Waterloo Veterans: do you have one on your tree?

+10 votes

I know I have one: Thomas Davis of Shropshire. Davis-32839

At the age of 12, Thomas Davis signed up as a drummer boy in the 9th Shropshire regiment. It is hard to imagine parents permitting children so young to join the army, but these were hard times. It could even be that Thomas had been orphaned, as many of the drummer boys came from the workhouses. Presumably, no one would miss them. This being because they had a high mortality rate, going in front of the troops into battle. Yet, somehow, Thomas Davis survived, and fought as a full soldier at the Battle of Corunna in 1808, one of the bloodiest of the battles of the Peninsula War. He served under Sir John Moore at Corunna during the Peninsular Wars in the 52nd Foot, and was present at his burial before dawn on the 17th January 1809 in the ramparts of Corunna. Later, he was transferred to Belgium, where he received the Waterloo Medal, even though he may not have fought at Waterloo! He seems to have been , instead, at the crucial battle of Quatre-Bras, two days before Waterloo. The Quatre-Bras Veterans were awarded the Waterloo medal as well. Well done, Thomas Davis. To have survived some of the most awful battles of the Napoleonic wars. Few drummer boys had got past the Pensinsula Wars. Thomas got through them all.

in The Tree House by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 8 (81.4k points)
Very interesting.  No one in my family were involved (as far as I know).  Though my greatx3 grandfather joined the army at the age of 14 - left when he was 50 years old.
According to the obituary of a great grandmother, her father Samuel McGlynn, was supposedly a Major with the Royal Scots Greys, who served at Waterloo, but a search of the army records of the time, reveal that the only Samuel McGlynn was actually a drummer, and in one of the Foot Battalions not the Scots Greys.  Although he did serve at Waterloo.  Like many people emigrating (in this case to Australia) obviously gave them a chance to 'expand' their achievements.

As well as the Waterloo medal, they were credited with extra service time for their involvement in that conflict.
You mention Australia,John, and my Thomas first came to Australia in 1835 as a convict overseer at Elderslie Farm (which I think was out of Maitland NSW). Then he joined the Roman Catholic settlers who went with Baron de Thierry to try and annex New Zealand for the French in 1837. They were eventually rounded up by a small detachment of British soliders from Auckland and the British hurriedly initiated the annexation of NZ, which resulted in the Treaty of Waitangi. Thomas Davis and his family continued to live in Auckland, doing quite well from a bakery and a logging business.

7 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

Found a rare photo of some Waterloo Veterans here: http://waterloo200.org/200-object/waterloo-veterans-photograph/

This rare photograph shows five surviving veterans of the Waterloo campaign at the Royal Military Hospital, Chelsea. “Waterloo Men”, as veterans of the battle were nicknamed, became local celebrities as the 19th century went on and there were fewer and fewer survivors of the famous campaign.

by Dorothy Barry G2G Astronaut (2.8m points)
selected by Sandra Davidson
+4 votes
I have a few on my Geni family tree, but I have not connected them all yet on my Wikitree family tree. But none of them are blood relatives. All are by marriage.
by Bill Debuque G2G2 (2.1k points)
+4 votes
I got one, my 3g-gf.  Raised in a slum and trained as a weaver like his dad.  On his 16th birthday he walked 10 miles to the recruiting officer and signed up for the unit that later became the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, in honour of its former Colonel, who had himself called it the scum of the earth.

After Waterloo they were sent to Jamaica, but he got himself pensioned off for insanity.  Then he went back to weaving in the slums.  Not sure if that proves he was sane or proves he was crazy.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (646k points)
+5 votes
Probably - Joseph Stoker, 2nd Life Guards 1804-1826.

The trouble is that, although they were definitely at Waterloo (and Corunna) there is no actual proof that he was with them. I wonder how many that applies to?

You won't find him here yet as I have still to add him, but he will have an interesting story.
by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (285k points)
In my case the discharge papers included the pension calculation, which showed the Waterloo supplement.
Thanks for that, I'll look into it.
+4 votes
My 4th g-grandfather was Stephen Thomas Jenkins, he had something to do with Duke of Wellington during Waterloo as a farrier. I don't know a lot as I have only just found out about him.
by B Collett G2G3 (3.1k points)
+4 votes
My 3 g-grandfather was granted land in Nova Scotia after the battle of Waterloo.  Many soldiers were down-sized to Canada after Napoleon's defeat and I am interested in that history.
by Sean Anderson G2G Crew (320 points)
+1 vote
Yes, I have two. father and son Johannes and Karel Heytens (b. Tielt, West Flanders, Belgium) fought in the battle of Waterloo on the duke of Wellington’s side, because they were born in the German half of Belgium and would have been sent to fight for Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.
by Living Haack G2G1 (1.8k points)

Related questions

+5 votes
2 answers
204 views asked Feb 13, 2023 in Policy and Style by Alex Fransen G2G6 Mach 4 (42.1k points)
+11 votes
7 answers
+7 votes
2 answers
+8 votes
2 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright