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An early 20th century portrait miniature of Lt Colonel John Francis Giradot (1829-1902) watercolour on ivory

£ 400

Set in a gold frame the glazed reverse inscribed Lt Col Giradot/ Survivor of the/ "Birkenhead"/ 2/ Mrs Alice Orde/ Inwoodbarn/Tongham/ Surrey.

Lt Giradot, son of Rev John Chaucourt Giradot and Sophia was born at Averham, Notts. He entered the Army in 1847. In 1852 he was in command of a detachment of the 43rd Light Infantry on board the troops HMS Birkenhead that sank off the coast near Cape Town. He was cast ashore with others on some driftwood and when this became entangled some distance from the shore he helped a soldier, who was unable to swim, by carrying him on his back. 436 lives were lost when HMS Birkenhead sank and only 207 survived, many due to the personal valour of Giradot. It was from this wreck, that the saying "women and children first" was used. The majority of the soldiers stood to attention as the ship foundered, and were drowned.

In 1894 he married Mary daughter of the late Mr. James Evans. He died 11th September, 1902, the year of the 40th Anniversary of the sinking of HMS Birkenhead and is buried in Rownhams Churchyard Southampton. The Oxfordshire Light Infantry ( formerly the 43rd) placed a memorial in the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
More Information
Year                 1900
Signed                 Signed on the obverse and dated, reverse inscribed Lt Col Giradot/ Survivor of the/ 'Birkenhead'/ 1/ Mrs Alice Orde/ Inwoodbarn/Tongham/ Surrey
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