About Francis St.Patrick Vernon de Landre-Grogan.

His Birth

The earliest reliable record of Francis is in April 1872 when he joined the British army at Fermoy Army Barracks, County Cork.
He claimed to be 17 years and 2 months making his date of birth 1855 and gave his name as Patrick Francis Grogan from Bansha, Tipperary, Ireland.
The attestation papers, dated April 1872, show an alias as Francis St. Patrick Vernon de Landre-Grogan, counter signed by WL.
He was described as 5 feet 5 and a quarter inches in height with a fresh complexion, brown eyes and light brown hair.
He was assigned to the 84 Regiment with army number 2131, and it is from this earliest record we get his name, date and place of birth.
However, it will be seen later, that he uses different names, dates of birth and even country of origin.

In The Army

Francis progressed quickly through the ranks.
On 12 Aug 1874 receiving a good conduct pay of one penny.and promoted to Corporal.
On 18 Aug 1877 receiving two pennies, good conduct award and promoted to Sergeant.

At 24 years of age, on 3 March 1879 he joined the Free Masons, Initiated at Lodge of Peace and Harmony, Dover, Kent, Lodge 199,235. (From 431).

His progress through the ranks continues.
On 13 July 1880 he was promoted to Colour Sergeant, but on 30 October he requested to revert to Sergeant.
In 1881 the army re-organisation of regiments assigned them to counties, so Francis found himself in the Second York and Lancashire Regiment.
On 1 November 1881 he regained the rank of Colour Sergeant and was transfered to the Corps of Military Staff Clerks, now being Colour Sergeant Staff Clerk.


At the age of 28 he married Bertha Elizabeth Dixon on the 14 March 1883.
Bertha already had a son George William Dixon, born 1881 in Dover.
Georges birth certificate shows no mention of who the father is, but as we will see later George uses both Grogan and de Landre-Grogan as his surname.
Later, on 13 December Francis and Bertha had a son, Leon Victor St Patrick.

Also in that same year Francis renamed himself again. The book "The Nobilities of Europe" Page 93 quotes as follows:
"In 1883 made a declaration changing his name to Francois St. Patrick Vernon de Landre-Grogan de Vernon, and later assumed the titles of COUNT AND MARQUIS DE VERNON."
1884 and Francis (or Francois) now Second Master Sergeant Staff Clerk.
In 1885 Francis and Bertha have a daughter born Bertha Frances Lilian, at Houghton, Dover on 31 October.

At the age of 31 on the 17 August Francis gets a medical discharge from the army due to Tuberculosis. He then enters Cambridge University but it is not known what Francis was reading at university. The next thing we know: Francis is a Curate in Nanpean, Cornwall.
At the age of 32 on 16 May 1887 he transfered his Free Mason membership and was initiated at Phoenix Lodge of Honor and Prudence, Truro, Cornwall. Lodge number 331,415. Describing himself as a Gentleman.
It is in Nanpean that they have another baby girl, Lena Mary born on 27 August 1887.

Back in the army

In 1891 Francis returns to the army and is now in the Rifle Brigade. In the 1891 Census he describes himself as Francois Landre-Grogan. Living as a boarder at 99 Alderney St. London. He now claims to be 29 years of age; if that were the case it would mean that when he joined the army in 1872 he would have been ten years old! He also claims that he was born in France but is a British subject.

He rises through the ranks in the Rifle Brigade and on the 20 February 1892 passed school of instruction as Lieutenant. In 1895 he is in the Kings Own (Royal Lancaster Reg.) 3rd + 4th Batt. as a Captain.

In 1897 there was an upheaval in his life. He resigned his commission in the army, and on the 17 March started divorce proceedings against Bertha. In 1898 whilst his divorce is going through, a Mr and Mrs Everett cite Francis as co-respondent in their divorce but the divorce is thrown out with Francis being found not guilty. The Final Decree between Francis and Bertha is made on 14 May 1900.

In the 1901 census his ex-wife Bertha aged 38 and her son Leon aged 18 were both at 124 Upton Lane, West Ham, London. The two daughters from her marriage to Francis, Lena 13 and Bertha 15 were at a boarding school in Croydon.

Lord Kitchener’s Boar War final despatch mentioned in dispatches Rifle Brigade: 5th Battalion Captain F Vernon de Landre Grogan de Vernon, on 23 June 1902.
In 1903, Francis's son Leon marries, the marriage certificate describes Francis as Gentleman.

Honours to Francis published :- THE LONDON GAZETTE, December 6, 1907 - 5th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own); Major (Honorary Captain in the Army) F. Vernon de Landre Grogan de Vernon is granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Dated 23rd October, 1907.

The death of Francis ?

After his discharge from the army, we don't know what became of him.
After much searching the records for Patrick or Francis Grogan born in Bansha, Tipperary. Any of the following could be Francis.

1908 Dec 19 Patrick Grogan   (he would be 53) Blackburn Cemetery, Lancashire.
1914 Apr 07 Patrick Grogan   (he would be 59) Hither Green Cemetery, Lewisham.
1915 Oct 13 Francis Grogan   (he would be 60) Helles Memorial, First Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers, Private 21158,
1917 Q1 Patrick Grogan         (he would be 62) Omagh, Ireland, Vol 2 Page 244, FHL Film number 0101607
1918 Q1 Patrick D Grogan     (he would be 63) Newcastle, Vol 5, Page 319, FHL Film number 0101607
1918 Aug 10 Patrick Grogan  (he would be 63) Blackburn Cemetery, Lancashire.
1921 Q4 Patrick Grogan        (he would be 66) Dublin South, Vol 2, Page 412, FHL Film number 0101608
1930 Q2 Patrick Grogan        (he would be 75) Huddersfield 9 a 428
1937 Q2 Patrick Grogan        (he would be 82) Birr, Ireland Vol 3 Page 219 FHL Film number 101740