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Ross the Piper

Letter of Reference

from the Royal Archives at Windsor

                                          May 4th, 1854


   In obedience to Her Majesty's commands
conveyed to me in your letter of yesterday's date,
I have the honor to furnish you with the following
statement of the services and character of Pipe-
Major Wm. Ross of the Regiment under my command.
   He enlisted into the 42nd on the 1st March 1839
at the age of 17 years.  He deserted on the 20th
May 1839, was apprehended on the 30th November
1839, tried by District Court Martial and sentenced
to two months imprisonment with forfeiture of
all his service.  In consequence of his subsequent
good conduct he was restored to his service on
the 4th October 1845, promoted to Corporal on the
21st March 1851, and to Sergeant and Pipe Major
on the 6th January 1853.  His name appears
only twice, and for trifling offences in the
Company's and Regimental Defaulters' Books.
   As a non-commissioned officer he has never
been guilty of a single irregularity.  His
military character is therefore extremely good.
   I also sincerely believe him to be a
respectable and moral man, and he bears
that character universally in the Regiment.
He is sober, steady, regular in his habits,
active and willing, and not likely to give
himself airs.  Like all Highlanders he is a
bit obstinate, but not to a troublesome extent.
He is strictly honest and trustworthy.  In addition
to his other duties he has been employed for the
last two years as Regimental Postmaster,
and has constantly been entrusted with considerable
sums of money.  He is so useful a non-commissioned
officer, that under any other circumstances I
should very much regret the loss of his services.
   He is entitled to a free discharge.  He is
married to a respectable woman but has no
   I believe I have now supplied you with
all the information you desire about Pipe
Major Ross, and I beg to assure you that
if I were aware of any defects in his character
disqualifying him for the situation of her
Majesty's Piper, I should be tempted rather
to exaggerate than conceal them: for I shall
be extremely mortified if his future conduct
should be found not to correspond with the
high character I have given him.  Even the
best soldiers however, when forced from the
restraints of discipline to which they have
been long accustomed are liable to change
for the worse.  I have a confident hope
that this will not be the case with Sergeant

              I have the honor to be
               Your most obedient
                      humble servant
                          DA Cameron
                           Lt. Col. 42nd Regt.

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