Local Boys Made Good - 1
People: Francis Drummond
Francis Drummond served as a junior officer under Alexander Cochrane ("The Sea Wolf"), who had come from Fife to build the navy of newly independent Brazil in 1823, and fought against the Portuguese. He left the Brazilian navy to join the Argentinian navy created by William Brown from Foxford in Co Mayo and, at the time of his death. was engaged to William Brown's daughter, Eliza.
In 1825 the Emperor of Brazil declared war on Argentina and Scots, Irish and English fought fierce naval engagements against one another in the vessels of their adopted countries. Commanding the Maldonado in the Battle of Juncal, Francis Drummond fought a two day battle against the Brazilian Bertioga before capturing it. He was promoted, decorated and awarded two months' salary. The Brazilian fleet was effectively destroyed by the end of the battle.
In April 1827 he commanded the brig Independencia which was dismasted during the Battle of Monte Santiago. Twelve cannons had to be thrown overboard to stay afloat and Drummond used parts of hos anchor chain as ammunition. Soon this too was exhausted and he set off in a small boat to find more ammunition from other vessels. During this expedition he was hit in the leg with a 24 pound cannon shot, a wound which proved fatal.
He was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Buenos Aires and the following year a monument erected in his honour. Two vessels of the Argentine navy have been named after him as have streets in several towns in Argentina.