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Kuching Rose

1st Battalion The Essex Regiment, Quetta.

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Kuching Rose

I am new to this website and forum and have to admit that I have very little knowledge of army structure and history. I have been doing some genealogy and am researching my Great Grandfather Walter Sidney Pitt who would have been born around 1880. I don't know where he was born. I have found a record in the British India Office Army marriages which shows his marriage to Edith Eva Hunt in 1912 in Quetta. His occupation is noted as 'Private 1st Bn, The Essex Regiment'. From my online reading it seems to me that he was most likely recruited in the UK and then sent out to India. Is there any chance though that he could have been born in India and joined the Essex Regiment there? My father has Indian DNA and we are trying to work out where it came from. We have ruled out Edith because she came from the UK and has British parents. The question is 'Could Wally have been Eurasian'? If so, then he would have been born in India. Could an Indian born eurasian end up in Essex Regiment in Quetta? It seems unlikely to me. A search for documents about Walter's war service and army history on all the regular genealogy sites has been fruitless. I understand that his attestation papers may not have survived WW2 but that if he continued to serve in the army after 1921 he may still have a record with the Ministry of Defence. Walter and Edith later went on to run the Alexander Hotel in Quetta and were doing this when Dad was born in 1934. Walter died in India in 1941. Any leads on where I can find more information would be most appreciated. I'm not able to visit any archives or the library in England as I am living in Malaysia.

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Hi Rose

you may know already there is a Walter Sidney Pitt in the 1911 census, living with his parents in St Marylebone London. He is a little younger than expected born 1889, but if it is your man- the census says he was born in St Marylebone London. 

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If you can't match him up with the information  provided by Jervis,  there is also a GRO overseas marriage record, 1912 page 157 which POSSIBLY may provide more information than the British India Office marriage record on findmypast. As an  example, in 1903 the additional information available for a marriage record was the nationalities of the groom and bride, and the occupations of the fathers of the groom and bride. Order a certificate (payment required)  online from the GRO.


It is possible for a man to join the British Army in India. However, he would need to have been British, or pale enough to look British. Men who looked mixed race were not recruited.


I don't think you should rule out Edith for the source of the Indian DNA unless you have fully investigated her. For instance she may have had an ancestor going back generations who was in one of the Armies in India, either British Army to East India Company Armies, and had children who subsequently  returned to the UK.


If Walter was not born in the UK but born in India you may be able to trace him and his family . See the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Beginners' Guide https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Beginners'_Guide


Have you checked out the Medal Index Cards  records available on Ancestry or the National Archives? See the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Medal Rolls for details.





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