Topic: British Army
Gay Deceivers (1858)
The Military Gazette, Quebec, P.Q., 5 June 1858 From the United Service Gazette
The departure of a Regiment from one of our colonial possessions to another leads us to reflect upon the effects of a social evil, which seems to have grown up under the very eyes of the authorities, both in church and state, unchecked. Everyone has heard and smiled at the sold saying, said of our tars, about a wife in every port! But everyone knew what it was worth, and what it meant. The evil now referred to, is a practice which some men indulge in, of "marrying" at every Foreign station where they have the opportunity; purposely, and of malice aforethought intending to abandon the "wife," upon his Regiment being ordered away to another part of the world, again "to love and to ride away!" This arises from the desire on those of the fair portion of the inhabitants of all Garrison towns to ally themselves with the English Soldiers, in preference to making a match with their own country men, letting alone the singular and almost irresistible attraction found by the softer sex in the red coat. But chiefly, in the facility with which a certain sort of marriages are performed in the colonies. The Soldier cannot persuade the Military Chaplain to tie the know, without the sanction of the Commanding Officer; but this just suits the purpose; he does not wish to be ties, for better for worse; and she is persuaded, on the grounds that the Colonel is very ill natured and won’t give him leave, to accompany him to some dissenting minister, who goes through the ceremony, no doubt to the satisfaction of his own conscience, but with no more legal authority, in some instances, than if any other layman had spliced them. The route arrives, and with it the hour of parting—the gay deceiver ploughs the main, on fresh matrimonial thoughts intent, while the poor girl finds that she is not only abandoned, but that she is not his wife!