Wellington had ordered the Allied 4th Division to march to Grammont then Enghien then Braine le Comte then Nivelles during 15-17 June 1815. As a result, the 4th Brigade (i.e. the 3rd Btn 14th Foot, 1st Btn 23rd Fusiliers and 2nd Btn 51st Foot) found itself leading the Division and under orders to march on Waterloo. It was the only Brigade of the Division to see action at Waterloo.
At the Battle, the 51st played only a minor role on the extreme right flank overlooking Hougoumont Farm. Nevertheless, at least seven of its ranks were either killed in action or died of wounds received (see note 1). The Waterloo Medal Roll is the primary source of names of British soldiers who fought at Waterloo. The Waterloo Medal was the first British service medal issued to all officers and men present. It was also to be awarded to the next of kin of those killed in action (see note 2); however, the new rules on issuing the medal were not uniformly implemented. In particular, at least six casualties of the 51st Regiment of Foot at Waterloo are not recorded in the Waterloo Medal Roll – and their sacrifice thus overlooked.
The Casualty Return of the 51st Regiment of Foot for May-June 1815 records the following deaths:
Bt Major William Thwaites’ Company:
Private Thomas Kelly, born Tuam Galway, labourer, DoW Waterloo 19 June
Capt John Ross’ Company:
Corporal Daniel Pound, born Margate, carpenter, KIA Waterloo 18 June
Private Thomas Turner, born Bristol, lamp lighter, KIA Waterloo 18 June
Bugler Stephen Quin, born Galway, labourer, KIA Waterloo 18 June
Capt Samuel Beardsley’s Company:
Corporal Samuel Winslett, born Farnham Surrey, labourer, KIA Waterloo 18 June
Private Joshua Seaton, born Whitechurch Yorkshire, labourer, KIA Waterloo 18 June
(See note 3.)
All were probably buried in the mass graves at Waterloo, none is listed in the Waterloo Medal Roll.
Later Casualty Returns record a Private Hart dying 24 July 1815 en route to England of wounds received at Waterloo, and Privates Collins and Wilson being “severely wounded at Waterloo, not heard of, believed dead” (see note 4). The Waterloo Roll for the 51st Regiment includes men with these surnames but further research is needed to ascertain whether they are the same persons.
Little else is known of most of these men except for the following (somewhat tentative) details.
Daniel Pound was probably baptized on 10 Oct 1794 at St John’s Margate Kent, the eldest of five children of Daniel Pound and his wife Martha Perciful (or Percival) who were married on 24 November 1793 at St John’s (see note 5).
Thomas Turner was possibly baptized either on 19 September 1790 at St Phillip & St Jacob’s Bristol Gloucester, the son of Thomas Turner and his wife Mary; or on 8 February 1782 in Bedminster Bristol, the son of William Turner and his wife Rachel (see note 6).
Samuel Winslett (or Winslade) was probably baptized on 20 September 1792 at St Andrew’s Farnham Surrey (the same day as twin? Francis), the eldest of four children of Samuel Winslade and his wife Sarah Draper who were married on 6 December 1788 at St Andrew’s. Samuel married Ann Piggott (~1778-1853) on 6 October 1810 at St Andrew’s (both signed X) and had children Samuel (1811-1874) and Mary Ann (1812-). The son Samuel had at least nine children and probably has living descendants (see note 7).
Joshua Seaton was born on 3 June 1792 in Whitkirk Yorkshire and was baptized on 1 July 1792 at Rothwell Yorkshire, the youngest of five children of Jonathan Seaton and his wife Mary Wodson who were married on 23 November 1779 at Rothwell. Joshua married Hannah Heward (or Howard) (1794-1838) on 12 April 1813 at St Mary’s Kippax Yorkshire (both signed X). Joshua was recruited in England and joined the 51st in the Pyrenees France on 15 February 1814. He served with Capt Samuel Beardsley’s Company (10th, 2nd Btn). After the Battle of Orthez on 27 February 1814, Joshua was at the Brigade Hospital in March/April 1814 (possibly a battle injury). Presumably, he embarked with the Regiment at Bordeaux for Plymouth aboard Zealous on 17 June 1814 and remained with the Regiment in Portsmouth until it sailed for Belgium on 23 March 1815. Joshua was reputedly the father of (widow) Hannah’s child Mary (~1816-1897) who has living descendants (see note 8).
Further information on these men or corrections of any details would be welcomed.
Richard Ollerton PhD
1 Col HC Wylly & Lt Col RC Bond, Regimental History of the 51st Regiment of Foot, in History of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry – to 1918, London: Lund Humphries, 1926-1929, Vol. 1, from p.282.
2 Maj LL Gordon, British Battles and Medals, 5th Ed, revised by EC Joslin, London: Spinks & Sons, 1979.
3 51st Regiment of Foot Casualty Returns 25 May to 24 Jun 1815, National Archives WO 25/1848.
4 Regimental History of the 51st Regiment of Foot, op. cit.
5 www.familysearch.org searches.
6 www.familysearch.org searches.
7 www.familysearch.org searches, parish registers, censuses, death indexes, family tree, RootsWeb.com
8 Parish registers, censuses, 51st Regiment Muster Rolls, Regimental History of the 51st Regiment of Foot, op. cit., The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Leonard Cooper, London: Leo Cooper, 1970, pp.26-35), family lore.
Professor Ollerton is grateful for this additional material, unearthed by Roger E Nixon, a Military and Naval historical researcher:
The Forgotten Fallen of the 51st – further information
Additional information on the Waterloo casualties of the 51st Regiment of Foot has come to light courtesy of military and naval researcher Roger E Nixon – Military & Historical Searches, London www.pro-search.co.uk.
The Casualty Returns of the 51st Regiment of Foot record the following Waterloo-related deaths in addition to the six listed in the May – Jun 1815 Return (1):
Capt Peter Smellie’s Company, Aug – Sep 1815 Return (2)
Private John Hart, born in the Regiment, died on passage to England of wounds received at Waterloo
Capt James Henry Phelps’ Company, Dec 1815 – Jan 1816 Return (3)
Private Michael Collins, born Rahoon Co. Galway, shoemaker, severely wounded at the Battle of Waterloo, not being since heard of, supposed dead
Capt Samuel Beardsley’s Company, Dec 1815 – Jan 1816 Return (3)
Private William Wilson, born Kilmacan Co. Cavan, labourer, severely wounded at the Battle of Waterloo, not being since heard of, supposed dead.
Intriguingly, these three men are listed in the Waterloo Medal Roll whereas the other six 51st Regiment casualties of Waterloo are not.
Further information on any of these men would be welcomed.
Richard Ollerton PhD
1 51st Regiment of Foot Casualty Returns, National Archives WO 25/1843, 25 May to 24 Jun 1815.
2 Ibid., 25 Aug to 24 Sep 1815.
3 Ibid., 25 Dec 1815 to 24 Jan 1816.