Research Subjects: Biographies

Not One in Ten Thousand Know Your Name: the Officers of the British 1st Battalion of Detachments in 1809 -- Lieutenant Henry Lynch Drake Brockman 43rd Foot

By Robert Burnham and Ron McGuigan


Henry Brockman was the third child and third son, born to James Drake Brockman and Catherine Elizabeth of Beachborough, Kent .[1]  He would be one of 13 children born to the Brockmans.  The exact date of his birth is not known, but it was thought to be 1789.[2]  His father was a sheriff of Kent .  Henry Brockman would be educated at Harrow and would leave there in 1807.[3]

On 16 January 1808, Henry Brockman was commissioned as an ensign, without purchase, in the 43rd Foot, with a date of rank of 14 January 1808.[4] On 8 April 1808, he was promoted to lieutenant, without purchase, with a date of rank of 6 April 1809.[5]

Henry Brockman deployed with the 2nd Battalion 43rd Foot to the Peninsula and served with it from August 1808 to January 1809.  He fought with them at Vimerio but was left in Lisbon when the rest of the army moved into Spain .  In February 1809 he was attached to the 1st Battalion of Detachments and served with them until August 1809.  He would fight with the battalion at the Douro and at Talavera.  The rigors of the campaign would be too much for him and he died of typhoid at Elvas on 22 August 1809.[6]

In the churchyard of Saint Nicholas Church of Newington-Near-Hythe, Kent, there was a monument to Henry Brockman, that was inscribed with a poem by George, Lord Lyttelton:

“Lieutenant Henry Lynch Brockman, 3rd son of James Drake Brockman, Esq., of Beachborough, died at Elvas, 1809.”
“Forgive, blest Shade, the tributary Tour
That mourns thy exit from a World like this;
Forgive the Wish that would have kept thee here
And stayed they Progress to the Realms of Bliss.
Such spotless Honour, such Ingenuous Truth,
Such boundless ardour in the bloom of youth,
So mild, so gentle, so Composed a Mind.
To such heroick Warmth and Courage joined:
Alas! Cut off in Youthful Glory’s Pride,
He unrepining for his Country died.”[7]


[1] Brockman, William; 167 - 168

[2] Brockman, Patrick.

[3] Dauglish; p. 13

[4] London Gazette: 12 January 1808; Army List: January 1809

[5] London Gazette: 4 April 1809; Army List: May 1809

[6] Hall; p. 617

[7] Notes; p. 172

Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2009

Not One in Ten Thousand Know Your Name: the Officers of the British 1st Battalion of Detachments in 1809 ]

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