Fonds MC 24 - Journals of Charles William Quevillart

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Reference code

MC 24


Journals of Charles William Quevillart


  • 1853-1903 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

19 pieces

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Name of creator

(1831-? 1903)

Biographical history

Born in 1831. Son of James George Leopold Quevillart and Elizabeth Denny; from 1837 the family lived in Norwich. Married Alice Scales on 12 September 1868 at Newington.

Quevillart enlisted in the army in 1853, and his diaries give a very detailed account of conditions in the service, and of his life as a recruit, first as an infantry soldier, and later in a cavalry regiment. In the hope of being placed on active service abroad, he several times joined new regiments, both with and without authorisation. He was in the Crimea in 1855, and spent 10 years in India, from 1858 to 1867. His regiment did not take an active part in the campaign in India, but Quevillart gives a minutely detailed account of the day to day life of the troops. His interest in medicine began during these years, and in 1866 he was made a Hospital Sergeant.

In the 1870's, Quevillart's status was increasingly threatened by the implementation of the Cardwellian Army Reform Act of 1870, which abolished the ranks of Regimental Hospital Sergeant and Compounder in Medicine and required their replacement by medical officers. At first, Quevillart was permitted to remain on the hospital staff, but in 1876 he was finally demoted, and later that year obtained his discharge from the army, feeling that he had been forced to leave his chosen profession against his will. He remained embittered by the effect of the Cardwellian reforms.

In 1877, he returned to Norwich with his wife and children, where he lived for the remainder of the period covered by his journals, and looked for employment as a civilian. For fourteen years he was a messenger and caretaker in the London and Provincial Bank, Hay Hill, and after he was discharged from this post in 1891, he moved to a house in North Heigham.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 31 March 1976 (MS 21574).

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Scope and content

The journals up to 1870, and particularly those written during his years abroad, are illustrated with Quevillart's own drawings.

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