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Muerrisch

Mysterious Schoolmasters 1st Class Warrant Officers.

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Muerrisch

There are 42 of these schoolmaster gentlemen listed at 2260 in the Army List of August 1914.

 

Why are they a mystery?

 

It was not until May 1915, nearly a year later, when the warrant officer cadre was divided into Class I and Class II [or, variously, WO 1 and WO 2]. Hitherto, the WO population was divided for seniority into four groups, and the first among equals [para 285 KR 1912 amended to 1914] comprised:

 

Conductors

Master Gunners 1st Class

Schoolmaster [when a 1st class WO]

Staff sergeant-major 1st class.

 

The above was not a pecking order, merely alphabetical, and the members ranked with each other according to date of promotion or appointment. It will be noted that the existence of the three "1st class" classiifications implies subordinate classes, with inferior pay.

 

In the Pay Warrant of 1914, there are indeed Master Gunners 2nd class [also warrant officers] and 3rd class [not warranted].  A lesser paid group of Staff sergeant-majors is also acknowledged. As for the schoolmasters, one looks in vain for any acknowledgement of the existence of "1st class" or indeed any other class: merely schoolmasters who are not warranted, and those schoolmasters promoted to warrant rank at least 8 years after confirmation. Until then they appear to carry no rank, they are not allocated "2nd class" or any other nomenclature, and make do on a little more than colour sergeant pay. The WO schoolmasters are on a very pleasant sliding pay scale from 5/- per day to  7/-, becoming among the highest paid WOs in the army.

 

Turning back to the Army List, we find something unexpected, and not covered in any part of KR or PW that I can find: there are about 150 "Warrant officers, educational, Schoolmasters" on a separate list starting para 2261. The way the Army List is organised implies that they are junior to the 42 gentlemen, and paid less, albeit senior to the ordinary schoolmasters, and paid more.

 

Angels dancing on pinheads, perhaps, but here we have a grey area that was understood by everyone who mattered in 1914, and they have left a minor puzzle for we who follow. I will leave for another day the matter of rank badges for all these gentlemen.

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Ron Clifton

Paras 282 and 285 of the 1912 King's Regulations: a schoolmaster (when not a Warrant Officer) ranked next after Master Gunners 3rd class among senior NCOs.

 

Pay rates are set out in Article 749 of the 1914 Pay Warrant for WOs, and in Article 1033 for others.

 

Ron

Edited by Ron Clifton

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Maureene

The following is a historical description of Army Schoolmasters from the FIBIs Fibiwiki page  Teacher, section Army Schoolmaster, which says that there were a limited number of 1st class warrant officers, out of a group classified as "warrant officers" 

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Teacher#Army_Schoolmaster

 

Initially, the regimental schoolmaster was a suitable Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) appointed by the Commanding Officer. In 1846 civilians also became eligible to enlist as Army schoolmasters. Together they became members of the Corps of Army Schoolmasters.

 

Four classes of Army schoolmaster were introduced in 1854: the first class ranked as warrant officers and were senior to the sergeant-major, the second and third classes as staff sergeants, next below the sergeant-major, and the fourth consisted of assistant schoolmasters, ranking as sergeants.

 

Further changes were made in 1863, when the classification of Army schoolmaster was simplified to just two categories: superintending schoolmaster and schoolmaster. The former, reflecting the increased size of his responsibilities and inspection duties, was given the rank of ensign, the first time that an Army schoolmaster had been granted commissioned officer status. The loss of warrant rank in 1863 caused deep resentment.

 

Further changes came in 1881 with the establishment of a common rank of warrant officers which included Army schoolmasters who had completed 12 years' service. During the next decade this was reduced to eight years' service and in 1899 a limited number were promoted to first class warrant officer when that rank was introduced. However, only those who attained first class warrant rank before the age of 45 were eligible for promotion to a commission.

 

By the turn of the century all Army schoolmasters were ranked as first class staff-sergeants from the day that they took office and subsequently they could attain warrant officer and commissioned officer status. [1]

 

[1] All information from The Army Schoolmaster And The Development Of Elementary Education In The Army, 1812-1920 by Elaine Ann Smith. Submitted in accordance with the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy, Institute of Education, University of London 1993. Alternative pdf link eprints.ioe.ac.uk

 

Cheers

Maureen

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Muerrisch

Maureen, thank you very very much indeed, you information and references are an eye-opener.

 

My reflex was to think that the reference to warrant officer status as early as 1854 was incorrect, because I "knew" that warrants were introduced in 1879 [for Conductors] and much more generally in 1881.

 

Wrong!

 

As background, I was well aware that the RN [Board of Admiralty] had issued warrants many years earlier, but I had absorbed the received wisdom regarding 1879 and believed it. Turning to my old friend Major Nicholas Dawnay, and his "Badges of WO and NCO Rank .... " he is singing the same song as your references.

 

So the mysteries of 1st Class WO, and ordinary WO, schoolmasters are resolved, thanks to you.

 

Never too old to learn!

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FROGSMILE

An extraordinary rundown of obscure but significant information, thank you everyone for posting.  That the institution of warrant officer for key, professionally skilled posts in the Royal Navy that were above the ordinary seamen, but deemed below ‘gentlemen’ of birth granted sovereign’s commissions was in existence during the Crimean era is fairly well known.  That the FIBIwiki article on Army Schoolmasters seems to suggest that this intermediate status was somehow accepted by the Army uniquely for schoolmasters still seems questionable to me before 1879, when warrant officer was introduced by the Army more widely.  How could this be understood and widely administered in an Army where warrant officers were neither culturally accepted nor an overall part of the rank structure before that latter date?  Could this aspect be something that was misunderstood by the academic who wrote the history of the Army Schoolmasters?  If not then surely this unique status would be explained at the point it was introduced in the Pay Warrant and Queen’s Regulations for the Army.  Where is that referenced?

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Muerrisch

Frogsmile, I am as surprised as you.

 

A few points: RN warrant officers were appointed even in Lord Nelson's time I believe, so the precedent [with the Treasury] was well established. Posts such as Master [sailing master], gunner, carpenter were warranted on ships of the line.

 

Dawnay agrees substatially with the references given above, and is even technically correct regarding "conductors being the only WOs at the beginning of 1881" . He previously describes in minute detail for 1854 the rather grand uniform of the Schoolmaster 1st class  ....... who he says is a warrant officer at that time.

 

The  GO 87 of 1879 regarding Conductors is headed rather significantly "Appointment of Warrant Officers as conductors ...."  thus indicating to me at least that "Warrant Officers" had previously existed and conductors were being added.

 

Elaine Smiths doctoral paper is fully available on line and is internally consistent with regard to the warranted status claimed, including the loss of that status from 1863 to 1881

 

These are the references surrounding the dates in question:

 

58. Royal Warrant, 2 July 1846. Formation of the Corps of Army Schoolmasters. MOD Library.

59. Army School Regulations, 1850, para.20; Royal Warrant, 30 March 1850 & Regulations to be Observed in Regard to the Instruction of Children in Garrison and Regimental Schools, to which a Trained Schoolmaster has been, or may hereafter be, Appointed by the Secretary-at-War, 30 March 1850, para. 7.

60. 'National Education', in Edinburgh Review, vol. XCV, no. 194, Apri 1 1852, pp. 321-357, at p.328.

61. Ibid., p.330, quoted from Fox-Maule's evidence to the Select Committee on Army and Ordnance Expenditure, 1850, P.P., X, 1850, pp.52-53.

62. Letter from Herbert to the Treasury, January 1854. RAEC Archives.

63. PRO WO 43/513, ff.293-295. Royal Warrant, 31 May 1854 & Army School Regulations, 1854, para.5.

 

One last thought on these early warrants ................ perhaps I should not be surprised at not picking up on the matter, because schoolmasters were and are very peripheral to my main interests.

 

As for the "1st class WO" schoolmasters introduced in 1899, their existence, which had been an itch to scratch for some time, does seem to be adequately explained, together with their exalted status in the top group of the pecking order and the highest pay rate.

 

Short of looking at reference 63 above at Kew, I am minded to suspend disbelief, and thank Maureen very much for opening my eyes.

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ss002d6252

The warrant officer was introduced in July 1881 for all bandmasters. It seems to confirm that the existing schoolmasters were given warrant officer rank in 1881 under that warrant if they had 12 years service as at that date.

Capture.PNG.94229715798bb392a5bae3f116e78fb5.PNG

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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FROGSMILE
3 hours ago, Muerrisch said:

Frogsmile, I am as surprised as you.

 

A few points: RN warrant officers were appointed even in Lord Nelson's time I believe, so the precedent [with the Treasury] was well established. Posts such as Master [sailing master], gunner, carpenter were warranted on ships of the line.

 

Dawnay agrees substatially with the references given above, and is even technically correct regarding "conductors being the only WOs at the beginning of 1881" . He previously describes in minute detail for 1854 the rather grand uniform of the Schoolmaster 1st class  ....... who he says is a warrant officer at that time.

 

The  GO 87 of 1879 regarding Conductors is headed rather significantly "Appointment of Warrant Officers as conductors ...."  thus indicating to me at least that "Warrant Officers" had previously existed and conductors were being added.

 

Elaine Smiths doctoral paper is fully available on line and is internally consistent with regard to the warranted status claimed, including the loss of that status from 1863 to 1881

 

These are the references surrounding the dates in question:

 

58. Royal Warrant, 2 July 1846. Formation of the Corps of Army Schoolmasters. MOD Library.

59. Army School Regulations, 1850, para.20; Royal Warrant, 30 March 1850 & Regulations to be Observed in Regard to the Instruction of Children in Garrison and Regimental Schools, to which a Trained Schoolmaster has been, or may hereafter be, Appointed by the Secretary-at-War, 30 March 1850, para. 7.

60. 'National Education', in Edinburgh Review, vol. XCV, no. 194, Apri 1 1852, pp. 321-357, at p.328.

61. Ibid., p.330, quoted from Fox-Maule's evidence to the Select Committee on Army and Ordnance Expenditure, 1850, P.P., X, 1850, pp.52-53.

62. Letter from Herbert to the Treasury, January 1854. RAEC Archives.

63. PRO WO 43/513, ff.293-295. Royal Warrant, 31 May 1854 & Army School Regulations, 1854, para.5.

 

One last thought on these early warrants ................ perhaps I should not be surprised at not picking up on the matter, because schoolmasters were and are very peripheral to my main interests.

 

As for the "1st class WO" schoolmasters introduced in 1899, their existence, which had been an itch to scratch for some time, does seem to be adequately explained, together with their exalted status in the top group of the pecking order and the highest pay rate.

 

Short of looking at reference 63 above at Kew, I am minded to suspend disbelief, and thank Maureen very much for opening my eyes.

 

Thank you Muerrisch.  Like you I am grateful to Maureene and I never doubted what she reported, her attention to detail is well known to me.  I was merely wondering if Elaine Smith had got it right.  I hope we can learn more about these early WOs.

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Sepoy

72523 Warrant Officer 1st Class, John Francis Eely, Corps of Army School Masters.
He attested as an Army Schoolmaster on 3rd January, 1883 and was promoted to Warrant Office on 3rd January, 1895.
WO Eely was discharged on 2nd January, 1913 after seeing service in India and South Africa.
He was awarded the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1902.

eely a.jpg

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Muerrisch

 

ss002d6252

Thank you,  the higher grades mentioned are conductor from sub-conductor and master gunner 1st class from second class. I note also that in 1881 schoolmasters were senior to bandmasters. However, as you will know from all the above, the startling period is 1854 to 1863 when schoolmasters of the 1st class are confidently stated to have been warrant officers, and therefore the very earliest army ones of that ilk. Please, if you go back to Hansard, have a look at the bookends of that period.

 

Sepoy, thank you, what a superb portrait. I wonder [of course, being me] if there was any outward distinction granted 1st class, other than the nice inward glow of extra money?

Edited by Muerrisch
clarity

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ss002d6252
1 hour ago, Muerrisch said:

 

ss002d6252

Thank you,  the higher grades mentioned are conductor from sub-conductor and master gunner 1st class from second class. I note also that in 1881 schoolmasters were senior to bandmasters. However, as you will know from all the above, the startling period is 1854 to 1863 when schoolmasters of the 1st class are confidently stated to have been warrant officers, and therefore the very earliest army ones of that ilk. Please, if you go back to Hansard, have a look at the bookends of that period.

 

Sepoy, thank you, what a superb portrait. I wonder [of course, being me] if there was any outward distinction granted 1st class, other than the nice inward glow of extra money?


The issue from 1863-1881 is summarised nicely in this article of Dec 1862 which provides for the 2 classifications of schoolmasters - as a NCO, below sergeant major,  and as a commissioned officer. As yet, still looking for pre-1863.

Capture.PNG.30b43dfdf207b88f07724c2184ed104a.PNG

Craig

 

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ss002d6252

The 1854 system;

Capture.PNG.65cf36262a6ee5b652c1d129c255b95a.PNG

Craig
 

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Muerrisch

Thank you very much indeed. This confirms the Ph D work.

 

The commissioned schoolies were, I trust, non-combatant, although the pen is mightier than the sword.

 

A major turn-up for the books, I think we can confidently state that conductors were NOT the  first warrant officers created by the army. That will not go down well in certain circles, with  conductors claiming prima inter pares for several dubious reasons both alphabetical and chronological.

 

The GWF strikes again.

Edited by Muerrisch

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ss002d6252
37 minutes ago, Muerrisch said:

Thank you very much indeed. This confirms the Ph D work.

 

The commissioned schoolies were, I trust, non-combatant, although the pen is mightier than the sword.

 

A major turn-up for the books, I think we can confidently state that conductors were NOT the  first warrant officers created by the army. That will not go down well in certain circles, with  conductors claiming prima inter pares for several dubious reasons both alphabetical and chronological.

 

The GWF strikes again.

Certainly appears so - as far as I can see the conductor was created in 1879 so, although it was no longer in place, the Schoolmaster did beat them to a position of WO. I do wonder if existing schoolmasters from the system which ended in 1863 continued to serve on as a WO, they could easily have still been men from the pre 1863 system serving as of 1879 (That would really upset the conductors ;) )


Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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Muerrisch

It seems conductors were preceded in India before 1879.

 

Hansard March 1879

 

I will now touch upon another point in regard to the alterations which I propose to make with respect to transport in the field. There have been various complaints outside the Service that the existing commissariat and transport arrangements have broken 55down. These complaints have, in many cases, been very much overstated; and I do not believe that our deficiencies are greater than those which other countries, with far better military reputation, are likely to experience under similar circumstances. There are a great many difficulties with regard to shipment and trans-shipment; and there can be no doubt that, in certain cases, the Department was not physically equal to the work that it has been called upon to undertake. That was the case upon the West Coast of Africa; and I believe that in Cyprus and at the Cape the consequence was that the officers were, in some instances, nearly worked to death, or else that subordinate officers were pushed into duties which it did not ordinarily fall to their lot to discharge. What we require, therefore, is such a Department as will be capable of expansion in time of war, with a tolerably low establishment in time of peace. I hope, by the introduction into the Department of an intermediate rank of officers such as has been established for many years in India, and has been found to work well —namely, conductors—not only to provide satisfactorily for the carrying out of the lower duties of the Commissariat, but also to afford an opening to deserving and efficient non-commissioned officers. In India such a class of men has been found to work well, and it is also proposed, in analogy to the Reserve of officers, to give general officers, under certain conditions, a power to make use of combatant officers in the field.

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FROGSMILE

Muerrisch and Craig (as well as Maureene), this is really quite extraordinary and groundbreaking information in terms of bringing it to wider notice.  It really ought to be brought to the attention of the relatively new sergeant major of the Army who works for the CinC.

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Muerrisch

I am about to place these notes on the British Badge Forum and the Victorian Wars Forum:

 

 

The First Warrant Officers were not Conductors

Recent research on the Great War Forum has revealed that the oft-heard claim by Conductors that they were and are primus inter pares cannot be upheld. It is true that warrants were granted to some Conductors in 1879, some two years before a more general upgrading of status for other Staff-sergeants 1st class such as Sergeant-Majors.

It is also true that the Royal Navy had warranted officers in Nelson’s time and continuously thereafter, such as Sailing Master, Gunner, Carpenter, Boatswain.

There is now available at:  [GWF hyperlink]

firm evidence that some Army Schoolmasters held warrant rank as early as 1854. They lost this status temporarily in 1863, and regained it in 1881, but they were not placed in the highest seniority sub-section of warrant officers, which included Conductors and Master Gunners 1st class. The Queen’s or King’s Regulations were at pains from time to time to point out that the members of all four groups were placed alphabetically, thus denying Conductors any primacy except alphabetical. Although the list contents have varied over the years, this top group always included titles such as:

Conductors

Master Gunners 1st Class

Staff sergeant-major 1st class.

 

When in 1899 a rank of Schoolmaster 1st Class Warrant Officer was introduced, it was added to this elite list, an indication of how far the army had progressed in attempting to improve and educate its soldiers. Schoolmaster Warrant  Officers remained and were on an inferior list of course.

 

Among the Warrant Officers the Schoolmaster’s pay was usually at the top end of the scale which, together with his sometimes grand officer-style uniform, emphasised his status. This uniform and his rank badges varied greatly over the years.

 

Seniority within groups was ordered to be by date of promotion or appointment, although clearly in the exercise of their normal duties there would be no doubt who would command: nobody would dispute artillery with a Master-Gunner, or argue the toss with a Master-at-Arms RN at sea, or an RAF Station Warrant Officer on his station.

 

As with many other things, the Great War changed everything, and by 1923 Schoolmasters as such are missing from the precedence table of Warrant Officers, except as Warrant Officer Instructors, Class II [Education].

 

As a footnote, there was a brief flurry of order/ counter order in 1881 which did indeed place Conductors above all others [perhaps inspired by the Conductors themselves]!. This was very quickly rescinded, so that although they retained certain unique privileges, they were placed within a peer group which the schoolmasters eventually had climbed back up to after a lapse of many years.

 

 

 

 

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Maureene
On 04/01/2018 at 04:28, Muerrisch said:

It seems conductors were preceded in India before 1879.

 

Hansard March 1879

 

I I hope, by the introduction into the Department of an intermediate rank of officers such as has been established for many years in India, and has been found to work well —namely, conductors—not only to provide satisfactorily for the carrying out of the lower duties of the Commissariat, but also to afford an opening to deserving and efficient non-commissioned officers. In India such a class of men has been found to work well, and it is also proposed, in analogy to the Reserve of officers, to give general officers, under certain conditions, a power to make use of combatant officers in the field.

 It seems Conductors, who had Warrants, therefore would be  Warrant Officers, were  already in existence in India as far back as 1821, in the East India Company Armies.

 

G. O. G. G. 8th  September, 1821 Misconduct of a Conductor & a Sub Conductor punished. 

The Commissary General having submitted to Government a Correspondence in Original, with other Documents connected therewith, respecting the conduct of Sub-Conductor ThomasWatkins, of the Commissariat Department, while lately proceeding up the River on duty, which has fully satisfied the Most Noble the Governnor General in Council, that the said Sub-Conductor, under false pretexts, and in direct opposition to the orders of his Superiors, conveyed a supply of Liquors in his Boat, with a view to vend the same to the European Soldiery of the Detachment to which he was attached, or those at the several intermediate Military Stations in his progress to the Upper Provinces; His Lordship in Council directs, that the Warrant of Sub-Conductor Walking be cancelled, and that he be placed at the disposal of His Excellency the Commander in Chief, in the rank he held when entering the Commissariat Department.

The conduct of Conductor Hyde, of the Ordnance Commissariat Establishment, belonging to the Dinapore Magazine, in attempting to skreen the delinquency of Sub-Conductor Watkins, having also come under the notice of Government, His Lordship in Council considers the said Conductor to have forfeited all claim to remaining in his present situation: His Warrant is hereby likewise cancelled, and he is placed at the disposal of the Commander in Chief, in the rank he held previously to being brought upon the Ordnance Establishment.

His Excellency the Commander in Chief will be pleased to cause the Warrants issued to the late Conductor Hyde and Sub-Conductor Watkins, to be returned to the Office of the Secretary to Government in the Military Department.

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=26sEAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA2-PA60

The Calcutta Annual Register 1821 Chapter III, Public Documents, page 60 [of this chapter]

 

Cheers

Maureen

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Muerrisch

Thank you very much. Of course, this could be used to reinforce the claims of modern conductors to the great antiquity and superiority of their appointment.

 

In passing, my first job was as a Conductor ....... the 5B double-decker of the Brighton and Hove omnibus company!

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FROGSMILE

Very interesting Maureen, a real eye-opener and confirming I feel the preeminence historically of the Conductors.  Thank you for posting.

I am sure it will be of interest to the VWF too.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Muerrisch
5 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Very interesting Maureen, a real eye-opener and confirming I feel the preeminence historically of the Conductors.  Thank you for posting.

I am sure it will be of interest to the VWF too.

 

22 views on the VWF and no replies ........... not a great deal of interest there apparently.

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FROGSMILE
On 06/01/2018 at 14:36, Muerrisch said:

 

22 views on the VWF and no replies ........... not a great deal of interest there apparently.

 

It’s been a bit quiet there since before Christmas.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Muerrisch

And still is. A pity because the information was if not earth shattering at least groundbreaking!

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