Could a colonel in the British Army who had sold his commission rejoin at a later date? If so, would rank be preserved, or would initial time in the army have no relevance to later service?
Nicholas Trant retired as Lt. Col. Queen's Germans in 1802, but then was commissioned as an Ensign in the Royal Staff Corps in December 1803. By 1808 he was still only a lieutenant., but was given the local rank of Lt. Col. when he went to Portugal to liaise with local forces prior to Wellesley landing.
Colman, Francis John (died 12 December 1811)
Cornet 1st Dragoons 1786,
Lieutenant 1st Dragoons 1791,
Captain 77th Foot 1791,
Lieutenant & Captain 1st Foot Guards 1793,
Captain-Lieutenant & Lieutenant-Colonel 1st Foot Guards 1799,
Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel 1799,
Brevet Major 1798,
Lieutenant Colonel 38th Foot 1802.
Resigned army 1805.
Request was made to reinstate his rank in the army but he died before a decision was made.
He would have been reinstated at the same time as Madden, Colman also being a Brigadier General in the Portuguese Service.
Both Madden and Colman were recommended for merit.
Well anything is possible, but I am not sure I have heard of any other cases where this has happened.
A colonel. . . not likely since the rank of colonel was a brevet rank or was the rank of the commander of a regiment. A regimental colonel was a sinecure (a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit) that was given a senior officer, who was at least a major general and who usually had a connection to the regiment,
I know of one case where an officer sold his commission and was re-appointed a few years later. From my forthcoming book "In the Words of Wellington's Fighting Cocks": "Madden, George Allen was born on 3 January 1777 in London. He was commissioned a cornet in the 14th Light Dragoons on 14 March 1789 and spent two years in Ireland before purchasing a lieutenancy in the 12th Light Dragoons on 12 July 1791. His new regiment was also in Ireland so he remained there and was promoted to captain on 29 June 1793. The regiment was ordered to the Mediterranean in September 1793 and Captain Madden would spend the next eight years on active service in Rome, Corsica, Spain, Portugal, and in the Egyptian Campaign. While in Egypt he was promoted to major on 13 March 1800. In the summer of 1800, he accused his commanding officer of perjury during a court-martial and he himself was court-martialed on 31 August and found guilty of conduct of unbecoming of an officer. He was sentenced to dismissal from the army. Upon returning to England the Duke of York, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, confirmed the decision in early 1802 but allowed Major Madden to sell his commission, which he did on 26 May 1802. He was unemployed until 4 July 1805 when he was appointed an Inspecting Field-Officer of the Midland Yeomanry Cavalry as a brevet lieutenant colonel. On 17 May 1807 he was appointed the Inspecting Field-Officer of the Yeomanry and Volunteer Corps in the Severn District.In June 1809 the Duke of York wrote him a letter asking him if he would be interested in serving in the Portuguese Army as a brigadier general. He accepted the offer and was commissioned a brigadier general and given command of a cavalry brigade on 10 September 1809. . ."
He was promoted to major general in the British Army on 12 August 1819.