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Author Topic: Surgeon Sidney Bernard  (Read 21790 times)

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Offline Twyfordbridge

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2018, 19:57:32 »
Thank you Conan. I have heard back from photographer of the bottom photo and it was taken 2012 or 2013. Seems incredible if other photo is same site and only 3 or 4 yrs later ...iron work completely  corroded away 🤔

Offline conan

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2018, 19:46:33 »
I've shrunk your images down for you

To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline Twyfordbridge

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2018, 15:07:56 »
Photos together ....
Oops don’t know how they came out so large but you can drag them to see fully

Offline Twyfordbridge

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2018, 14:56:31 »
Thank you Herb Collector. I was aware of that photograph and that was the reason for my query. The photo you link to is undated but shared by intheboatshed in Jan 2017.
There is another photo taken in 2016 by Queenborough Rowing Club showing them placing a memorial cross at the grave...but the remains of the ironwork in their photo appears to be just short corroded rusty stubs in contrast to the fairly well preserved ironwork in Nick Ardleys photo.
I have sent Nick a message on Messenger and to his website asking when his photo was taken.

From the position of the chimney, building and trees in the background of both they appear similar although I am amazed that the ironwork has corroded way in such a short time between taking the photos........ unless there are two graves in close proximity?

Sorry I can’t put photos side by side for comparison but here’s a link to other recent photos
https://www.facebook.com/groups/269052736530087/permalink/770564749712214/

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2018, 13:19:18 »
Hometown Blues Syd Arthur

Offline Twyfordbridge

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2018, 08:49:18 »
Is it possible to see the 3 photos submitted by Sea Jane below please. I can just see 3 icons for Village Photos. Thank you,

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2011, 21:55:16 »
Thank you seaJane  :)
Hometown Blues Syd Arthur

seaJane

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2011, 14:41:57 »
Herb Collector, I was told by the gentleman who was kind enough to escort me across private land to the shore, that Sidney Bernard's grave is to the right-hand end of the island as seen in the first picture in my last posting: I think that equates to the upper right corner of the island in the image on your link; there is a small oblong building there marked on the map.

The gravestone is flat in the mud, but certainly in the 1950s there was an iron railing round the grave, cf. earlier in the thread. I thought of using binoculars but it was straight into the sun so not ideal.

Offline kyn

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2011, 21:55:47 »
I don't think I have seen anything that shows it and as far as I know if the mud has covered it again it has no marker...

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2011, 20:52:27 »
Where exactly is the burial place of Sidney Bernard on Burntwick Island?
I ask because there is a proposal to use Burntwick Island for non-hazardous landfill.
http://consult.kent.gov.uk/portal/waste-dpd/waste-options?pointId=1307111031009#section-1307111031009
Consultation now closed, I only found out during a search this lunchtime.
Hometown Blues Syd Arthur

seaJane

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2011, 23:14:38 »
In the first image the camera on my mobile phone was zoomed way in, plus I am on sticks and was starting to wobble - hence the rather shaky look! More-or-less westward across Stangate Creek to the island, with Sidney Bernard's grave near the right-hand end.


This is a general view of the area earlier on when I had cast too far to the west in my search for the right track. The island may actually be off the left edge of the picture here, I'm not quite sure.

seaJane

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2011, 16:09:48 »
Haven't been following up this thread lately - I should have done, as I would have seen Herb Collector's useful reply (thank you!). That list of the dead is terrifying, really: no wonder Sidney Bernard reported that morale aboard was bad (quoted in Alexander Bryson, Climate and Diseases of the West Africa Station, 1849).

I'm very pleased to know that HMS GANNET is of comparable size. I narrowly missed the opportunity to visit her the other week and am now more irritated than ever that someone took the matter out of my hands... but never mind, I can try again some time (in case you don't know, 'Coast' was aboard, filming a day in the life of a naval surgeon: programme broadcasting next year).

Kyn, I had missed the Times reference of 10th January 1846 but have been chasing the original story about what happened to Sidney Bernard's effects: this was reported in the Kentish Observer, but the salient issue in the Colindale Newspaper Library is too fragile to look at, and the Canterbury Archives copy is in store while their archives are refurbished. Hope to have some more news eventually, however.

I was started on that particular trail by this article http://www.jtrails.org.uk/trails/sheerness-and-blue-town/history?page=5 (some wrong bits of information are repeated from an old issue of Bygone Kent) and have been in touch with its author.

Finally, I was in the area on Sunday and hunting around the Chetney marshes, where by pure fluke I bumped into someone who took me as near as one can get to Burntwick Island without going afloat. I'll post a picture later.

seaJane

Offline kyn

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2011, 11:05:11 »
Thanks for adding that HERB COLLECTOR  :)

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2011, 22:53:02 »
HMS Eclair, ex Infernal.
31 October 1844  Departs Spithead for anti-slavery patrol off Africa.
Date? takes on supplies at Freetown Sierra Leone.
April 1845   3 men die of fever, probably yellow fever.
May             2 men       ditto.
June            4 men       ditto.
July             4 men        ditto.
August        13 men     ditto.
Early September. Docks at Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands, claims not to have yellow fever. Shortly afterwards an epidemic of yellow fever erupted on the island, killing a third of its inhabitants.*
September    40 men die of fever. Including Commander Walter G. Bucknall Estcourt.
                      Refused permission to dock at Madeira. *
The following is taken from http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pbtyc/18-1900/E/01536.html A tip of the hat to the unknown person who did the research, includes full list of the dead as listed above.

1 Oct 1845. Has departed the Motherbank, in the Solent, for the quarantine grounds at Standgate Creek, near Sheerness. 23 are reported sick.

2 Oct 1845  is reported to have arrived in the quarantine grounds at Standgate Creek, near Sheerness, and the sick have been removed to the Revenge and Benbow, which are in ordinary (reserve), whilst the survivors and Kroomen remain in the Eclair. Subsequently the white survivors were removed to another ship from the reserve.

3 Oct 1845 Walsh, John, Master at Arms, died from fever.
3 Oct 1845 Hails, Thomas, Marine,  ditto.
3 Oct 1845 Langmead, Henry, Blacksmith,  ditto.
3 Oct 1845 another surgeon has fallen ill.

6 Oct 1845 FlitzGerald, william Henry, Sergeant, Royal Marine Artillery, died from fever.

9 Oct 1845 Assistant Surgeon Sidney Bernard, who volunteered his services to the Eclair when she was at Madeira, died on board the Worcester of the fever.

10 Oct 1845  Mr Saunders, of Portsmouth, the pilot who brought the Eclair up from the Motherbank at Portsmouth to Standgate Creek has died of the fever.

12 Oct 1845 Lieutenant Charles Augustus Isaacson died from fever.

16 Oct 1845 No further cases have come to light and the sick are reported to be recovering. The Griffon has been brought alongside, into which will be put all the traps and stores from the Eclair whilst the vessel is fumigated and white-washed etc.

21 Oct 1845 Assistant Surgeon Coffey, who also volunteered his services at Madeira will be eligible to be promoted to Surgeon once he has passed the necessary examinations.
21 Oct 1845 Surgeon John Grant Stewart who volunteered his services to the Eclair has been promoted to the rank of Deputy Inspector of Hospitals.
21 0ct 1845 Assistant Surgeon William Rogers, of the Ocean, who volunteered for the Eclair, and contracted the fever, is now recovering from the disease, has been promoted to Surgeon.

28 Oct 1845 all are now reported to be well and will be given pratique once the fumigation and cleaning of the Eclair has been completed by the Kroomen, who, it should be remembered, are still living on board.

31 Oct 1845 the officers and crew have been admitted to pratique.

11 Nov 1845 steamed down to Sheerness.

13 Nov 1845 paid off at Sheerness, the Kroomen having been discharged to the Minotaur to await a passage back to the West coast of Africa. The vessel to remain at her moorings with her hatches open for some time, with no shipkeepers on board.

3 Dec 1845 the Kroolmen had joined the Alarm, for passage to the West coast of Africa.

2 Jan 1846 has arrived at Woolwich.

Oct 1846 Eclair renamed Rosamond.


* The Wellcome Trust recently awarded a grant to the Wellcome unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford for the study of Naval health and medicine in the Victorian period.
There is a useful news item @http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/news/2011/features/WTVM052418.htm
(As usual, the period engraving used shows far too much headroom aboard ship!)

HMS Gannet, built Sheerness 1878 and now preserved at Chatham offers a useful size comparison to the Eclair. (I saw your question on another forum, seajane) being roughly the same size-1,130 tons with a complement of 139 men. (Eclair, 1,379 tons 120 men.)

Hometown Blues Syd Arthur

Offline kyn

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Re: Surgeon Sidney Bernard
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2011, 16:42:09 »
On the 13th October 1845 The Times reported that Assistant Surgeon Sidney Bernard was promoted to the rank of Surgeon, the report also confirmed his appointment on the Eclair.  The report also stated:  This brave officer, who nobly volunteered his services at Madeira, did not live to enjoy his promotion; he died of the fever on Thursday morning 9th October 1845.  Three days after this report the Times then reported that Bernard had volunteered to attend the sick in Madeira after the Eclair’s own surgeon died of the fever whilst on their way from Africa.  The report says:  When a soldier or sailor receives his death-wound in the service of his country, he is deservedly lamented, and his memory is embalmed in the tears of his country; but the duties of civil life, though less obtrusive and more humble, are not on that account the less meritorious; nor is it too much to say, that he who dies a volunteer in the cause of humanity to stay the pestilence of which he is the victim, is not less an example of true gallantry than he who dies inflicting wounds he is himself to suffer in his country’s cause.
Bernard was not the only man on board the Eclair who received a promotion whilst attending the sick on the ship.  Dr John Grant Stewart, Surgeon R.N., was promoted to Deputy-Inspector of Hospitals whilst aboard the fateful ship.  Also Dr. William Rogers, the additional assistant-Surgeon of the ocean who was promoted to Surgeon of the Navy.  Dr Coffey, late Assistant-Surgeon of the growler joined Bernard on the Eclair at the same time, he was to be promoted to Surgeon of the Navy after serving 3 years and once he had completed his examinations.

A report published on the 19th November 1845 states:
Not many weeks since the Eclair steamer anchored in Funchal-Roads.
The dread yellow flag drooped from her masthead.  A strange and deadly sickness had swept off two-thirds of her officers and men.  Her captain and both her surgeons had perished.  The wan, worn survivors, sought relief from the inhabitants of Madeira.
The Governor of the island deemed it his painful duty to forbid any intercourse between the plague-ship and the shore.  He sternly commanded them to weigh their anchor and depart.
The scanty crew of the steamer, already insufficient to carry on the duty of the vessel, were daily becoming scantier under the attacks of the fever.  The equinox was at hand.  In this pitiable plight, without medical aid, they were on the point of being compelled to put to sea, and cross the Bay of Biscay.
There chanced, however, to be at Madeira Sidney Bernard, an English surgeon.  This man and seven seamen, volunteers from English merchantmen, came forward and offered their services in taking the Eclair home.
It is needless to waste words in praising their noble conduct – a more signal act of cool disinterested devotion is not on record.
The Eclair reached the Motherbank; the fever still raged between her decks.  Many had died on the passage from Madeira; the pilot who boarded her in the Channel died, and the heroic Sidney Bernard, having accomplished the humane task he had assigned himself, died also.



The Times reported on 10th January 1846 that the Eclair had been towed to Woolwich to be refitted for commission.  The paper then went on to say “In connexion with this vessel we may state that, seeing in a weekly complimentary a statement to the effect that the property of the late lamented Sidney Bernard had fallen into the hands of a Sheerness Jew, we have made inquiry and find that such is the fact.  That not only Mr. Bernard’s but the effects of almost all of the officers who fell victims to the pestilence on board the Eclair, were, on the paying-off of that ill-fated vessel, delivered into the charge of a general dealer in Mile-town, without an inventory, nay, without the ordinary security of lock and key!”
It carries on to state that none of the items passed on to the dealer will make it to its rightful owners, the relatives of those who died who are now writing to try and reclaim these items.


20th April 1846 saw a report stating that a memorial tablet had been placed in a chapel of a dockyard (Portsmouth?) in commemoration of Commander W.B. Estcourt, of the Eclair steam-ship.  The paper also wishes that the admiralty does not forget the brave Sidney Bernard by erecting a suitable memorial to him.

 

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