There are many captivating stories surrounding the events on the Battlefields of Waterloo. Here you can find a selection of accounts from descendants of those who fought in the Waterloo Campaign.
Do you have a Waterloo descendant? Find out more with the Waterloo Descendants Book.
Colour Sergeant Samuel Goddard 14th Regiment of Foot
Apparently born in Ireland to innkeeper parents, he ran away to join the army at about the age of 12 with a friend from a much more wealthy and landed family, the Everards. Served 43 years and retired as Captain and Quartermaster to Dublin Castle in March 1853 at Limerick. He retired to an almshouse at Windsor Castle as a Military Knight of Windsor and was apparently, when he died, the last known surviving veteran of the Battle of Waterloo He was uried at Newington Churchyard, Oxfordshire, where his son-in-law, the Reverend Septimus Cotes, was the Rector.
Sam married Rose Mary Henrietta Riddell on 6/9/1830 at St. Pancras Old Church, London. They had two children: Ellen Goddard (1834-1921) and a son who apparently joined the army and lost his life in the Indian mutiny at a very young age. Ellen though had nine children between 1859 -1873 and there are well over 30 descendants now living with branches in three main families: Davies, Cotes and Hailey.
Sam’s original childhood friend from the wealthy Everard family was able to buy a commission and he eventually retired as a Major General. Despite their different financial circumstances, they served together and Everard credited Sam with saving his life. Many years later, Everard’s widow, in gratitude, apparently left his only surviving child, Ellen Cotes, the then a huge sum of £1,000 which enabled her to live out her years in style at 4 Leckford Road , Oxford until 1921 where she died aged 87.
Sam not only served in the campaign of 1815 including Waterloo when he was 22 years old and the storming of Cambray.In 1817 in the East Indies he was present at the siege of Hattrass and in the campaign of 1817-18 in the Deccan and also the siege and storming of Bhurtpore in 1825-26.
His retiring rank of Captain was a nominal or honorary rank apparently given to meritorious Quartermasters of long service.
An account from Waterloo itself, which has come down through the family, records that Sergeant Goddard was with an advanced party of skirmishers and, at about 4 o’clock, the reflux wave of some French cuirassiers passed through them. The 14th of course fired on the French, one of whom was wounded and thrown from his horse. A comrade nobly returned and offered the wounded soldier his stirrup. An active light infantryman of the 14th, Whitney by name, was about to fire at the mounted Frenchman rescuing his comrade but Sam interfered and said “No Whitney, don’t fire, let him off, he is a noble fellow”. (This account came from a friend of Sam’s).
Submitted by Peter J.M. Davies (son of Elizabeth Davies (nee Ross), who is the daughter of May Ellen Ross (nee Masterman), who was a daughter of Alice May Masterman (nee Cotes ), who was a daughter of Ellen Cotes (nee Goddard), who was the daughter of Samuel Goddard.
Captain James Campbell Murdoch 91st Regiment of Foot
Captain James Campbell Murdoch (sometimes incorrectly recorded as James C. Murdock), my Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather, was born 1784, in Kilmadock, Perth, Scotland.
His military career began as an Ensign in June 1806, He became a Lieutenant in 1807 and a Captain in 1810. He also served with the 56th Regiment of Foot.
With the 91st, Captain Murdoch was present at the Peninsular Wars, the Pyrenees and Waterloo. Records of his Company are on-line and his presence at Waterloo is noted in several books. He was notably part of the Walcheren Campaign in 1809, where he contracted, and luckily prevailed of, Walcheren Fever.
Whilst in France, he married a French woman, with whom he returned to Scotland following his service abroad. Their eldest son, my Great, Great, Great Grandfather, was born in France during Captain Murdoch’s time there.
In 1833, Captain James Campbell Murdoch died and was buried in Scotland.
Submitted by Rebecca S
Private John Collett 1st Battalion 1st Foot Guards
John Collett , my Great Grandfather , was a Private in the 1st Battalion of 1st Foot Guards, which he joined October 1803,served at Corunna and later being transferred to the 2nd Battalion 1st Foot Guards in June 1813. John Collett served at the Decisive Battle of Quartres Bras on the 16th June 1815 -where he was wounded, effectively removing him from further involvement in the following battle of Waterloo – John Collett was evacuated initially to Brussels then home to Great.Britain. Horrendous losses were incurred by John’s 2nd Battalion (486 ) with the 3rd Battalion experiencing even greater losses (600). Because of their distinguished courage and major part in destroying the French Grenadiers the Duke of Wellington conferred the title of ‘Grenadiers’ upon the 1st Foot Guards- henceforth being known as 1st or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards – then later as The Grenadier Guards.
Private John Collett’s remaining time in the army was spent with his regiment’s 2nd Battalion being discharged on the 12th April 1823. He received an army pension as an ‘out-pensioner’ of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. His discharge papers declaring ‘ Diseased lungs’ as reason for discharge & his conduct ‘Good’ .
John Collett after discharge (age 41) went on to live in Bermondsey SE London , where he married Frances Holyman (age 20) in 1830- producing 10 children. (John Collett died on the 24th July 1849 of Asiatic Cholera.)
The 9th child of John & Frances’ family , Emily (born 11th Jan 1847) was to become my maternal Grandmother. Emily went on to marry James Aslett Clark (11th March 1872) who together had 6 children, my mother, Phoebe, was the last born (in Bermondsey) 10th Feb 1890. Phoebe married Albert Thomas Squires 26th Dec 1912. This union produced five children. Reginald being the youngest (Born Oct 1929) all -lived in Bermondsey.
We often ponder upon the thought ‘ …if our ancestor had not survived the ravages of this momentous battle….’
Submitted by Reginald D Squires
Captain Thomas William Taylor 10th Hussars
I am a direct line descendant of Thomas William Taylor who served at Waterloo as a Captain in the 10th Hussars and ended up at the end of his career as a Major-General. After completing his education at Eton and St John’s Cambridge he entered the army in 1804 as Cornet in the 6th Dragoon Guards. He was then 22 years of age, and after serving with Sir James Craig in the Mediterranean was, in 1807 promoted to a captaincy in the 24th Light Dragoons. With this regiment he remained but short time, for in the following year he was appointed military secretary to Lord Minto, Governor-General of India. In 1812 he was posted back to England.
Battle of Waterloo
Early in 1815, however, Napoleon’s escape from Elba brought more fighting and the 10th Hussars, augmented to ten troops, went at once to Belgium to join Wellington’s army. Taylor spent “the hundred days” before Waterloo in and around Brussels, where his regiment was part of the covering force.
For Captain Taylor, the great day started well. Early in the morning, he was on an outlying picket and had just finished posting vedettes when a Prussian Officer arrived and asked him to tell Wellington at once that the Prussian Army was at St Lambert and marching towards Waterloo.
Hearing this, the great Duke said warmly to Taylor: “Damn me, Sir, you have brought the tidings I prayed for; accept my gratitude”.
The story of the battle is well known, and the 10th Hussars and Captain Taylor were in the thick of it, particularly at the end. However, one event is worth recalling. Lord Uxbridge, Wellington’s second-in-command and commander of the cavalry, was sitting on his charger by the Duke just when the final advance was starting. The French artillery had almost ceased firing, but one of their last shots flew close over the neck of “Copenhagen”, the Duke’s charger, and smashed into Uxbridge’s right knee. “By God! I’ve lost my leg” cried Uxbridge. Wellington turned, “Have you, by God?” …. And he galloped off.
But Captain Taylor was close at hand, and, to ease Uxbridge’s pain, pulled off his boot. In later years, Uxbridge, who was created Marquess of Anglesey for his part in the battle, always asserted that this action had saved his life – probably because it helped to prevent gangrene in the time before the amputation was effected. The Duke, however, had noticed Captain Taylor’s conduct in the battle and he was promoted to the brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel (after only 11 years’ service) and appointed to the staff of Wellington’s new second-in-command, General Hill, in the Headquarters of the Allied Army Occupation in Paris, where he remained until 1818. A collection of Captain Taylor’s letters sent to his family during the campaign have been published which gives a detailed account of life during the campaign.
He then returned to his regiment, and served with it in Ireland. In 1826 he was appointed Superintendent of the Cavalry Riding Establishment at St John’s Wood, for about two years and then became Inspector of Yeomanry. In 1831 he was in London for the coronation of his friend, the Duke of Clarence, as King William IV, “the sailor King”, and the next year joined the Royal entourage. In 1833 he was officially appointed Groom of the Bedchamber, and was fully occupied as a courtier and confident of the King until 1837. He was then regretfully released from these duties by the King on being promoted to Colonel and, at the same time, appointed Lieutenant Governor of The Royal Military College at Sandhurst.
The King died in that same year but Colonel Taylor’s services to him were not overlooked by his niece, Victoria, and he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in her Coronation Honours List. He spent the rest of his life at Sandhurst, being promoted Major General in 1845, and it was while he was there, in 1852, that he was appointed Colonel of the 17th Lancers and his fifth child and fourth daughter, Amelia, met and married Captain William Morris of that regiment. He died on the 8th of January 1854 and was buried in the churchyard at Denbury.
Submitted by Mark Taylor
Lieutenant Ole Lindam 2nd Light Battalion, King’s German Legion
Ole Lindam was born a Dane in 1789. He was educated in Copenhagen and was recruited into the King’s German Legion by two artillery officers immediately after the bombardment of the city by the British fleet in 1807.
He trained as an officer at Porchester and was commissioned into the Second Light Battalion of the KGL in 1810. He fought under Wellington in the Peninsular War commanding a company at the Battles of Albuera, Vitoria, the three battles of the Pyrenees and at the sieges of Badajoz, St Sebastian and Bayonne.
He also commanded a company at Waterloo, where he was stationed in the orchard of La Haye Sainte. There ‘he stood foremost in resisting the attack of the Enemy, animating the men by his Word & Example’. He was three times wounded, twice lightly and once severely, in the spine, and was taken back insensible relatively early in the day. For his gallantry he was awarded the Knighthood of Hanover, one of the earliest officers to receive this honour. He recovered from his wound, but not sufficiently to enable him to serve in the army. He lived quietly in retirement until the age of 92, when he was the last remaining KGL officer to have served under Wellington in the Peninsula and at Waterloo.
Submitted byJames Bogle, great great grandson.
Captain Thomas W Taylor 10th Hussars
My great great grandfather, Thomas William Taylor, Captain 10th Hussars (later Major General and CB) took part in the Waterloo campaign from April to August 1815. A series of letters to his family, which have been published in chronological order, describe his experiences before, during and after the battle on the 18th June. The 10th Hussars were brigaded with the 18th Hussars and the 1st German Hussars under the command of Sir Hussey Vivian. They were held in reserve on the left flank of the Duke of Wellington’s ‘thin red line’ until the final stages of the battle when they took part in the rout of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. Earlier in the day, Taylor had been sent out with his troop to the east to try to make contact with the approaching Prussians. This he succeeded in doing and was able to report the welcome news back to the Duke. He was promoted to Major and soon afterwards to Lieutenant Colonel in the same year. He died in 1854.
Submitted by John Collier
Lieutenant Thomas Blood 16th Light Dragoons (Lancers)
About 70 years ago, when I lived in a little village called Tean in Staffordshire, I passed a row of terraced houses near my home every day when I went to school. The houses were called “Blood’s Row” but it never meant anything to me at the time.
Several decades later whilst I was living in Lancashire, my cousin sent me a cutting from a local paper about a forgotten local hero who fought at Waterloo and was buried in the next village. This started me researching my family history. My search led me to the Home Headquarters 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers in Stafford where a soldier showed me around their museum despite it being technically closed. A few days later I received a letter from a Major D.J.H. Farquharson who sent me some photocopies of old documents of one of their famous “Scarlet Lancers” who turned out to be my great great great uncle, Lieutenant Thomas Blood.
What I discovered about Lieutenant Thomas Blood was that he was born in 1775 and enlisted in March 1793. He served in the Flanders campaign and was later “wounded in the left leg near the Rhine”. He was promoted to Corporal and roughrider in 1798 and to Sergeant and roughrider the following year. Thomas served in the Peninsula Wars and was present at Talavera, later being responsible for taking a great number of prisoners near Oporto. During the retreat from Burgos to Portugal, he greatly distinguished himself. He was promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major. He advanced to Cornet and Riding Master in the 16th Hussars in 1822.
He then went to India with his Regiment and was present at the capture of Bhurtpoor and promoted to Lieutenant without purchase. He was transferred to the 1st Royals in 1833 and went onto half pay on the 28th March 1834.
He died at Cheadle in 1840 and a monument in the graveyard of St Giles is inscribed with 95 lines recounting his services.
The row of houses in Tean was built by Lieutenant Thomas with his savings and pension awarded to him following a visit to Harley Street in London. The house he lived in now belongs to the local vet and being a Lancer I am sure my Gt. Gt. Gt. Uncle would be very pleased with the animal connection.
A brass plaque marks the house after much hard work by Mr Ken Ray an amateur local historian whose tremendous efforts have brought Lieutenant Thomas Blood to life again for me and I will be always grateful to have found that I have such a famous heroic relative.
Submitted by Alan Blood
Private Jesse Jones First Foot Guards
My great-great-grandfather, Jesse Jones, was born in the village of Ripe in East Sussex in about1786 and enlisted in the First Foot Guards in 1804 at the age of 18 years. He was present with his Regiment at the Battle of Barossa in the Peninsular War, at the storming of Bergen-op-Zoom, in Holland, where he was slightly wounded, and at the Battle of Waterloo, where he was again wounded. His name appears in the roll of the Peninsular Medal, with a clasp for Corunna, as a Sergeant in the First Foot Guards.
In a letter addressed to the Essex Telegraph, dated 9 November 1889, (prompted by the publication of the obituary of the old soldier’s second son, Henry Jones), his eldest son, George Jesse Jones, referring to his father wrote “That the first engagement he was in was the Battle of Barossa in Spain, in1808, where he was promoted in the field for securing the colours of his Battalion, tattered and torn. Afterwards he fought at Badajos; then at Bergen op Zoom (where he was wounded); and afterwards at the Siege of Cadiz (which was the fiercest engagement he was ever in); in various skirmishes in Holland and Belgium under the late Lord Lyndock; and finally at Waterloo, where he was knocked down by a musket shot within an hour of the termination of the war. The shot was found in his clothes, which, with his medals and clasps, are in possession of his family. After some years he retired from the Guards with a long distinguished and meritorious service pension, and was then appointed Captain and Adjutant of the East Essex Militia, which was at that time the only commission in the service signed by the reigning Sovereign’s own hand and given to an old soldier for distinguished services.”
According the records of the Essex Militia, towards the close of the day at Waterloo, when sustaining with the Guards the various defences of Hougoumont, he was shot through the breast by a musket ball, and was later carried to one of the churches in Brussels, temporarily used as a hospital. When the wound was being dressed, the ball, which had passed through his back, was found in his clothes, much flattened.
Jesse Jones retired from the Guards, aged 52 in 1838. He had by then married and moved to the garrison town of Colchester; here he raised a large family, including my great grandfather, Henry Jones who became a solicitor and founded our family business. Jesse Jones was appointed the Adjutant of the East Essex Militia and was given a commission as Captain, from which position he retired in 1852. He died in Colchester in 1868, aged 81 years.
Sources: Essex Standard and Essex Telegraph, Archives.Census Records Peninsular Medal Roll and The War, 1914-1919. Vol 4 The Essex Militia by J W Burrows.
Submitted by M P Gordon-Jones
Private John Nelson 91st Argylls
John Nelson was my 3 x Great Grandfather.
He was born in 1788 and came from Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire (near the present Glasgow Airport) .
He was called up by the Renfrewshire Militia and later transferred to the 91st Argylls.
He marched and fought throughout the Peninsular Wars in Spain and Portugal and was involved in the battles of the Pyrenees and finally at Toulouse.
His Regiment suffered 120 casualties out of 550 men including John. In his discharge paper it states that he was – “wounded in the arm and had a fractured thigh bone” at the battle of Toulouse.
With Napoleon’s return from Elba, John’s Regiment was recalled and they travelled from Kent to Ostend and marched to join Wellington’s army. The 91st was held back in reserve at Halle to protect Wellington’s right flank.
His Regiment joined in the general pursuit following Waterloo and were involved in the taking of Cambrai, one of the frontier fortress towns of France. The 91st continued towards Paris and after the formal surrender, a drummer from the Regiment was the first man to enter Paris carrying the flag of truce.
His length of service was 10 years 279 days and he was entitled to count two years of service for Waterloo. He died before the Peninsular War Medal was issued. John Nelson returned to Renfrewshire and died in 1845 aged only 57.
Submitted by John Nelson
Private Andrew Knox 32nd Regiment of Foot
Andrew was born in 1777. He started work as an agricultural labourer from rural Durham. He was a big man, being almost six feet tall.
In 1801 he joined the 32nd Regiment from the Durham Fencibles. After taking part in the seizure of the Danish fleet in 1807, he spent most of 1808 to1814 in Portugal and Spain. He was awarded the Peninsula medal with eight bars.
He had to overcome a personal tragedy when he rejoined his regiment in England in December 1809, after a time in Spain on detached duty, only for his wife to die suddenly in January 1810.
His regiment was part of the Fifth Division which held Quatre Bras and was prominent in repelling the first direct attack on Wellington’s centre at Waterloo. Later they formed squares and took part in the rout of the Old Guard. During the battle he was “grievously wounded by a musquet ball through the right leg”. On discharge in 1821 he returned to Durham, and lived to 86. Andrew died in 1864.
Submitted by John Andrew Knox
Private William (Bill) Adams No.1 Company, 33rd Regiment of Foot
William was my 3rd Great Grandfather on my mother’s side and served under Wellington at Waterloo. William was born in1792 at Robertsbridge, Sussex, England.
During the Battle, he received a (musket?) shrapnel wound to the head and as a result had a silver plate inserted in his skull. The silver plate remained with him till the day he died. The plate was found to be intact when his remains were transferred from Alma Street to his final resting place at Fremantle Cemetery.
On 26th October 1828 he married Elizabeth (Granny) Martin at the Church of Mary the Virgin, Salehurst, Sussex and two years later they emigrated to Clarence, Western Australia and later Fremantle. They were indentured to Thomas Peel but were freed in August 1830.
Elizabeth made her mark as Fremantle’s first midwife, delivering hundreds of babies into the world while also managing to bear and raise ten more children of her own. She was affectionately called the “Mother of Fremantle” and later “Granny Adams”. Elizabeth went to maternity cases in Perth when requested, frequently walking a long way to do so.
William died on 12 December 1867 at Fremantle, Western Australia
Submitted by Steve Sallur Lakelands, Western Australia
Private Edmund Barber 3rd Battalion 1st Foot Guards
Edmund Barber was my 5th great grandfather. He was born in 1781 at Wickhambrook in Suffolk.
On the10th of November 1800 at Bury St Edmunds he enlisted in the Foot Guards. He then marched to London, which was 72 miles away, where he was enlisted in The 3rd Battalion of the 1st Foot Guards.
He went to Sicily and then on to Northern Spain and fought at The Battle of Corunna. He then went on to Portugal and fought under Wellington in The Peninsular War. He returned to England before being sent to Belgium.
His Regiment was involved in fierce fighting at Waterloo. The 1st Foot Guards were able to drive back the tough French Grenadier infantry. Afterwards Wellington bestowed on them the honour of being called the British Grenadiers.
His brother, John Barber, was also at Waterloo.
Edmund was discharged in London in 1821 because of severe rheumatism. His service record indicated that he was of very good conduct. Because of this,and because he had also fought at Waterloo, he received 2 years enhanced pension.
He remained a Private the whole time.Sadly it’s unknown what happened to his medals. He would have received the Waterloo medal with his name on it and also a clasp for his Peninsular War service.
Submitted by Duwain Carter
Private Edward Pritchard 23rd Regiment of Foot
When doing some family research I discovered from the census of 1851 that my Great Grandfather Edward Pritchard was a Chelsea Pensioner. Further research told me that he was at Waterloo in the 23rd Regiment of Foot, later the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and served in No 6 company at Waterloo. I have a vague recollection of my Aunt (Edward’s grand daughter) telling me when I was a child about Waterloo, and I’m sure that she had a certificate to confirm this. Edward appears on the medal roll but I cannot remember seeing any medal. The medal list also shows that he was awarded clasps at Salamanca, Vittoria and Orthes and thus took part in the Peninsular War. He appears to have been a private throughout.
He was born in 1792 at Dyserth in Flintshire. He attested at Rochester on 1 May 1811 and his trade was that of miner. He was discharged on 20 May 1828 “in consequence of being old and worn out” and this at the age of 36! His general conduct as a soldier was described as “very indifferent”.
He returned to Flintshire, worked as a labourer, married and had six children, and eventually died in 1866 aged 74.
Interestingly I can see from his pension form that 2 years were added to his service years solely through being at Waterloo. Is this the first time we come across pension enhancement?
Edward’s first child David was born in 1832 in Newmarket, Flintshire. On 25 June 1855 he attested into the 23rd Regiment of Foot at Mold in Denbighshire. He served as a Private for 18 years and was in possession of the Indian Mutiny medal. He appears to have been transferred in 1866 to the 55th Regiment of Foot. He was discharged from Peshawar in 1873 being found “unfit for further service, the result of 16 years continuous service in India”. He returned to Flintshire, married in 1875, worked as an agricultural labourer, had four children and died in November 1895.
David’s second child, David William was born in 1880 in Dyserth, Flintshire. He worked as a mason and quarryman and enlisted into the Royal Welch Fusiliers on 17th September 1914 for 1 year, having previously served with the 2nd Voluntary Battalion of the RWF for 9 years. He saw service at the 1st Battle of Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, Festubert, Loos and Frecourt. He was killed in action on 29th August 1916 in the area of Delville Wood, Battle of the Somme. He is buried in a cemetery near to Serre. His name appears on the War Memorial in Dyserth and also on the oak panels of the Memorial Arch in Bangor, North Wales with all the other soldiers from North Wales who lost their lives. He was a lance corporal in 1916. I have his three WW1 medals.
My father, brother of David William, died when I was a child and I cannot remember hearing anything from him about the family.
Submitted by David Pritchard
Captain Charles French 71st Regiment of Foot
Charles was the third son of Arthur French MP of French Park, Co Roscommon, Ireland. He was born in 1790 and died in 1868. He was my great grandfather. The fact that he was only my great (and not say great x 3) is best explained by him being 65 years old when my grandfather was born. His wife Catherine was 35 years younger and lived on into the Twentieth Century- just.
He was commissioned into the 71st of foot –The Highland Light Infantry in 1809. He saw action in New Orleans and in the Peninsular campaign. In 1811 he transferred to the Loyal Lincolnshire Volunteers.
At Waterloo he was in Lamberts 10th Brigade which was guarding the military chest (the gold & silver for Wellington’s campaigns) near the battlefield so he was not directly involved with the battle. In 1863 he succeeded his brother as the 3rd Baron De Freyne.
Charlotte Waldie Journalist
Charlotte was my great great Grandmother and, as a young journalist, she was at the battlefield early on the 19th of June. Following the devastation which she saw at the site of the battle she wrote a book “ The Battle of Waterloo, with circumstantial details before and after the battle.”
Submitted by Maurice French
Private Edward Marston 23rd Light Dragoons
Edward Marston was born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire on 23rd January 1792. A joiner by trade, he enlisted into the 23rd Light Dragoons on 21st August 1811. He was posted to Captain C.W. Dance’s No 5 Troop and served with his Regiment in England and Ireland for the next four years. By 1815, he was married to his wife Jane and stationed at the Regimental Depot of the 23rd Light Dragoons in Manchester. Their daughter Winifred was born there on 17th April 1815. Just one week later the Regiment was marching to the Kent Coast to embark for the Netherlands to join the Duke of Wellington’s army for the Waterloo campaign.
On arrival, the Regiment were brigaded with the 1st and 2nd Light Dragoons of the King’s German Legion under the command of Major General Sir Wilhelm von Dornberg in the 3rd Cavalry Brigade. The 23rd fought at Quatre Bras on the 16th June, forming part of the rearguard during the withdrawal to Waterloo on the 17th June. At Waterloo, the 23rd took part in repeated counter charges against the French Cuirassiers who were attacking British infantry squares. The Regiment suffered a total of 79 casualties, unfortunately this included Edward Marston, who was killed in action on the 18th June.
His daughter Winifred was christened in Manchester on 28th April 1816, over a year after her birth and just a few months after the Regiment’s return from the continent, leading me to believe that Jane and Winifred accompanied the Regiment on campaign. If this is so, they must have had an extremely tough time of it.
Winifred grew up, married and had a family of her own. Jane re-married in Manchester on 29th October 1817, to Thomas Bird, however Edward was far from forgotten as their first child, born in 1820 was named Edward Marston Bird, in his memory.
Edward’s Waterloo medal is listed as returned to the Royal Mint by the Regiment in June 1816. I am the 4th Great Grandson of Edward Marston.
Submitted by Major James Rogers Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Lieutenant Loftus Richards 1st Battalion 71st Highland Light Infantry
Loftus Richards is from the family Richards of Macmine, Co. Wexford, Ireland. He joined the 71st Regiment of Foot in 1807 as an Ensign. He served in Portugal, Spain and France during the Peninsula War and was present at numerous actions 1810 – 1814. Had he lived to claim his Military General Service Medal issued in 1848, the medal would have had at least 12 bars. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Vittoria in 1813 but stayed with the army. He died of natural causes in 1837 at Wexford.
He was still with the 71st Regiment at Waterloo 1815 and was duly issued with his Waterloo Medal in 1816. He was promoted to Captain at this time but went on half pay in the same year. He retired from the army in 1826. Captain Richards’ Waterloo medal still exists however. The medal was sold by on-line auction in 2013 by an unknown Collector to an unknown Bidder for the sum of 11,000 pounds plus VAT & commissions.
The website www.waterloodiary.net which can be viewed on-line courtesy of Steven Gavin, mentions Lt/Capt. Richards on several occasions. It reveals that he was wounded by a “musquet Ball in the leg” on 14th June 1813. His C.O., Colonel Cadogan, was fatally wounded by a “musquet ball” in the same battle at Vittoria.
Captain Richards was married to Elizabeth Hatton in 1817. After he was widowed, his 2nd marriage was to Hannah O’Toole in 1832. He had 8 children and his descendants are now scattered worldwide.
Submitted by his Great, Great grandson, Mick Richards New Zealand
Colour Serjeant Samuel Goddard 3/14th Regiment
Samuel (generally known as “Sam”) joined the army at the age of 10 having run off with a neighbour who subsequently became Major General Everard.
Sam was part of the colour partyof the 3/14th Regiment of Foot in the Battle of Waterloo and as he himself wrote: “ I served the Campaign of 1815 including the Battle of Waterloo and the taking of Cambray. In the latter I received several severe contusions from the ladder on which I was leading the front section of the Light Company to the attack on the Citadel, being cut in two by a round shot”.
Sam subsequently served in India where he is reputed to have saved Everard’s life. In gratitude, Everard left over £1,000 to Sam’s daughter Ellen (my grandmother). Sam was in the siege of Bhurtpore.
He became Quartermaster and eventually Honorary Captain. He died in 1868, a Military Knight of Windsor.
Sam was credited with 43 years in the army, two of these being extra credit for the Battle of Waterloo. We have his Waterloo medal and the medal for the siege of Bhurtpore.
My grandmother was Sam Goddard’s daughter Ellen who, on marriage, became Ellen Cotes.
My father (Everard Charles Cotes) and I were given the name “Everard” and this was clearly connected with the special relationship between Sam and the man who became Major-General Everard.
Submitted by Dr. John Everard Cotes
Private Thomas Wright 2nd Battalion The Coldstream Guards
Thomas was my 4 th great grandfather and was one of five children, the son of Miller Wright and Elizabeth Adkins, born 1779 in Thornby, Northamptonshire. He married Elizabeth Burditt in 1802, with whom over a twenty year period, he had six children.
Thomas served as a Private in the 2nd Battalion, The Coldstream Guards, which, along with other Guards and Foot Regiments, were tasked with the defence of Hougoumont Farm at Waterloo. This Farm was of particular importance as it offered essential protection to Wellington’s right flank. Napoleon was well aware of the strategic importance of its occupancy and as a result it was under constant attack from the French throughout the day. Thomas’s pension record states that his right foot was badly injured in the Battle and subsequently he attended the famous Chelsea Hospital to convalesce.
After two years and fifty six days service with The Coldstream Guards, Thomas was deemed unfit for further service. He returned to Thornby, where he resumed his former occupation as an agricultural labourer on an army pension until his death there in 1855 aged 75.
Submitted by John Wright
Trooper Robert Nutter Royal Horse Guards (Blues)
Robert was my Great, Great, Great grandfather. He was born in New Pellon, Ovenden, Halifax, Yorkshire on 30 June 1793. He is recorded as being 5ft 9” tall with brown hair, grey eyes and of dark complexion and by trade was a weaver.
He enlisted aged 19 years on 16 August 1813 and took part in the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 under Lt.-Col. Sir Robert Chambre Hill’s troop where he was wounded. He was discharged on the 7 February 1817 with a good character. He was granted a small pension.
He was admitted to The Royal Hospital Chelsea on 18 January 1853.
Robert married Martha Atkinson in November 1821 at St John the Baptist Church in Halifax and together they had five children, James born in 1823, Mary born in 1825, Mathew born in 1826, John born in 1827 and Elizabeth born in 1830. All the children were born in New Pellon.
Robert died on 23 February 1867 at 72 Crossley Terrace, Halifax and is buried in Lister Lane cemetery Halifax, grave number 3819, along with other members of his family.
We have his Waterloo medal which has been passed down through the family and had it restored to its original condition with ribbon. I am trying to find out why Robert had a love of horses and why he joined the Royal Horse Guards.
Submitted by Fred Shelley Eleebana, New South Wales, Australia
Lieutenant John Luard 16th Light Dragoons
My great great grandfather, John Luard, charged at Waterloo with the 16th Light Dragoons and to the end of his long life, this remained his proudest achievement.
Born in 1790, he joined the Navy at the age of 12 and his first ship, HMS RAMILLIES, four years later. However, yearning for action, he left at the end of 1808 and obtained a commission with the 4th Dragoons the following year. His father and two of his mother’s brothers had served, or were serving with the regiment and his elder brother George was a subaltern with them.
He arrived in Portugal in February 1811 to be met by his brother George, his Uncle George Dalbiac and his Aunt, Susan Dalbiac, who had come out the previous summer to tend to her sick husband and had decided to remain with him for the remainder of the campaign.
In July 1814, after the end of the Peninsular war, the 4th Dragoons returned to England en route for Garrison duties in Ireland but John Luard, still thirsting for action, went onto half pay until he (his father!) was able to purchase a Lieutenancy in the 16th Light Dragoons, just in time to prepare for war against Napoleon.
The 16th embarked for Ostend on 11th April 1815 and enjoyed life in Belgium until 16th June when word was received that the French were on the move. For John Luard, the next three days were a blur of utter fatigue, great fear and discomfort broken by moments of wild excitement. The 16th entered Nivelles at 2pm to meet the first of the wounded from Quatre-Bras and hurried on to arrive there as light was fading. They spent the night of the 16th in a cabbage field a few miles North of Quatre-Bras and saw little action on the 17th, withdrawing in front of the French in appallingly wet conditions, to the high ground to the South of Waterloo.
As adjutant, John Luard’s responsibilities ensured he had little sleep that very wet night and at about 11am on the 18th the 16th took up position on the reverse slope to the East of the Brussels road, ready for action.
Following an abortive attempt to break up Durotte’s Division as it retired across the British front, the order to charge was received and the 16th smashed their way through a regiment of French Lancers, suffering few casualties apart from their Colonel who was wounded. At about 4pm, while awaiting further orders, John Luard’s horse was shot dead so he commandeered a replacement and moved with the 16th to the West of the Brussels road where, while talking with a Lieutenant Philips of the 11th Light Dragoons, Philips’ head was removed by cannon shot. Just before the sun set, the reputed invincibility of the French Imperial Guard was shattered by the fire discipline of the First Foot Guards and the 52nd Light Infantry so the 16th were ordered to charge these fleeing French. The pursuit was called off at 10pm and the 16th bivouacked and slept where they stopped. Men and horses were too tired to eat.
John Luard remained a soldier until 1844 when he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel having served for a total of 14 years in India. He died in 1875.
Submitted by James Luard
Private Alexander Munro 71st Regiment of Foot
Alexander Munro, my maternal great-great-grandfather, was born on February 14th 1794 in Nairn in the Highlands of Scotland. Barely 17 years old, he joined the 1st Battalion 71st Regiment of Foot Highland Light Infantry in 1811 as a private, a rank he retained until his discharge from the army nine years later. In April 1813 he joined Wellington’s army at Toro, a town in north-west Spain. His regiment participated in the Battle of Vitoria on June 21, 1813, Alexander’s very first experience of combat.
Between November 10, 1813 and April 10, 1814 the 1st Battalion took part in the Battles of Nivelle and Nive, where Alexander was slightly wounded; also Orthez and Toulouse, where he was wounded more seriously. No details are known of his injuries. Following the end of the Peninsular War on April 17, 1814, Alexander’s regiment left France for Ireland, where they arrived in Limerick on August 4, 1814.
In January 1815 the First Battalion marched to Cork. Here the battalion embarked as part of an expedition under orders for North America. However, departure was delayed due to unfavourable winds preventing the sailing of the vessels. Thus a storm over Ireland altered the course of Alexander’s life. As a result the destination of the battalion was changed and the First Battalion landed in Ostend on the 22nd of April preparing to march south to Leuse.
At day-break on the 17th of June, the day before the Battle of Waterloo, the 71st Regiment of Foot, together with the rest of Wellington’s army, took up their position near the village of Waterloo – to the left and rear of Hougoumont, one of the principal strategic points during the battle. Hougoumont comprised just a house, a farm an orchard. The battle began here in the nearby woods where fierce action continued well into the afternoon. For his participation in the Battle of Waterloo Alexander was awarded an extra two years’ service. He received the Waterloo Medal with four clasps. Sadly, 3 officers, 3 sergeants and 62 privates of the 1st Battalion 71st Regiment of Foot lost their lives at Waterloo.
Alexander Munro was discharged from the army sometime after September 182 and returned to England later that year and married Sarah Haynes on the 23rd of December 1821 in London. The couple raised a family of ten children, among them their 7th child, my great-grandfather Hector Lewis Munro. The Census of 1841 shows Alexander living in Bermondsey where he owned a coffee house. He later also worked as an umbrella maker. In 1851, the couple still lived in Bermondsey where Alexander worked as a carpenter. The Census of 1861 reveals that the couple had moved to 36, Chandos Street, St Martin in the Fields. His profession is given as ‘Out Chelsea Pensioner’. Alexander Munro and his wife died between 1861 and 1871.
Submitted by Eric Arthur Bowler of Ceredigion, Wales (aged 86)
Private Josiah Stones 13th Light Dragoons
Josiah Stones was born in June 1777 at Ecclesfield, Yorkshire and in 1798 he joined the regiment, which was a light cavalry regiment. His trade was listed as a cutler.
He went to the Peninsular War in 1809 and his wife, Jane also went with him as a “camp follower”. Six wives in each company travelled as “wives on strength” and they were chosen by ballot, but the “camp followers” travelled illegally, either by stowing away or jumping on board at the last moment.
Josiah and Jane had a daughter Elizabeth, born in Portugal and a son, John born in January 1813 at Briscous in France as the army travelled north on their way to Boulogne and home. The children miraculously survived and Elizabeth is my great great grandmother.
The regiment then spent time at Ramsgate, followed by time at Cork, Ireland. Early in 1815 they were recalled to fight at Waterloo and they travelled by ship to Ramsgate and onto Ostend. After the Battle of Waterloo Josiah was pensioned off and he lived as a Chelsea out-pensioner at Canterbury, Kent until his death in 1849. He was discharged after 17 years in the army, aged 40 with the complaint “worn out and chronic rheumatism”.
Josiah fought at La Albuhera, Vittoria and Toulouse in the Peninsular War and he held the Peninsular Medal and later the Waterloo Medal. I do not know where his medals are, but would certainly like to know.
There is a well- known painting of the Battle of Waterloo by Lady Elizabeth Butler showing Lord Hill commanding the regiment “Drive them back 13th”.
Submitted by Carol Dacey New Zealand
Private George Stemp Royal Regiment of Waggon Train
Born in Kirdford, Sussex in 1797, George Stemp enlisted as a Private in the Royal Regiment of Waggon Train (RWT) in 1813. He fought at Waterloo, where the RWT played a key role at Hougoumont Farm. (See Conan Doyle’s short story A Straggler of ’15, based on the true story of Corporal Brewer of the RWT). The RWT had the unenviable task of clearing the Waterloo battlefield of dead bodies and burning the dead horses on large pyres.
Our family has inherited George’s Waterloo medal and a sword. Family tradition says that the sword was given to him by an aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington. Or was it scavenged from the battlefield?
In 1820 Sir George Scovell KCB was appointed Lt Colonel Commandant of the RWT. Wellington had entrusted Scovell with deciphering Napoleon’s Great Paris Cipher. (See The man who broke Napoleon’s codes by Mark Urban). After 20 years Stemp was discharged from RWT on its disbandment; ‘his character as a soldier has been always very good.’ He had served in Holland for five months and in France for five and a half years.
After his discharge in 1833, Stemp became a servant (accompanied by his wife and six children) in the household of Scovell who was by now Governor of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Scovell retired to Henley Park, Guildford in 1856 when George Stemp went with him to be a gentleman’s servant. After Scovell’s death in 1861, George went to live with Charles, his son, in Lees, Oldham, Lancashire where one year later he died. His gravestone can still be seen in the churchyard of St Thomas, Leesfield. Sadly, there is no mention of his life story.
George Stemp was my great-great-great-grandfather. What were his special qualities, I sometimes wonder, that inspired Sir George Scovell to employ him at Sandhurst for 23 years and in his private residence for five years?
Submitted by Peter Z
Edward is my 4x great grandfather. He was born in 1777 in Dorset and lived through a turbulent period of British history. He was the son of John Harris and Mary Greathed. He married Mary Glyn whose family was well established in Dorset.
He lived at Uddens House, Ferndown, Dorset and was Sheriff of Dorset in 1795. He had an unsuccessful political career failing to be elected an MP both in 1806 and 1807.
He was a former Capt. 3rd Dragoon Guards but did not hold a commission at the time of Waterloo.
Details of his military career seem to be sparse. He was not involved with the actual battle at Waterloo. But being an invitee, with his wife, at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball and his presence in Brussels at this tempestuous time must indicate he was playing a political / admin. role for HM Gov’t. which was all bound up with events pre and post the battle’s long reaching geopolitical ramifications.
He is mentioned in the book “The Waterloo Ball” by Sir William Fraser (London 1897) attending the famous ball. He spent a lot of his later years. in Europe – (His daughter Mary’s diary is in the Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne, Dorset) and the letters of Horace Smith; the novelist, poet and stock broker. Charles X of France granted him ” Au sieur Greathed par les sieurs Hanchett and Smith, demeurant a Versailles”, an eighth of the exploitation rights for 15 yrs. for the importation and then improvement of a machine for transporting gas! (See Geneanet – a French web site). His family lived for a period in the Boulevard Du Roi in Paris which is a “large thoroughfare near the corner of the Park and Gardens that run eastwards” He had a large family. The sons were all notable soldiers serving and some dying in the Crimea and The Indian Mutiny. Edward died of apoplexy, in 1840, (modern day stroke) having suffered the stroke in Octber but dying in December. He is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery – (one of the finest cemeteries in London).
Clearly he was a man of many parts. I was, as a small child told “a relation” was present “at Waterloo” but only in very recent years have I proved the tale. His involvement is an intriguing one!
Submitted by Ian Harrison
COMPANY SERJEANT JOHN OLIVER SANDHAM’S CO ROYAL ARTILLERY
John Oliver was born at Midgley Gate farm near Wincle, Cheshire in December 1766, the eldest son of Joseph and Elizabeth Oliver. His discharge paper shows his age as 49 years & 8/12 months on 31 August 1816 and is notated with ‘Waterloo’.
He enlisted at Birmingham on 16 February 1795, and the record shows him as being 6’ 1” tall, with light hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion, and he could read and write.
He rose through the ranks of Gunner, Bombardier, Corporal, Serjeant and eventually Company Serjeant of Sandham’s Company. Sandham’s Company are known for firing the first allied artillery shots at Waterloo and John Oliver, as Company Serjeant, would have given that order to fire.
He was survived by his only known son, John Oliver, born January 1809.
John was my great great great grandfather
Submitted by Barry Oliver Orchard Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Sergeant George Innes 52nd Oxfordshire Light Infantry
George Innes enlisted into the 52nd regiment at Colchester, Essex for unlimited service on 30th May 1804. George was from Birnie, Elgin, Morayshire. He gave his age as 18, height 5 foot 6 inches tall, dark hair, hazel eyes and a dark complexion.
George went up in the ranks and by 1812, he was Sergeant.
The 52nd foot were heavily engaged in the Napoleonic wars, they were in Portugal by 1808, fought at Vimeria, Coa Busaco, Fuentes d’Onor, Cuiudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca in 1812 then Vittorio, Pyrenees, Nivelle and the Nice in 1813 and Orthes Tolouse, then Belgium….1814
George was injured 3 times during battles, in the chest, breast. Then both legs from the battle at Waterloo.
George met Jacintha Rosa, Portugese girl. He was unable to march into Paris due to a “contusion received at Waterloo in his right knee by a shell”. He was discharged after the battle. George and Jacintha settled in Paris where GG Grandfather Lewis Innes was born. The family returned to Birnie, Elgin, Scotland.
George died before he received his Waterloo Medal, he would have received 8 or 9 bars had he survived to claim his medal.
By 1871 Jacintha Innes died, she was described as a pauper on her death certificate. Sad end to a hard life.
I am so very proud to be a descendant of George and Jacintha Innes. I look forward to the 200 year Waterloo anniversary in Brussels June 2015 where I can pay my respects….
Submitted by Elena Innes
Bombardier John Smith (aka John Rose Brooke) Royal Horse Artillery
John Rose Brooke of Ashted, near Birmingham, was a Lieutenant in the Royal Marines, reduced to half pay. To keep himself occupied, he engaged in the trade of army commissions. It seems he got himself into trouble by forging a signature and selling a cornetcy, which apparently, was not for sale. With the help of a clergyman uncle in Steyning, John Rose Brooke assumed the alias of “John Smith” of Steyning and joined the Royal Horse Artillery as a private in October 1813.
He took refuge in the house of Sgt. Collar Maker Jos. Beaumont in Woolwich Barracks and married the sergeants’ daughter in 1814, before being promoted to Bombardier in April 1815. He is mentioned on the Waterloo Medal Roll as “Bomb. John Smith” and his Service Record shows that he was given two additional years of service before being discharged for poor health in December 1818 to enjoy his Royal Artillery pension and his Royal Marines half pay. After retirement from the RHA, he reassumed the identity of “Lieut. John Rose Brooke” and worked as a surveyor and schoolmaster, before moving to Canada. He died in Quebec City in 1847.
John Rose Brooke’s brother-in-law was also a collar maker in the Royal Artillery. Sgt. John Beaumont, born in 1780 at Woolwich, attested in Royal Horse Artillery, aged 11 as Drummer & Driver, served 5 years in the Peninsular War, and was at Waterloo in 1815. John Beaumont retired in 1839 after nearly 50 years in the RHA.
John Rose Brooke was my 4 x great-grandfather and John Beaumont my 5 x great-uncle.
Submitted by Wayne Brooke Nelson Germany
Corporal James McStocker 52nd Foot Brigade
James McStocker is my 3 x great grandfather, he was born in Belfast in 1791 where he became a tailor.
He joined the 52nd foot brigade on 13th December 1810 when he was 20.
He fought in the Peninsular wars before fighting at Waterloo under Captain W Chalmers.
He carried on fighting with the 52nd foot brigade after Waterloo before becoming a Yeoman of the Guards at the Tower of London.
He became a Sergeant in 1818 and a Sergeant major in 1831. He served until 17th December 1838. After Waterloo he was posted to Dublin (where he got married) and New Brunswick where his daughter Eliza was born. He eventually became a Chelsea pensioner before he died in 1858.
He was married to Catherine and had two children James and Eliza who is my great great grandmother.
Submitted by Joanna Witham
Private Richard Lloyd 1st Foot Guards
Richard Lloyd, iron moulder from Shrewsbury married at St. Andrew’s Plymouth on 16 November 1812, the entry confirming he was “of the Shropshire Militia”. The militia was billeted at Plymouth 1811-1812 guarding French prisoners of war. On 3 April 1813 at the age of 22 years, Richard attested for the First Regiment of Foot Guards in front of Magistrate George Bellamy.
Quoting from, “The Men of the 1st Foot Guards at Waterloo and Beyond” by Barbara J Chambers, Private Richard Lloyd was discharged, time served, on 3 April 1820. He was paid marching money London to Wrexham 176 miles, 18 days accompanied by wife Isabella and one child. Service recorded: Volunteer from Shropshire Militia; Waterloo 2nd Battalion Lt.Col. F. D’Oyly’s Company.
In 1915 “The Blackpool Times” published an article reflecting on the Centenary of the Battle of Waterloo by interviewing local resident, 86 year old Mrs Isabella Wolfenden, Richard’s younger daughter. Mrs Wolfenden spoke of her father’s experiences at Waterloo with great pride and I think not a little hyperbole.
“Men had been shot down all around him and he saw the soldier fall who had kept aloft the Colours of his regiment. Regardless of the hail of bullets he rushed forward and brought the Colours safely back to his lines. And later he felt a hand upon his shoulder and a voice said, ‘You shall be rewarded for that gallant deed’. That was how Private Richard Lloyd won his medal.”
Richard Loyd (sic) is listed on the Waterloo Medal Roll as serving in Lt. Col. West’s Company of the 2nd Battalion the Grenadier Guards. Richard resumed his trade as iron moulder in Oldham and Heywood dying in Oldham of typhus in 1864.
Richard was my 3 x great grandfather and I am descended from his elder son, also named Richard Lloyd.
Submitted by Carol Fullelove
James & David Glenn Royal Horse Artillery – Driver/Gunners
My third great grandfather, James Glenn and his brother David, both joined the RHA at Woolwich Barracks on the 7th July 1808 and continued to remain there under the command of Captain R J Cleveland and Captain N Oliver’s ‘B’ troop, until their transfer to Lewes Barracks and then Blatchington Barracks in 1814.
Following Napoleon’s escape from Elba on the 1st March 1815, James was later transferred to Major Robert Bull’s ‘I’ troop and embarked at Oostende in early May. When arriving at Oostende, Bull’s ‘I’ troop marched alongside Captain Mercer’s troop until they were placed upon reserve in Oastaher.
On the 11th June, as supporting Artillery, Bull’s troop becomes attached to the Cavalry 2nd Brigade 1st Dragoon Guards and garrisoned in Applefeure until the Battle of Ligny and Quatre Bras. Major Bull’s ‘I’ troop were instrumental in repelling the French attack of Hougoumont Chateau and Farm with 5.5 inch Howitzers. ‘I’ troop were also credited with firing the first allied shot at Waterloo and was the only RHA troop to use 6 x 5.5 inch Howitzer Canons, until they over heated and were retired in the late afternoon on the 18th June.
James continued serving in France with Bull’s troop until their return to Woolwich and also after the government announced troop reductions. James eventually is discharged from the RHA on the 30th November 1818 and is decorated with the Waterloo campaign medal; his conduct was regular and good.
My 3GGU – John Bowden who lived in Frome in Somerset, was also a personal Tailor to the Duke of Wellington. The Woollen cloth used for the British Army was manufactured and dyed in Frome and the area entered a period of great prosperity based on the upsurge of the Woollen industry.
Submitted by Derek Glen
Major Arthur Rowley Heyland Commander 40th Regiment
The following is a letter written by Major Heyland to his wife Mary née Kyffin on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo –
“My Mary, let the recollection console you that the happiest days of my life have been from your love and affection, and that I die loving only you, and with a fervent hope that our souls may be reunited hereafter and part no more.
What dear children, my Mary, I leave you. My Marianna, gentlest girl, may God bless you. My Anne, my John, may heaven protect you. My children, may you all be happy and may the reflection that your father never in his life swerved from the truth and always acted from the dictates of his conscience, preserve you, virtuous and happy, for without virtue there can be no happiness.
My darling Mary, I must tell you again how tranquilly I shall die, should it be my fate to fall, we cannot, my own love, die together; one or other must witness the loss of what we love most. Let my children console you, my love, my Mary. My affairs will soon improve and you will have a competency, do not let too refined scruples prevent you from taking the usual government allowance for officers’ children and widows.
The only regret I shall have in quitting this world will arise from the sorrow it will cause you and your children and my dear Marianne Symes.
My mother will feel my loss yet she possesses a kind of resignation to these inevitable events which will soon reconcile her.
I have no desponding ideas on entering the field, but I cannot help think it almost impossible I should escape either wounds or death.
My love, I cannot improve the will I have made, everything is left at your disposal. When you can get a sum exceeding £10,000 for my Irish property, I should recommend you to part with it and invest the money, £6,000 at least, in the funds, and the rest in such security as may be unexceptionable.
You must tell my dear brother that I expect he will guard and protect you, and I trust he will return safe to his home.
On the morning of 18th June 1815, the 40th Regiment, led by Major Heyland, took up its position on the field of battle, arriving there between 9 and 10 a.m. after a short march. The Regiment remained as support until 2 o’clock at the farm of Mont St. Jean. It was then advanced towards the farm of La Haye Saint, taking position on the opposite side of the road. The foot soldier, Sgt William Lawrence, who also served in the 40th Regiment wrote later in his diary of the Battle of Waterloo: “The rain had not quite ceased and the fields and roads were in such a fearfully muddy state, they slowed and tired us. In such conditions it was difficult for the cavalry to perform properly, but they were even worse for the artillery.” For hours they were forced to remain stationary, sometimes in line, sometimes in square according to whether it was enemy infantry or cavalry that they had to resist. They suffered great losses. At last, at about 7pm, the Duke of Wellington himself rode up the Regiment and gave the command to advance and with a cheer the line moved forward to clear the farm buildings of the enemy. Here Arthur was killed, by a ball in the neck. His sword had previously been shattered, his horse wounded, and for the greater part of the day he had been riding bareheaded, his cap having probably been also shot away. The images above are the Waterloo MedaL and the musket ball that killed him.
Arthur was 34 years old and his wife was pregnant with their 7th child.
Arthur is my husband’s great great grandfather
Submitted by Joanna Heyland
Lieutenant-General Sir Edward Barnes 47th Regiment of Foot
Edward Barnes was my great, great, great grandfather. He was born in 1776 and joined the 47th Regiment of Foot in 1792 at the age of 16.He quickly rose to field rank He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1807, serving in the in the invasion of Martinique in 1809, and colonel in 1810. Two years later, he served on Wellington’s staff in the Peninsular War. His services in this capacity gained him further promotion; as a major-general.He led a brigade in the Battle of Vitoria and the Pyrenean Battle. He was awarded the Gold Cross and three clasps for his Peninsula service. Barnes served in the campaign of 1815 as adjutant-general and was wounded at Waterloo. Already a KCB, he received the Austrian Maria Theresa 3rd Class, and the Russian Order of Saint Anne 1st Class.
In 1819, his connection with Ceylon began. Lieutenant-General Barnes was acting governor of Ceylon from 1 February 1820 to 2 February 1822, succeeding Robert Brownrigg. He was governor of Ceylon from 18 January 1824 to 13 October 1831, succeeded by Robert Wilmot-Horton (1784–1841, governor 13 to 23 October 1831). He directed the construction of the great military road between Colombo and Kandy, and of many other lines of communication, made the first census of the population, and introduced coffee cultivation based on the West Indian system (1824). In 1831, he received the GCB. From 1832 to 1833, he was commander in-chief in India, with the local rank of general.
On his return home, he stood for Parliament as Conservative candidate for Sudbury at a by-election in 1834. The votes between the two candidates were tied, and the returning officer gave Barnes his casting vote and declared him elected; however, his opponent petitioned against the outcome, denying that the returning officer had the right to a casting vote, and the issue had not been resolved before Parliament was dissolved. At the 1835 general election Barnes was narrowly defeated, but he finally became MP for Sudbury at the third attempt in 1837, however, he died in the following year.
Submitted by Francis Burkitt
Private Matthew Clay 3rd Foot Guards (Scots Guards)
Matthew is my 4th great grandfather’s brother. He was born in December 1795 and baptised on 6th March 1796 at St Mary’s Church Blidworth, where I live. Matthew had 6 brothers and 2 sisters, Mary, the eldest sister, was a cripple. His mother died when he was about 12. He started work when he was 11 in Blidworth as a framework knitter which he did for 7 years until he enlisted firstly with the Nottinghamshire Militia.
In 1813 he enlisted with the Light Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Foot Guards commonly known as the Scots Guards. He joined General Graham’s force in time to storm the formidable fortress at Bergen Op Zoom. This was Matthew’s first baptism of fire. The attack did not got according to plan and the fortress was not taken and he was taken prisoner but not for very long.
He was in Antwerp when the battalion heard the news that Bonaparte was advancing, so the company first went to Quatre Bras then headed on to Waterloo and took part in one of the most historic battles of all time. They worked their way to Chateau Hougoumont and once inside they held the French back even though they broke through the gates a couple of times.
Matthew wrote a diary of his accounts leading up to the war. It’s a wonderful book and I have the copy of the one he wrote. This was marvellous for a boy whose parents could not even write their own names. They just signed with an x.
Matthew was promoted in 1818 to Corporal and after serving in Portugal, he was promoted in 1828 to first Drill and Pay Sergeant. Then in 1833, he was made Sergeant Major of the Bedford Military, and that’s a post he held for 20 years. He eventually retired in Bedford where he settled with his wife, Joanna, and their children. He was held in the highest regard by the town folk.
He died on 5th June 1873 and was buried with full military honours. Hundreds of people lined the streets to the cemetery at Foster Hill Road where he was laid to rest.A wreath of laurel leaves and his sword and hat were placed on top of his coffin.
However, he died a pauper.
Today his grave is in a sorry state. I am going to raise some funds to restore this great man’s grave so that visitors will be able to easily locate his resting place. In 2011 I asked The Blidworth Parish Council if there was something that our village could remember our Waterloo hero by. On the 11th of November that year, a Lectern memorial was erected for him. This was unveiled by Sergeant Kevin Gorman of the Scot’s Guards.
I am so proud of Matthew.
There is a life size model of Matthew at The National Army Museum in London and his Waterloo medal is displayed at The Guards Museum on Birdcage Walk, London.
Submitted by Christine Dabbs Blidworth England
Lt. Col. Samuel Ferrior 1st. Life Guards
Samuel Ferrior was born on the 24th June 1772 In Pennar, Pembrokeshire the son of Jenkin Ferrior and his wife, Mary Carrow. Samuel first appears in the Army List as a Cornet/Sub Lieutenant in the 1st Life Guards on 23 March 1797.
On the 7th June 1815 Samuel wrote to his brother Benjamin Ferrior back at the family farm at “Pearson”, St. Brides in Pembrokeshire. His letter described the British army assembled for the Waterloo campaign, reviews by Louis XV111 of France and other dignitaries, and the countryside of Flanders and compared their farming methods with those of Pembrokeshire. The letter is now held at Southampton University.
He was said to have died late in the day of the 18th June after leading a charge at the Battle of Waterloo. In fact, he led eleven charges that day. He was awarded the Waterloo Medal posthumously; the record showing he was killed though it is more likely that he died of wounds. In the book “Waterloo Roll Call” by Charles Dalton, it is noted ‘is said to have led his regiment to the charge no less than eleven times and most of the charges were not made till after his head had been laid open by the cut of a sabre and his body pierced with a lance’.
There is a memorial to Samuel in St. Mary’s Church, Tenby. Samuel died unmarried. He was a nephew of my 4 x great grandmother, Anne Ferrior of Haverfordwest.
Submitted by Rosemary May
Corporal John McLellan 79th Regiment of Foot
John McLellan was born on December 29, 1793 in Manchester, Lancashire County, England. At least, that is what he told the military when he signed up to join the British Army at the tender age of fifteen on December 29, 1808. Soldiers in the British Army in the early 19th Century were given service credit once they reached the age of adulthood, which was eighteen, but they accepted underage soldiers upon reaching the age of fifteen, as long as the candidate was fit for the rigors of military life. It is unknown whether John eagerly joined the army to fight Napoleon’s forces as the British headed to Portugal at the outset of the Peninsula campaign, or because he was trying to escape the collapsing cottage weaving trade in England and Scotland. John’s military records listed his occupation as a weaver. Weaving textiles by hand had been big business in places like Manchester, Macclesfield, and Spitalfields prior to the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the power loom. There were no big factories, but instead, thousands of weavers owned their hand-looms and produced the textiles in their homes, which they would turn over to a distributor, who paid by the yard. By the end of the 18th Century, things were starting to change.
In 1807 over 130,000 signed a petition in favour of a minimum wage. In May 1808, 15,000 weavers held a meeting in St. George’s Fields in Manchester in support of their demands for a minimum wage. The magistrates responded by sending in the military. One weaver was killed and several were seriously injured. It’s not surprising that John, as a young weaver, opted to join the military in December of that year, whether he was yet fifteen or not.
John joined the 79th Regiment of Foot, known as Cameron’s Highlanders and was to become a renowned and respected regiment for its gallantry, sacrifice, and ultimate success throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The regiment was raised in August 1793 by Sir Allan Cameron of Ericht from among the members of the Scottish Clan Cameron. The regiment wore tartan kilts and fought to the sounds of bagpipers. In 1808, the year John McLellan joined the regiment, the Army added the 95th Rifles to supplement the brigade. Upon hearing the news, the gallant but eccentric old chieftain declared, “he did not want a parcel of riflemen, as he already had a thousand Highlanders, who would face the devil.
My ancestor was promoted to Corporal just a short time after turning 18 while fighting in Spain. He retired as a Colour Sergeant well after the wars, but he was a corporal at Quatre Bras where he was slightly wounded in the head.
Submitted by John McLellan New Jersey USA
Captain Charles Lake Scots Fusilier Guards
When I first read Captain Charles Lake’s Reminiscences of his experiences as an Ensign with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Guards, in the campaigns in Belgium, the Netherlands and at the Battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo, I felt immensely proud that he was my Great Great Grandfather. His daughter was my Great Grandmother. His direct descendants by pedigree are now living in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
At Waterloo he was under the command of General Sir John Byng at Hougomont.
The following is a copy of a letter to him from his commanding officer while in the Scots Fusilier Guards setting out his military achievements during the Low Country campaigns of 1813 – 1814 and Waterloo. While in Holland he dined on the right hand of the King, William I, who had just returned from exile and after convoying the French Troops to Lille he was looked after by General Nicolas Joseph Maison, Governor of Lille, Marshall of France. Following Waterloo he became Barracks Master at the Military Ordinance Depot at Weedon Bec.
Coleford 24th Sept.1860
My dear Captain Lake
I can certify with great truth your Gentlemanly bearing as an Officer of the Scots’ Fusilier Guards when under my Command.
On our landing in Holland in 1813 you were entrusted with Despatches to the Earl of Clancarty. You were present at the attack on “Bergenopzoom” where you were entitled by your gallant conduct to bear your full share of praise upon the Battalion.
You were present on the attack of “Merxem,” and the bombardent of “Antwerp.” You were afterwards entrusted with the charge of convoying 3000 French troops from Antwerp to Lille through the Prussian Army; rather a delicate service, the Prussians being then at dire enmity with the French, & which duty you perform’d most satisfactorily.
You were also engag’d in the Battles of Quatre Bras & Waterloo in which latter Battle you were severely wounded, and also every Officer of your Compy. either kille’d or wounded.
I hope that my faithful Record of your services may be useful to you, and believe me to be
My dear Captain Lake
Yours most truly
Willoughby Rooke M.G.
Late Commg. Scots’ Fus: Guards
Submitted by Mike Holmes
The Almeys of Earl Shilton and Waterloo.
Three members of the Almey family fought at Waterloo, all in Mercers G Troop Royal Horse Artillery, Bombardier Samuel Almey, Bombardier Nathaniel Almey and Gunner George Almey. Along with the rest of G Troop they famously helped to thwart the efforts of three French heavy cavalry attacks on the afternoon of June 18th 1815.
Samuel Almey (Omey) joined on the 2nd July 1793 aged 18, height 5’ 8 ¼” complexion described as dark; he had brown hair with grey eyes.
Nathaniel Almey (Omey) joined on the 15th April 1800 aged 19, height 5’ 8” complexion described as dark; he had brown hair with grey eyes. At the National Archives there are several entries for Nathaniel in the WO69 series under the surnames of Almey and Omey.
George Almey (Spelt correctly) joined on the 5th April 1807 aged 16, height 5’ 4 ½” complexion described as fair; he had light brown hair with grey eyes. He enlisted in Leicester.
The above personal details are from the National Archives at Kew but In reality all of the Almey’s were just 16 years of age when they signed up for the RHA. Is it unique to have had three men from the same family in one troop at Waterloo? I think it could be. In 2015 these men from Earl Shilton Leicestershire will be remembered along with Thomas Chapman, George Chapman and Jacques Raven who also served in the RHA at Waterloo and are also from Earl Shilton.
Submitted by Paul Seaton Chairman, Earl Shilton to Waterloo Historical Group
Private Francis Clarkson 2nd Battalion, 69th Regiment of Foot
Francis Clarkson was baptised in the small village of Everton
Enlisted 4th December, 1811, serving in Holland, present at the
attack on Merxem, and the bombardment of Antwerp, February, 1814.
In March, Francis participated in the ill-fated assault on the
fortress Bergen-op-Zoom. The assault failed with heavy casualties
and Francis a prisoner of war. Released in June 1814, and hospitalised.
Francis was with the regiment at the battles of Quatre Bras, and Waterloo.
At the battle of Quatre Bras, the regiment was in the act of changing formation
When Kellerman’s 8th Cuirassiers smashed into them, virtually destroying two
unformed companies and capturing the King’s Colour. At Waterloo the regiment
was again heavily assaulted by waves of French infantry and cavalry.
After Waterloo Francis was hospitalised for lengthy periods and was discharged
an “out patient” Chelsea Pensioner on 19th July, 1816, in consequence of
having received a gunshot wound to the left knee joint in action with the enemy
at Quatre Bras on 16th June 1815.
I am very fortunate to be in possession of Francis Clarkson’s Waterloo Medal.
Submitted by Kevin Clarkson Adelaide Australia
Mathew Andrews 1st Regiment of Foot, The Royal Scots
Matthew Andrews, my great great grandfather enlisted at Edinburgh in the 1st Regt. of Foot, The Royal Scots, in October 1807 for a bounty of 11 guineas. After spells at Dunbar, then Chelmsford he was transferred from the 4th to the 3rd battalion in Portugal, June 1810. He was awarded the Military General Service Medal for his time in the Peninsula, with bars for Vitoria, San Sebastian, Nive and Nivelles. The battalion returned to Fermoy in Ireland. August 1814. After 7 years his term expired Nov. 1814 but he re-enlisted for a second bounty, £5-8-4d. In May 1815 the battalion was posted to Brusselles via Cork and Ostend as part of Picton’s 5th Division. Miraculously he survived Quatre Bras and Waterloo unscathed. When the 3rd Btn. was reduced 24th April 1817 at Chatham he transferred to the 1st Btn. in Ireland. From 1821 to 1827 he was on recruiting duties in Scotland, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Hamilton and finally Stirling where he was discharged 2nd July 1827, after 19 years, 295 days “, in consequence of length of service and worn out”. By then he had acquired a wife and two small children. He left Stirling with one pound, being 20 days pay plus twelve shillings and ten and a half pence, marching money for himself and family. With a pension of one shilling a day he settled near Airdrie, Lanarkshire, and worked as a labourer in an Iron Works for a while. He died 30th May 1853. One branch of the family holds his M.G.S. medal but his Waterloo medal has not been traced.
Submitted by Kelso Yuill Scotland
James Thornton Personal cook to the Duke of Wellington
My 4 x Great Grandfather James Thornton, joined the staff of the Duke of Wellington as his personal cook in 1811 at Freineda and served with him to the end of the Peninsula campaign. He was recalled to his service during the 100 days¹ and remained until he resigned as steward of Apsley House in early 1821. On the day of the Battle at 4am Thornton was ordered to bring provisions from Brussels for a hot meal and arrived at Wellington¹s HQ (now a museum) in the village of Waterloo at about 11am by carriage with the batterie de cuisine. He witnessed the noise of the Battle, the retreat of wounded soldiers and the varied reports received at HQ. He is also said to have boasted that he buried Lord Henry Paget¹s leg and supported Lord FitzRoy Somerset during the amputation of his arm. Wellington arrived back late at night about 12:30pm to have his meal served by Thornton, which he ate alone upstairs. After the Battle he was member of the HQ retinue who accompanied the Duke as he entered Paris and remarked that it was the greatest sight he ever saw¹. James Thornton later served as cook to Lord Frederick Fitzclarence who conducted an interview with him which has been published. On the death of Wellington he wrote a celebrated letter to the editor of the Times to refute that the Duke had been served dinner by a French cook at the Battle. He died in 1854 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.
Submitted by David Adams Wellington New Zealand
Private Henry Rusden Captain Crowe’s Company
Henry Rusden was born on December 17th 1780 In Falmouth ,Cornwall.
The 32nd Regiment of Foot was in Falmouth in 1807 and for whatever reason Henry the Carpenter took the Kings Shilling on the 7th September. He went over and fought in the Peninsula War and in 1815 found himself the oldest Private in Captain Crowes Company at Quatre Bras. He was situated with his Company was in the furthest East Square, 300 yards right as you face Waterloo moving forward into the field late in the day to take up final position on the Namur road, French Lancers and Cuirassiers then attacked and sometime during this he was wounded , hit in both legs, losing his right leg completely and injuring his left thigh. He was moved off the field to receive medical treatment then off on a cart to Brussels. He survived this and was pensioned out of the Army in 1816 from Fort George, Guernsey. Henry made it back to Falmouth and married Clarinda Chegwin in 1825. Sadly Henry died on the 1st May 1829 buried in King Charles the Martyr Church ,Falmouth. I have tried to find his grave to no avail unfortunately
Submitted by Nathan Rusden Falmouth Cornwall
Private James Grant No 6 Company 1st Battalion 52nd Light Infantry
Born in Lyndhurst in the New Forest in 1783 and enlisted into the 52nd from the South Hants Light Infantry Militia at Dunbar in Dec 1813. Initially served in the 2nd Btn in the Netherlands until transferred into the 1st Btn in March 1815.
He sustained a wound in the left thigh (described as slight) at some point during the Battle and soldiered on until discharged in Dublin on reduction of the establishment in 1821.Returned to Lyndhurst and married a young widow and fathered 6 children.Received a pension of 5d a day in 1829 on account of his wound causing severe discomfort and disability. He died in 1864 aged 82.
Submitted by Alan Grant
Major Arthur Rowley Heyland 40th Regiment of Foot
Major in the 40th Regiment of Foot, in which he served with distinguished honour under the Duke of Wellington throughout the Peninsula War. On the memorable 18 June 1815, while in command of the Regiment, in defence of the farm of La Haye Saint, he fell in the moment of victory on the field of Waterloo. He was killed by a ball in the neck. His sword had previously been shattered, his horse wounded, and for the greater part of the day he had been riding bare-headed.
His grave, the only one on the battlefield, remained by a farm in the village of Mont St Jean for 150 years, marked by a monument erected by his Regiment. In 1923 the monument was removed to the Musee Wellington, where it can be seen today.
Arthur was 34 years old and his wife was pregnant with their 7th child
Submitted by Chris Heyland
Staff Sergeant James William Mill Corps of Royal Artillery Drivers
My 3x Grandfather, James William Mill was a Staff Sergeant in the Corps of Royal Artillery Drivers under Major N Turner’s A Troop, 5th Division.
He survived the battle but died on the 6th October 1827, leaving a widow Lucy and several children at the age of 38. When Lucy died, she bequeathed his Waterloo medal to their eldest son also named James William. Her will requested the medal be kept as a family heirloom. However, after James William jnr’s death he bequeathed the medal to his eldest son Alfred Frederick and from that point, we have lost track of it.
Submitted by Sally Wright
Bugler John Edwards Duke of Somerset’s Regiment
John Edwards, 1799-1875, was born in the heart of London, Westminster. He enlisted into the Life Guards at the age of 10 as a bugler. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Waterloo as the bugler for the Duke of Somerset’s regiment. During the day of the battle he sounded his bugle for a decisive charge against the elite French cuirassers. He was promoted a month later to Trumpeter and in 1826 to Kettledrummer. He received a Waterloo medal which is displayed in the Horseguard’s museum, London. In 1870, having become a Queen’s Yeoman of the Guard, he donated the bugle , which he had been allowed to keep after the battle, to the Life Guards in return for a weekly pension. The bugle is now displayed by his medal in the museum.
Submitted by Mr. Chris Keeys 4th great grandson in Southampton
Dr James William Macauley 1st Dragoon Guards
James Macauley was born near Dublin to an Irish Catholic family at a time of sectarian division. His parents James and Elinor McGauley died when he was young and he was raised by Protestant relatives. He and one of his sisters, Mary, converted to Protestantism and took the spelling ‘Macauley’. His other sister, CatherineMcAuley, remained a Catholic and went on to found the worldwide order the Sisters of Mercy. The cause for her beatification was opened in 1978.
James Macauley, who counted apothecaries and surgeons among his relatives, was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons (England) in 1810. At the same time he is listed with the Royal Army Medical Corps when he was appointed Assistant Surgeon to the 63rd Foot. However, on 16th August that same year he transferred to the 1st Dragoon Guards and remained with them through to Waterloo. James Macauley is said to have spent six years on Wellington’s campaigns. He later married, took his MD degree at Edinburgh University and returned to Ireland.
Source: Savage, Roland Burke (1949) Catherine McAuley: the first Sister of Mercy, Dublin M.H.Gill and Son.
Submitted by Robert Lowry
Captain William Buckley 1st Foot Royal Scots
William Buckley was born around 1772. His name first appears on the muster rolls of 23rd Regiment of Foot in 1794. In 1802 Sergeant-Major Buckley married Mary Heaseley in Gibraltar. In 1803 he transferred to the 1st Foot (Royal Scots), and was promoted Ensign. He was made Lieutenant in 1804, and became Captain in 1810. He served through the Peninsula Campaign, and was wounded at the Siege of Bayonne in 1814. William was killed while leading his company at the Battle of Quatre Bras. On the recommendation of the Duke of Kent, his family his wife and children received a pension. His name appears on a memorial in the church at Waterloo.
Submitted by Julia Grundy
Mathurin Eveno Dragoons of the Imperial Guard
Born 27th October 1775 in Bignan, Brittany, France as eldest son of Procurator and Notary Yves François Eveno and Damsel Perrine Mathurine Bernard.
Joined the 12th Dragoon Regiment in 1794, with which he served in the Army of the Rhine, in Italy, on the Channel Coast, in Austria and in Prussia, followed by Poland.
Transferred to the Dragoons of the Imperial Guard in 1808 with which he served in Spain, Austria and in the Russian campaign in 1812. Participated in the campaigns in Saxony, Germany and France. Was present at Waterloo. Discharged on 1st December 1815.
Decorated with the French Legion of Honour on 24th November 1814. Died in Locminé, Brittany, France on 6th February 1848. His daughter, Suzanne Eveno married my great-great-grandfather, Mathurin Marie Daniel in 1854
Submitted by Jacqueline Daniel Stevnsborg
Private Joseph Sumner 3rd Foot Guards
Joseph Sumner was born in Lindow, Cheshire and baptised in nearby Wilmslow on 15 August 1776, the youngest son of William Sumner and his second wife, Mary Longston. He joined the Cheshire Militia on 25 September 1793 at the ripe old age of 17, and volunteered into the 3rd Foot Guards on 24 September 1799.
At Waterloo he served in Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel Charles West’s (Number 8) Company, being stationed on the ridge until about 3pm, when the company was directed down into the farm lane in front of the Great Orchard at Hougoumont. He presumably spent the day thereafter skirmishing with the French tirailleurs spilling out of the woods opposite.
He was discharged as ‘old and worn out’ at London on 5 April 1816 aged 41. On his discharge, he was described as 5 foot 9 and a half inches tall, with light brown hair, hazel eyes and a fair complexion. He died at Wilmslow on 16 June 1819 aged just 43. On the Waterloo Medal Roll he is shown as Private Josh. Summer. Alas, I do not know what became of his medal.
In 1971 his great-great-great-great-great grandnephew in Australia saw the film Waterloo and was transfixed; so much so that the British army of the era is his major hobby. Is it in the blood – or a divine hand perhaps?
Submitted by Steve Brown Melbourne, Australia
Private Joshua Seaton 51st Regiment of Foot
Private 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 Regiment of Foot 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. The Regiment embarked at Bordeaux for Plymouth aboard Zealous on 17 June 1814 and remained in Portsmouth until it sailed for Belgium on 23 March 1815. Joshua was killed in action at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815 on the Allied extreme right flank overlooking Hougoumont Farm. The Regiment did not award the Waterloo Medal posthumously to a number of its KIA, including Joshua.
Submitted by Richard Ollerton Australia
John Constant 13th Light Dragoons
John Constant was born in 1789 and served as veterinary surgeon in the 13th Light Dragoons at Waterloo. He survived well into the 19th century and is buried at Ramsgate. His grave records that he was a “Waterloo Veteran”.
Submitted by Mathew Cox
Private Peter Gee 1st Regiment Dragoon Guards
It would be the late 1930’s my mother around 8 years old played with a box full of medals they were only toys no one ever explained were they came from and whom the recipients were. They would eventually be lost or maybe sold so fast forward 80 years and her son Malcolm (that’s me) decided to do some family research sadly as with so many families a long list of casualty’s and deaths from ww1 came to light very quickly, quite sure as a young lad I was told of their heroics but more interested in other things I never really took much notice I now I wish I had ……………… out of curiosity I decided to see how far back I could trace the family tree my father’s side ended up in the workhouse in Salford early 1800’s so that was the end of that and my mother’s side I traced back to 1790’s living in Bury Lancashire even further really but doubt starts coming into the line as no solid proof came to hand, Peter Gee (Gee being my Grandmother maiden name) was the last confirmed Gee that information came from the 1841 census (thanks to findmypast) and I was quite surprised to find him listed as a Chelsea Pensioner and was even more surprised that his Military records were online too
From his service records No 54 Peter Gee Private;
Born in Bolton Lancashire occupation a weaver (most around that area were involved with the cotton trade) and Attested for the 1st Regiment of Dragoon Guards in Manchester on the 3rd December 1811 aged eighteen he was Discharged 19th April 1838 Dublin shortly before the Regiment went to Canada.
Served in the Campaign of 1815 particularly at the Battle of Waterloo and was awarded 2 extra years on his pension. His service conduct was noted as a good soldier.
Peter died in the 1870’s and was buried in Hulme Barracks Manchester which no longer exists. Curiosity took over as he must have had a medal so where is it now ………… not in the family a quick Google and information soon found it was in a Captain R G Hollies-Smith collection until his death in the 1960’s when the collection was broken up. Now I have no idea where it is. so this is where it sadly ends no family stories about Peter no mementoes no nothing …………We are as proud of him today as I’m sure the whole Country was then
Submitted by Malcolm Waters
John McGregor 79th Regiment
John McGregor was born in Latheron, Caithness about 1792. He joined the 79th Regiment of Foot, The Cameron Highlanders in 1812, aged 20, and served in Spain, France and Flanders.
At Waterloo he was in the 3rd Company of the 1st Battalion which was led by a Captain Thomas Mylne – later promoted to the brevet rank of Major as a reward for the conduct of his Company during the battle.
John McGregor was wounded in the right thigh and transferred to a hospital in Brussels before being repatriated to Britain. He was discharged on 16th Jan 1816 “in consequence of a wound at Waterloo”, but re-enlisted in the 78th Regiment, The Seaforth Highlanders, on the 5th November 1817. He remained a Private but in the muster rolls of his battalion there were two soldiers called John McGregor but we knew our man, as there was always a note alongside one of names, “A Man of Waterloo”.
He met and married Bridget Savan in Ireland when the regiment was stationed there and their first child, Margaret, was born there in 1824. They had a nomadic life and had 8 children born in Latheron & Wick, towns in Caithness, and in Stirling Edinburgh and Glasgow, places where the Seaforths were stationed. After nearly 24 yrs service, he left the army in 1836 and became a Chelsea Pensioner. He joined the Glasgow Police for a time and died in Glasgow, aged 71 on 26th Feb 1863.
His youngest daughter Helen McGregor was born in 1844, was married in 1869 to John Muir, a member of the Glasgow firm of Muir & Sons, Jewellers. She was my Gt. Grandmother.
Submitted by Dan Muir (born in Glasgow now reside in Bolton, Greater Manchester)
Private Henry Benson 32nd Regiment of Foot
It was with great pride that I discovered that My great great great grandfather Henry Benson was at the Battle of Waterloo born in Dublin 1793 Henry’s occupation is listed as a weaver on enlistment in 1812 Dublin. Henry served under Captain Davies Company 32nd of foot Henry was wounded,shot through the right arm and left leg by a musket ball.
Henry is listed as a Chelsea pensioner on the 1841 census and his death cert states he was a pensioner of the 32nd of foot.
Henry left the the army around 1823 and settled in Macclesfield until his death aged 56 years in 1847 and is I believe buried at St Albans church Macclesfield .He is listed as a medal recipient on the Waterloo Medal Roll.
Submitted by Robert Hughes
Ensign William Gavin 71st Highland Regiment
We have found that William Gavin my Great Great Great Great Grandfather was Ensign and Quarter-Master of the 71st Highland Regt 1806-1815. He kept a journal detailing his exploits including the Battle of Waterloo and this was originally published in the Highland Light Infantry Chronicle in 1920/21 by Sir Charles Oman and in 2013 was published again in book form edited by Gareth Glover and Ken Trotman Publishing.
Submitted by Mrs Maureen Collins
George Pogue 32nd Regiment of Foot
George Pogue originated from Ballybay, County Monaghan, Ireland. He joined the 32nd Regiment of Foot, aged 23.and served under Wellington at Waterloo.
His regiment repulsed Napoleon’s Old Guard near the end of the battle as they attempted to smash through the Allied centre.
I believe the 32nd suffered the heaviest losses of any regiment that day. After the battle he had his right leg amputated as a result of his injuries.
He rehabilitated into civilian life and became a weaver. We only have a replica of his medal. No trace of the original I am afraid.
Submitted by the Pogue Family
William Gavin 71st Light Infantry
William was a member of the 1st Battalion 71st Highland Light Infantry from 1803-1815. While on campaign in South Africa, South America, Portugal, Spain, France and Flanders he kept a diary. His final entries record his experiences at the Battle of Waterloo, and his homecoming. Its text was first published in the Highland Light Infantry Chronicle 1920-21, but the original diary appears to be lost. William’s diary has been published on a website by Stephen Gavin at: www.waterloodiary.net
Submitted by Stephen Gavin