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  1. Much of his personal story was pieced together from information contained in documents in the National Archives at Kew. It took perseverance and a bit of luck but it was well worth it. There are still some avenues of research open to me in Hanoverian records but that is a bit less straightforward for me. Paul
  2. Mike, Peter, Owen and Brett, Gents, thanks for your appreciative comments. Chillianwallah was a tough battle for the British whose troops lost over 700 men killed and over 1,700 wounded/missing. Within his regiment, Thompson was the most senior man killed that day. His personal possessions (mostly clothing and bedding) were auctioned off to his regimental colleagues on 10 May 1849 and the money raised was sent to his next of kin. Paul
  3. Hello Brett, Thanks for your comment. Within the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars the KGL was held in high regard for their discipline and fighting abilities; it was a well deserved reputation. Paul
  4. Hello Bernhard, Pleased that you enjoyed reading my post. Heinrich was born on 22 February 1787 in Harste, Hanover. Regards Paul
  5. Hello Owen, The recipient of your Royal Scots Waterloo Medal had an interesting career and an all too common premature ending due to disease. Having his commission documents is a nice bonus. Medals where the recipient had long campaign service and/or an interesting story are fun to research and they often lead you to delve into bits of long forgotten history. I've just posted two more topics showing medals in my collection (a Punjab Campaign medal and a MGS medal). Cheers Paul
  6. Corporal Heinrich Heise served in the King's German Legion from 1805 till 1816. Initially serving in the 7th Line Battalion he was transferred to the 5th Line Battalion in 1811. Heise fought in the Peninsular War and qualified for the Military General Service Medal with 9 battle clasps when it was instituted in 1848. At the battle of Waterloo Heise was attached from No. 5 Company to the Light Company of the 5th Line Battalion. During the battle, the Light Company was detached from the regiment and sent as reinforcements to Major Baring in the farmhouse at La Haye Sainte. On the disbandment of the King's German Legion in 1816 Heise enlisted in the Hanoverian Army. Significant events in Heise's military service: Volunteered to participate in the assault of Burgos made by 300 men of the King’s German Legion on 18 October 1812. Noted for his bravery at the attack on Tolosa on 25 June 1813. Wounded at St Etienne on 27 February 1814. At Waterloo he was wounded and taken prisoner during the hand to hand fighting when La Haye Sainte was captured by the French. In 1821 Heise was awarded the Guelphic Medal: The translation of his citation for that medal says: Sergeant Wilhelm Stegen, Corporal Heinrich Heise, and Rifleman Friederich Breithaupt. At the defence of La Haye Sainte, after these three had accounted for many enemy by their calmly directed fire, they were among the last, who defended the building, to withdraw from the farm. Heise engaged in hand-to-hand fighting with several of the enemy, until he sank to the ground after a blow to the head and was taken prisoner. He had previously fought extremely bravely at Tolosa and had taken part in the storming of Burgos as a volunteer. All three of the above named soldiers were serving with the Light Company, 5th Line Battalion, King’s German Legion. Heise is mentioned on page 51 of the book "The Longest Afternoon The Four Hundred Men who Decided the Battle of Waterloo" by Brendan Simms (published 2014). Simms records that Heise was part of the rear guard left by Baring to gain time for the remaining defenders to evacute the farm as it fell to the French . Medal entitlement: Military General Service Medal (clasps Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes d’Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Vittoria, San Sebastian, Nivelle and Nive). For the first three clasps he was serving in the 7th Line Battalion, King’s German Legion. Hanovarian War Medal for the King’s German Legion 1803-1814 – instituted 1841 British Waterloo Medal 1815 Hanoverian Guelphic Medal Note: A Corporal of the same name served at Waterloo in the 2nd Light Battalion of the King's German Legion. That soldier was taken prisoner in the Peninsula in 1811 and not released till the peace of 1814. Therefore, he cannot be the Corporal Heise mentioned in the citation for the Guelphic Medal because the 2nd Light Battalion man was in prison in 1812 and 1813 so cannot have been present at Burgos or Tolosa.
  7. Unhorsed during a cavalry charge and attacked by enemy troopers, Sergeant Thompson was killed on 13 January 1849. He was last seen alive on foot defending himself with a double-barrelled pistol. At the time of his death in action he was a few weeks short of what would have been his thirtieth birthday. This incident took place in India in the battle of Chillianwallah during the Punjab Campaign against the Sikhs. Thompson was a SNCO in the British Army's 3rd Light Dragoons cavalry regiment. He had served in the army for eight years and was a veteran of the battles of Aliwal and Sobraon during the First Sikh War (1845-46). At Chillianwallah, some Sikh cavalry attempted to turn the left of the British line. Part of the 5th Bengal Native Cavalry and the "Grey Squadron" of the 3rd Light Dragoons (commanded by Captain W Unett) were ordered to charge them. Unett's squadron rode through the Sikh cavalry which then reformed so that the dragoons had to force their way through the mass of Sikhs for a second time before they could return to the British line. The charge successfully nullified the threat from the Sikh cavalry on that flank but in doing so Sergeant Thompson lost his life. A picture of the charge of Unett's squadron was painted by Henry Martens. Incorporated within the painting were several incidents that had occurred during the charge. One of the persons included in the painting is Sergeant Thompson. He is depicted with his arm outstretched firing his pistol at the enemy horsemen closing in on him. Below is a photo of a section of the painting by Martens showing Thompson on foot with his Sergeant's rank on his right arm. In addition, I am also showing Thompson's medal for the Punjab Campaign which he never got the opportunity to see or to wear. Paul
  8. Hello Simon, Glad you liked Clements' medal. I was attracted to it by the recipient's breadth of service and the look of the medal. I also have interests in the early Victorian campaigns in India (Sutlej to Mutiny). I'll dig out some photos of a couple of other medals that I have which I think have interesting stories. Paul
  9. Owen, Thanks for reading my post. I too like the Waterloo medal. Clements saw quite a bit of action in his time in the army. He was discharged in 1819 by which time he was a Sergeant (he had previously lost that rank a couple of times during his career). Paul
  10. Just thought I would share with you an image of a Waterloo medal in my collection. William Clements was a soldier in the 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot who was a veteran of the campaigns:in Holland, Egypt, South America, Peninsula War, North America and Waterloo. During his service he was wounded in the Egyptian campaign (1801-02) and again at the attack on the city of Buenos Ayres (1807). In addition, he survived the wrecking of the transport ship Baring in Bantry Bay, Ireland in October 1814 when en route to North America during the war of 1812. Returning from America in 1815 his regiment was sent straight to Flanders where Clements was engaged against Napoleon's forces at the memorable battle of Waterloo. I particuarly like the unofficial engraved suspension and engraved slide fitted to his Waterloo medal. He did not survive long enough to claim a Military General Service Medal for his services in the Peninsula War (1808-14). Paul
  11. Paul_1957

    Marching to the Beat of a 9 Bars KGL MGS Medal

    I have Gohlisch's Waterloo Medal in my collection. He was then still serving in the 2nd Line Battalion KGL but he had been promoted to Corporal. Does anyone have contact with the person who owns his 9-bar MGS medal? Back in 2011 when Rick saw the medal I imagine that it was located somewhere in North America. Regards Paul
  12. Type in RE101B119 in the search box on the website link I provide later and then use the page number from the medal card to distinguish which piece you want if the roll is split over several pieces. The link is http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ Paul
  13. Tim, The "DO" is "Do" an abbreviation for Ditto or "the same as above". It is quite normal for there not to be anything in the theatre and date of entry blocks where the person was not entitled to to either the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star. The Stars had specific date qualifications and those blocks were used to record the date/place where a man became entitled. The men without anything recorded in the theatre/date blocks would have served in one of the various theatres of war. To work out which one you would need to identify the man's unit and then research what that unit did in the war. For a man serving in a large corps such as the artillery, engineers, medical, Army Service Corps etc that can be difficult. The figures in the roll and page columns are not unit designations they are the references used to identify an individual volume of the various regimental/corps medal rolls. Each of these medal rolls are held in the National Archives in London and they have their own archives numbering system. For example roll RE101B119 is in the archives as document reference WO 329/410. Kirkham's name will appear on page 25543 of WO 329/410. Paul
  14. Key records to look at for tracing British Army soldiers (Privates to Sergeant Majors) of this period (Napoleonic) are: Army discharge papers - only exist if awarded a pension at time of discharge. If an enlisted man was awarded a normal daily pension he cannot have been killed in action. War Office Muster/pay lists for the regiment (1815-1816 for 1 KDG are on Ancestry) Medal Rolls (Waterloo, Military General Service Medal, Army of India Medal plus others as research identifies other campaigns) Army Pension payment records (from circa 1845 only) Waterloo Prize Roll payments Peninsular War Prize Roll registers (for campaigns in Portugal, Spain and France 1808-1814) Census returns for England, Scotland and Wales (every 10 years from 1841) - if your man survived that long. Civil registration registers of births, deaths and marriages (starts in 1837 for England/Wales,1855 for Scotland, 1864 for Ireland). UK Parish registers of baptisms. marriages and burials (many images or transcriptions are now online). UK calendar of wills (payment is required to see the will but the summary grant of probate/administration is free). Membership of Ancestry/Findmypast are indespensable research sites if you want to conduct research from your armchair. However, some War Office records (Prize Rolls and most muster/pay lists) are only available by visiting the archive repository (The National Archives, Kew, London). Books such as "My Ancestor was in the British Army" by M J and C T Watts (published by Society of Genealogists in 1992) gives a good outline of the records available and how to use them to create a picture of a soldier's service. Paul
  15. Paul_1957

    The Royal Marines

    The Wikipedia story that Shipton was the only Royal Marine to receive the Waterloo Medal is false. When Shipton fought at the battle of Waterloo he was officially no longer a member of the Royal Marines. His resignation from the Royal Marine corps had been accepted by the Admiralty at the end of May 1815. Immediately upon Shipton's return to the UK from the United States in 1815 he had submitted a letter resigning his commission in the Royal Marines. He was anticipating being commissioned in the Army having obtained "a strong endorsement" from Major-General Lambert. When the 4th Foot embarked for the Netherlands in early June 1815 Shipton accompanied that regiment as a gentleman Volunteer. He fought at Waterloo as a Volunteer; he was neither a Royal Marine or an Ensign. Shipton's commission as an Ensign in the 4th Foot is dated 3 August 1815. He was appointed in place of Ensign Blagrave who had been promoted to Lieutenant on the same day. Despite Shipton's medal being issued to him with the rank of Ensign on the rim he was actually still only a Volunteer on 18 June 1815. In the National Archives in London there is correspondence dated 27 June 1815 from Shipton's father to the Military Secretary pleading for his son to be granted a commission in the Army. Shipton's father was fearful that in any "speedy peace" his son "would be thrown upon the world without half-pay either from the Army or Marines...". Included in this correspondence is a letter from the Admiralty Office dated 31 May 1815 to the Military Secretary which states "that no objection exists in this Department to the appointment of 2d Lieut Henry Noble Shipton to a Regiment of the Line, their Lordships being pleased to accept his resignation of his Commission in the Royal Marine Corps". This correspondence is held in WO 31/425 (Commander in Chief's Memoranda). Paul