top of page
Yeoman Pamplin.png

Signed to an unidentified recipient  "H. W. Pamplin Kings Body Guard" this cabinet photograph depicts Sergeant Major of the Guard Herbert Winton Pamplin former Squadron Sergeant Major of the 8th (Kings' Royal Irish) Hussars.

Herbert Winton Pamplin was born on 11 September 1861 at Winchester, Hampshire the son of James and Louisa Pamplin. James Pamplin was a bookseller by trade.

Pamplin attested with the 8th Hussars on 19 September 1877 at Aldershot under the alias of Herbert Lacey his regimental number being 1988. He was described as being 5 feet 4 1/2 inches tall with hazel eyes and dark brown hair. In a letter contained in his service papers dated 5 September 1879 he declared that he had attested under an
"incorrect" name and stated that his rightful name was Herbert Pamplin, providing a baptismal certificate to the recording magistrate as proof. No reason for enlisting under an assumed name was given.

Pamplin was promoted Lance Corporal on 22 September 1881 and rapid promotion followed:

Corporal - 2 April 1883
Lance Sergeant - 2 April 1884
Sergeant - 30 March 1885
Troop Sergeant Major - 24 December 1888
Squadron Sergeant Major - 24 June 1893

His posting included:

Home: 19 September 1877 - 15 December 1878
India: 16 December 1878 - 31 January 1880
Afghanistan: 1 February 1880 - 30 May 1880
India: 31 May 1880 - 19 November 1889
Home: 20 November 1889 - 30 November 1908

Pamplin served with the 8th Hussars until 8 August 1901 when he transferred to the King's Own Norfolk Imperial Yeomanry and discharged with the rank of Squadron Sergeant Major at his own request after more than 31 years service on 30 November 1908.

During the Afghan War, Pamplin would have been with the 8th when the regiment was sent to reinforce General "Bobs" Roberts at Kabul in early 1881. The 8th Hussars made up part of the Khyber Line Force and was concerned mainly with escort duties and guarding lines of communications. The regiment saw little action until 18 May when serving under General Gib they were part of that force that attacked and defeated some 4000 Shinwari tribesmen at Mazina. Pamplin would be awarded the Afghan War Medal (no clasps) for his service during the war.

Herbert Pamplin would be awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal in January 1896 and would later receive a £5 gratuity. He would also be presented with the 1902 Coronation Medal and the Royal Victorian Medal (silver). Pamplin wears all four medals in the above photograph.

A World War One Medal Index Card shows Pamplin being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal on 24 February 1931. Interestingly the card lists Pamplin by his old rank of Squadron Sergeant Major in the 8th Hussars.  

Herbert Winton Pamplin was enrolled in the First Division of the Yeomen of the Guard in 1908 as a Sergeant Major and probably served until he reach the age of seventy sometime around 1931 at which time he would have become supernumerary.  Based upon the number of autographed photographs of Pamplin that I have seen he must have been something of a celebrity. All his the autographs are in the same fine script as seen on the above photograph and seem to indicate a relatively high level of education before entering the service (although while with the colours he did receive two certificates of education) and this may at least in part related to his father's trade as a bookseller.

Pamplin was married at least twice. He first married Miss Georgiana Henrietta Begley, the daughter of James Begley at Meerut, Bengal India on 4 January 1886. They would have two children born in Meerut- Alfred Edward born on 7 December 1886 and Bertie Victor born on 29 October 1887. Georgiana Pamplin would die at Redhill, Surrey on 13 June 1894.

Herbert Pamplin would marry a second time on 22 September 1894 Miss Louisa Frances Weeks. They would have at least one child - Winifred Mary Louisa who was born on 5 July 1895.

Herbert Winton Pamplin died at Nelson Hospital, Merton, Surrey on 8 August 1935 and left an estate worth some £1272 to his widow Louisa Frances.

Cabinet Photograph
James Ball - Photographer
11 Wilton Road, Victoria Station, London, England
c. 1908

bottom of page