Sunday, April 1, 2012
Wm Francis MIMMS ~ 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
William Francis MIMMS was my great, great uncle, another brother to James my great, great grandfather. He was the first born of James and Ann, and after his father died in 1852, when William Francis was 18 years old, it fell to him to earn a living to look after his mother and six siblings. At that time he was a tinplate worker, making metal boxes for stroring groceries in the warehouses along the Thames. It will not have been a well paid job. Maybe this is one reason he enlisted to the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars, at the Westminster recruiting office in November 1854. He was sent to the Crimea, where he served seven months. He went on to India where he served six and a half years, earning the Indian Mutiny Medal. Altogether he served 21 years in the 8th Hussars, and reached the rank of Troop Sergeant Major. He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal, and achieved a 2nd class school certificate. His pension was 1s 10 1/2d a day when he was discharged in 1875.
A year later, in 1876, he married an Irish widow, Margaret Bowman. They settled in Limehouse where they lived for the next twenty years in various rented rooms. By 1881 he had found himself a job as school attendance officer. The census describes him as Chelsea Pensioner and Schoolboard Visitor. In 1891 he is described as Visitor for School Board and School Inspector.
In all, he served 17 years working for the School Board. His health began to deteriorate, and he finished work just a year before he died, at the age of 63, from diabetic complications.