|... until 14 August, 1860. He was also listed has having joined while still underage and forfeited all previous service credit.
On 29 November, 1860 he was turned over to civil authorities to answer charges for an unspecified felony. Convicted and again loosing
any service credit he had accumulated he remained in civil custody until 19 March, 1861.
Reinstated as a private upon his release he was again remanded to civil authorities on 6 July, 1861 for assault and robbery. Convicted
again he remained in jail until 27 December 1862. Upon release he was once more stripped of any service time his had earned during his
checkered time with the colours.
Wherry seems to have been well on his way to becoming the classic example of a “Queen’s hard case”.
He served a week in the cells on two separate occasions in 1863 for drunkenness while on duty.
Surprisingly his record remained clean from 15 August, 1863 until 9 October 1870 and he was granted Good Conduct Pay on 10 January,
1866 and again on 1 January, 1870 Wherry reengaged with his regiment at Wellington, India as a private on 10 October, 1870.
Promoted Corporal on 28 December, 1870 he was again arrested and awaiting trail for an unspecified crime or infraction on 30
December, 1872. Convicted of the unmentioned charges he was reduced to Private and released on 1 January, 1874. He also forfeited
his Good Conduct pay.
At this point of Wherry’s less than stellar military career something changed. He was appointed Corporal on 9 July, 1874 and then
Sergeant on 4 June, 1875. Granted Good Conduct Pay on I January, 1876, he was appointed Colour Sergeant on 2 May, 1878 and
granted Good Conduct Pay again on 13 January, 1881.
What had brought about this change in Wherry’s behavior? In less than four years he had gone from a Private with a dubious past to
Colour Sergeant. Looking through his records I think I found the answer. On 22 February, 1876 he is shown has having married Miss
Emily Clarke of Essex. Through the mists of time one can never be sure if Wherry’s meeting of his future wife prompted his change of
heart or if the change of heart prompted him to seek a wife a settle down. Either way the two events seem most certainly to have been
Wherry continued as Colour Sergeant until the end of his second term of engagement on 3 April 1883. At the time of his discharged
Wherry’s character and improved to the point that with the exception of five days (one of those being due to 1860 being a Leap Year) all
of his formerly forfeited service time was restored to him. He left the service with a total of 21 years, 27 days with the colours.
Wherry’s postings - both at home and overseas - with the 2/10 Regiment included the following:
Home: 20 August, 1858 – 7 December, 1859
Cape of Good Hope: 8 December, 1859 – 13 November, 1864
East Indies: 14 November, 1864 – 19 February, 1873
Home: 20 February, 1873 – 5 August, 1878
Malta: 6 August, 1878 – 16 February, 1880
Home: 17 February, 1880 – 3 April, 1883
While Wherry certainly did see quite a bit of the Empire he never saw active service in the field.
The Census of 1881 for Lincolnshire lists Wherry as a Colour Sergeant of the 10th Foot residing at the 30th Brigade Depot Barracks
along with his wife Emily and two daughters, Lilian age 3 and Emily age 1. William and Emily had two sons William Henry Jr., born on 3
July, 1881 and Alexander born just over a year later on 6 August, 1882. In 1891 now listed as an Army Pensioner, Wherry and his family
were residents of Kelvedon, Essex, having added one daughter to the brood – Bertha age 7. Still residing in Kelvedon in 1901 William
and Emily had one additional daughter listed and that being the 9-year-old Clara Wherry.
Former Colour Sergeant William H. Wherry, 2nd Battalion, 10th Regiment of Foot passed away in Essex in 1918 at the age of 77.
In this carte de visite Wherry wears the 1856 pattern tunic with the crossed rifle marksman badge on the cuff. His forage cap bears the
numeral “10”. Based on his rank of Private when the photo was taken and that he is wearing white drill trousers this photograph
probably taken while he was posted to India sometime between 1864 – 69.
Carte de Visite
|Above: The reverse of the carte de visite showing
the almost illegible inscription.