"I have attached photos and enlistment papers for my great grandfather, John Thomas Dickings. He joined in 1892, and according to his service records he was a rough rider. I can't find out anything about the rough riders in the Lincolnshire Regiment. Any information would be appreciated. I also have this portrait that is marked on the back: "India 1898". Any insight would be helpful. Thank you!"
Karen Beedy, 18 February 2016.
[Whilst John Thomas Dickings actually served his Army career in the Artillery, the fact that he began in the Lincolnshire Regiment and the interesting question about 'Rough Riders' means that this information is worthy of inclusion on this website. Ed.]
Prior to enlisting, John Thomas Dickings lived at Easegate Bourne, near the town of Bourne, Lincolnshire. He worked in Bourne as a Saddler for Mr Shippey. On his attestation form He states that he was never an apprentice. His father was Mr R Dickings of Easegate Bourne.
Summary of Service History
18 Feb 1892: 2154 Private John Thomas Dickings completed his Militia Attestation for the 4th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment.
18 Apr 1892: He passed his Army medical examination.
16 Jul 1892: Enlisted as a Private at Grantham, into the 4th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment and posted to the Lincoln Regiment Depot. John gives his age, at attenuation, as 22 years and 6 months. He enlisted for "Short Service" (7years wit the colours , then 5 years with the Reserve). His service number on the form has been changed a few times from 3168 to 93159 and to 20628.
30 Sep 1892: Transferred to Royal Artillery (Driver)
31 May 1997: Education - Rough Rider course, Woolwich
Nov 1897: Promoted to Bombadier
01 Jul 1898: Married Nancy Blacksley Wyard at Ipswich Registry Office [possibly noted as a Registry Office because his religion was Wesleyan, rather than Church of England?]
04 Aug 1898: Tried and rank reduced to Driver
24 Nov 1898: Transferred to the Army Reserve
17 Mar 1900: Recalled to Army Service, Royal Artillery: Driver
12 Dec 1901: Discharged, medically unfit. He received a War Gratuity of £5.00 and a pension of 18d per day for 12 months
29 Aug 1914: Re-enlisted in to the Royal Field Artillery (Service Number: 98763)
16 Jul 1892 - 21 Sep 1893: "Home" (1 year, 68 days)
22 Sep 1893 - 04 Mar 1996: India (165 days)
05 Mar 1896 - 25 Mar 1900: "Home" (4 years, 21 days)
26 Mar 1900 - 04 Dec 1900: Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Cape Colony, Orange Free State (South Africa: 1899 campaign)(254 days)
05 Dec 1900 - 12 Dec 1901: "Home" (1 year, 8 days)
Originally, 'Rough Riders' was a nickname given to the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, one of three such regiments raised in 1898 for the Spanish–American War. The Rough Riders were skilled in horsemanship. In British forces, 'Rough Rider' is a now defunct rank in the Royal Regiment of Artillery of the British Army and was a rank equivalent to Private. It was previously used in the British and British Colonial Forces and the rank badge was commonly displayed as a spur. 'Rough Rider' was also later used as an appointment for riding instructors or 'Assistant Instructor, equitation'. This latter use could result in designations such as Bombardier 'Rough Rider'.
Army Form e.504
The Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps for the campaigns that Dickings took part in: i.e. Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Cape Colony, Orange Free State.