Private Clemence Brophy

Over one my Facebook page I have been sharing some great pictures of some of the men who fought in the Crimean War (1853-56).

In the course of my research I came across a picture of a rather forlorn young man.
This was a Portrait of Private Clemence Brophy, of the 34th Foot, seated with his pipe against a wall at Fort Pitt Military Hospital, Chatham, Kent.

Portrait of Private Clemence Brophy, of the 34th Foot, seated with his pipe against a wall at Fort Pitt Military Hospital, Chatham, Kent. Private Brophy was born in Kilkenny, Ireland and joined the British

© IWM (Q 71107)

Amazingly I managed to find 9 pages of his service record.

Brophy page 2 Brophy page 1

Brophy page 3Brophy page 4Brophy page 6Brophy page 5Brophy page 8Brophy page 9Brophy page 7

This shows that  Private Brophy was born in Kilkenny, Ireland and joined the British Army , aged 21, on 21 December 1847.

He served for a total of Eight years which included one year 143 days service abroad. (50 days in Corfu and one year and 93 days in the Crimea.

The record also shows that he was in possession of a good conduct medal but had been in front of a Court Martial for insubordination for which he was sentenced to 112 days imprisonment with hard labour (1851).

He lost his arm while storming the Great Redan, Sevastopol on the 31th August 1855. He was lucky to survive the lose of his arm and was invalided back to England and spent time at Fort Pitt Hospital to recover. As a consequence of his injuries, Pte Brophy was discharged from military service on 29th May 1856.

 

This picture shows the ferocity of the fighting for the Great Redan and it wasn’t taken until the end of September 1855.

© IWM (Q 71081)

© IWM (Q 71081)

I haven’t been able to find any record of Private Brophy after 1856 so I have no record of where he lived or how he maintained himself after he left Fort Pitt. From the look of the picture I think we can guess he knew his life was going to be much tougher once he left the Army.

I am still researching him so I hope to be able to update his if I find anything.

 

*** Fort Pitt today is a Girls Grammar School in Rochester (My daughter is lucky enough to go there)***

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The Young British Soldier

The Young British Soldier

When the ‘arf-made recruity goes out to the East
‘E acts like a babe an’ ‘e drinks like a beast,
An’ ‘e wonders because ‘e is frequent deceased
Ere ‘e’s fit for to serve as a soldier.
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
So-oldier ~OF~ the Queen!

Now all you recruities what’s drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an’ ‘ark to my lay,
An’ I’ll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what’s fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

First mind you steer clear o’ the grog-sellers’ huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay’nets that rots out your guts —
Ay, drink that ‘ud eat the live steel from your butts —
An’ it’s bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes — as it will past a doubt —
Keep out of the wet and don’t go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An’ it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

800px-William_Skeoch_Cumming01

But the worst o’ your foes is the sun over’ead:
You ~must~ wear your ‘elmet for all that is said:
If ‘e finds you uncovered ‘e’ll knock you down dead,
An’ you’ll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you’re cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don’t grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it’s beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old —
A troop-sergeant’s widow’s the nicest I’m told,
For beauty won’t help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain’t enough for a soldier.
‘Nough, ‘nough, ‘nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch ’em — you’ll swing, on my oath! —
Make ‘im take ‘er and keep ‘er: that’s Hell for them both,
An’ you’re shut o’ the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

When first under fire an’ you’re wishful to duck,
Don’t look nor take ‘eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you’re livin’, and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

When ‘arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don’t call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She’s human as you are — you treat her as sich,
An’ she’ll fight for the young British soldier.
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .
(c) The Gordon Highlanders Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
When shakin’ their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o’ the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an’ don’t mind the shine,
For noise never startles the soldier.
Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

If your officer’s dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it’s ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!

Rudyard Kipling