John Armstead enlisted with the 56th Regiment of Foot at Bury in Lancashire on the 2nd July 1846 at eleven o'clock in the morning. He received a bounty of four pounds. The 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot was surely not a natural choice for a Lancastrian.
John was just under five feet, six and a half inches tall and apparently in good health.
He served over 14 years in the army. (Discharge papers, not shown here, reveal that he served four years and seven months in Gibraltar, three years and 10 months in Bermuda, one year in the Crimea, and two years and ten months in the east Indies). He was discharged at Calcutta on the 1st October 1860 with two good conduct badges, the Crimean Medal with "Sebastopol" clasp, and the Turkish Crimea medal.
John Armstead's record survives in the very wonderful WO 131 series (soldiers awarded deferred pensions) at the National Archives which has just been published by Findmypast. Images shown here are Crown Copyright.