Thank you for your reply; I’m just pleased I could be of help.
Re the Times, some years ago I enquired of my local library about access to the Times Digital Archive, only to be told, “the Times will be of little interest to the “average person” for family history research”; how narrow minded was that response? Luckily a neighbouring county library service did have free “at home” access to the archive, so I joined their library. I use it almost every day to check ship movements, regiment deployments, articles about most major conflicts and much more. It was second nature for me to check for a name in the Times. It must be have been “a pleasurable” discovery to find you ancestor would have been working, almost alongside, Florence Nightingale.
Re His promotion “from the ranks” being a drawback to his later career. You have to realise he had served 17yrs when he was first commissioned, almost enough for a long service pension. Then as the Times article stated, he had been promoted “from the ranks on his own merit”, a remarkable achievement for the day when commissions promotions could involve large sums. Then I suspect he was specifically chosen for duty at Scutari because of his experience as a Sergeant Major, after all even today they are considered to the ones who really run a battalion. His reduction to half-pay list with the rank of Captain would have yielded much more income than a SNO’s pension. Compared to some soldier’s documents I’ve seen he had a remarkably successful career in the army.