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Journal of the Medal Society of Ireland
No. 81, May 2008
Crimean and Mutiny Veteran Died in Natal
Kildare Man
Liam Dodd
The gallantry of our soldiers participating in the tense European conflict of today should make us hold in renewed and lasting honour the brave warriors of past campaigns, campaigns which have built up, as on a sure, concrete foundation the glorious traditions of the British Army. One of these heroes, Mr. John Joseph Flood, who fought in the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny, passed away at Durban Natal South Africa , on Sunday, December 27th, at the rare old age of 90 years. He long outlived the rigours of the Crimean winter and the no less trying experiences of campaigning under a blazing Indian sun. Mr. Flood was born in Ireland in 1824 and when 22 years of age enlisted in the 48th Foot (now the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment) at Newbridge, Co. Kildare. After being stationed in Dublin, Belfast, Enniskillen, Londonderry and Brecon, Flood embarked with his regiment for Corfu, Ionian Islands. There they remained from 1853 to 1855, when they were ordered to the Crimea, where they took part in the famous campaign of sixty years ago. During the Russian sortie from Sebastapol, Sergeant Flood was struck on the top of his head with a bullet, which came near to shortening his days very considerably a and made him feel glad he was not a taller man.
In 1858 Colour-Sergeant Flood and his regiment proceeded to India and took part in the suppression of the Mutiny, during which they engaged the rebels at Lahore and other places. At Jelung the “City of Palaces” in Central India, the Colour-Sergeant was for three months in charge of a fort and his small garrison had to be continually on the alert, as the enemy, like the angles, were hovering around. The regiment after being stationed at Lucknow and Calcutta embarked for home and landed at Dover in April 1865. Colour-Sergeant Flood was appointed to the staff of the Queen’s Co. Militia as musketry instructor in the following year and he held this position on the militia permanent staff for ten years.
Going out to Natal South Africa in 1879, Mr. Flood was for many years in the Durban Corporation and was also for a considerable time drill instructor to the youth of that seaport.
Mr. Flood held three medals, the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, the Crimean War medal with clasps for Sebastapol, and the Turkish medal. Singularly enough, he did not get an Indian Mutiny medal, the antiquated reason for this being that a General was not in command of the forces in which he served, nor did his part in a general engagement. In a press interview a few years ago the veteran said that “the Crimean War had a great levelling influence upon its officers. Prior to that time the officer was an arrogant aristocrat, but he had to share the hardships of the common soldier, which had a salutary effect upon him.”
The funeral took place at Durban on Monday December 28th and it was attended by a large and representative gathering of town people. There were many beautiful wreaths. The coffin was carried from the house by four veterans, over the coffin was the Union Jack. Three medals hung attached to the deceased’s cot and a few veterans and a squad of the Durban Garrison Artillery followed. By a regrettable omission, however, there were no military honours accorded by the authorities and there was a consequent absence of gun carriage firing party and band. The Rev. Father Viellard, O.M.I. conducted the service at the Catholic Cathedral and also at the graveside.
Kildare Observer 30th January 1915


The Journal of the Medal Society of Ireland of May 2008 reports on the death in South Africa of Mr. John Joseph Flood, a brave hero who fought in the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny. Our thanks to Roy O'Brien

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