Thomas DOODY (1814/15–1890)
St Giles section: grave not yet located
Thomas Doody was born in 1814/15.
He joined the 52nd Regiment of Foot (based at Cowley Barracks) and served in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. In 1864 he was based at Jhansi in the East Indies.
He appears to have lived up in Manchester. He died in hospital in Oxford of bronchitis and lobular pneumonia in 1890 when paying a visit his old barracks at Cowley:
† Thomas Doody died at the Radcliffe Infirmary at the age of 75 on 23 February 1890: the Infirmary records state that he was married, and give his address as Cowley Barracks. He was buried with a military funeral at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 27 February, and even though he was a Roman Catholic, his burial was recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church.
The following description of his funeral appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 1 March 1890:
MILITARY FUNERAL IN OXFORD. — On Thursday afternoon last the funeral took place at St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Walton-street, of an old pensioner who formerly belonged to the 52nd Regiment of Foot (now the 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire Light Infantry, the Dépôt of which is at the Cowley Barracks), named Thomas Doody, aged 75, who died in the Radcliffe Infirmary on Sunday morning, after receiving the consolations of his church. The deceased travelled from Manchester on the previous Friday, and on arriving at Oxford he proceeded in a cab to the Barracks, to see some of his comrades, he having previously to [through?] volunteering into the 52nd served in the Crimea and through the Indian Mutiny under Colonel Baillie, the officer commanding the 43rd Regimental District at Cowley, but he was evidently in so serious a condition that on the following morning his removal to the Infirmary was imperatively needed, and there he became gradually worse, and died as we have stated, the cause of death being pneumonia.
Under the circumstances Colonel Baillie decided to accord the remains of the old soldier the honours of a military funeral, and accordingly, shortly after two o’clock on Thursday afternoon, the Band of the Dépôt, a firing escort of 12 men, with a sergeant and corporal, and between 60 and 70 of the rank and file, marched from the Barracks to the Infirmary, the whole being under the command of Lieut. C. H. B. Molyneux. The news quickly spread that a military funeral was about to take place, and as such an event is of rare occurrence in this city several hundreds of persons congregated in St. Giles’s-road East [south end of the Banbury Road]. On the arrival of the military at the Infirmary the firing party formed upon each side of the gateway and stood with arms reversed, and as it was borne on the shoulders of six privates between the lines they presented arms. The remainder of the funeral party were drawn up in two ranks, between which the coffin was carried, the men saluting by raising their right hands to their Glengarries, and in the cortège it was immediately preceded by the Band, the firing party, with arms reversed, marching at the head. The procession moved off at once along St. Giles’s-road, the Band playing the “Dead March” in Saul with impressive effect, with muffled drums, and along the route to the cemetery by way of Observatory-street the thoroughfare was densely crowded with spectators. The body was met at the gates by the Rev. Father Dover, the Roman Catholic officiating clergyman at Cowley Barracks, vested in cope and biretta, and he was preceded by thurifer, cross-bearer, and acolytes to the grave. The firing escort were drawn up in two ranks on the north of an about four yards from the grave, and during the ceremony stood with their arms reversed. The service, which was short, but impressive, consisted of the blessing of the grave and the prayers from the Roman Ritual, followed by the Benedictus, during which the coffin was lowered by the men who had officiated as carriers. The firing party then presented arms, and gave the final salute by firing three volleys in the air, a bugler sounding the “general salute” after each volley, and during this time the celebrant remained uncovered. The firing party then fixed bayonets, and with the rest of the funeral party quitted the cemetery, and on the march back through the city the Band played several pieces.
The coffin was of elm, with black furniture, and bore on a plate the inscription, “Thomas Doody, died February 23, 1890, aged 75 years. R.I.P.” The large concourse of spectators testified by their orderly and reverent behaviour to their interest and respect.