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