So this has nothing to do with the Boer War, even though this man William Murphy par took in the war. He was, No.2312 Sergeant William Murphy of the Royal Garrison Red 4th Battalion, Discharge 10.4.1905
Place of Discharge: Harrismith
This info was given to me, and would like to know if this means his wife died while with him. He was in the Mediterranean from 1901 -1904.
“Wife died struck off the strength of the Battalion 18.12.02.”
That one rang a bell somewhere. In the book "The Late Victorian Army" (Edward M. Spiers), in the chapter "The Rank and File" the author comments regarding soldiers' quarters - "Sharing those spartan quarters were the wives and children of the soldiers who had married with the permission of their Regimental Colonels". "It (the army) permitted only 4 - 7 % of private soldiers to marry "on the strength" , allowing their wives to live inside the barracks, feed free on half rations, and enrol their children in the regimental schools". Speirs goes on to comment on such as separation allowances and medical care for wives and children.
Hence, when Sgt. William Murphy's wife died, she was "struck off the strength of the Battalion".
If you are interested in such as the life of the enlisted soldier in the late Victorian army, I strongly recommend Speirs' book.
I will be damed if I can remember the name of the book but there is one out there with the story of "Wives, Children and Camp Followers of Victoria;s Army..... This will tell the whole story I am sure.....
Oh my! thanks QSAMIKE AND Linneyl. your info helps a lot in understanding what is going on. The couple were newly weds, married a year before the wife died. And they had a year old daughter.
Someone thought the wife was with him when he served in the Mediterranean 1901-1904. Is this possible? or would she have stayed in Ireland at the barracks?