Napoleonic War Veterans Buried at St. Saviour’s Church, Jersey:
Biographical Notes and Pointers for Future Information
William Mahon (Editor)
Privately published (2020), available from St. Saviour’s Church or on Amazon
Paperback, 360 pages, illustrated
Sir William Mahon (and the St. Saviour’s Memorial Research Team) has researched the large number of veterans of the Peninsular War and Waterloo Campaign who are buried in St. Saviours Church on the island of Jersey. Why were so many buried here? Jersey appealed to many half-pay officers after the war due to its climate, tax arrangements, and in the 1820s a steamship service to the island established regular contact with the south of England. As more officers retired to the island, they found themselves in an ever-growing peer group with shared experiences. Hence the large number of men interred here.
The book is divided into four sections. Veterans Buried at St Saviour’s Church, listing sixty officers from many regiments of the British Army, covers those who fought in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo. Each entry provides a biography of the man, with as much information as has been discovered so far utilising regimental histories, diaries, letters, and newspaper reports. The author does emphasise that while some entries may be less than others, there is still scope for further research. However, as a first edition it is very impressive and complements Janet and David Bromley’s Wellington’s Men Remembered.
Examples of the officers buried here include (the Rev.) Frederick Beatty of the 7th Light Dragoons, who served at Waterloo and whose story includes his family and the report of his death in the newspapers. While accounts of these men on campaign make for interesting reading, it is just as interesting to learn of their life outside of the military, and this book provides that story. My eye was drawn to the story of Robert Mitchell, captain in the 60th Regiment, wounded at Talavera, left behind in the town, and taken prisoner by the French and sent to Verdun. The lives of these men took many twists and turns, and their stories make for a fascinating read.
Aside from British officers there are a few foreign individuals buried here such as Charles Philippe Juillerat de Chasseur, whose story forms a research topic that has been impossible to complete at the time of going to press. It is possible that he was a French cavalry officer, although his presence in Jersey is not clear.
Appendix 1 details forty-six other St. Saviour veteran burials relating to the period 1793-1815 who did not serve in the Peninsula or at Waterloo, while Appendix 2 lists twenty veterans buried elsewhere in Jersey. Appendix 3 provides short biographies of the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of Jersey who served in the Peninsula and/or Waterloo. Appendix 4 informs the reader of how to find a grave at St. Saviour’s Churchyard.
Napoleonic War Veterans Buried at St. Saviour’s Church, Jersey is an interesting and unique account of those Napoleonic officers who found their way to the island and were buried there. It represents an important addition to our knowledge of the participants of the period and if you are planning a visit to Jersey then get hold of a copy of this book. It will certainly give you a new insight into the history of the island.