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Henry Bray, Chief Officer, Greencastle, Donegal, Ireland
These are my great-great grandparents Henry Bray and Mary Dyer Bray. He was born in or near Plymouth, England, in 1809 and died on 6 July 1864 at Greencastle, Donegal, Ireland, while serving as Chief Officer. She was born in Polruan, Cornwall, England in 1812 and died in Chicago, IL, USA, on 15 August 1884.
My great grandfather was the youngest of their 10 or 11 children, and when he was born in 1853, the family applied for his older brother Thomas to be admitted to Greenwich Hospital School to relieve the financial strain of feeding so many mouths on a Coastguards’ salary. A cousin of mine found the entire packet of application and acceptance documents in the British National Archives and sent me images of them, and I have found other references to Henry’s naval career elsewhere in the archives. From them I have pieced together the following CV for Henry Bray:
Baptized 25 October 1809 St. Andrew's Church, Plymouth, Devon, England. Son of William and Elizabeth Bray.
24 February 1824 HMS Tamar Rank: Boy 2nd Class
01 October 1826 HMS Tamar Rank: Boy 1st Class
14 February 1828 HMS Maidstone Rank: Ordinary Seaman
01 February 1829 HMS Maidstone Rank: Able-Bodied Seaman
19 September 1832 Transferred from HMS Magnet to Coastguard station at Brandon, Kerry, Ireland under command of Thomas Dyer. Rank: Boatman. (Thomas Dyer became his father-in-law less than a year later. He died in the line of duty (“severe fall from ship side”) while serving as Chief Officer of the Coastguard station at Castletownsend, Skibareen, Cork, Ireland on 28 May 1844.)
21 April 1833 Married Mary Dyer in Brandon, Kerry, Ireland
27 July 1847 Assigned to Coastguard Station at Ardfry, Oranmore, Galway, Ireland. Rank is Chief Boatman, transferred from N. Isle of Aran
1858 living at the Coastguard Watch House, Killaghtee, Donegal, Ireland
12 March 1860 Chief Officer in charge of Coast Guard Station, Greencastle, Co. Donegal, Ireland after being promoted from Chief Boatman to 2nd Chief Officer.
6 July 1864 Died at the Coastguard Station, Greencastle, Donegal, Ireland and was buried at the COE Missionary Church, now St Finian's Church of Ireland, Greencastle, Co Donegal, Ireland.
According to family lore, he died from lingering wounds suffered in the Crimean War. So far, I have not found any records of his service in the Crimean War, and there is a gap in his career history between 1854 and 1858. If anyone who has read this far has any advice or clues for me regarding finding documentation of his Crimean War service, I would be very grateful.

Date: 10/02/2022
Added by: dberry
Dimensions: 476 x 673 pixels
Filesize: 62.48kB
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