No. 312 Sergeant William Tindall Meldrum, 16th Lancers photographed with his beautiful but unnamed wife and their young native servant Jumboin Bangalore, East India in March of 1865. The sergeant looks off-camera in a device used commonly in photographs of this era while his wife takes a more contemplative pose but it is Jumbo who occupies the center of attention. He wears the very slightest of smiles on his face and holds one hand across his breast. Jumbo appears to be displaying for the camera a silver ring he wears on his finger. I like to think that the ring was a token of appreciation from the Meldrums to Jumbo.
The inscribed reverse addressed to a Miss Butts.
William Tindall Meldrum was born at Cupar, Fife, Scotland around 1840. He enlisted in the 16th Lancers in April 1858 at the age of 18 with his trade given as a clerk. He served in India with his regiment for over 11 years with a total with the colours of 21 years, 48 days.
He was promoted Corporal on 6 May 1863
Sergeant on 28 June - 1865
Reengaged - 16 July 1869
Troop Sergeant Major - 15 December 1873
He received Good Conduct Pay on 17 April 1861, again on 17 April 1866, 2 June 1870, 17 April 1874, and finally on 17 April 1879.
When Meldrum mustered out of the regulars after the end of his second engagement on 8 July 1879 he was listed as being in the possession of the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal with a £5 gratuity. His papers also state that "He has never been tried nor entered in the Regimental Defaulters Book". Meldrum was a model NCO by all appearances.
His service papers state that Meldrum seconded to the Denbighshire Yeomanry (Hussars) on
22 June 1877.
William Tindall Meldrum is shown as a 40-year-old Staff Sergeant with the Denbighshire Yeomanry (Hussars) in the 1881 Census of Wales. Here his wife's name is given as Harriet. She is listed as being only 23 years old and this would by all appearances make her to be a second spouse and not the still unidentified first wife pictured in the above carte de visite.
Meldrum married Harriet Ann Kent, then 17 years old, on 15 September 1874 while his regiment was stationed at Secunderabad. Also listed in the 1881 Census are three children: William, age 5, Barbara, 3, and Alice, 11 months.
William Tindall Meldrum died in Denbighshire in 1890.
Carte de Visite
Unknown - Photographer
Bangalore, East India