Presented to a John G. Johnston, this image shows a Drum Major - named Martin - of the 1st Battalion, 15th Regiment of Foot, this photograph was taken just before the battalion's departure from Canada to Bermuda in 1868.
No. 2412 Drum Major William Martin was born in Chester, Cheshire around 1830. He attested with the 1st Battalion, 15th Regiment of Foot as a private on 3 June 1844 at the age of 14 years, 7 months. He was promoted Corporal on 1 April 1859 and Sergeant on 21 October 1861. Martin was appointed Drum Major on 27 June 1862. After completing 21 years, 15 days of service he was discharged on 17 April 1868
In this photograph, Martin wears the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal which was granted to him on 16 June 1866. Along with the medal came a £5 gratuity. His battalion's last active service had been in the West Indies in 1805 and would have been on alert in Canada during the so-called Trent Affair between Great Britain and the United States in 1862.
Martin's overseas posting included 9 1/2 years in Ceylon, 11 months at Gibraltar, 6 years three months at New Brunswick, Canada, and 4 months at Bermuda where he was discharged.
At the time of his discharge, Martin was described as just under 39 years old with a fresh complexion, blue eyes, and light brown hair. His intended trade was listed as "none" which may imply that he planned on living off his pension and his intended place of residence was listed as Manchester.
The 1871 census for the town of Astley, Lancashire which is near Manchester shows William Martin, born in Chester, age 41 living there with his wife Jane with a given occupation of "Rifle Range Keeper, Vols." This man is very probably former Drum Major William Martin.
Carte de Visite
St. Johns, New Brunswick, Canada
21st April 1868