The Murderer’s Brother

This post was intended to celebrate the birthday of John Appleby PRITCHARD, on this day 1827. Further research today revealed that this was actually the day he began his distinguished service with the Royal Navy, at the age of twelve.

If Filey Genealogy & Connections was misleading where the births of John and his father, John White Pritchard, are concerned, Kath provided an intriguing note about an explosive action in which the younger man took part. John junior was a senior officer on HMS Edinburgh at the Bombardment of Sveaborg, the most significant naval encounter of the Crimean War. It played out in this small patch of the Baltic Sea, just south of Helsinki.

1855_Sveaborg_GE

There is a detailed account of the clash between the Anglo-French Alliance and Russia here. It includes a useful plan of the disposition of the vessels involved that you can compare with the Google Earth image. I don’t know if the painter John Wilson CARMICHAEL witnessed the bombardment but his painting of it captures its incendiary nature with immediacy and power.

About seven years later, John Appleby died at sea while sailing home from Ceylon. He didn’t live to witness the shame his younger brother brought upon the family. You will find plenty of accounts of Edward William Pritchard’s crimes if you search for his name online – but maybe not the LaFredux post of 27 July 2017 – The Doctor’s Daughter.

The FamilySearch ‘system’ has put a lot of Pritchards on the World Tree but they are a mess of duplicates, waiting for a descendant or two to bring the generations together. A few erroneous dates notwithstanding, the family is more connected on FG&C.

John Appleby PRITCHARD  – on FG&Cand on FST.

A Naval Biographical Dictionary has entries for five of the seagoing family Pritchard. Start with John Appleby and then follow the forward arrows for the others.

Balaclava

William, the fourth child of Filey Draper and Postmaster William STORY, died at the age of 17 in the Crimea, a year or so after the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade. I have been unable to find any information about the part he played in what is sometimes referred to as “the first modern war”. Given his youth, I’m not surprised he is seemingly lost in the mists. I’m left imagining his path crossing one, or maybe both, of our Victorian wonder nurses, blessed Florence and irrepressible Mary. (Find their underwhelming pedigrees on FST here and here.)

Young William was one of about 25,000 British combatants who died in that conflict and as the preponderance succumbed to disease and neglect we can assume our Filey lad did too. Sevastopol fell in September 1855, the Russians retreated and several months of mopping up operations by the winning side ensued. The Treaty of Paris brought the war to an end on 30 March 1856.

D91_STORYwm_BalaclavaDet1_1m

I have put a photograph of the headstone on FST as a “Memory”,