Richmond Barracks gets visitors from all over the world hoping to trace relatives that passed through the barracks.
In August this year we received a special visit from Marilyn Mercer and her husband Brian who hail from New Brunswick, Canada. Marilyn had previously made contact with us looking for army records relating to her Great-great-grandfather Thomas Bell (colour sergeant, 15th Regiment of Foot) and the birth record of her great-grandaunt Mary Bell. Thomas Bell, originally from Portsmouth, England, was based in Richmond Barracks in 1861 where his daughter Mary Elizabeth Bell was born on 2nd November 1861.
As we do not have access to British military records, which are held at the British National Archives in Kew, we could not help Marilyn with Thomas’ military record but were able to locate the baptismal record of Mary Elizabeth Bell, baptised on the 8th December 1861 in Richmond Barracks Garrison Chapel (now St Michael’s Church). Shortly after the birth of Mary, Thomas was posted to Canada with his regiment in 1861 and retired from the army in 1865, having completed 21 years of service.
Thomas then settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he raised his family and spent the remainder of his days.
It was great to meet Marilyn in person, who kindly gave us copies of some precious family photographs which we would like to share with you.
Do you have any historical photos that you would like to share with us? If so we would be delighted to post them on our website.