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Scrapbook of letters and other materials relating to the Crimean War service (Royal Navy) of Surgeon Hugh O'Hagan and Captain Hyde Parker

Call Number: MS E118


Hugh O'Hagan was the Surgeon aboard HMS Firebrand during the Crimean War, and wrote narrative letters home to his wife Nannie in Ireland. Nannie copied 33 of them (August 8, 1854 to June 30, 1855) into this "Second book, copies of my dear Husbands letters. Nannie O'Hagan. Boyne Cottage." Clippings concerning the war and mentioning O'Hagan are pasted into the book. O'Hagan was a close friend of his captain, Hyde Parker, who died a hero's death in his arms in the battle of Sulina (July 8, 1854). Clippings concerning Parker are also pasted in, as are maps and views of the theatre of war, both manuscript and printed.


  • Creation: 1854 - 1855


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Hugh O'Hagan

Hugh O'Hagan served with Charles Napier in Syria circa 1840; in the Queen's service thereafter. At the Cape many years after he served in the same ship as Lieutenant Hyde Parker, son of the Admiral (Note: Parker apparently born in 1825: see MS P384:3).

When the Firebrand Steam Frigate was commissioned, Captain Parker asked for O'Hagan. In March 1854 the Firebrand picked up two wounded children from the sack of Kustendjeh and Parker and O'Hagan semi-adopted them; the Queen learned of them through the publicity attending Parker's death, and sent for them.

O'Hagan is perhaps from Northern Ireland; he wanted his wife to meet him in Dublin when he was invalided out of service. He had several children.

Known events from O'Hagan's life:

July 8, 1854
Battle of Sulina: mentioned in despatches
September 21, 1854
Traversed the Alma battle-field, aiding the wounded
October 17, 1854
The Albion's crew badly wounded in the midst of battle; Firebrand was lashed to its side so O'Hagan could give them care under fire
March 24, 1855
Firebrand badly battered, and morale bad; returns to Malta
May 24, 1855
Firebrand returns to Black Sea; O'Hagan stays in hospital in Malta
June 14, 1855
O'Hagan leaves Malta for England
June 30, 1855
Arrives in England, invalided home
Appears to be still alive


1 volume (1 volume + 1 folder) ; Volume measures no taller than 37 cm.

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

Subjects covered in the volume include details of land and sea battles, some first-hand; camp life; shipboard life; camp gossip (particularly concerning the rich, the well-connected, and the female). Friendly with Russell, the Times correspondent, and recommends his articles. Garrison life in Malta. Progress of the refugee children. The weather. Generalities on the bad Irish political character. Friendly correspondence with William Parker. He notes that the electric telegraph means that Malta gets its Black Sea news via England with only two days delay.

Physical Location

MS E118

Physical Location

MS P384

Immediate Source of Acquisition

O'Hegarty uncatalogued manuscripts

Guide to the Hugh O'Hagan Scrapbook Collection
Scrapbook of letters and other materials relating to the Crimean War service (Royal Navy) of Surgeon Hugh O'Hagan and Captain Hyde Parker
Finding aid prepared by alh, June 15, 1973. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2005; revised by skt, 2010.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Scrapbook of letters and other materials relating to the Crimean War service (Royal Navy) of Surgeon Hugh O'Hagan and Captain Hyde Parker, MS E118, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States