Australian veterans who served in the Indian Mutiny

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Australian veterans who served in the Indian Mutiny

Postby RedRod » 22 Aug 2015 15:59

Hello learned members,

In my research I have identified many men claiming to have served in the Indian Mutiny & while I have a medal roll for this campaign, I also know that not all received medals & hence I would value the input of others on this forum. These veterans are;

James BIRMINGHAM - 7th Regt
James BRUCE - Madras Artillery
William K BRYANT - was awarded VC in either Crimea or Indian Mutiny
James BUCKLEY - 28th Regt
Osmond BURROWS - 80th Regt
Thomas James COLLINS - Bengal Field Artillery
Thomas DILLON - 50th Regt
J D DRINNEN-BRENNAN - claimed to have been awarded VC
John GRIFFIN - 42nd Regt
Alfred Spencer HEATHCOTE - 60th Regt - awarded VC
John IGO - 97th Regt
Walter JAMES
Thomas KELLY - 9th Dragoons
Ralph Fitzgibbon LEWIS - 86th Regt
George McVeigh - 68th & 52nd Regts
George MUIR - 42nd Regt
Graham MYLNE - 82nd Regt
George Edward PEPPER
R REES - Royal Navy
E D R ROSS - held rank of Colonel
Joseph SHILLINGLAW - 42nd regt
Charles SMITH - HEIC & Royal Artillery
John STEWART - 78th Regt
Samuel STILES - 3rd Madras Fusileers
John SULLIVAN - Royal Navy
Alexander TURNLEY - 79th Regt
W VALE - Royal Irish Fusileers
E L WILSON - chaplain to 1st Bengal Light Cavalry

Any information on these men would be most welcome.
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Re: Australian veterans who served in the Indian Mutiny

Postby trooper » 23 Aug 2015 09:40

For comments on Bryant and Heathcote see reply on Australian veterans who served in the Crimea. I could find no entry for Drinnen-Brennan winning the VC but there was a Joseph Charles Brennan, a bombardier in the Royal Artillery who was awarded the medal for bringing up two guns under heavy fire and directing them so accurately as to cause the enemy to abandon their battery. He was born in St. Probus, Truro, Cornwall in August 1818, was awarded the VC for action on 3rd April 1858 at Jhansi and died at Elham, Folkestone, Kent on 24th September 1872. Trooper
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Re: Australian veterans who served in the Indian Mutiny

Postby Maureene » 23 Aug 2015 10:30

A google search brought up the following for William K. Bryant, which is a download. Depending on your browser, you may find it in your download folder. He appears to have had a fertile imagination.
(you will need to copy and paste this link)
HM Regiments
You could check out the various regimental pages in the FIBIS Fibiwiki, with Search at the top of the page, to confirm the regiments were actually in India at the time, and whether there is any mention they took part in the Indian Mutiny.

As an example, the first man on your list is James BIRMINGHAM - 7th Regt. If you look at the Fibiwiki page 7th Regiment of Foot,, the link ... 660151.pdf says:
The Indian Mutiny broke out at Meerut on May 10th, 1857, and as soon as the news reached England, reinforcements including the 1st Battalion The Royal Fusiliers, were hurried out. This was the first appearance of the Regiment in India, but by the time it had arrived the worst of the rebellion was over. The final stage of the war was fought in central India, and after fighting of intense savagery, the rebellion was finally crushed at the end of 1859. The Fusiliers saw little of this action however, having been sent to occupy the Punjab, where it was imperative that British troops should be maintained to ensure that the population remained passive.

Findmypast (pay site) may have online records of service, in its Military category. However, if the men involved were discharged in India and came directly to Australia, many of the records have not have survived.

The muster rolls at the National Archives Kew would tell you where the men concerned were at the time of the Indian Mutiny (not available online). Perhaps an indication could be had from the online records on findmypast called “1861 Worldwide Army Index”

The East India Company Army regiments.
You could check out the various regimental pages in the FIBIS Fibiwiki.

James BRUCE - Madras Artillery
The Madras Artillery, at least some of it, took part in the Indian Mutiny ... 3/mode/2up
To prove BRUCE was in the Madras Artillery at this time, you would need to look at records not available online.

L WILSON - chaplain to 1st Bengal Light Cavalry
I doubt his claim. He is not listed as a chaplain in the following ... AJ&pg=PA41 1857 East India Register ... AJ&pg=PA41 1859 East India Register
The FIBIS Fibiwiki page 1st Bengal Light Cavalry and associated page 1st Bengal European Light Cavalry indicates the former regiment mutinied at Mhow. ... ht_Cavalry ... ht_Cavalry

If you are interested in looking at records not available online, please indicate and I will give details.

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Re: Australian veterans who served in the Indian Mutiny

Postby Peter » 24 Aug 2015 08:04


Re Joseph Charles Brennan.

I have some knowledge of this man. Further to Trooper’s details, I can confirm he had no Australian association / connection at the time of his death.

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