The Royal Irish Regiment

The Right Reverend Bishop Robert Brindle DSO

The Reverend Robert Brindle was the Roman Catholic chaplain of the Royal Irish Regiment for 4 years and accompanied the 2nd Battalion in their 1882 Egyptian Campaign, then the 1st Battalion in the Nile expedition of 1884-5, sharing the hardship and privations that were suffered by the men. The regimental history pays him this tribute 'his genial personality, his devotion to duty, his coolness in danger, his indifference to hardship, combined to give him a remarkable influence over the men, which he exerted invariably in the highest interests of the service.' He missed the battle of Tel-el-Kebir in 1882 because of illness. But he used his time in Cairo to tend the sick soldiers suffering from enteric fever. He suffered blistered hands and aching muscles in the terrible boat trip up the Nile in 1885 and marched with the men across the Bayuda desert even though he was given a camel.

He finished the Nile campaign extremely thirsty, with ragged clothes and worn-out boots but this did not stop him from further soldiering in 1897 when he served in Kitchener's Dongola and Nile expedition of 1897-99. He again cared for sick soldiers who had typhoid and dysentary, carrying them to the ambulance when few others would come near. In March 1898, at Atbara, he heard about a dying Catholic soldier who was in a camp 9 miles away. He immediately set out across the El-Teb which was watched by the enemy and gave the man the last rights, staying with him to the end. He then walked back, tired and hungry and said the Mass on Sunday morning. He was awarded the DSO for his service in Egypt and the Sudan.

The photo shows him with the DSO, the Egypt medal with clasps for Suakin 1884, El-Teb-Tammai and The Nile 1884-85. The next medal is the Queen's Sudan, then the Turkish medal of Osmania, the Turkish order of Medjidie 3rd Class, the Khedive's Star, and the Khedive's Sudan medal 1896-1908 with clasps for Hafir, The Atbara and Khartoum.

1837 born 4th Nov and educated in Lisbon
1862 ordained and worked in Plymouth Cathedral
1874 Chaplain to the Forces, at Woolwich
1882 Served with Royal Irish in Egypt
1884 Served with Royal Irish in Nile Expedition.
1898 Awarded DSO
1899 Auxiliary Bishop in Westminster
1901 Appointed 4th RC Bishop of Nottingham
1915 resigned on 1st June
1915 Titular Bishop if Tacape
1916 died on 27th June at Mount St Mary's College, Spinkhill

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by Stephen Luscombe