2nd Dragoon Guards
Michael Hoare was born in Clonmel, Ireland in circa February 1838. He enlisted
at Ipswich at the District Head Quarters of the 2nd Dragoon Guards on the 2nd
of April 1852 as a boy of 14 years and 2 months. It is possible that he was the
son of No. 467 Private John Hoare, then serving in the Regiment.
Michael Hoare was paid an enlistment bounty of 2 pounds and 2 shillings and he
was shown as being 5ft 1 inch tall. He was issued the Regimental Number 1138.
The HQ of the 2nd Dragoon Guards was at Manchester at this time, but
companies were split all over the country at Wallingham, Mansfield, Ipswich and
Nottingham. Michael at that time is the only Boy in the Regiment.
The Regiment is gathered together in Liverpool around the 27th of July 1852, and
takes the short passage by ship to Dublin, from there they march inland to their
new station at Newbridge.
The musters show that Michael spent 2 days in hospital in the period of
October-December 1852 and then on the 3rd of February 1853 (which we can
assume was his 15th birthday) he is up-rated to a Private with the pay increase
that entailed. The Regiment at this time moves back to Dublin and goes into
barracks there for what is a quiet period in the life of the unit. Private Hoare is
now being listed in musters as 'Band'.
Michael is given a furlough from the 16th to the 28th of December 1855 at Dublin and this is the last listed event for either him
or the regiment for some time. 1856 passes at Dublin with no comment in the musters and not until March of 1857 is the unit, or
Private Hoare, on the move. The 2nd Dragoon Guards leave Dublin in early March 1857 (the main draft on the 2nd) and take
ships to England, once on shore they then march to their new station at Canterbury, this journey taking around 3 days. On the
29th of June 1857, Private Hoare is appointed as a Trumpeter, with the pay increase that entailed (the average private was on 1
shilling (12 pence) a day, Trumpeters on 1 shilling and 5 pence a day). The Mutiny having exploded in India at Meerut in May,
the government is desperate for reinforcements and it is no surprise when the 2nd Dragoon Guards are ordered to the East
The regiment moves to Gravesend on the 25th of July 1857, where it boards the ships 'Blenheim' and 'Monarch' for passage to
India, Trumpeter Hoare on the latter vessel. The 'Blenheim' arrives at Calcutta on the 25th of November 1857, with the
'Monarch' coming in 2 days later. From Calcutta the Regiment moves quickly inland, the muster of the 31st of December 1857,
being held at Churputer and that on the 31st of January 1858 at Moofterka.
From January 1858, the 2nd DG were ordered to join Hope Grant's Cavalry Division in Sir Colin Campbell's Force at Allahabad
almost five hundred miles away. As they marched towards Lucknow, the Regiment was frequently used in a 'mopping up' role
which was characteristic of the latter stages of the suppression of the Mutiny. In March, the Regiment made the gallant, if
rash, charge that they are famous for when, before Lucknow, the advancing army came upon enemy cavalry and infantry.
Ordered to the front and told to charge and pursue, three miles they went cutting down and pursuing the mutineers right up to
Lucknow and across the river. Often in the thick of it, three of its members won Victoria Crosses.
There is little written of the part the 2nd Dragoon Guards played in the eventual relief of the city of Lucknow in March of
1858, as the majority of the fighting was carried out in the city itself, not suitable ground for cavalry. There are however
pictures of the 2nd DG being involved in the capture of fleeing mutineers and their execution by 'blowing from the guns', so the
sights that Hoare must have seen would have been horrific. The casualty roll shows that they were engaged in minor actions at
Nusseraspoie on the 6th of March and Lucknow itself the next 2 days, with a total of 5 killed and 6 wounded.
With Lucknow captured the 2nd Dragoon Guards are stationed at the Moosa Bagh at the end of March 1858, where they remain
until May. They are then on a sortie down the Fyzabad road during the muster of the 31st of May 1858, returning to Lucknow
by June. The regiment remains at Lucknow until October when they are again sent out on clearing operations that take them
through Rooyah in October, Rhyabad in November and Seetapore in December 1858. They remain at Seetapore until March of
1859, when they move to Nawabgunj, Secrorah in April, Buram Ghat in May and back to Lucknow by June of 1859.
The musters then show little until Trumpeter Hoare is for some reason reverted to Private on the 22nd of February 1859. The
Regiment is to remain at Lucknow for the next 3 years, and there are few occurrences in this period. Private Hoare receives
his first good conduct badge and a penny a day increase on the 3rd of February 1860 (his 22nd birthday) and on the 4th of
September 1860 he is reappointed as a Trumpeter.
Nothing is then shown in musters until the Regimental move to Benares in February of 1862, where they are to be stationed for
over 2 years. The musters show little of what Trumpeter Hoare is doing, however he is promoted to Corporal on the 15th of
December 1863 (vice No. 228 Charles Hubbard who is promoted to Sergeant) and on the 3rd of February 1864, he receives
his 2nd good conduct badge. The Regiment is on the move again in November of 1864, being on the march at Barode on the 30th
of that month, Camp at Agra by the end of December 1865, and eventually at their new station of Muttra by the end of
January 1865, where they are to spend most of the next 3 years.
Corporal Hoare joins the married list of the Regiment on the 25th of October 1866, when he is married to Jane (it is not clear
whether this was the date of the marriage, or just the date they are admitted to the list.) Corporal Hoare is promoted to
Sergeant on the 10th of September 1867 and the next month the Regiment is again on the move to Camp Mahona on the 30th of
November 1867, and in its new station of Mhow by the end of December, 1867.
Again, at Mhow there is little detail. The Regiment spends 2 years at this station but there are no details in the musters of
what Sergeant Hoare is up to. Eventually at the end of 1869, they are ordered back to England after 12 years in the East
Indies. The troops boarded at Bombay in the last 2 days of 1869, and arrived at Portsmouth on the last day of January 1870.
Private Michael Hoare (then shown with E Squadron) is listed as having died at Woolwich on the 19th of October 1873. The
Effects and Credits of the muster state that he was a musician by trade when he enlisted and further that he was in possession
of a Mutiny medal with clasp for Lucknow when he died. His widow Jane is stated to have been allowed to retain this medal
upon her husband’s death. The married establishment further shows he had no children. His death was registered with the
Woolwich registry office and is shown in the returns for the December Quarter of 1873, volume ld, page 632. Michael Hoare
was 34 years old at the time of his death.
(Thanks are due to Kevin Asplin whose military biography of Michael Hoare, based upon Kevin’s own original research,
is liberally and extensively quoted above.)
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