Soldiers' Personal Details
(From my limited experience of 1870-80s records ...)
The only places where addresses and/or names of next of kin appear to be listed are:
A) Discharge papers, amongst Service Records (WO/97).
[For men who had completed their full service period
(and who might be persuaded to re-enlist at a later date)
or who had been invalided out.]
[These records contain information about age, physical appearance,
birthplace and trade or occupation on enlistment in the Army, along with a
record of service such as any decorations awarded, promotions and reductions in rank, crimes and punishments and the reason for discharge. Usually any address listed is simply their immediate intended destination upon discharge, for which they were paid to reach.]
B) "Effects and Credits" lists amongst the Pay Lists (WO/12, 13, 16).
[For men who had been killed.
In order to return personal belongings and outstanding pay to relatives.]
Unfortunatley, neither of these cases applies to your soldier's situation.
No record (for the relevant period) is thrown up by a search for "francis o'brian" or "francis o'brien" in UKNA.
[However, earlier instances of the name are listed, and these may give you a hint of possible previous family involvement in military service.]
For the sake of completeness and peace of mind, the Paylists are probably still worth a scan - just in case!
Courts Martial Records
These are held in series WO/86:
Judge Advocate General's Office:
District Courts Martial Registers, Home and Abroad
This series comprises registers of district court martial at home and abroad from the Judge Advocate General's Office, from the institution of district courts martial in 1829.
These district courts martial tried only non-commissioned officers and other ranks.
The registers of charges give, in tabulated form,
the name, rank and regiment of each prisoner,
place of trial, nature of the charge and sentence.
Specifically, your soldier's case details will be in:
WO 86/16 1867-1868
All very terse stuff.
Does not contain details of the circumstances of the offence events, nor any personal details of the soldiers.
Such Courts Martials-able events happened regulalry in the field.
The commonest cause was frustration and over-drinking by the men, particularly prevalent during periods of military inactivity.
This resulted in ...
... derilictions of duty;
[Absence without leave, or sleeping while on sentry duty,
were considered particularly serious offences.]
[e.g. disobeying an order, or striking a superior officer.]
This latter situation was frequently deliberately engineered (for discipline purposes) by sergeants, espcially if someone became too full of himself or too popular with the men.
Gaol sentences, together with demotions in rank (e.g. Corporal back down to Private) were common. Dismissal from service was quite a serious punishment.
I've been looking for an excuse to visit Kew for a while, and like to do a good deed every day ...
Can you wait till (late opening on) Thursday?!