While working on airport installations in Libya, he had the opportunity to interview Gaddafi. He established Delta Tech Systems, a technical publishing company that was “more lucrative”, he joked, “than any other publishing I undertook”.He championed social causes, ran for political office and played the clarinet in the Cobourg Kiltie Band, a skill learned at military school.Although a number of commanding officers (COs) had established schools supported from regimental funds, and had received encouragement from the Duke of York following the policy of enlisting boy soldiers in 1796, it was not until 1812 that the order was given that all battalions and corps should establish regimental schools under the direction of sergeant schoolmasters.The various circulars and orders made it clear that the aim was both to educate young soldiers and attested boys and also soldiers’ children – so that their fathers would know that the state was concerned about their welfare.This was the regime that continued until 1840, and king’s regulations continued to encourage commanding officers to employ soldiers’ wives of good character to instruct the girls in useful domestic skills.In 1840, there were about 10,000 girls accompanying battalions and corps, or at their depots (this number does not include the artillery or the sappers), and a return compiled by the War Office for the year to 1 January 1837 recorded that there were, on average, 46 boys, 47 girls and 14 adults at each of the schools of the cavalry regiments, and an average 47 boys, 41 girls and 44 adults at the regimental schools of the infantry.John was reportedly born and raised in army camps, according to his lawyer in his court case while he was still serving in 1845 in Nova Scotia.I have not yet been able to identify John's parents to determine whether his father was a soldier/officer of the British Army.
His largest project was in Labrador, with lead investor Edmund de Rothschild.
In this illuminating article, Howard traces the history of the army schoolmistresses, an intrepid band of women who taught soldiers’ children wherever they were posted in the world.
TACA is grateful to Howard, and to Art Cockerill, for permission to publish this piece, which appears on the Delta Tech Systems website, as do the memoirs of Dorothy Bottle, who is mentioned at the end.‘The first schoolmistresses who were publicly funded to teach soldiers’ daughters were those employed at the Hibernian School and the Royal Military Asylum, but the origins of army schoolmistresses must be traced back to the system of regimental schools.
Although regimental schools were increasingly being established, with senior non-commissioned officers initially doing the teaching, these were originally intended to teach illiterate recruits how to read, write and calculate.
But then because many of those illiterate recruits were army children, the realisation dawned that the regimental schools might as well start teaching these soldiers-in-the-making, and their future wives (for many army daughters later 'married into' the regiment) while they were still young.