From the late 1850s until the 1870s, much correspondence was sent from Jamaica to Major (later Colonel) Henry Kent. These are often, philatelically and visually, most attractive covers, as he was stationed in India which required a high postage rate and hence unusual combinations of adhesive stamps.

Click here to view cover inventory

Information on Henry Kent is limited but the following has been assembled from internet sources:

Date Middlesex Regiment Kent Ref
1787 Regiment raised in India 1
1807 Various assignments in Europe and West Indies, then Peninsula war 1
1814–20 The 77th remained near Bayonne until 25 Aug, 1814, being the last regiment to leave the Peninsular. It landed on 8/9 September at Cork and began six years service in Ireland. 1
1820–23 In November 1820 the regiment changed to England, and after a year at Rochdale, Sunderland and Hexham, went fist to Glasgow and then to Edinburgh, and finally in June 1823 went back to Ireland 1
1824-34 In January 1824, the 77th embarked at Cork for Jamaica, where they remained ten years. 1
1824 Aug 24 Father (Capt Henry) married Eliza
1825 Aug 3 Born 4
1834 May 17 The 77th left Jamaica on 17 May 1834, and landed on 24 Jun at Portsmouth. Two months later they went to Scotland, and at the end of the following year to Liverpool, and thence in April 1836 to Ireland, where they remained a little over 18 months. 1
1834 Father (Capt Henry) Stipendiary Magistrate in Jamaica. Appointed to oversee the Great Abolition (of slavery)
1837 Sister Euphenia Alexandrina Victoria born at Port Royal, Jamaica
1837 Nov 21 The 77th embarked at the Cove of Cork for Malta, where it was stationed until Feb 1842. 1
1842 Feb Corfu – After barely a year at Corfu the 77th went again to 1
1843 Apr Jamaica, where it arrived in April 1843 and remained till January 1846. 1
1845 Aug 8 Ensign (purchased) in the 77th (East Middlesex) Regt of Foot 3
1846 Jan The next move was to Canada, where the stations were Halifax, St. Johns (Canada East) and Montreal. 1
1848 May 19 The regiment left Montreal on a steam vessel, and next day embarked for England at Quebec. 1
1849 May 22 The 77th remained at home till the outbreak of the Crimean War, its stations being Portsmouth, Newport, Plymouth, Weedon and Glasgow. 1
1850 Aug 23 Lieutenant (purchased) 3
1854 to 1856 The Regiment fought in the Crimea from 1854 to 1856. (click here for image)

Varna (June 1854), Alma (20 September 1854), Inkerman (5 November 1854), Sebastopol (25 September 1854 to 8 September 1855)

Major Kent served the Eastern campaign of 1855 including the battles of Alma and Inkerman and siege of Sebastopol. Medal and Clasps 5th Class of the Medjididle and Turkish Medal 1
1854 Sept 27 Captain 3
1854 Oct 27 Letter to mother in Jamaica
1854 Nov 25 Letter to sister, Mary, in Jamaica
1855 Feb 12 Letter to father in Jamaica
Uniform Image

His coatee, of a pattern superseded in 1855, is well-worn, with patches on the underarm upper edge of the right sleeve, the left sleeve at the elbow and below the elbow on the right sleeve. On each shoulder is a brass stud and short brass strap for attaching epaulettes (now absent). Kent, who was first commissioned into the 77th Regiment as an ensign in 1845, clearly gained in bulk over the years: the coatee has been enlarged on the left and right side with a gusset, and the bodice has been lengthened all around at the waist.

He returned home on 26 March 1855.
1855/ 1856 Married Caroline Ward at Wolverhampton between Oct 1855 & Jan 1856
1856 The 77th reached England on 23 July 1856; and, after spending less than a year at Aldershot and Dublin, Not listed amongst officers who returned to the UK 1
1857 embarked for New South Wales in June 1857, before the news of the Indian Mutiny had arrived. Arrived NSW 30 Sept. Little over seven months had been spent at Sydney, when, 1
1858 in April 1858, orders were received to proceed to India. The voyage took eight weeks, and it was only on June 13th that the Regiment landed at Calcutta. It was the hottest season of the year, and the men sickened so fast that the 77th was kept at Calcutta till the spring, when it was too late to have any share in the fighting. 1
Colonel Straton died immediately after his arrival in India on 15 June 1858. Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. A.G. Chichester then held command for ten years, 2
1858 Aug 24 Major 3
1859-70 The 77th which had been raised for service in India, had now returned after an interval of 50 years. Its second term was as free from incident as the first had been the reverse. The stations were: 1
1859 Sasseram 1
1859 Mar · Benares, where a detachment under Major Kent was employed in April 1859 against a body of rebels in the Kymoor Hills, 1
1860 Dec · Hazaribagh 1
1862 Nov · Allahabad 1
1864 Nov · Bareilly 1
1866 Oct · Agra 1
1867 Feb · Peshawar 1
1868 Jan · Nowshera (1868). 1
1869 Feb · Agra -- In the autumn of 1868 disturbances in the Hazara country led to the dispatch of an expedition under General Wilde. Two companies of the 77th, which happened to be employed in road making between Abbotabad and Murree, under the command of Captain C.E. Leggett, formed part of the 2nd Brigade under Brigadier Luther Vaughan. Though the force employed was of a considerable size, and the campaign lasted some weeks, there was very little fighting 1
1868 Jun13 Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Kent succeeded Hon. A.G. Chichester (n command of the 77th (East Middlesex) Regt. of Foot) Lieutenant-Colonel (in command of the 77th) 1
1870 The 77th left India in April 1870 being the first regiment to pass through the Suez Canal. At Portland, Dorset 1
1870-80. Ten years were spent at home.
1873 Colonel 3
1873 Jun 12 Father (Capt Henry Kent) died
1876 May In Ireland, returned to England Feb 1880
1880 June 21 Colonel Kent retired after thirty-five years service, and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel Humphrey M. L. Colquhoun. Retired from 77th 2.2
1881 Jul 1 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment of Foot united with the 57th Regiment to form The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). 2
1883 Major-General 4
1886 Retired (as Hon. Lieut. General) 4
1891 Feb25 Wife, Caroline died
1900 Nov 30 Sir George Willis, first Colonel of the Middlesex Regiment, died in 1900 and was succeeded on November 30 by Major-General and Honorary Lieut.-General Henry Kent, who had joined the 77th so long ago as 1845, and is now, after seventy years, still Colonel of the Middlesex Regiment. He has been Hon. Colonel of the Royal East Middlesex Militia (now the 6th Battalion) since 1890. Made Hon. Colonel of the Middlesex Regmt. 2
1920 Regiment renamed to The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 2
1921 Feb 24 Times of 2 Mar 1921 reports on the funeral at Christ Church North Wimbledon and buried at Hastings. No mention of any family at the funeral. Died (Wimbledon – 16 Glenthorne, The Downs)






1 From the web page ‘The Middlesex Regiment 1755-1966’ the history of the regiment is taken:


2 Records of the Seventy-seventh (East Middlesex) By Henry Herriott Woollright

2.1 The whole corps remained at Sasseram till the 12th March 1859, when the left wing, under Colonel Deverellt marched to Benares and occupied Raj Ghaut Fort there.

On the 1st April a party of the right wing, under Major Kent, was ordered out in pursuit of a body of rebels, who had suddenly appeared on the grand trunk road, and proceeded into the Kymoor Hills. Owing, however, to want of water and transport difficulties, the detachment was unable to come up with the enemy, and returned to Sasseram on the 6th April The rebels, having suddenly come down from the hills in the neighbourhood of Jdianabad, Major Kent's party was ordered out again at 2 a.m. next day, and marched to Jdianabad (i6 miles from Sasseram), arriving there at 7 a.m. The same day they resumed their march, and continued in dose pursuit of the rebels, until they had driven them on to the banks of the

Ganges, where another column sent in pursuit cut them off The 77th detachment returned to Sasseram on the 12th.

The headquarters of the regiment, with the band and staff, proceeded on the 20th July to Benares, the right wing, under Major Kent, remaining at Sasseram 1860. till it marched to relieve the 37th Regiment at Ghazeepore on the 1st March, 1860.

2.2 Colonel Kent was placed on half-pay on the 21st June, and announced his retirement in the following Regimental Order? — "Seventy-seventh — for thirty-five years I have served with you; for twelve years I have commanded you. It is with no ordinary feeling of regret that, on being placed on half-pay, I take leave of the regiment so dear to me, and that I love so well Most of my happiest recollections are, and will be, associated with it. Many of you were not born when I first joined the regiment under that distinguished officer Colonel Graham Egerton. But from my first day with it to the last I have ever felt an increasing attachment to it, and when by the favour of Her Majesty, and with the approbation of His Royal Highness the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief, I was called to the command of it, it was my earnest desire to realize the importance of the trust committed to me — and looking back on the past I can truly say that I have spared no pains, no effort to make it as efficient as possible in every respect

** Nor in saying this do I assume to myself any credit, as I only tried to do my duty; while for the efficient state of the regiment I am mainly indebted to the zealous support which I have received from the officers and non- commissioned officers.

"It will always be a source of pride and pleasure to me that while maintaining the strictest discipline you have looked upon me more as a friend than a commander over you, and with the sincerest Wishes for your future success and welfare, I bid you all affectionately farewell'

3 From ‘Hart's Annual Army List, Militia List, and Imperial Yeomanry List’ By H G Hartwe learn that he was assigned to the 77th (East Middlesex) Regt of Foot and from the article below he became on and retired.

Major Kent served the Eastern campaign of 1855 including the battles of Alma and Inkerman and siege of Sebastopol Medal and Clasps 5th Class of the Medjididle and Turkish Medal

4 Atmore, Bill