|Yeoman Warder Kester C. Knight recently identified by Mr. Brian Prescott of Jade Publishing. The following information on Knight
was kindly provided to soldiersofthequeen.com by Mr. Prescott and appears in book Yeoman of the Guard.
Knight, Kester. C. Serjeant Major. Royal Sappers and Miners. No. 1249. Born 1827 at Haslemere, Surrey . He attested 12 May,
1846 at Woolwich, by trade a carpenter, and served on Gibraltar for five years and eight months, in the Crimea and in Turkey for
two years and two months and in China for two years and nine months. He served in all for 22 years, 295 days to 2 March, 1869
being discharged at Chatham to live at New Brompton. His name did not appear in the Regimental Defaulters’ Book. He was a
Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London from 14 July, 1878 , vice Trumpet Major John Hatton, Royal Horse Guards. In 1881, he
was living at the Broad Arrow Tower with his wife, Elizabeth, who had been born at Leigh, Essex, and one son, Edwin Thomas, who
had been born at Chatham in 1865. In 1891, he was living at the Tower with a new wife, Mary Ann. Medal group known, sold at
Glendining in 1965, and subsequently in the Matthew Taylor Collection: Queen’s Crimea (Inkermann and Sebastopol, Sgt), China
1857-60 (Taku Forts 1860 and Pekin 1860, Colour Serjeant), MSM (Awarded c.1869 with £10 annuity, for gallantry in China),
French Médaille Militaire and Turkish Crimea Medal. The only other Yeoman Warder entitled to the French Médaille Militaire was
Serjeant Major Foley. Knight appears to be the only Yeoman Warder entitled to the China Medal. The Meritorious Service Medal
was only the 15th awarded to the Royal Sappers and Miners. His was one of only seven French War Medals to the Royal Sappers
and Miners in the Crimean War. The citation for the French medal reads “Joined the Army at Scutari in May, 1854. Present at
every bombardment. Specially selected by Colonel Tylden for important daily duties in the trenches of the right attack, and was
subsequently strongly recommended by him for promotion which he received.” In 1887, he was the senior RS&M and RE MSM
annuitant. He died in Broad Arrow Tower and was buried at Bow 11 June, 1894 and was succeeded by Serjeant Major Johnston,
Royal Sussex Regiment. ƒ * (104)
The C after Knight, Kester refers to him as having served in the Crimea. the f shows that Knight was one of 39 men who may have
been present in January, 1885 when a Fenian supporter exploded a bomb at the White Tower. The * indicates that his photograph is
one of those contained in an album presented to the Duke of York, later King George V, in 1893 to commemorate his wedding to
Mary of Teck. The number (104) denotes that Knight was the 104th Yeoman Warder appointed from the date (1823) when
appointments were made from the ranks of former NCOs of the Army or Royal Marines. This new system was initiated by the Duke
of Wellington, who was, for a period, the Constable of the Tower of London.
In the photograph Knight is standing in Water Lane not far from the Traitor's Gate in the Tower of London.
William Wright, - Photographer
188-190 Bethnal Green Road, 98 Cheapside, 81 High Street, Whitechapel, 10 Upper Street Islington & 71 Green Lanes, Stoke,
Newington, London, England.
|Mr. Prescott also provide this photograph of Sergeant Major
Kester Knight, Royal Sappers and Miners that was taken
sometime after the end of the Crimean War. The photo appears
in the book Yeoman of the Guard published by Jade Publishing.