FORENAMES:John Richard
BORN:25 11 1832
AT:Chatham, Kent
BORN:02 09 1832
AT:St Marys, Chatham, Kent
FATHER:William Gray
MOTHER:Mary Ann Gray née Webb
SIBLINGS:William Robert Gray
1st REGIMENT NO:1485
ENLISTED:21 11 1845 according to discharge
Honour the Light Brigade has 1851 which appears to be the year he transferred to the 4LD.
However this 1851 transfer entry is missing from the pay and muster rolls.
1Q/1851 enlistments end with No. 1484 and 2Q/1851 enlistments begin with No. 1486.
ATTESTED:24 11 1845 Rochester, Kent
DESCRIPTION AT ENLISTMENT:Brown hair, hazel eyes, fresh complexion
DESCRIPTION AT DISCHARGE:Dark brown hair, hazel eyes, fresh complexion, trade none, 30 and 4/12 Years
TROOP CAPTAIN:1861: Captain C.A.G. Browne
RANK:1851: Private
1855: Private
1858: Private
1861: Private
NOTES:3Q/1858: Band member
Reported in his obituary to have been a field trumpeter in the Crimea
MEDALS:Crimean, 4 clasps, and Turkish
OTHER DUTIES:Also served with 57th Foot: Drummer 1 year 7 months
Also served with 57th Foot: Private [under age] 9 years 9 months
25 10 1854: Slightly wounded at Balaklava
03 02 1855: From Scutari
TRANSFERRED FROM:57 Foot 30 04 1851
TRANSFERRED TO:4th Light Dragoons 01 05 1851
ADMITTED TO OUT PENSION:21 05 1861 Ipswich
REGIMENTAL BOARD:Dublin 17 April 1861
Proceedings of a Regimental Board, held this day, in conformity to the Articles of War, for the purpose of verifying and recording the Services, Conduct, Character, and cause of Discharge of No. 1485 Private John Gray of the Regiment above-mentioned [4LD].
President: Major Francis Cornwallis
Members: Captain Browne and Captain Lindesay.
The Board having examined and compared the Regimental Records, the Soldier's Book, and such other Documents as appeared to them to be necessary, report that No. 1485 Private John Gray by Trade [none] was born in the Parish of Chatham in or near the Town of Chatham in the County of Kent and was attested for the 57th Regiment of Foot at Rochester in the County of Kent on the 24th November 1845 at the Age of 15 years that after making every Deduction required by Her Majesty's Regulations, the Service up to this day, which he is entitled to reckon, amounts to 12 years 145 days, as shewn by the detailed Statement on the 2nd page; during which period, he served Abroad 1 and 10/12 years viz:
With the Army in the East, Turkey and Crimea 1 and 10/12 years.
And further, that his Discharge is proposed in consequence of his being unfit for Her Majesty's Service.
No. 1485 Pt. John Gray being asked to what date he has been paid, answered that his Account is balanced up to the latest period required by the Regulations; and being further asked whether he has any claim on the Regiment for Arrears of Pay, Allowances, or Clothing, answered, that he has received all just demands, from his entry into the Service up to the 17th April 1861 and in confirmation therefore, affixes his signature hereto. [Signed John Gray]
Witnessed by Capt. Brown[e] Commanding the Troop to which he belongs.
The Board have ascertained that No. 1485 Pt. John Gray Soldier's Book is correctly balanced, and signed by the Officer Commanding his Company, and they declare, that they have impartially enquired into, and faithfully reported upon all the matters brought before them, in accordance with the Regulations and Instructions issued by Her Majesty's Orders.
Signed by [Honourable] ____, 4th Lt Dragoons, President;
C.A.G. Browne, Capt. 4th Lt. Dragoons, and ____, Capt. 4 Lt. Dragoons, Members.
MEDICAL REASON:Pt. John Gray 4th Hussars: Has for a considerable time suffered from Varicose Veins of the legs to which some Predisposition must have existed. His disability has not been aggravated by vice or misconduct.
Signed W. H___. Surgeon Major 4th Lt Dragoons.
Opinion of the Principal Medical Officer at Dublin 7 May 1861: Unfit for further service. Geo Cleri__ew M.D., Deputy Inspector General, Adjutant General's Office, Dublin 13 May 1861. The Discharge of the Man above mentioned is approved by the General Commanding, W. B[ellars]
NOTE:Kilmainham No Report 784 504-22/6/64
STATEMENT OF SERVICE: 57 Foot: Private from 24 11 1845 to 23 11 1848, total under age
57 Foot: Private 24 11 1848 to 30 09 1849, 311 days
57 Foot: Appointed Drummer, 01 10 1849 to 30 04 1851, total 1 year 212 days
Total service with 57 Foot: 2 years 158 days
4LD: Transferred, Private from 01 05 1851 to 31 03 1857, total 5 years, 335 days.
Entitled to 1 Ring, 24 11 1853 GCP
Forfeited 1 Ring 17 11 1854 GCP
Total Service allowed to 31 03 1857, 8 years 128 days.
4LD: Private from 01 04 1857 to 17 04 1861, total 4 years 17 days
Restored 1d G[ood][ C[onduct] Pay 12 06 1857
Good C[onduct] Pay at 2d from 12 06 1859.
Further Service from 18 04 1861 to 13 05 1861 when finally discharged, total 26 days
Total Service allowed to reckon to the day of final discharge 12 years 171 days.
The foregoing Report is hereby confirmed by me G. Brown, Lt. Col. Commanding 4 Regt. of Lt. Dragoons.
1863: Chatham
1865: Chatham
PRÉCIS OF SERVICE ON DISCHARGE: Examined [by Pension Board] 13 05 1861
Private, 4 years 1 month
Under age 3 years
Total service 12 years 5 months 8 days
Pension claim 3 years
Turkey and Crimea 1 year 10 months
CHARACTER: With regard to the Character and Conduct of No. 1485 Pt. John Gray the Board have to report, that upon reference to the Defaulter's Book, and by the Parole testimony that has been given, it appears that of a good soldier. He is in possession of 2 good conduct Badges, also the Crimean and Turkish medals. He has never been tried by Court Martial
NOTES:[T]84504 C[on] fm AU
H57274 5d D[ischarge] P[ension] from 24 Nov 1880 Bd 4.10.87/11
[J]11701 Rest[oratio]n of old T.P. W.O. far___g A44 to W.O. 4 encl. Expl[ainin]g that there is no claim to anything but D[ischarge] P[ension] ___ P.31 ___ 29 04 188[7]
POST DISCHARGE OCCUPATION[S]:Intention to live 27 Norwich Road, Ipswich, Suffolk
Appointed assistant prison warder at Chatham Prison 09 07 1863
Applied for assistant prison warder position in Western Australia on 02 03 1866 with his wife.
Emigrated to Western Australia on Belgravia, arriving on 04 07 1866.
DIED:24 Jun 1891, near Fremantle, Australia, aged 60 years
BURIED:25 Jun 1891, Alma Street Cemetery, Fremantle, Australia.
WILL:17 01 1881. Probate 30 06 1891, Western Australia
BENEFICIARY:Wife, Maria Gray
1ST WIFE:Isabella Kersey, daughter of Thomas and Rachel Kersey of Ipswich, Suffolk
MARRIED:25 12 1853 Ipswich, Suffolk
DIED:Presumably between 1866 and 1872
2ND WIFE: Maria Wickliffe, daughter of James Wickliffe of Glenavy, Co. Antrim
MARRIED:Sep 1872, Fremantle, Western Australia
1ST CHILD:John Lewis [Johnnie] Gray
BORN:16 05 1878 Glenavy, Co. Antrim
DIED:16 11 1878 at sea, en route from London to Fremantle, Western Australia, aged 6 months
2ND CHILD:Elizabeth Minnie Gray
BORN:1879 Fremantle, Western Australia
MARRIED:Thomas Flintoff, 1902
OTHER SOURCES: Honour the Light Brigade
The Belfast Morning 25 Feb 1879
The Belfast Newsletter 25 Feb 1879
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Pam Mikus, Diane Oldfield, Philip Boys

Extracted from:
John GRAY-Rode in the Charge
John Gray was born at Chatham, Kent, on 25 November 1831, the son of William Gray, a painter, and his wife, Mary. He enlisted at Rochester in the 57th Regiment of Foot on 24 November 1845 at the age of 15 years. Gray was appointed Drummer in October 1849. He transferred as a Private to the 4th Light Dragoons in May 1851 and `to serve in the Regtl. Band.'
Slightly wounded at Balaclava during the Charge, he was entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps `Alma', `Balaclava' and `Sebastopol', and was discharged from Dublin in May 1861, after 12 years service: `Unfit for further service. He has for some considerable time suffered from varicose veins of the legs. The disease has not been aggravated by vice or intemperance.'
Gray was awarded a pension of 8d. per day for three years, but was later refused further pension payments, a letter being sent telling him that `he had no claim to anything bar his discharge pension' in April 1877.
Gray lived in Chatham, England, up to 1864, but he later emigrated to Australia and settled near Fremantle, where he died on 24 June 1891, aged 60 years, from "Paralysis Alcoholism, (Acute)." He was buried in the old cemetery in Alma Street, Fremantle, which has now been levelled and a check of the Records of Burial shows that there is a gap in them of 24 years between the 31 of July 1875 and the 4 of March 1897, thus no trace of his grave can be found.
The Colonial Military Gazette for August 1891 said: `Funeral of a Crimean Hero -- John Richard Gray, a survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade, was buried at Perth on the 25th of June. Gray rode in the charge with the 4th Light Dragoons and was a field trumpeter on that occasion. It was a wound received in the charge that initially caused the death of the old man. The pall-bearers at his funeral were all old soldiers.'
Information from Mr. Broomhall, the author of The Enrolled Pensioners Force of Western Australia, shows that `John Gray was never an E.P.F. man. It is more than likely that he came out as a warder on one of the convict ships and I have only one entry for him.'
Accession No 390 Battye Library of Perth, WA, says: `John Richard Gray, late warder at Fremantle (Gaol) applies for increased pension.'
Governor F Napier Broome wrote, `As a survivor of the immortal Charge of the Light Brigade, this officer has a claim to the greatest possible consideration ...'
Some time later, Mr Broome again wrote, `He has a Chelsea pension of 5d. per day. Has 15 years military service, November 1845 to April 1861, including the Crimea. Present at Alma and Balaclava, rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade in the 4th Light Dragoons, wounded and horse killed ...'
The Dictionary of Western Australian Immigrants merely shows him as `John Richard Gray, son of James (sic) (painter) (Widower) mar. 2nd 7/9/1872 (C/E.) Marie, d. of James, (Farmer). Warder 1872. (13 years service.) C. of E.'

4th Light Dragoons Index