The Unattached List recorded Warrant Officers (Conductors and Sub- Conductors) and Non-Commissioned Officers (mainly Sergeants) who were not attached to a regiment. This mainly covered soldiers working for the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments. Before 1859 this list was known as the Town Major's List in Bengal/Bombay and Effective Supernumeraries in Madras.
G.O.G.G. of 24th November 1821, in respect of Bengal, issued the "Rules for the re-establishment of the Town Major’s List". The staff it applied to included the Ordnance and Army Commissariats, and all Departments of Army or Garrison Staff, Public Offices, Military Agencies, Charitable Asylums, and the Stud and Ecclesiastical Department.
In respect of the later years (1900 onwards) "...the term 'Unattached List' refers to those British Army NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers) who were seconded from their regiments to do duty with the Indian Army mainly in the following administrative departments: Royal Indian Army Service Corps, Indian Army Ordnance Corps, Military Engineer Services and Public Works Department, Indian Army Corps of Clerks, Remount Department, Military Farms Department. There were also a number of miscellaneous appointments on the Unattached List comprehended under the term 'India Miscellaneous List'" or the alternative name 'Indian Miscellaneous List',or I.M.L.. There was also an earlier Bengal Miscellaneous List.
(nb. For purposes of online searching it is to be noted that the word is more often spelled as "Serjeant")
The following list provides examples of the variety of occupations in which a sergeant could be employed. Many of these positions were of significant importance and standing and the chance to attain them was one of the attractions of joining the Company's army rather than the King's/Queen's army.
- Arrack Godown Sergeant (arrack or arak, a coarse spirit distilled from grain, rice, sugar cane etc; godown, a warehouse)
- Barrack Sergeant
- Bazar (or Bazaar) Sergeant
- Bullock Sergeant. An early form of Transport Sergeant responsible for organising the contracting of bullock carts in support of troop movements.
- Cantonment Sergeant-Major
- Commissariat Staff Sergeant
- Engineering Sergeant-Major
- Garrison Sergeant
- Hospital Sergeant
- Key Sergeant
- Laboratory Sergeant
- Quarter Master Sergeant
- Road Sergeant. The duties were supervising the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges in military cantonments
- Saluting Sergeant
- Sergeant Instructor
- Sergeant Overseer
- Signal Sergeant
- Store Sergeant
This India List thread advises that duties of one soldier while on the Unattached List included the training in weaponry of the builders of one of the Indian railways (probably the Kalka-Simla), in order to defend themselves from attacks which were an ever present threat.
- Peter Bailey, "The 'Unattached List'," FIBIS Journal, No 12 (Autumn 2004). For details of how to access this article online, see FIBIS Journals.
- Lawrie Butler, "The Marriages of Margaret McCombe: A combined London-Sydney effort" FIBIS Journal No 24 (Autumn 2010), pages 12-18. For details of how to access this article, see FIBIS Journals. This article includes research in respect of a Barrack Sergeant
- Carol Gilbert, "Fanciful Memories? The Foothead Family and India" FIBIS Journal No 24 (Autumn 2010), pages 29-35. For details of how to access this article, see FIBIS Journals. This article includes research in respect of a Road Sergeant, Effective Supernumeraries
- Michael Garnett, "William Garnett, the Volunteering Major" FIBIS Journal No 26 (Autumn 2011), pages 26-30. He joined the Bengal Unattached List in 1883 and was located at Cawnpore, where he worked for a time with the Army Boot Factory. He was appoined Commissary and Honorary Major in 1912. For details of how to access this article, see FIBIS Journals
- FIBIS database: Annual Unattached List - only 3 names transcribed but provides an example of information included.
- FIBIS database: Soldiers’ and Widows’ Pension details -1896 IOR/ L/MIL/14/214 & 215 Includes previous members of the Bengal, Madras and Bombay Armies, including men from the Unattached List. May also include a few members of the Indian Army which officially was formed in 1895. These records are available on LDS microfilm 2029979 Items 1-2 with catalogue entry, however the FIBIS database record contains all the information available in the microfilm.
- Bengal Army Muster Rolls and Casualty Returns: IOR/L/MIL/10/181 1859 includes Unattached List
- Bengal Army Muster Rolls and Casualty Returns : IOR/L/MIL/10/183 1860 includes Unattached List
- Bengal Army Annual Returns - Unattached List IOR/L/MIL/10/201-252 1859-1907
- Bengal Army Monthly Casualty Returns - Unattached List IOR/L/MIL/10/253-300 1866-1907
- Madras Army Annual Returns and Casualty Rolls - Unattached List IOR/L/MIL/11/186-231 1863-1907
- Madras Army Quarterly and Monthly Returns and Casualty Rolls - Unattached List IOR/L/MIL/11/232-276 1853-1907
- Bombay Army Monthly Returns and Casualty Rolls - Unattached List IOR/L/MIL/12/198-265 1855-1907
- Bombay Army Annual Returns - Unattached List IOR/L/MIL/12/266-280 1893-1907
- Supply & Transport Corps: Register of services of British subordinates of the Supply & Transport Corps, 6th Poona Division, Bombay Army IOR/L/MIL/12/289 1872-1914
- India Unattached List Annual Returns IOR/L/MIL/14/144-175 1908-1944
- India Unattached List Annual Returns - Burma Division IOR/L/MIL/14/176-182 1904-1910
- India Unattached List Monthly Increase and Decrease Statements IOR/L/MIL/14/183-190 1907-1914
- India Unattached List Monthly Increase and Decrease Statements - Burma Division IOR/L/MIL/14/191-194 1904-1907
- Collection 46 Warrant and non-commissioned officers: position, pay, leave, promotion, discharge, etc. IOR/L/MIL/7/1877-2135 1867-1942 includes
- Collection 46/153 Time scale of promotion for the India Miscellaneous List. IOR/L/MIL/7/2039 1918-1923
- Special category of Departmental and Warrant Officers IOR/L/AG/21/14 1950-1956
It is possible, although not known definitely, that there may be records in the series "Indian Army Records of Service IOR/L/MIL/14/239/1-72481" c 1901-1947. For more details about this series of records, see Indian Army-Records
Microfilms held elsewhere
- LDS (Mormon) films:
- The Madras Unattached List records "Madras Army Annual Returns and Casualty Rolls - Unattached List IOR/L/MIL/11/186-231 1863-1907" and "Madras Army Quarterly and Monthly Returns and Casualty Rolls - Unattached List IOR/L/MIL/11/232-276 1853-1907", refer above, are stated to be included in the LDS microfilm series called "Madras army muster, quarterly, annual and casualty rolls, 1762-1907", film catalogue entry which consists of India Office Collection no.: L/MIL/11/109-276. There are however 41 microfilms in this series, and it is not stated which are the films in respect of the Unattached List. As a "best guess" the Unattached List films appear to be from film no. 1886057 onwards, however perhaps not all the films listed in this sequence relate to the Unattached List.
- Bombay Army monthly returns and casualty rolls - unattached list, 1855-1907 L/MIL/12/198-265 Film catalogue entry
- John Kerr - Unattached List - Sergeant in the Viceroy’s Band The Asplin Military History Resources
- Partial Listing of the Bengal (Punjab) Unattached List for 01/01/1903 The Asplin Military History Resources
- Calcutta Annual Register 1821
- Special category of Departmental and Warrant Officers IOR/L/AG/21/14 Access to Archives
- Most of the information in this section comes from this India List April 2000 post by Peter Bailey
- A Barrack Serjeant was attached to the Public Works Department in 1828 at Cawnpore; The responsibilities of the Barrack Department in the UK in 1867 Google Books
- A document forwarded by email dated 1 July 2010 to User:Maureene accessed “a while ago” from the website rlc-conductor.info , but not apparently accessible at 3 July 2010
- Hospital Serjeant is mentioned in the following books in respect of the British Army, but the duties may have been similar in India. 1813,1856, 1863, 1864 Google Books
- Carol Gilbert, "Fanciful Memories? The Foothead Family and India" FIBIS Journal No 24 (Autumn 2010), pages 29-35.