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19th June 2001Bromhead and Chard What kind of men were they Really?
By Jack Fending
Hey everybody im a long time reader of this website but first time writer anyways i know all about Bromhead and Chards military life but not about who they were really. Ive heard rumors that Chard had an affair with the queen and that Bromhead was gay im curious if those are true?

Also I know that Bromhead had brothers but did he have any sisters and if Bromhead was an middle child? Also did Chard have any siblings?

I read the topic of Bromhead deaf but if Bromheads already was deaf when he was young why did he join the military? Was it because of his familys influence on him to join and he felt pressured?Did he even want to be in the military?

Just one last question:Why didnt they bring back Bromheads body to back to England instead of leaving it in India? Was it just because he fell there but other people that have died in another country were brought back to England.

Thank you lots

P.S. Keep up the great work on this site!!
20th June 2001Alan Critchley
thank you for your favourable comments on the website, and we hope you will return many more times.
I can only answer a few points regarding Chard and Bromhead.
Bromhead was the third son in a military family, and I am unaware of any sisters. It's not the practice of the British army to bring back all its dead. If they did, there wouldn't be enough room in England to bury them all. It may be that his deafness developed during his service in the army. Whether he was gay? Blimey! Who cares?
Chard never married, and according to Victorian morality, therefore never had siblings. If he had and affair with Queen Victoria (and I 've never heard that one), she would have been around 60 years old, and he would have been around 32 or so at the time of the action at Rorke's Drift.
The reason for setting up this website was to cover the events of that war and some relevant information regarding the personalities involved.

Alan Critchley
20th June 2001Alan Critchley
I hope you're wrong about Bromhead's grave! I'm in the process of arranging a trip to India, in particular Allahbad in order to visit the grave. I've not paid out any money yet, but tell me it's not in Pakistan.
20th June 2001Jack Fending
Thanks for answering my questions, I guess it was dumb to ask if Bromhead was gay and if Chard had an affair with Victoria. My wife and friends probably told me those because they know how obsessed i am with the Zulu war and those heros that fought.

Anywho thanks again,

PS Im sorry for any inconvience i caused by putting this question on twice. I dont know how it did that but sorry!
20th June 2001Alan Critchley
I appreciate your comments and contribution to the forum.
I think it is healthy to have discussion which covers a wide range of subjects. I too am guilty of posting two similar messages, but I have the advantage of having my son as the webmaster who can delete my errors.
Keep in touch.
Still hoping John tells me I'm not going to the wrong place for Bromhead's grave.
[email protected]
20th June 2001John Young

I'll endeavour to scotch some of the rumours, as far as I'm aware Chard DID NOT have an affair with Queen Victoria, it is alleged he was very close to one of her personal staff.

Bromhead gay? That's a new one on me, and I've been studying the various aspects of this campaign and its personalities for over thirty years, and I've never heard that one.

At this time I can't say whether Gonville Bromhead had sisters, (I loaned the book that might tell me to the Webmaster!) he certainly had two elder brothers Sir Benjamin Parnell Bromhead & Charles James Bromhead, both soldiers.

Chard had two brothers that I know of at least, (can't give a fuller answer due to the absence of my book!) William served in the 7th(The Royal Fusiliers)Regiment of Foot in the Afghan campaign, and his younger brother Charles was a clergyman.

Bromhead's family has military lineage, which continues to the present day. There was little option for sons of the upper classes other than the services or the church. Given his family's history Gonville's path was pre-destined I'm certain.

Gonville Bromhead's body is actually in what is now Pakistan, having died of typhoid. Serving a Queen & Empire, which had rewarded him with its highest honour. What need then to return his body, for it rested then in a part of the Empire in which "the sun would never set".

As to bring bodies back, I cite as an example the Anglo-Zulu War itself, to my knowledge only a few bodies were returned: The Prince Imperial; Lt. Anstey 24th & Lt.Col. Northey 60th, are the ones that readily spring to mind. I'm sure the Keynsham Light Horse website would be able to confirm whether there were more. It was really the "done thing" to bring bodies back to the U.K.

Hope this goes some way to answer your question Jack?

John Young
21st June 2001Alan Critchley
I have received some further information on Bromhead kindly supplied by Martin Everett, Curator of the South Wales Borderers Museum.

Father & Mother: Sir EDMUND GONVILLE BROMHEAD, 3rd Baronet, a Major in the army, who was present at the battle of Waterloo, born 22 Jan 1791, married 15 Sep 1823, JUDITH CHRISTINE (died 12 June 1873), youngest daughter of James WOOD of Woodville, co Sligo, Ireland. Sir Edmund died 25 Oct 1870.

1. Brother: EDWARD, Capt 4th Foot, served in Crimea campaign, born 21 Mar 1832, died unmarried 9 Jan 1869

2. Brother: BENJAMIN PARNELL later 4th Baronet, CB, Colonel Indian Staff Corps, born 22 Oct 1838, married Hannah, eldest daughter of The Rev James Smith, 24 Oct 1866. Died 1935.

3. Brother: CHARLES JAMES, Colonel, late 24th Foot, CB, born 15 Sep 1840, married 5 Oct 1876 Alice Marie Freckleton (died 19 Oct 1932). served in the Zulu campaign.

4. Brother: GONVILLE, VC, Major 24th Foot, born 29 Aug 1845, died unmarried 9 Feb 1892.

5. Sister: FRANCIS JUDITH, born ????, married The Rev Arthur Coates 5 Apr 1847, died 20 Feb 1917.

6. Sister: VICTORIA GONVILLE, born ????, married Dr Warren Hastings Diamond MD, died 8 Jun 1909.

7. Sister: ELIZABETH FRANCES, born ????? married Evelyn Pocklington MRCS, died 10 Oct 1921.

What is interesting is that Debrett's states that Gonville's father was present at Waterloo. It have not checked this out yet. But in the film Zulu, Michael Caine does mention that someone in the family served at Waterloo. I have always thought that this was the scriptwriters adding a bit of gloss. I do know that another Bromhead served in 57th Foot and was awarded a Gold Medal after the battle of Badajoz - the medal is with Brig David Bromhead today.

With thanks to Martin Everett.

23rd June 2001Ian Woodason
Chard's siblings. His elder brother William Wheaton Chard served in the 7th Royal Fusiliers. As a subaltern he served in the Umbeyla campaign of 1863 where the 7th were besieged overnight by a much larger band of the enemy in a small area (ring any bells?). He died of fever contracted in India at home and is buried near the Chard family home, in the family plot, in Plymouth. JRM Chard's younger brother Charles was the Rector of Hatch Beauchamp in Somerset which is why JRM Chard died there as he was nursed by his brother and his wife. His brother is buried in the plot directly behind JRM Chard's - the cross has been broken off the pedestal and laid across it. Both brothers have brass memorial plaques inside their respective churches.
JRM also had sisters, one of which died in 1880 shortly after his return from Zululand - he got condolences from Queen Victoria, the other three married and lived to ripe old ages.
23rd June 2001Ian Woodason
Bromhead's father at Waterloo? If this means participating in the battle itself then he was detached from his regiment. His regiment were part of the extreme right of the line Wellington drew up and as such were several miles to the north. Waterloo was not the end of the fighting however as Gonville's father led the 'Forlorn Hope' at the storming of the French town of Cambrai and was wounded in so doing - an extremely brave act as any readers of the Sharpe novels will know! Haven't found any reference t his 'grandfather being the Johnny who knelt beside Wolfe at Quebec' - but his grandfather did serve in the fighting with the French in the West Indies.
13th February 2004Jane Howard
William Wheaton CHARD was born 22 Dec 1818 in Othery, Somerset, the son of William CHARD and Charlotte Maria Herring ROUSE. His wife was Jane BRIMACOMBE.

They had eight children:

Charlotte Maria Herring CHARD, married William BARRETT

William Wheaton CHARD, married Fanny Alexendrina August YULE

Mary Jane CHARD, married Charles Hensman HEYCOCK

John Rouse Merriott CHARD, never married. He was the hero at the Battle of Rorke's Drift immortalized in the movie "Zulu"

Jane Brimacombe CHARD (I believe she died young)

Charles Edward CHARD (I have his spouse's name, but not on my database yet)

Florence CHARD, married Robert C. Lathom BROWNE

Margaret E. CHARD, spouse unknown at this time

16th February 2004Sheldon Hall
John Prebble's source for both the claims about Bromhead's ancestry made in the dialogue in ZULU was a letter from the Rector of Bassingham published in the Daily Telegraph, 7 March 1879. As well as stating that Gonville's father was at Waterloo (Prebble changed this to grandfather for the screenplay, presumably because he thought that the span of time between 1815 and 1879 was stretching credibility for the audience), the Rector claimed that Bromhead's "great-grandfather was the ensign who told the dying Wolfe at Quebec that 'They run, sir!'." I quote this from a letter Prebble wrote in response to a query from Bromhead's great-niece, a Mrs K Preston (nee Bromhead), after she and her husband had seen the film and the husband was sceptical about both claims (he too thought they were "Hollywood gloss" - or "a piece of nonsense," in Mrs Preston's words). Prebble went on to list those officers and men known to be attending Wolfe and speculated: "[Lt.] Browne or [a volunteer called James] Henderson may have been the man meant by the Rector, a relation on the maternal side of Bromhead's family." As a matter of interest, Mrs Preston then lived in Llandudno, N. Wales.