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The Militia and Fencible Regiments

The Militia and Fencible Regiments

The Militia and Fencible Regiments

By Robert Burnham & Gareth Glover


Bourne, George. My Military Career by Lt. George Bourne 85th Foot 1804-18.  Godmanchester: Ken Trotman; 2005. 90 pages.

Notes: was in North Lincoln Militia and 7th Garrison Regiment; transferred to 85th Regiment in 1807; was part of Walcheren Expedition; stayed behind as a recruiting officer when the regiment went to the Peninsula in 1811.

Calladine, G. Colour Sergeant Calladine. Darlington: Napoleonic Archive; ND.

Notes: Derbyshire Militia in 1805 – 1811.

Dobbs, John. Recollections of an Old 52nd Man. Staplehurst: Spellmount; 2000. 101 pages.

Notes: Joined the Armagh Militia in 1806 and was commissioned in the 2nd Battalion 52nd Light Infantry in 1808. Served in Swedish expedition in 1808; Corunna Campaign in 1809; Walcheren in 1809; Peninsula from 1810 – 1814. Commanded a company of the 5th Cacadores in 1813; and claims to be the last British officer wounded in the Peninsula War, on 14 April 1814.

Gavin, William. The Diary of William Gavin, Ensign and Quartermaster 71st Highland Regiment, 1806-1815: Being His Daily Note o His Campaigns in South Africa, South America, Portugal, Spain, Southern France, and Flanders, under Sir David Baird, Sir William Beresford, Sir John Moore, and the Duke of Wellington. Gareth Glover (ed.). Godmanchester: Ken Trotman: 2012. 102 pages.

Notes: 71st Foot; commissioned in 1811 from the ranks; served in Peninsula from July 1811 – April 1814; at Waterloo.

Green, William. Where Duty Calls Me: The Experiences of William Green of Lutterworth in the Napoleonic Wars.  John and Dorothea Teague  (ed.). West Wickham: Synjon Books; 1975. 72 pages.

Notes: Enlisted in the Leicester Militia in 1803. Joined the 95th in 1805. Served in Germany, 1805; Copenhagen, 1807; campaign in Spain 1808 – 1809, including Corunna; served with 1st Battalion in Peninsula from 1809 – 1812; wounded at siege of Badajoz and invalided home. was a company bugler.

Hale, James. The Journal of James Hale: Late Serjeant in the ninth Regiment of Foot Windsor: IX Regiment; 1998. PB; 139 pages.

Notes: Enlisted in Royal North Gloucester Regiment in 1801; volunteered for the 9th in 1807; Rolica, Vimiero, and Walcheren; Peninsula from 1810 1813; wounded at San Sebastian and invalided home.

Harley, John. The Veteran of 40 Years’ Service in the British Army: the Scurrilous Recollections of Paymaster John Harley 47th Foot – 1798- 1838. Gareth Glover (ed.). Solihull: Helion, 2018.

Notes: Served in the Tarbert Fencibles, was in in Egypt with the 54th Foot, became quartermaster 47th Foot in 1803 and became the paymaster of the 2nd Battalion in 1805; served in the Peninsula from October 1810 to April 1814

Harrison, Samuel. The Peninsular Wat Journal of Sergeant Samuel Harrison of the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot, 1796-1812. Gareth Glover (ed.). Godmanchester: Ken Trotman, 2017.

Notes: Journal covers: the 1st West York Militia 1795- 1802 and the 2nd West York Militia; 43rd Foot from 1807 – 1812. On recruiting duty from 1807 – 1808, Portugal and Spain 1808, Walcheren in 1809, Portugal and Spain from December 1809 to January 1812.

Jackson, Thomas. Narrative of the Eventful Life of Thomas Jackson: Militiaman and Coldstream Sergeant, 1803 – 1815. Eamonn O’Keefe (ed.). Solihull: Helion, 2018.

Notes: Was a sergeant in the :Light Company of the Staffordshire Militia from 1803 to 1811; volunteered for the Coldstream Guards and served in the 1813 – 1814 Holland Campaign in the Light Company of the 2nd Battalion where he was wounded and captured at the storming of Bergen-op-Zoom. Was not at Waterloo.

Ross-Lewin, Harry. With the Thirty-Second in the Peninsular and Other Campaigns Cambridge: Ken Trotman; 2000. 368 Pages.

Notes: Served as an enlisted volunteer in the Limerick Militia. Served in West Indies, Copenhagen, Roliça, Vimeiro, Corunna, & Walcheren; returned to Peninsula in 1811; Quatre Bras & Waterloo.

Skeel Thomas “Marching with Thomas Skeel” eidted by Major Francis Jones in The Carmarthenshire Historian, Volume VIII (1971), pp. 7-45.

Notes: A native of Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, Skeel served in the 2nd Somerset Militia 1803-7 before volunteering for the 40th Regiment, and was wounded and captured at Talavera. The first volume of his 1815 memoir, describing his militia service in Britain, is transcribed in this article, but whereabouts of the second volume describing his service overseas are unfortunately unknown.

Watt, Alexander G. Not Born to be Drowned: an Orkney Soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. W.S. Hewison (ed.) Kirkwall: Belavista, 2001.

Notes: This is a biography but contains numerous letters written by Aleander Watt. Letters only cover 1795 – 1807. He was born in 1766; commissioned in the Scotch Brigade in 1795; Lieutenant in the 88th Foot in November 1795, served in the West Indies (1796), India (1799 – 1801), Egypt (1801 – 1803);bought a captaincy in 92nd Foot in 1803, England, the Channel Islands and the Baltic (1807). Captain in 1st Royal Veteran Battalion in 1809, He died in January 1811.