Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

“A Very Pretty Little Battalion”: The 3/14th Regiment of Foot in the Waterloo Campaign

By Steve Brown

The third battalion of the 14th (or Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot was the second-to-last British regular battalion to be formed prior to the peace of April 1814 (only the second battalion of the 22nd Foot came later) and the only British third battalion to participate in the Waterloo campaign. Yet it was not composed entirely of raw recruits; the vast majority of men were militiamen, partially-trained in the basic evolutions and firelock-drill, men who had tasted army life and decided it was a long-term career option for them.

The creation of the 3/14th really started in earnest in early December 1813. The following militia regiments offered up volunteers towards the formation of the battalion;

DATE

LOCATION

VOLUNTEERS

October 1813

St Alban’s, England

7 general enlistments

December 1813

Roscommon, Ireland

91 men from Bedfordshire Militia

December 1813

Peebles, Scotland

53 men from Westminster Militia

December 1813

Galway, Ireland

123 men from Berkshire Militia

December 1813

Strabane, Scotland

18 men from South Lincolnshire Militia

December 1813

Athlone, Ireland

19 men from West Essex Militia

December 1813

Reading, England

9 men from Huntingdonshire Militia

December 1813

Tower of London

9 men from West Kent Militia

January 1814

Cork, Ireland

8 men from Oxfordshire Militia

January 1814

London

20 limited service recruits from Depot

January 1814

Various

40 general enlistments

April 1814

Reading, England

14 men from Huntingdonshire Militia

April 1814

Chelmsford, England

4 men from Royal Surrey Militia

April 1814

Deptford, England

25 men from Tower Hamlets Militia

April 1814

Norman Cross, England

13 men from Hertfordshire Militia

April 1814

Liverpool, England

5 men from Leicestershire Militia

April 1814

Deal, England

16 men from Nottinghamshire Militia

April 1814

Jamestown, Ireland

3 men from Buckinghamshire Militia

April 1814

Roscommon, Ireland

13 men from Bedfordshire Militia

April 1814

Galway, Ireland

10 men from Berkshire Militia

April 1814

St Germans, England

4 men from Kirkcudbrightshire Militia

April 1814

Cork, Ireland

6 men from Oxfordshire Militia

April 1814

Plymouth, England

14 men from South Devonshire Militia

April 1814

Various

24 general enlistments

January 1815

Weedon, England

15 men from 2nd Royal Veteran Battalion *

February 1815

Various

15 general enlistments

* These ‘veterans’ were actually boys between 10 and 17 years of age.

So much for them being a Buckinghamshire regiment!

The battalion was placed on the establishment on Christmas Day 1813 (when it must have numbered just over 300 men) under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable James Stewart. This officer was the younger brother of The Honourable Sir William Stewart, founder of the 95th Rifles; James had started his career with the 95th Rifles in 1803, become captain in 1805, served ay Salamanca and Vittoria, then exchanged to a majority in the 90th Foot in January 1813, thence to the 14th Foot. In July 1814 he exchanged to Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel in the 3rd Foot Guards, and retired at the end of 1814.

Enter ‘Colonel Frank’; Francis Skelly Tidy, the commander of the battalion at Waterloo, born in Northumberland in 1775 to the Reverend Thomas Holmes Tidy, Chaplain to the 26th Foot. Frank was a grandson of the Duke of Gordon and the nephew of Major Frank Skelly of the 71st Highlanders, who had gained great renown at Seringapatam. He had joined the 43rd Foot at the age of 16 and somehow survived the terrible campaigns in the West Indies - the siege of Fort Bourbon, the campaign on Martinique and the capture of Guadeloupe - only to be imprisoned aboard a French hulk for 15 months before being sent to France. After being released on parole he returned to England and ended back in the West Indies as ADC to Sir George Beckwith. In 1802 he joined the 1st Royals as captain at Gibraltar and in 1803 embarked for the West Indies for the third time. He served at the attack on St. Lucia, was appointed Brigade-Major on Dominica, and later ADC to Sir William Myers and subsequently to Sir Charles Beckwith. In September 1807 he became Major of the 14th Foot, serving as Assistant Adjutant-general in the expedition to Spain, under Sir David Baird in late 1808. He served on the staff for the whole of the northern campaign against Marshal Soult, at Grijo in May 1809, and at the passage of the Douro. Later that year he served in the Walcheren expedition.

By the time received the brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel in June 1813, and joined the 2nd battalion of the 14th Foot at Malta, he was about an experienced an officer as any man in the army. In 1814 he served at Genoa, and though technically on the strength of the 1st Battalion (as senior Major) was recalled to take the command of the 3rd Battalion about to embark for North America. These orders, however, never came; that war ended and he stayed in England with his young battalion. George Keppell later described him thus:

In my commanding officer, Lieut.-Colonel Francis Skelly Tidy, I found a good-looking man, above the middle height, of soldier -like appearance, of a spare but athletic figure, of elastic step, and of frank, cheerful, and agreeable manners.

On Christmas Day 1814, the establishment of the battalion stood as follows;

1

Lieutenant-colonel

2

Majors

10

Captains

12

Lieutenants

8

Ensigns

1

Paymaster

1

Adjutant

1

Quartermaster

1

Surgeon

2

Assistant-surgeons

1

Serjeant-major

10

Colour Serjeants

1

Quartermaster-serjeant

1

Pay-serjeant

1

Armourer as serjeant

1

Schoolmaster-serjeant

30

Serjeants

40

Corporals

1

Drum-major as serjeant

19

Drummers

2

Fifers

760

Privates

906

TOTAL

However it appeared that this activity had all come to nought, for in early 1815 the War Office ordered that the battalion be disbanded, with all fit men to go into the first or second battalions. The disbandment date was set for 25 March 1815.

Not for the last time in its short history, the battalion was reprieved; on 21 March orders were received to hold themselves in readiness for embarkation to the Continent. Napoleon had escaped from Elba and was once again a menace, and the 3/14th were one of the few battalions near to south coast able to embark at short notice.

Ensign George Keppell was gazetted into the 14th on 4 April 1815 at the age of just 16, was less than impressed with his new colleagues and subordinates:

The third battalion of the 14th Foot, which I now joined, was one which in ordinary times would not have been considered fit to be sent on foreign service at all, much less against an enemy in the field. Fourteen of the officers and three hundred of the men were under twenty years of age. These last, consisting principally of Buckinghamshire lads fresh from the plough, were called at home ‘the Bucks,’ but their un-Buckish appearance abroad procured for them the appellation of the ‘Peasants.’

Our Colonel, Lieut.-General Sir Harry Calvert, bore the same name as a celebrated brewer, and as the Fourteenth was one of the few regiments in the service with three battalions, we obtained the additional nickname of ‘Calvert's Entire.’

The battalion landed at Ostend at the start of April. Monthly returns show the 3/14th on the strength of the field army in Flanders for the first time on 25 April 1815, with a total strength of 585 other ranks (corporals and privates), of whom 22 were sick and 9 on command. Four men died in the battalion’s first month on campaign, one death being explained in a letter from Wellington to former British Ambassador to France Sir Charles Stuart on 11 May:

I enclose a report which I received on the death of a British soldier of the 14th regiment, by the stab of a woman who was his wife. The name of neither is mentioned.

I have directed a further enquiry and report to be made on the subject: and I shall be much obliged to you if you will let me know what the King of the Netherlands wishes should be done with the woman who has occasioned the death of this soldier.

At this stage of the campaign, the camp-followers were more lethal than the French!

The battalion was inspected by the aged Major-General Kenneth Mackenzie in Brussels in early May 1815, who took one look at them and cried out, "well, I never saw such a set of boys, both officers and men." Lieutenant-Colonel Tidy remonstrated, and Mackenzie softened his tone, saying "I called you boys, and so you are; but I should have added, I never saw so fine a set of boys, both officers and men."

The supposition that this was a battalion of callow youths is not entirely correct. The fifty militia volunteers from the Westminster Militia, for example, had a median age of 24 and an average age of 23.6, fairly typical for an enlisted man of the time. Only six out of these 50 volunteers were under 18 years of age, and only 30% under the age of 20. The average age of 3/14th field officers present at Waterloo was 38, of company commanders 27.0, of captains 26.7, of lieutenants 24.7, and of ensigns 18.8. True, there were eleven ensigns under the age of 18 at the great battle, but these age ranges are not uncommon for the British army of the era. Wellington was a battalion commander at a lesser age. The oldest other rank in the battalion was probably Private Thomas William of No. 9 Company, aged 38 (who was killed in action); the youngest was 13 year-old Private George Campbell of No. 2 Company, at barely five foot tall expected to carry a full kit the same as the other men.

Despite Tidy’s earnest wishes, Mackenzie ordered the Colonel to march them off the square, and to join a brigade about to proceed to Antwerp as the garrison. Lord Hill happened to be passing by, and Tidy called out: "My lord, were you satisfied with the behaviour of the Fourteenth at Corunna?" The bemused Hill answered, "Of course I was; but why ask the question?"

"Because I am sure your lordship will save this fine regiment from the disgrace of garrison duty," Tidy replied.

Lord Hill went to the Duke of Wellington, who had just arrived in Brussels from Vienna, and brought him to the window, whilst the two watched the battalion drill in the square. “They are a very pretty little battalion,” Wellington said. “Tell them they may join the grand division as they wish."

Tidy was elated when he heard the news. When a somewhat priggish staff officer said in mincing tones, "Sir, your brigade is waiting for you. Be pleased to march off your men" – meaning, to go the rear, to join the garrison troops – Tidy called back, "Aye, aye, sir. Fourteenth, TO THE FRONT! Quick march!"

With their field service now assured, the battalion performed regimental drill four days in a week, from daylight (about four a.m.) until nine in the morning; the other two days were devoted to exercise in brigade movements with their new colleagues in the 4th Brigade of the 4th Division, the 23rd Fusiliers and 51st Light Infantry, as well as the 52nd Light Infantry billeted nearby. The ‘Peasants’ spent the hazy spring days of late May and early June 1815 in and around the village of Deux-Acren, making friends with the local ‘Boers and Boerrinden’, putting their agrarian skills to use by weeding flax and corn, and planting that year’s potato crop. On days-off the men swam in the River Dender, and the officers dined with other brigade staff in nearby Grammont. A large race meet in Grammont on 13 June was well-attended by all the nearby forces; the winner of the sweepstakes was Ensign Lord Hay of the 1st Guards, who was to die three days later at Quatre Bras. It was the calm before the storm.

News of Napoleon’s crossing the frontier was transmitted to the officers of the 14th by a Belgian peasant late on 15 June, and early the next morning the battalion formed up in heavy marching order, bound for Enghien, about fourteen kilometres to the south-east. The ‘peasants’ marched out of Deux-Acren with the regimental band playing ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’;

All the dames of France are fond and free

And Flemish lips are really willing
Very soft the maids of Italy
And Spanish eyes are so thrilling
Still, although I bask beneath their smile,
Their charms will fail to bind me
And my heart falls back to Erin's isle
To the girl I left behind me.

After a short stop in Enghien, the battalion marched another twelve kilometres in a more southerly direction to Braine-le-Comte, all the while hearing and feeling the rumble of distant cannon-fire from Quatre Bras. They arrived at Braine-le-Comte after dark, exhausted, and sprawled out on the fields as officers searched for billets in the village. It had been an overbearingly hot day, and was still a warm evening.

Morning brought fresh orders; to continue eastwards, fourteen kilometres to Nivelle. A convoy of spring carriages belonging to the Royal Waggon Train passed them as they approached the town, full of men wounded at Quatre Bras. The men of the battalion now knew this was for real, no longer militia soldiering, but a deadly game against a vastly experienced foe. Lieutenant-colonel Tidy stopped the men for two hours in Nivelle to allow a brigade of Netherlands cavalry to pass through, a well-deserved and grateful rest. It was still warm, but completely overcast and torridly humid. The march resumed at three o’clock, and this time in a northerly direction: the army was retreating. Before they had gone three miles the heavens opened and a torrential downpour drenched the weary battalion all the muddy miles to a ridge behind a chateau known locally as Goumont. At about eight o’clock the rain slackened, and sunlight slanted through the storm-clouds revealed the distant sight of a church with a globe-shaped belfry. "That is the village of Waterloo," Lieutenant-colonel Tidy pointed out, much to hilarity of the assembled officers; pointing to his drenched clothes, Ensign Keppell replied, "we have had plenty of water today, we shall have something in loo (lieu) of water tomorrow." The battalion took up position to the north-west of the Chateau de Goumont, and in accordance with army practice, every officer and man was made to file past a tub of gin and receive a tin-pot full. As soon as each man was served, the tub was tilted over and the remaining liquor poured onto the ground.

At about ten o’clock the rain came again, with increased violence. The officers and men slept in the mud as best as they could; but the exhaustion helped. At about two in the morning, Ensign Keppell and his servant, Private Bill Moles, went down the hill into the village of Merbe-Braine, and found a hut within which were three officers burning chairs and tables in a fire-place, their coats hanging on chair-backs to dry. Keppell and Moles stole in and grabbed whatever sleep they could. At dawn, Keppell realised that one of the officers was Colonel Sir John Colborne, the vastly experienced and soldier-like six-foot-three tall commander of the 52nd Light Infantry, who offered to share his breakfast with the sixteen year-old Ensign. Keppell politely declined and squelched back to the ridge with Moles, looking for the rest of his muddy battalion.

On the morning of 18 June, the battalion stood at about two-thirds of authorised strength, short of captains and lieutenants but over-burdened with teenaged ensigns;

2

Majors

8

Captains

9

Lieutenants

15

Ensigns

1

Paymaster

1

Adjutant

1

Quartermaster

1

Volunteer

2

Assistant-surgeons

1

Serjeant-major

1

Quartermaster-serjeant

1

Pay-serjeant

34

Colour-serjeants and Serjeants

11

Drummers

557

Corporals and Privates

645

TOTAL

Drummers beat the Reveille at half-past four on the morning of Sunday 18 June. It had only just stopped raining. The men climbed to their feet, covered from head to toe in mud, six hundred slick brown sleepyheads emerging from the ground. Sunrise was at half-past five, and the men spent the first hour after sunrise cleaning and drying their arms. Then Lieutenant-colonel Tidy ordered a thorough inspection of every musket and ammunition-pouch; they then piled arms and fell out for breakfast.

The 4th Brigade was effectively the right front of the Anglo-Allied army. Captain Wynne’s Light Company of the 23rd Fusilers manned a portion of the Hougoumont avenue closest to the Nivelles road; on its right was an abattis had been thrown across the road, and close to the right of this obstacle a company of the 51st Light Infantry was posted. Captain William Ross’ Light Company of the 14th and four companies of the 51st were extended along a hollow way stretching across the ridge on the extreme right of the allied position. The remainder of the 51st (five companies) stood in column about two hundred metres to the rear of the hollow way. The 23rd Fusiliers were stationed on a reverse slope on the left of the Nivelles road and immediately under the crest of the main ridge, to the rear of the 2nd Brigade of Guards. The remaining nine companies of the 3/14th Regiment were posted in column of companies in a slight ravine on the southern descent of the plateau, somewhat to the rear of the other two battalions.

The morning thereafter became dull. The battalion could see little of the French opposite. A colour-serjeant who had served in the Peninsula (shown in Keppell’s memoirs as ‘Moore’, but probably John Scott) amused himself by scaring the bejesus out of Ensigns Newenham and Fraser carrying the colours. "Now you see," he said, "the enemy always makes a point of aiming at the colours! If anything should happen to either of you young gentlemen, I ups with your colour and defends it with my life." Colour-serjeant Scott was one of the first casualties of the day. As he was carried off the field, Lieutenant-colonel Tidy said, "Serves him right for talking such nonsense to the boys."

Other officers amused themselves by gathering around Serjeant-major William Graham, a 32 year-old Scotsman who had fought in the Peninsula with the 95th Rifles. He regaled them with tales of his ‘Peninsula battles o'er again.’ Suddenly a chance musket-ball struck him on the neck. It was after eleven, and the battle had begun. Although in great pain, nothing would induce him to leave the battlefield.

Quartermaster Alex Ross, another Peninsula veteran from the 95th Rifles, had a wife who remained with the regiment after the firing started. She had received a severe wound in the disastrous affair at Buenos Ayres in 1807, and was no stranger to a battlefield. "Accidents might arise," she said when asked to retire to the rear, "that would render my services useful." At last it was pointed out to her that she was no longer a serjeant's wife (as she had been in 1807), but rather, an officer's lady (and implied she should act as such). She spent the rest of the day in the belfry of a neighbouring church (probably Braine l’Alleud) where she had probably the best view of the battle of any person present.

Thus the battalion spent the first four hours of the battle in relative peace and safety. At about three in the afternoon, Captain Orlando Bridgeman, and aide-de-camp to Lord Hill, brought the order to advance. The battalion marched in columns of companies, out of the ravine and into an open valley, with the hill opposite fringed by French cannon. Thus they advanced to their new position amid a shower of shot and shell. Two pieces in particular were brought to bear upon the battalion. They halted and formed square in the middle of the plain, and as they were doing so, a bugler of the 51st, mistaking the square for his own, exclaimed, "Here I am again, safe enough!" The words were barely out of his mouth, when a round-shot took off his head and spattered the whole battalion with his brains, ‘the colours and the ensigns in charge of them coming in for an extra share.’ Ensign Charles Henry Fraser, 17 years old and the refined son of a diplomat, cried out "how extremely disgusting!" which brought nervous laughter from the men. A second shot carried off six of the men's bayonets, a third broke the breastbone of Lance-serjeant James Robinson, ‘whose piteous cries were anything but encouraging to his youthful comrades.’ Another shot struck Ensign Alfred Cooper, the shortest man in the regiment, standing at the centre of the square. Lieutenant-colonel Tidy ordered the battalion to lie down. The men ‘lay packed together like herrings in a barrel.’ Ensign Keppell seated himself on a drum. Probably to calm his nerves, he patted the cheek of Lieutenant-colonel Tidy’s horse, which was close behind him and muzzling his epaulette. But then:

Suddenly my drum capsized and I was thrown prostrate, with the feeling of a blow on the right cheek. I put my hand to my head, thinking half my face was shot away, but the skin was not even abraded. A piece of shell had struck the horse on the nose exactly between my hand and my head, and killed him instantly. The blow I received was from the embossed crown on the horse's bit.

The battalion could not carry on in this exposed position. They soon received an order to shelter behind a neighbouring hill. A bullet struck Private John Dorman, who fell backwards onto Ensign Keppell with the whole weight of knapsack and accoutrements, knocking the teenaged officer down; with some difficulty he extricated himself from under the dead private. In his efforts to rejoin his company he trod upon the body;

The act, although involuntary, caused me a disagreeable sensation whenever it recurred to my mind.

The new position was further in advance, about a hundred metres from the Nivelles chaussee, near to the abattis. In their front was the Brunswick Gerlente Jaeger, lining the road, engaged with French skirmishers in the cornfields on the opposite side. The part of the field they had left was occupied by a battery of artillery, who found themselves as exposed as the 14th had been; a French howitzer shell penetrated an ammunition wagon which exploded massively. Few men were hurt, but the horses were horribly mutilated and galloped madly about the field.

Some would suddenly stop, and nibble the grass within their reach till they fell backwards and died. One poor animal, horribly mutilated, kept hovering about us, as if to seek the protection of our square.

That the battalion was jittery there can be no doubt. At about six o’clock, two brigades of troops appeared on their right, moving eastwards, cheering and singing. Lieutenant Charles ‘Pat’ Brennan, a Peninsula veteran, called out, "och then, them's French safe enough!" Lieutenant-Colonel Tidy was furious. "Hold your tongue, Pat!" he thundered, "What do you mean by frightening my boys?" But the blue-coated brigades kept advancing. “I fear all is over,” said Lieutenant-colonel Charles Gold RA, riding nearby, as an artillery battery swung around to fire upon the intruders, and the 14th formed up to receive the attack. Captain Mercer RA recorded the tension;

For a moment, an awful silence pervaded that part of the position, to which we anxiously turned our eyes, who still remained by us. Meantime the 14th, springing from the earth, had formed their square, whilst we, throwing back the guns of our right and left divisions, stood waiting in momentary expectation of being enveloped and attacked. The commanding officer of the 14th, to end our doubts, rode forward and endeavoured to ascertain who they were, but soon returned assuring us they were French. The order was already given to fire, when Colonel Gold recognised them as Belgians.

The blue-coated, singing and cheering troops were General Chasse’s Netherlands division, who had been posted in the first part of the day at Braine 1'Alleud and were now ordered to the front line.

The immediate alarm over, the 14th was posted as the right-hand infantry regiment of the British line, with instructions were to keep a good look-out upon a strong body of the cavalry of the Imperial Guard. They occupied the crest of a gentle eminence, and looked down upon a crop-field that had been ‘been beaten down into the consistency and appearance of an Indian mat’.

Cannon’s history of the 14th describes what happened next;

During the heat of the conflict, when the thunder of cannon and musketry, the occasional explosion of caissons, the hissing of balls, shells, and grape shot, the clash of arms, the impetuous noise and shouts of the soldiery, produced a scene of carnage and confusion impossible to describe, a staff officer rode up to Lieutenant-Colonel Tidy, and directed him to form square; this was scarcely completed when the glittering arms of a regiment of cuirassiers were seen issuing from the smoke. The French horsemen paused for a moment at the sight of the scarlet uniforms of the 14th, and then turned to the right to attack a regiment of Brunswickers; but a volley from the Brunswick square repulsed the enemy, and Lieutenant-Colonel Tidy, with the view of giving confidence to the young soldiers of the 14th, drew their attention to the facility with which infantry could repulse cavalry The French cuirassiers rallied, and appeared inclined to charge the 14th, but were intimidated by the steady and determined bearing of the battalion.

Being posted well away from the ridge, the 14th missed the attack of the Imperial Guard; and at the end of the day was close to the western side of Hougoumont. They bivouacked that night near the entrance to the Chateau.

The remnants of the British army was ordered southwards to Nivelles on the morning of 19 June, a distance of about fifteen kilometres, the band playing the French air ‘Ca Ira’, which later became the quick march of the regiment. The men of the 14th had decked themselves out in the spoils of the vanquished, wearing cuirassier helmets, hussar pelisses, and grenadier caps. One young private was particularly conspicuous as the wearer of a tambour major’s bearskin. By this act their status as ‘Johnny Raws’ was confirmed within the army; the old Peninsula hands would never have voluntarily imposed such added weight and burden to their kit.

Lieutenant-colonel Tidy’s billet in Nivelles was a charming house with a bay-window looking out on an ornamental garden. Captain Turnor and Ensign Keppell were his guests for a sumptuous breakfast on 20 June, ‘not the less acceptable as being almost the first food we had tasted since we left our cantonment.’ It was to be the battalion’s last decent meal in a while; meals on the march to Paris were few and far between. At Cambrai on 23 June, the 14th were engaged in a feint attack on the Paris gate, which turned into a real attack and led to the capture of the fortress. Six men were wounded – Ensign Arthur Ormsby and five privates – two of whom, Privates John Church and William Sloan, later died of their wounds.

The muster roll on 25 June shows eight men killed, 29 on command and 33 sick. Five men would later die of their Waterloo wounds.

Paris was tumultuous, and the battalion marched in the Allied Parade alongside far more veteran units – but they had earned their place. A pleasant autumn and Christmas were spent as St Denis, and went home via Plymouth in January 1816. Every man present on 18 June later received the silver Waterloo Medal, and the regiment gained another battle honour – WATERLOO.

The third battalion was disbanded at Deal on 17 February 1816. Many of the junior officers were placed on half-pay, whilst the men fit for duty were transferred to the second battalion. It was a sad end to the short life of a battalion that by rights would never have embarked upon campaign, but did, and behaved creditably on the day.

Nominal Roll of the 3/14th Foot at Waterloo

STAFF

Commander – Major and brevet Lieutenant-colonel Francis Skelly Tidy, ‘Colonel Frank’ or ‘Old Frank’, aged 40. Major 10 Sept. 1807; lieutenant-colonel 4 June 1813. Veteran of West Indies, Corunna, Walcheren and Malta. CB for Waterloo. Commanded 2/14th Foot in Ionian Islands 1816-1829. Brevet colonel 1830; lieutenant-colonel in 24th Foot 1 March 1833. Died at Kingston, Upper Canada in May 1836 aged 61.

2IC - Major John Keightley. Aged 36. Born Westerham, Kent. Present at the taking of St. Lucia in 1796 and served at Walcheren in 1809. Major 13 Jan. 1814. CB for Waterloo. Major in 23rd Foot 25 July 1816; lieutenant-colonel of 11th Foot 2 June 1825. Afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel of 35th Foot and Resident Governor of Santa Maura and Zante. Died near Wrexham, 6 Sept. 1852 aged 74. 

Supernumerary Officer - Capt and brevet-Maj George Marlay. Aged 24. Born Twickenham, Middlesex, son of Major George Marlay. Served in the Peninsula on staff as ADC to General Paget 1808-09, and as Assistant Adjutant-General 1813-14; Captain 14 June 1810, brevet-major 21 June 1813. Received Army Gold Medal for Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, and Toulouse. CB for Waterloo. Placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Died 8 June 1830 aged 39. 

Adjutant – Lt William Hill Buckle. Aged 22. Born Tewksbury, Gloucestershire. Lieutenant and adjutant 3 Nov. 1812. Placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Comptroller of Customs at Ramsgate in 1829; lieutenant in 50th Foot 8 February 1839; died near Tewkesbury in 1871 aged 78.

Quartermaster - Alexander Ross, QM 20 Jan. 1814. Peninsula veteran, and former serjeant in 95th Rifles. Later Quartermaster of 85th Foot. Died on Malta in 1827.

Surgeon – William O’Reilly (resigned - not present – replacement not yet appointed).

Assistant-surgeon Alexander Shannon, AS 27 Jan. 1814; M.D. in 1816; died in 1817.

Assistant surgeon Henry Terry. Aged 25. Born Northampton, Northamptonshire. AS 21 Mar. 1814; placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Later surgeon to Northamptonshire Militia. Died Northampton in 1873 aged 83.

Paymaster - Robert Mitton. Aged 35. Born Harrogate, London. PM 17 Feb. 1814; Paymaster in 47th Foot 2 May 1816; died in Calcutta 7 May 1826 aged 46. 

Colour Party on 18 June – Ensign Robert Burton Newenham, Ensign Charles Henry Fraser, Colour-serjeants Isaac Smith, John Scott (dow), William Walsh, John Manley and Samuel Goddard.

Serjeant-major – William Graham. Aged 32. Born Edinburgh. Peninsula veteran, transferred from serjeant in 1/95th Rifles 25 July 1814; wounded in the neck early at Waterloo. Discharged at Chichester 6 January 1818.

Quartermaster-serjeant – Sjt Thomas Goddard. Aged 40. Born Leicester, Leicestershire. Served in 4th Dragoon Guards 1790-1802 and 14th Foot 1802-1817. Discharged at Chichester 14 December 1817.

Paymaster’s Clerk – Sjt John Grundley.

Drum-major as Serjeant – Sjt William Sunderland. Aged 24. Born Wragby, Yorkshire. Enlisted in 14th Foot in 1805. Served at Corunna and Walcheren with 2/14th Foot. Wounded in the right temple at Waterloo. Discharged at Chichester 3 March 1817.

Schoolmaster-as-Serjeant – Sjt James Bower. Aged 31. Born Glasgow. Joined 14th from Westminster Militia in 1814. Formerly a clerk in civilian life.

Armourer as Serjeant – not present.

Note: Staff serjeants were attached to No. 1 Company.

COMPANY

OFFICERS

SERJEANTS

CORPORALS

DRUMMERS & FIFERS

No. 1 (Grenadier) Company

Captain Harcourt Morton’s

Capt Thomas Ramsay

Aged 29. Born Edinburgh. Served with the 52nd Foot at the siege of Copenhagen. In the Peninsula in 1808-9 and again in 1810-11 with 47th Foot. Captain 18 Oct. 1810. Placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Died on Jersey 17 December 1857 aged 71.

Col-Sjt Isaac Smith

Sjt William Cundall

Sjt Thomas Stringer

Corp William Ford

Cpl James Lambert (dow)

Corp Amos Wheeler

Drm John Bavington

Drm Joseph Nutt

Ens Robert Burton Newenham

Aged 22. Born Dublin. Ensign 27 Jan. 1814. Resigned November 1820. Died in 1823 aged 30.

Ens John Powell Matthews

Aged 17. Born Cromhall, Gloucestershire. Ensign 3 Nov. 1814. To 1st Lieut. in 23rd Foot 7 Apr. 1825. Retired on half-pay of 10th Foot 31 Dec. 1830. Died at Carmarthen in 1871 aged 73.

No. 2 Company

Captain William Turnor’s

Capt William Turnor

Aged 33. Born Esham, Hampshire. Served in Hanover with 14th Foot in 1805-6 and in the Peninsula, including battle of Corunna, and in the Walcheren expedition. Captain 15 Aug. 1811. Major 19 December 1826. Served in India 1818-1831. Afterwards Major-general. Died 12 Dec. 1860 aged 78. 

Col-Sjt John Scott (dow)

Sjt James Hart

Sjt George Wallis

Corp William Leggett

Corp David Pratt

Corp James Robinson (w)

Drm Benjamin Davis

Drm James Handcock

Ens George Mackenzie

Aged 16. Born Cromarty, Scotland. Ensign 22 Jan. 1814. Placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Lieutenant in 2nd Foot 23 January 1825.

Ens George Thomas Keppell

Aged 16. Born London, second son of William Charles 4th Earl of Albemarle. Ensign 4 Apr. 1815. Joined battalion six weeks before Waterloo. Lieutenant in 22nd Foot 25 May 1820; exchanged to 20th Foot 1821; Captain in 62nd Foot 1825; unattached Major in 1827; Lieutenant-colonel 1841; Colonel 1854; Major-general 1858; Lieutenant-general 1866; and General 1874. Died 21 Feb. 1891 aged 91. 

No. 3 Company

Captain Richard Adam’s

Capt Richard Adams

Aged 25. Captain 13 Jan. 1814. Placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Living in Pontefract, Yorkshire in 1829. Died 11 Feb. 1836 aged 46. 

Sjt Thomas Bennett

Sjt John Cotchling

Sjt Jonathan Robinson

Corp Thomas Fountain

Corp Thomas Houlden

-

Ens William Keowen 

Aged 23. Born Kilmegan, County Down. Ensign 21 Apr. 1814; lieutenant 11 Nov. 1820; lieutenant in 17th Foot 6 April 1822; served in East Indies, at capture of Hattrass Fort; died at Calcutta in 1822 aged 30. 

Ens John Manley Wood

Aged 30. Born Dorsetshire. Ensign 19 May 1814, from Nottinghamshire Militia. To captain on half-pay 67th Foot 10 Sept. 1825; brevet-major 28 June 1838; major in 14th Foot 28 Aug. 1840. Placed on half-pay 3 Apr. 1846. Died in London in 1867 aged 82.

No. 4 Company

Captain John Maxwell’s

Lt William Akenside

Aged 34. Born Eachwick, Northumberland. Lieutenant 6 Aug. 1807 from 28th Foot; served in Peninsula 1808-09, and at Walcheren 1809; Captain 6 Sept. 1821. Died 22 Oct. 1830 aged 49. 

Col-Sjt William Walsh

Sjt Joseph Eggbear

Sjt Robert Guest

Corp James Budding

Corp William Buffitt

Corp Thomas Collier

Corp William Moore

Corp John Whitwell

Drm James Millard

Ens Augustus Frederick Francis Adamson 

Aged 17. Born Ealing, Middlesex. Ensign 3 Mar. 1814. Resigned late 1815. 

No. 5 Company

Captain William Betts’

Lt Charles Moylan (‘Pat’) Brannan 

Aged c.25. Lieutenant 3 Dec. 1807, from 50th Foot via 8th Garrison Battalion; served at Corunna with 2/14th Foot; taken POW at Lugo; POW from 9 Jan. 1809 until end of Peninsula war. Served in India 1818-20, died at Meerut in August 1820.

Sjt Thomas Green

Sjt John Lynes

Sjt George Moore

Corp Charles Hoyte

Corp John Moulding

Corp William Rastrick

-

Lt James Campbell Hartley

Aged 17. Born India, son of Major-General James Hartley. Lieutenant 24 May 1815. Placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Living in France in 1829.

Ens Richard Birt Holmes

Aged 17. Born Antony, Cornwall. Ensign 10 Nov. 1814. Placed on half-pay 9 May 1818. In 1829 lived in ‘Devonport, Nenagh, Venice and Dartmoor.’ Died in Cornwall in 1859 aged 61.

No. 6 Company

Captain Henry Hill’s

Capt William Hewett

Aged 19. Born Dublin, third son of General Rt. Hon Sir George Hewett, Commander-in-Chief in India. Educated at the Royal Military College, Great Marlow. Captain 13 Apr. 1815, from half-pay of 92nd Foot. Exchanged as Captain to Rifle Brigade 14 Aug. 1823. Retired as Major from latter regiment 19 Aug. 1828. Lieutenant-colonel unattached list same date. Lieutenant-colonel in 53rd Foot 13 May 1836; retired same day. Died at Southampton 26 Oct. 1891 aged 96, the last surviving Waterloo British commissioned officer. 

Sjt John Nutcher

Sjt Joseph Stannett

Corp John Barber

Corp Richard Holland

Drm George Matthews

Drm John Butter

Lt George Baldwin

Aged 23. Born Cork, Ireland. Served at Walcheren 1809 with 36th Foot. Lieutenant 9 Nov. 1814, from 3rd Ceylon Regiment. To lieutenant in 31st Foot 18 March, 1822. Captain 14 June 1833; major 8 Oct. 1844.  Served in India and Afghanistan 1826-1845; died of wounds at Ferozepore 30 Dec. 1845 aged 53.

Ens Alfred Cooper (w)

Aged c.17. Ensign 1 Nov. 1814. The only officer of the 14th Foot wounded at Waterloo. Resigned in 1815 but reinstated 1 November 1816. Died at Calcutta 1 December 1821 aged c.23.

Ens Joseph Bowlby 

Aged 17. Born Houghton-le-Spring, Durham. Ensign 2 Nov. 1814. Captain in 90th Foot 26 Dec. 1826. Served in Ionian Islands and East Indies 1816-1829. Died at Portsmouth in 1838 aged 40.

No. 7 Company

Captain Christian Wilson’s

Capt Christian Wilson

Aged 32. Born London. Served in Peninsula 1809-1814, at nearly every major action from Douro to Toulouse. Captain 4 Nov. 1814, from 48th Foot. Exchanged as Captain to 38th Foot in 1822. Died in Bengal in 1830 aged 47.

Sjt John Briars

Sjt Robert Fisher

Sjt Robert Palmer

Corp James Bradshaw

Corp Richard Kempe

Corp William Summerfield

Drm John Moore

Drm John Weddle

Lt Lyttleton Westwood

Aged 29. Born Kingswinford, Staffordshire. Lieutenant 6 Apr. 1815, from Nottinghamshire Militia. Placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Living in Paris in 1829.

Ens Richard John Delazouche Stacpoole

Aged 22; born Edenvale, County Clare. Ensign 8 Nov. 1814. To half-pay 24 Feb. 1818; major in 62nd Foot; resigned 1836. Died 9 Oct. 1866 aged 73.

No. 8 Company

Captain John Loraine White’s

Capt John Loraine White

Aged 26. Born Bengal, India. Served with the expedition to Hanover 1805 and with 2/30th Foot in numerous battles in the Peninsula including Almeida, Ciudad Ridrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, capture of Madrid. Was present at the attack on Merxem, the bombardment of Antwerp, and the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom. Captain in 14th Foot 5 Nov. 1814. Placed on half-pay 5 April 1816. Later a Military Knight of Windsor. Died 13 Mar. 1879 aged 90. 

Sjt John Gostelow

Sjt William Newson

Sjt Edmond Parker

Corp Charles Clifton*

Corp William Fenwick

Corp James Gaunt

* Corporal Clifton is known to have served in Spain in 1808-09 with 2/14th Foot and in Malta 1801-13, being the most experienced corporal in the battalion.

Drm James Mays

Lt Henry Boldero

Aged 26. Born London. Lieutenant 13 Apr. 1815 from half-pay of 56th Foot. To half-pay of 27th Foot 25 June 1818. Died 1858 aged 69.

Ens James Ramsay Smith

Aged 17. Born Clonmel, County Tipperary. Ensign 13 Oct. 1814. Was later present at the capture of Hattras in the East Indies. Also served in the Deccan campaign 1817-18. Lieutenant 20 March 1824. Exchanged to half-pay of 38th Foot 6 July 1826. A magistrate in Tipperary in 1862.

No. 9 Company

Captain George Bolton’s

Lt Samuel Beachcroft

Aged 21. Born Canterbury, Kent. Lieutenant 28 Nov. 1811. Exchanged to half-pay 23 April 1818.

Col-Sjt John Manley

Sjt William Bradshaw

Sjt John Clarke

Sjt Thomas Jepson

Corp John Fletcher

Corp John Savage

Corp Richard Whye

Drm Thomas Handcock

Ens Charles Henry Fraser

Aged c.17. Born Hamburg, Germany. Son of Charles Henry Fraser, plenipotentiary. Ensign 10 Feb. 1814. Ensign and lieutenant in 3rd Foot Guards 3 July 1815; lieutenant and captain 25 Feb. 1819; died at Lausanne 8 February 1836. 

Volunteer Charles Montague Burrows

Aged 15; born on Martinique, son of Colonel Montague Burrows 14th Foot. Commissioned ensign in 14th Foot 27 June 1815. Lieutenant in 36th Foot 28 June 1824; died on Antigua 27 Jun. 1835 aged 35.

No. 10 (Light) Company

Captain William Ross’

Capt William Ross

Aged 27. Born Oakdean, Kent. Captain 24 Dec. 1813. Afterwards major in 23rd Foot. Lieutenant-colonel unattached in 1837. Died in Kent in 1848 aged 60.

Col-Sjt Samuel Goddard

Sjt William Goddard

Sjt Joseph Francis (dow)

Sjt Francis Northwood

Corp James Elmer

Corp Thomas Moore

Corp John Robinson

Corp Thomas Stevenson

-

Lt John Nicholson

Aged 23. Born Brigg, Lincolnshire. From Hertfordshire Militia. Lieutenant 5 Apr. 1815. Placed on half-pay 25 March 1816. Tax Surveyor in 1829. Ensign (later Quartermaster) in East Yorks Militia in 1855. Died after 1861.

Ens William Reed

Aged 17. Born Buckland, Devonshire. Ensign 13 Jan. 1814, from South Devonshire Militia. Lieutenant 26 June 1815. Lieutenant in 48th Foot 18 July 1816; captain 8 June 1825; major 1 December 1838.

Ens Arthur Ormsby

Aged 22. Born Dublin. Ensign 2 June 1814. Wounded at the taking of Cambrai. Lieutenant 27 January 1823. Served in India 1816-1827. Captain on half-pay 1838. Died near Slough in 1872 aged 79. 

Casualty Roll

COMPANY

CASUALTY

DESCRIPTION

No. 1 (Grenadier) Company

Captain Harcourt Morton’s

Corp James Lambert

Aged 22. Born Kempston, Bedfordshire. Volunteered into 14th Foot from Bedfordshire Militia at Roscommon 3 December 1813. Promoted to corporal 25 April 1815. Died of wounds.

No. 2 Company

Captain William Turnor’s

Col Sjt John Scott

Died of wounds.

Pvt William Hill

Killed in action.

Pvt William Williams

Aged 22. Born Wantage, Berkshire. Volunteered into 14th Foot from Berkshire Militia at Galway 3 December 1813. Killed in action.

No. 3 Company

Captain Richard Adam’s

Pvt Edward Gentle

Aged 27. Born Ashwell, Hertfordshire. Enlisted at St Albans 4 January 1814. Died of wounds.

Pvt Robert Jolley

Aged 17. Born Liverpool, Lancashire. Volunteered into 14th from Westmoreland Militia at Chester 5 April 1814. Killed in action.

Pvt John Turner

Died of wounds.

No. 4 Company

Captain John Maxwell’s

Pvt John Dorman

Aged 18. Born Marston, Bedfordshire. Volunteered into 14th Foot from Bedfordshire Militia at Roscommon 24 December 1813. Killed in action.

No. 5 Company

Captain William Betts’

-

 

No. 6 Company

Captain Henry Hill’s

-

 

No. 7 Company

Captain Christian Wilson’s

Pvt Thomas Gibbards

Aged 22. Born Northampton, Northamptonshire. Volunteered into 14th Foot from Berkshire Militia at Galway 3 December 1813. Died of wounds.

No. 8 Company

Captain John Loraine White’s

-

 

No. 9 Company

Captain George Bolton’s

Pvt James Hunt

Aged 20. Born Newbury, Berkshire. Volunteered into 14th Foot from Berkshire Militia at Galway 3 December 1813. Killed in action.

Pvt Jacob Pope

Aged 22. Born Aston, Berkshire. Volunteered into 14th Foot from Berkshire Militia at Galway 3 December 1813. Killed in action.

Pvt Thomas Williams

Aged 38. Born Newcastle, Staffordshire. Enlisted at Woodbridge 1 April 1809. Killed in action, possibly the oldest private in the battalion.

Pvt George Postlethwaite

Aged 33. Born Macclesfield, Cheshire. Enlisted at Winchester 3 April 1808. Killed in action.

No. 10 (Light) Company

Captain William Ross’

Sjt Joseph Francis

Aged 27. Born Southill, Bedfordshire. Volunteered into 14th Foot from Bedfordshire Militia at Roscommon 14 December 1813. Promoted to serjeant 20 March 1815. Died of wounds.


Sources

WO 25/340 – Description Book of the 3/14th Foot 1815.

Keppell, George Thomas. Fifty Years of my Life. New York: Henry Holt & Partners, 1877.

Dalton, Charles. Waterloo Roll Call. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1904.

War Office. Army Lists 1791 to 1815. London: various years.

Cannon, Richard. Historical Record of the Fourteenth or Buckinghamshire Regiment of Foot: Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment, and of its Subsequent Services to 1845. London: Parker, Furnival and Parker, 1845.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2013



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