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George Perrott at The Battle of Fishguard

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George's death notice in the Cardiff Times of 23 October 1858 states that he “served in the cavalry under Lord Cawdor”. Cawdor’s troop of Castlemartin Yeoman Cavalry was originally raised from his friends and tenants in July 1794, very much by invitation rather than enlistment. A return exists listing these 50 men - three of whom were named Hitchings (one being John Hitchings - probably Perrott’s uncle). For the most part they were men of substance, in their middle years (not young blades) and the troop that turned out in 1797 will have been almost identical in membership to that recorded three years earlier. It's rather doubtful George would have been among their number despite the 'cavalry' reference. In later years there were 3 Castlemartin troops for which membership was more broadly based and “enlistment" best describes their recruitment practices at that time.

Return of HM Forces at Fishguard 1797
When Cawdor received instructions to march north to engage the French he and his troop had already, by coincidence, assembled in Pembroke to attend a funeral. They were joined at Pembroke Ferry by the Pembroke Volunteers, an infantry unit (120 at full strength but reduced to 93 on the day) under the command of James Ackland of Llanion.

When George saw service in 1797 it likely would have been as a member of this unit (also formed in 1794) which served under Cawdor’s overall command. By 1797 he was most probably living in Pembroke so his membership of Ackland’s company would make geographical sense.

Another possibility is that he was one of the many who flocked into Haverfordwest seeking involvement in the county’s defence, were quickly embodied as the Loyal Haverfordwest Volunteers, and (300-strong) marched to Fishguard (about a day after Cawdor’s main column).

Of course, we shall never know for sure!

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