David Fort Ferguson died 28 January 2010 at the age of 66. A memorial page has been set up in his memory to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
On March 2nd 1815, in the parish of St. Helier on the Island of Jersey, James Ferguson Esquire of the His Majestys 57th Regiment of Foot married Mary Keith.
The Army List confirms that there was a James Ferguson of the 57th Foot, and that the Second Battalion of the Regiment (which had been formed just a few years previously, towards the end of the Napoleonic War) was stationed in Jersey at the time.
Further information from British Army records show that James (who signed his surname with the double-s (ß) in common usage at the time, in contrast to the official army documents which show his name with a single-s) joined the army as an Ensign on June 23rd 1813, at the age of 19, probably on a paid commission. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 21 April 1814 (just after the end of the Peninsula War) on the basis of merit.
Individual record entries show him as having received two days pay supplement in August 1815 for marching with part of his regiment from Gosport to Winton, and four days in September of that year for marching from Winton to the Isle of Wight. Together with the Second Battalion, therefore, James had left Jersey within a few months of getting married. There is no record of his wife Mary going with him; in fact his son Tom would subsequently give his place of birth as Jersey, implying either that Mary was pregnant at the time of her marriage, or that she remained in Jersey after James went back to the English mainland, or both.
By the end of 1815 the Second Battalion had been disbanded. Some members of it joined the First Battalion of the 57th, which had returned from the United States in August of that year, and were then sent to France, marching down to Paris as part of the Army of Occupation. Whether James Ferguson was among them is not clear. However, by 1817 he had declared himself not desirous of remaining in service, and retired on half pay.
He next appears in the records when he married again in 1825, in Aberdeenshire, where he married Helen Colly (or Collie) on May 17th. He seems to have remained there, in Peterculter, for the rest of his life, having four more children James (b. 1827), William (b. 1828), Christian (b 1831) and Archibald (b. 1834).
|Photo taken on March 24 1908.
Seated is Frederick Sires Ferguson, with his grandson Claude F (then aged 4 ¾). Standing, behind FSs right shoulder, is Alfred Ferguson, son of Frederick and CFs father, whilst behind FSs left shoulder (wearing the bowler hat) is Tom Ferguson, Frederick's younger brother.
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