Henry Whitmore

15th Hussars

Though not, in fact, Henry Whitmore, the above man is the same rank --Corporal-- and is wearing the uniform Whitmore could have worn as a Hussar.  The above comes from a larger photograph of the 8th Hussars in the Crimea.

Photograph, by Roger Fenton, courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division Digital ID cph 3g09344



Along with the 150-odd royal Engineers that made up the Columbia Detachment, the Colonial Office wished to add two Cavalry NCO's to form the cadre of any possible Volunteer Cavalry squadrons that might be required in British Columbia.

To this end,  two members of the 15th Hussars were sent: Serjeant John Smith and Corporal Henry Whitmore.

Whitmore traveled with the bulk of the RE on board the Thames City, arriving in Esquimalt in April of 1859.

Within a month of his arrival, noting the difficulties that horse travel would pose to a Colony with no roads and impenetrable forest, Whitmore was appointed, by Colonel Moody, a position in the town of New Westminster.

Department of the Justice of the Peace
Queenborough,  BC
10 May, 1859


I have the honor to request that you will be pleased to inform me whether it is your intention that Corporal Henry Whitmore of the 15th Hussars, who has been appointed by His Honor the Lieutenant Governor of  British Columbia to the office of Assistant Post Master at Queenborough, shall continue to be borne on your Roll for Rations, or whether I am to enter his name on that of this Department. May I venture to suggest that the latter would be found to be the simplest mode of proceeding and might save confusion at a future period.

If it is decided that Corporal Whitmore is to be rationed by my Department, I have to request that you will be pleased to furnish me with a Scale, as issued to the Royal Engineers.

I have the honor to be,
Your Most obedient Servant,
Spauldng, JP.

Note: Forwarded for the decision of the Colonel Commanding
By Order
HRLuard, Captain RE
11th May, 1859

The Act. Commissary authorized and requested to make arrangements for rationing Corp. Whitmore.
16th May, 1859

Queenborough, BC
21st May 1859.


As you informed me of your intention of detaching Corporal Whitmore of the 15th Hussars for Service in the Post Office here, I have the honor to request that he may be directed to assume the duties of Assistant Post Master, and to take up his residence permanently at this place early as possible.

I have the honor to be,
Spaulding, JP

Queenborough, 21st May 1859

"...Corporal Whitmore, 15th Hussars, to be appointed as the Assistant Postmaster for Mr. Spaulding, Justice of the Peace..."

-- From Letter from Captain Luard

Post Office
Queenborough, BC
18th June, 1859


I have the honor to state that owning to the great increase of the population of this place, it is a considerable detriment to, and interruption of business, that Corporal Whitmore, 15th Hussars, Assistant Post Master, is obliged to proceed to the camp with letters upon the arrival of each Steamer from Victoria.

I therefore beg leave to suggest that Sergeant Bridgeman who has been appointed as Post Master Sergeant for the Camp, may be instructed to call at this Office for letters upon each arrival of Steamers from Victoria.

I have the honor to be,
Spaulding, JP

Three weeks later, things abruptly change for Whitmore.

5 July, 1859


I have the honor to state that in consequence of the frequent and continued irregular conduct of Corporal Henry Whitmore of the 15th Hussars, Assistant Post Master at this place, and also owing to the enmity he has raised against himself amongst the inhabitants here, my duty compels me to request that he may be ordered to return to his duty at the Camp, as early as possible.

I beg leave also to request that a steady Non-Commissioned Officer may be appointed to the Situation of Assistant Post master of Queenborough.

I have the Honor to be,
Spaulding, JP

Soon after, Whitmore appears to have been reduced in Rank and imprisoned.

New Westminster, 12th December, 1859
Memo 16

To Captain Lempriere,

The Acting Quartermaster is requested to provide accommodations in Barracks, for Private Whitmore, 15th Hussars, the remainder of whose punishment has been remitted by the Colonel Commanding.

By Order,
HRLuard, Captain RE

Whitmore is referred to again with his fellow-Hussar, Serjeant Smith.

New Westminster, 3rd February 1860
Memo 24
To Captain Lempriere

The Acting Quartermaster is requested to cause a Light Cavalry Sword and Accoutrements to be issued to the under mentioned:

Serjeant J. Smith, 15th Hussars
Private H. Whitmore, 15th Hussars

By Order,
HRLuard, Captain RE

According to Consolidated Pay List for the Columbia Detachment for the quarter ended 30th June 1861, Henry Whitmore does NOT appear.