracted whilst in the army, returning to Tewkesbury as an out pensioner of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Thomas Pitman (1831 – 1859)     Prestbury     Parents: William Pitman & Mary (née Barnes)

3rd European Regiment                    Regimental No: 1304

Thomas enlisted in the 3rd European Regiment in Westminster early in October 1858, and by the end of the month Private Pitman was on board the ‘Caroline Coventry’ sailing to India, arriving in February 1859. He had signed up for ten years’ service, but met his death at Mhow (south of Indore) in September that year, presumably in action towards the end of the Indian Rebellion (Indian Mutiny).