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The Napoleon Series > Biographies > Biographies

Foot Artillery Officers of the Netherlands Serving from 1813 to 1815: Trip, Hendrik Rudolph

By Geert van Uythoven

Trip was born in ‘s Hertogenbosch (present day Netherlands) on 2 April 1779. He began his military career in the Dutch army as a cadet in the Foot artillery corps on 9 April 1791. Trip was promoted 2nd lieutenant on 22 February 1793; 1st lieutenant on 8 July 1795; and 2nd captain on 8 July 1799. He took part in the 1800 – 1801 campaign at the Main. On 29 October 1804 he was promoted captain-commander. He embarked in Den Helder for the invasion of England in 1805 commanding a foot artillery battery, but nothing came of it. In 1806 Trip was attached to the staff of Major-General Johan Caspar Paravinci di Capelli, who commanded the Dutch artillery which was part of the Armée du Nord. On 3 November Trip transferred to the staff of the French General Jacques-Mari-Charles de Drouas de Boussey, who commanded the artillery of the whole army corps. He entered the horse artillery on 3 January 1807. During the Kingdom of Holland, on 8 August 1808 Trip received command of Horse artillery battery no.3, later renumbered in no.2. On 20 August of that same year the company was assigned to the Dutch brigade destined for Spain.

Arriving in Spain, the company was assigned to the 1st Division (Général de Division Horace-François-Bastien Sebastiani de la Porta) of the 4th Army Corps (Marshal François-Joseph Lefebvre). On 27 March 1809, Trip took with his company part in the battle of Cuidad Real. On 28 July of that same year they were at Talavera, placed on the left wing of the 1st Division. One of the 6-pdr cannon of the Dutch horse artillery, pulled by a French horse team and served by French gunners that day, had to be abandoned together with some French guns. Another piece, commanded by Artillery-Sergeant W. Grijsbach, was demolished the moment the infantry of the 1st Division had to retreat, and despite the efforts of its crew, under heavy fire, it also had to be abandoned because of lack of horses. Standing close to this gun Captain Trip was wounded to his head, his horse being wounded also. General Leger-Belair, ad-interim commander of the 1st Division, praised the behaviour of the Dutch horse artillery. He told that personally to Captain Trip, saying that he had nominated him to become a knight in the Légion d’Honneur. He also wrote the same to Major-General David Hendrik Chassé, as well as to the Dutch King Louis Bonaparte, telling him: “I request to permit me to report to Your Royal Highness the honourable behaviour of Captain Hendrik Rudolph Trip, commanding the battery of the 3rd Company Dutch Horse Artillery, of which two pieces had been attached to my brigade on the 28th of this month during the battle of Talavera de la Reyna. This brave officer, already at the start of the battle wounded to his head, continued to commanded these pieces, not retreating for getting his wound dressed after repeated orders by his commander. I take the liberty to recommend him to his majesties generosity.” For his bravery, on 30 August 1809 Captain Trip was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. But before that date, on 11 August 1809 he distinguished himself again during the battle of Almonacid, of which Lieutenant-Colonel Duchand wrote to Général de Division Alexandre-Antoine Hureau de Senarmont:

“se loue de la conduite distinguee de mr. le capitaine Trip et de mr. le lieutenant Ramaer. Je joins mon éloge au sien, quoique ces deux officiers n’ayent point combatta sous mes yeux. J’en juge par la manière de se conduire des braves de cette nation, que j’avois près de moi.”

After his promotion Trip commanded not only the Dutch horse artillery but additional artillery companies, according to the circumstances. On 19 November during the battle of Oçana, he commanded beside the Dutch horse artillery also a French and a Polish horse artillery battery, placed on the right wing of the German and Polish Divisions and forming the left wing of the French army. Overall command of the artillery had Général de Division Senarmont. During the battle, Senarmont united forty guns in a massed battery, among them those commanded by Trip. He again distinguished himself, Senarmont mentioning him in his after action report as: “le brave Lieutenant-colonel Trip”. As a result, on 27 December 1809 Trip became a knight in the Légion d’Honneur. Later he would become an officer in the same Order. When the Kingdom of Holland became part of the French Empire, on 1 January 1810 Trip was promoted Chef de bataillon in the 9me Régiment d’artillerie à pied. He transferred to the 8me Régiment d’artillerie à pied on 12 September 1812. He left Spain and moved to Germany in 1813. On 17 October 1813, he was taken prisoner during the battle of Leipzig.

He joined the Netherlands army on 22 January 1814, as a lieutenant-colonel, Trip was appointed commander of the Horse Artillery Corps of the Netherlands army. Later he was appointed commander of the artillery of the 2nd Netherlands Army Corps (Prince Frederick of Orange). These troops saw no action at Quatre-Bras; during the battle of Waterloo the Corps of Prince Frederick of Orange stood at Halle. On 8 December 1815 Trip was promoted 2nd colonel, and on 1 September 1818 he was appointed Director of the Artillery, a post he would hold for nineteen years until 30 May 1837. Promoted to colonel (27 August 1820), and major-general of the artillery (20 December 1826), on 30 May 1837 he was appointed General Director of War, a function which he already fulfilled ad-interim since 1 October 1834. Receiving his final rank when he was promoted to lieutenant-general of the artillery on 22 September 1840. He was pensioned out of the army in 1841, and died in The Hague on 7 January 1865.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: December 2013