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The E.J. Boys Archive

Last amended 8.6.11. Minor edits 18.2.14, 5.4.14.

1339, Trumpeter Thomas McBRINE — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born in the parish of St. Michael's, Limerick, c.1833.


Enlisted at Dublin on the 16th of August 1847, to "serve in the Band."

Age: 14 years 2 months.

Height: 5' 8".

Trade: None.

Appearance: Dark complexion. Blue eyes. Brown hair.


Attained the age of 15 years and on to "Man's Pay" on the 13th of June 1847.

1851 Census

Piershill Barracks, Leith South, Midlothian, Scotland.

Note: It has not been possible to consult an image of the original Scottish Census document. The above information relies on the transcription available 28.3.2012, which is not always accurate.

Members of the Light Brigade in Piershill Barracks at this time, who would later go to the Crimea, include 1127 William Cresdee 13LD, 1029 Joseph Gammage 13LD, 762 John Linkon / Lincoln, 1140 Robert Lowthorpe 13LD, 1319 Daniel Mahoney 13LD, 1367 Isaac Manning 13LD (appears as Isaac "Maussings"), 1207 Benjamin Marshman 13LD, 1208 Edward Martin 13LD, 1339 Thomas McBrine 13LD, 1341 John McCann 13LD, 1254 James Pamplin 13LD, 1424, 1424 Robert Stanger, and many more.

"Deserted" on the 14th of June 1853 and rejoined on the 12th of May 1854.

He was tried by a District Court-martial and sentenced to be marked with the letter "D" and imprisoned for 112 days. He also forfeited 2 years 184 days' previous service. (This imprisonment may have been the reason for his late arrival in the Crimea.)

From Private to Corporal, 4th of May 1855.

Joined the regiment in the Crimea on the 1st of August 1855.

Tried by a Regimental Court-martial on the 4th of August 1855 and reduced to Private for "offering violence to a superior by striking a L/Sergeant."

Appointed to Trumpeter on the 1st of September 1858.

To Corporal on the 22nd of May 1861.

Corporal to Sergeant, 16th of January 1863:

"In confinement," and tried by a Regimental Court-martial for "being drunk in the streets", on the 1st of September 1863.

Re-engaged at Aldershot for a further 12 years' service on the 22nd of June 1864.

From Private to Corporal: 1st of February 1871.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Colchester on the 30th of September 1873, at "Own request, after 21 years' service."

Aged 40 years 7 months on discharge.

Thirteen times entered in the Regimental Defaulter's book. Three times tried by Court-martial.

Served 21 years 182 days, to count. His forfeited service was restored by a War Office letter, dated the 10th of February 1863.

In Turkey and the Crimea, 1 year. Canada, 2 years 11 months.

Conduct: "good".


In possession of four Good Conduct badges.

Documents confirm the award of the Crimean and Turkish medals.

Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasp for Sebastopol and the Turkish medal.

Not recorded by Lummis and Wynn.

Further detailed medal information archived.


Life after service

Intended to live in Burton-upon-Trent after discharge.

Death & burial

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For further information, or to express an interest in the project, please email the editors, Philip Boys & Roy Mills, viainfo@chargeofthelightbrigade.com