The 1891 Census reveals the presence of representatives of three
separate Stentiford families at the Higher Barracks in Exeter. The first
group was a complete family living in there in the married quarters and
we shall be returning to tell their story in a later Issue.
Then we can trace the presence of a young soldier referred to as "
Alfred Stentiford" but there is considerable evidence to support
our belief that his correct name was "Albert Stentiford". His
place of birth is given as Morchard Bishop and he is described as being
17 years old. A check in that Parish Register reveals him as being
Albert, the son of James and Lucy Stentiford, who was baptised there on 24 May
1874. At the time of the census he was described as a private in what
was considered to be one of the senior infantry regiments in the British
Army - the 11th Foot .
Looking through the complete census return for the Higher Barracks
reveals a large number of women together with children who were born on
British Army bases ranging from Aldershot to the East Indies. These were
chiefly the families of the married NCOs who followed their husbands and
fathers around the British Empire when the order to march was given.
The return also shows a large number of quite young single men
ranging from trumpeters to gunners to horse drivers, a surprising number
of whom were recruited from counties outside Devon. But Albert
Stentiford was a Devon man and we can also find another - a Charles Stentiford who
was right at home - he was born in Exeter and was 18 - just a year older