David Kimpton joined the British Army at the Hertford district Headquarters of the 13th Hussars on the 3rd of December 1866. At
that time he gave his age as 19 and was paid a pound for enlisting with a pound and a shilling going to the district. The 13th
Hussars were serving in Canada during this period, as such David Kimpton is sent to the Cavalry Depot at Canterbury where he joins
the 13th Hussars contingent under Captain T.G. Johnson and is given the regimental number of 871.
It would be normal for soldiers in this period to spent around 3 or 4 months at the depot (during which they would be given the
rudiments of training in being a soldier) before being sent abroad to the service companies. It would seem however that the 13th
Hussars have no great need for men in Canada as the contingent at Canterbury continued to swell through 1867 and into 1868.
David is sent on furlough from the 1st to the 28th of February 1868 and it is not until the 10th of June 1868 that he leaves
Canterbury and travels to Liverpool. At the docks the 13th Hussars contingent of 3 officers (commanded by Lt. R.J.A. Webb) and
104 men board a vessel for passage to Canada and the vessel sails on the 11th.
The depot contingent arrives in Canada on the 24th of June and after travelling overland it arrives at the Headquarters of the
Hussars at Toronto on the 13th of July 1868. Private Kimpton spends the next year at Toronto during which time he would have
found his life to be much improved from that he knew in England, the Canada posts were highly prized and universally enjoyed. The
tour of the 13th Hussars was completed in July of 1869, the regiment marching to Quebec from Toronto and Montreal and boarding
the ‘Simoom’ on the 29th and 30th of that month. The ‘Simoom’ left Canada at 4pm on the 30th of July and carried 19 officers and
403 men of the Hussars and the 4th Brigade of the Royal Artillery. After dropping off the artillery at Kingstown (Dublin) the vessel
proceeded to Birkenhead, Liverpool where it docked on the 13th of August.
From Liverpool the 13th Hussars were sent by special train to York where they relieved the 15th Hussars. The quiet spell at York was
to be short as two squadrons of the 13th Hussars were ordered to Manchester on the 8th of December to relieve the 1st Dragoon
Guards who had been ordered to Ireland. The following day these two squadrons were sent instead to Sheffield, it is not clear if
David was with this contingent or remained at York. After serving for 3 years and keeping his ‘nose clean’ Private Kimpton is granted
a penny a day extra for Long Service and Good Conduct as of the 4th of December 1869.
On the 15th of March 1870 the regiment is ordered to Scotland with the unit being based at Edinburgh with an outstation at
Hamilton. The majority of the men left York on the 4th of April 1870 and arrived at Edinburgh on the 18th of that month where they
moved into Piershill barracks. Although David has married at this time, he is not on the strength of the married roll which is limited to
only a handful of wives by army orders. As such there are only a handful of privates on the married roll (nearly all the available places
being taken by SNCO’s wives) and David would have needed to pay for passage and accommodation for his family. Private Kimpton
loses his good conduct pay for an offence on the 1st of July 1870 (the nature of which is not stated) and there are no other
occurrences until he goes on leave from the 1st of January until the 31st of January 1871. The Headquarters of the 13th Hussars
leave Edinburgh on the 2nd of May 1871 and arrive at their new station of Leeds on the 17th of that month, the majority of the
families travelling by rail from Piershill barracks to Leeds in two trains on the 2nd and 5th of May. Besides the troops at Leeds the
Hussars also send out detachments to Preston, Bury and Ashton.
Having not committed any more indiscretions for a year the Good Conduct pay is restored to Private Kimpton on the 1st of July
1871, only for it to be revoked again on the 27th of August. This begins a short period of disturbance for David in the musters, he
losses pay for the 30th and 31st of October (normally due to absence without leave) and then is allowed a days leave for the 11th
and 18th of February 1872 and the 3rd, 10th and 17th of March 1872. No reason for this absence is given. The problems continue
with pay forfeit from the 29th of March until the 1st of April, 27th and 28th of April, 7th and 8th of May and the 13th to 16th of
May. Private Kimpton is held in cells from the 19th to the 22nd of May 1872 and it is undoubtedly a good job that in June the
regiment is moved from Leeds.
The 13th Hussars leave Leeds and it’s outstations on or around the 14th of June 1872 and arrive at Aldershot 3 days later, the
families and dismounted elements of the regiment travelling down by train on the 26th of June. Unfortunately the regiment the
Hussars were to relieve (the 7th Hussars) had not yet vacated the West Cavalry Barracks so it was not until August the 17th that
they moved into the buildings, having spent several weeks under canvas. The regiment went on Autumn manoeuvres on August the
26th and marched to Rushall near Salisbury Plain, arriving on the 31st. For the next 11 days the regiment took part in war games all
around the plain with other cavalry regiments acting as enemy until they ended up at Durrington on the 11th of September from
whence they marched for Aldershot the next day. The journey back to Aldershot was taken at a leisurely pace and took 8 days to
complete via Pewsey, Hungerford, Crookham Heath, Burghfield and Hazeley Heath. David goes on leave on December the 21st 1872
for Christmas, returning on the 26th and is again on leave in the new year, having the 1st to 27th of February 1873 away on
All is quiet for the 13th Hussars until June of 1873, David is on leave on the 9th of that month and on the 23rd he is part of the
regimental move to Windsor for the state visit of the Shah of Persia, the men camp in Windsor park that evening. The hussars took
part in a review for the Shah and H.M. the Queen on the 24th and returned to Aldershot the following day. With the Autumn
manoeuvres taking place at Dartmoor the Hussars sent 3 squadrons to Exeter on the 29th of July. During the next few weeks the
men on this exercise had a miserable time on Dartmoor beset by foul weather, high winds and downpours and suffered greatly from
lack of clothing and shelter. The War games went on throughout July and into mid-August before the final day of exercise at
Ringmoor on the 13th of August 1873. During the period that these men had been exercising the remainder of the Hussars at
Aldershot had prepared for a move of station with the majority of the men from Aldershot arriving at Colchester on the 31st of July
(David was in this contingent), the men from the manoeuvres arrived at Aldershot in early September after a 21 day march from
The Hussars had been given a warning order for service in India by October of 1873 which entailed a small decrease of it’s numbers,
an inspection on the 2nd of that month gave the Duke of Cambridge (the reviewing officer) the chance to bit the regiment farewell.
In preparation for this service the men were sent on leave, Private Kimpton being away from the 4th of December 1873 until New
Years Day 1874 by which time the barracks at Colchester was handed over to the 21st Hussars. The 13th Hussars travelled from
Colchester to Portsmouth on the 6th and 7th of January 1874 by train and there boarded the Indian troopship H.M.S. Serapis which
sailed at 3pm on the 8th. After a short stop at Malta the troopship arrived at Bombay at 11am on the 12th of February having
passed through the Suez Canal. The regiment proceeded to Deolali on the 13th and after a 6 day rest period it entrained for
passage to Lucknow, arriving there on the 25th of February 1874.
Both the musters and regimental history are lacking in detail for the next few years, the Indian Service musters not carrying details
of transport or married lists. The Hussars remain quietly at the cantonments in Lucknow until November of 1875 when the men are
ordered to take part in the Camp of Exercise at Delhi. The Hussars travel via Cawnpore, Etah and Alligurh to Delhi where they arrive
on December the 14th 1875, the exercise then proceeding until the 19th of January 1876. On the 12th of January the regiment were
inspected at Delhi by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales who would later be King Edward the 7th. The long march back to Lucknow was from
the 20th of January 1875 until the 23rd of February via Muttra, Agra and Etawah. During this period Private Kimpton finally gets his
penny of Good Conduct pay back, probably in December 1875.
There are no details in the musters or regimental history then until 1878, it would seem that the men went about there normal lives
with very little event. Private Kimpton gets a second penny of good conduct pay from April of 1878 and on the 2nd of October 1878
he leaves India for passage to England as a Time Expired soldier. Having signed on in December 1866 for a 12 year period Private
Kimpton has plainly decided not to serve a second period of service to gain a pension (24 years service) and has been given passage
back to England for discharge. It would seem that he is discharged on arrival in England as he does not appear in either the Cavalry
Depot roll at Canterbury or Discharge depot at Gosport.
Musters & Paylists : 13th Hussars (1868-1878, WO 12/ 1132-1140 & WO 16/ 1237)
: Cavalry Depot (1866-1868, WO12/ 12219-12221)
Book: History of the 13th Hussars, C.R.B. Barrett, Blackwood & Sons, 1911
|David Kimpton - 13th Hussars - Served 1866 to 1878