George Doherty Broad R.N.
George Doherty Broad R.N.

Royal NavyPersonnel

Browse officers in command: A - B; C - E; F - G; H - K; L - O; P - R; S - T; U - Z; ??
George Doherty Broad R.N.Explanation
Son of Robert Richards Broad (1797-1881), a Justice of the Peace
Date (from)(Date to)Personal
21 October 1829 Born (Falmouth, Cornwall)
17 July 1861 Married, firstly, Emma Augusta Clark (1838-1924) and was granted divorce on 14 February 1870 on the grounds of his wifes adultery with Lieutenant George Beverley Bird, 51st Regiment of Foot.
June 1871 Married, secondly, Julia Clark (1832-1902)
September 1903 Died (Bridlington, Yorkshire)
31 March 1845Entered Navy
27 March 1851Mate
30 January 1861Commander
4 April 1870Captain
26 September 1876Retired Captain
1 January 1887Retired Rear-Admiral
Date fromDate toService
27 March 185112 November 1851Mate in Southampton, commanded by Captain Nicholas Cory, flagship of Barrington Reynolds, South east coast of America
13 November 185126 January 1853Lieutenant in Southampton, commanded by Captain Nicholas Cory, South east coast of America
13 July 185224 February 1853Lieutenant in Megaera, commanded by Commander John Ormsby Johnson
25 February 185330 July 1856Lieutenant in Sidon, commanded by Captain George Goldsmith, Mediterranean (and Black Sea during the Russian War)
3 September 185631 July 1858Lieutenant in Cruiser, commanded by Commander Charles Fellowes, East Indies and China, taking the gunboats Haughty, Staunch and Forester out for the 2nd Anglo-Chinese War
1 August 185819 January 1861Lieutenant and commander in Haughty, East Indies and China
20 January 186120 June 1861Lieutenant in Chesapeake, commanded by Captain Rochford Maguire, returning from East Indies
10 May 186220 May 1865Coast guard, Queenstown, Co. Cork then Weymouth, Dorset
13 September 186525 September 1869Commander in Cormorant, China
25 July 18791890Captain and superintendent in Southampton, industrial school ship, Hull
Extracts from the Times newspaper
We 7 December 1864


A court-martial assembled on Monday morning, at 9 o'clock, on board, the flagship Royal Adelaide, at Devonport, to try Commander Broad, for "having by written orders caused false entries to be made in the Coastguard station journal at Queenstown." The Court consisted of Capt. Lord Frederick Kerr, Capt. Seymour, Capt. Ewart, Capt. A. Phillimore, Capt. G.O. Willes, Capt. R. Lambert, Capt. May, and Capt. A. Wilmshurst; Mr. W. Eastlake, Judge-Advocate. Mr. John Beer aided the prisoner, and Mr. Dawe assisted the prosecutor, Lieut. Henry Theodore Marsden.
The prosecutor stated that he joined the Roche's Point Coastguard station as lieutenant and chief officer about the 1st of December, 1863. Shortly after taking charge he received written memoranda from Commander Broad to enter night visits as having been made to the station by him, and also to enter guardboat visits, knowing no such visits had been made. Since the date of his joining Roche's Point as chief officer he had received twice each month written memoranda to insert night visits in the journal, but, with the exception of four produced, he had destroyed them. These visits had not been made either to himself or to his Coastguard boat station. He expostulated with Commander Broad, and subsequently had several friendly conversations with him on the subject, as he felt that the course pursued was placing him in a false position; but he regretted that these expostulations had been without effect. Feeling it was a most serious thing for a junior officer to bring a charge against a superior, he refrained from farther mentioning the subject until the inspection of Capt. Heathcote on the 15th of October, when he brought the case under his notice. On the following day he wrote a letter read to the Court. He produced the Roche's Point station journal from December 1, 1863, to September 30 1864, and read the entries referred to in the memoranda produced. He considered that Commander Broad had broken the Coastguard regulations, chap. 18, sec. 1. It was impossible for the conferences reported on the 11th of May and 13th of June, 1864, to have taken place, in consequence of thick fog on the 11th of May and heavy rains and strong winds from S.S.W. on the 13th of June. Written orders from the prosecutor to the guardboat and to the night watches were produced, in order to show that had the conferences been made the men would have reported them to him. Being asked if he held any personal ill-will towards Commander Broad, the prosecutor said "Not until very lately," and was about to explain, when the Court withdrew the question. The prisoner could travel by land or by boat to his station, which is one recently created. The gig could be manned from East Ferry station. Ho was not aware of any pre-arranged signals between the commander and the men.
On cross-examination, a record of the whole duty during the month of December was produced. It was countersigned by the prosecutor. The record stated that Commander Broad had visited the station on the night of the 10th of September, 1863, but this statement was corrected on the fly-leaf by the prisoner. The correction showed that a conference by signal took place at 9 p.m. On being asked why he omitted to point out the correction to the Court in the first place the prosecutor answered, "It escaped my notice." During his experience at Roche's station the district captain had visited it twice. The first time was on the 15th of February last. No communication was made then in reference to the entries in question.
William Clapshaw, chief boatman, deposed that he joined the station on May 17. Lieut. Marsden's orders were hung up in the watch room. The duty performed by night is entered on a slate, from which the lieutenant enters it in the journal in the morning. It was the duty of the witness to enter all night conferences. In the evening the proceedings of the previous night are read aloud to the assembled crew, and if there is any omission it is corrected. Witness never had a night conference with Commander Broad. On cross-examination, he said he could not recollect what guard he had on the 9th of July. He only heard the prosecutor read a night visit as made by Commander Broad once, and it was then by order. In reply to the Court, he explained that he meant an order given by Commander Broad to Lieut. Marsden. He saw the order. He thought it was last month. It referred to a conference by signal with the boat. He had not then been on watch to his recollection. The order was similar to the memoranda produced. He knew of no other order. He could not tell why Lieut. Marden showed him the order, and he did not remember the conversation which took place. He could not swear that the entry made on the 12th of September was read on the 13th by Lieut. Marsden, referring to a conference made by the inspecting commander at 9 p.m.
Bartholomew Harrington, a commissioned boatman, said he joined Roches Point station on September 14. It was his duty to enter all occurrences worthy of note in his watch on the slate kept for that purpose. It was his duty to enter any conferences. He had never had a night conference with Commander Broad, and had never entered any. If he had recognized his signal he should have entered it. There were all kinds of lights in Cork harbour by night. He had occasionally seen flashing lights, such as are used when inviting a conference. He had never answered any, not knowing whose signals they were. He had no orders to reply to any lights, and he knew of no particular signal of the commander intimating a wish to confer.
In reply to the prisoner, the witness said he heard the journal read on the 13th and 24th of September. He had no reason to believe that Lieut. Marsden omitted any part of the journal. No member of the crew objected to the truth of the entries then made.
George Newnall, a commissioned boatman, said he joined Roche's Point on the 1st of December, 1863. The occurrences were written up by the boatman in charge, or the night watchman, on a slate, and they signed their names to it to testify to its correctness. It was his duty when In charge to note all occurrences worthy of remark, and all conferences. He had never had a conference personally with Commander Broad, or by signal, and had never entered any. He should have entered them if he had. He had no orders relative to looking for signals, or replying to them, with the inspecting commander by night. If he had seen flashing signals he should proceed to the spot. They had had no flashing pans of late. He knew of no means to distinguish a signal of the inspecting commander from the other lights in the harbour.
In reply to the prisoner, the witness said the flashing lights had been discontinued for three years. They were stopped by order of the district captain, because they alarmed the harbour. He heard the journal read by Lieut. Marsden on the 10th and 21st of February. He could not say whether he omitted any part of it. He said it entered that at 9 p.m. of the 9th of February the inspecting commander conferred with the guardboat. He could not say it was not-read at that time.
In reply to the prosecutor, the witness said he remembered his reading two entries as to visits made by the inspecting commander since October last. They were entered in consequence of a written order from the inspecting commander.
Thomas Grimes, another commissioned boatman, said he had been at Roche's Point station about 12 months. When coming off duty, before being relieved, he entered all occurrences and conferences, and signed his name to testify to their correctness. The night work was read to the assembled crew at evening muster, that they might see that the previous night's proceedings had been correctly copied from the slate. He had never had a night conference with Commander Broad. It had been practicable to go from Roche's Point to Commander Broad's residence this last month or two. Previously they had to go through Lord Fermoy's grounds. In reply to the prisoner, the witness said Roche's Point is a boarding station, and contains the same limits as when the station was at Whitegate. The night visits of inspecting commanders were made by flashes. Capt. Crispin, in 1860, issued an order to do away with flashes because they alarmed the harbour, and ordered the inspecting commander to make his visit by signal. The commander might make a visit and they not know anything about it. The next day he would send a note to say he was at such a guard at such a time. Capt. Goss, who preceded the prisoner, used the Whitegate boat, and lived at Whitegate. When he was out in that boat and wished to signal the Crosshaven or East Ferry boat, he showed a lantern over the bow. Capt. Goss's signals had been carried out by Commander Broad according to Capt. Crispin's letter. Before October or November they did not know what visits were made, but since that the visits had been read to them out of the journal.
John Renowden, a commissioned boatman, said he bad been at Roche's Point from September 1, 1863, to July 16, 1864. When in charge of the guard boat or as night watchman, it was his duty to enter all occurrences and conferences which had taken place during his watch. He never had or entered a conference by night with Commander Broad. He was aware of the alterations in the signals made by Capt. Crispin. Since that time it had been perfectly possible for the inspecting commander to make a night visit to his guard without his being aware of it. When the signal was made or the visit paid he might be on board his vessel or on a part of his guard where he could not see it.
The Court, at the close of this witness's evidence, adjourned to yesterday.
Fr 9 December 1864

(by electric and international telegraph.)

PLYMOUTH, Thursday.

The proceedings of the court-martial on Commander Broad were brought unexpectedly to a conclusion this evening. He was charged with having, by written orders, caused conferences to be entered on the journals of the Roche's Point Coastguard station whereas no such conferences had been held. The Court determined that the charge had been partly proven; but, considering that the conflicting opinions which exist with regard to the meaning of the term "conference" might have led to an error of judgement on the part of Commander Broad, and taking into consideration his previous good character, they sentenced him to be admonished.

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