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John F.

Waterloo Medal - Research Start Point

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Hello,  I am a veteran medal collector but I am very new at collecting British Medals.  I recently purchased this 1815 Waterloo Medal named to a soldier in the 1st Regiment Dragoon Guards.  I am very excited about this medal because it is the oldest medal I have in my collection and most expensive.   I am withholding the recipients name because I know that there are some people who are very helpful who tell me everything I would want to know about the soldier but I would prefer to do the legwork myself in order to get the experience in researching British medals.  With that being said I do need some help with a starting point for my research and was hoping that someone could please point me in the right direction.  

Thanks in advance!

John 

1817 Waterloo Medal.jpg

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John

Can you show an image of the naming as there are many renamed specimens around (mainly because wearing a waterloo medal in the pub in the early to mid 19th century was a good way of getting a free pint). If the naming is fine he will be on the roll and then more research can be done. The medal itself looks fine.

All the best,

Paul

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Hello John,

it really would help us give you advice on where to look if you provide the mans name and Regiment.   Pictures of the naming would be very helpful.

However, you might start with whether or not your man is on the Waterloo Medal roll.  Like many, I have the roll and could tell you.  If you want the fun of checking yourself and seeing a copy of the roll, then you should start with the Waterloo Medal Book at the National Achives online, Kew:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/h/C2206965

Owen

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Hello Gents,

Thanks for the replies and I appoligize for the delay in getting back to you. 

Here is the requested pic but please provide no information:   

1817 Waterloo Medal 2.jpg

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Hello John!

You might be interested in reading "The Cavalry that Broke Napoleon", a recently published book by Richard Goldsbrough about Levitt's regiment in the battle of Waterloo. It gives a very good picture of a British heavy cavalry regiment during the Napoleonic Wars in general and of the 1st Dragoon Guards at Waterloo in particular.

/Jonas

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Once again, the gents of the GMIC come through with helpful information.  Thank you all!

John, I shall never own a Waterloo medal but had the pleasure and privilige of serving with the 3rd Brigade on the original battlefield for the 200th anniversary re-enactment of the battle and I envy you deeply!  And to a Troop Sgt Major too, which suggests a man of considerable service and ability.  Lucky you!

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John,

You have a belter!  Troop Serjeant Major in the Kings Dragoon Guards...wow!  I concur with the BMF links on the Waterloo medal.   There is also an open source online copy of the historical records of the First, or King's Regiment of Dragoon Guards here: https://archive.org/stream/cihm_48393#page/n21/mode/2up

Not sure if you have paid memberships of Ancestry/Fold 3?   If so, you will find his Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Pensioners' Discharge Documents here:

Levitt pension records  (WO 119 at The National Archives, Kew).

If you have membership of Find My Past, there are also pension records for him on there.

Enjoy the research journey, but please let us know how you get on.

Owen

Edited to add:  a book you might find interesting is:  

The Cavalry that Broke Napoleon: The King’s Dragoon Guards at Waterloo (By, Richard Goldsbrough)

 

 

 

Edited by Owen

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A  beautiful  medal  indeed.  I  bought  a  Waterloo  and MGS medal  earlier in  the year. The history  behind  these medals  and  the men is  fascinating.

Congratulations  on  a  great acquisition

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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

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Jonas (aka: GRA) -  Thanks for the heads-up on the book "The Cavalry that Broke Napoleon"   I just ordered it from Amazon!

Owen: I'm going to take advantage of Ancestry.com free trial 14 day membership.

Paul W & Paul 1957:  Thanks for the info and sources.   

I can't wait for the holidays to be over and the in-laws to be gone and the kids are back in school so I can start the research undisturbed.  I'm really looking forward to it. 

Best,

John

Edited by John F.

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On 12/18/2016 at 08:58, peter monahan said:

... And to a Troop Sgt Major too, which suggests a man of considerable service and ability.  Lucky you!

Peter,  I would imagine the Sgt Major would have been and excellent and competent soldier/leader.  Too bad he didn't get to enjoy the victory or his medal.

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1 hour ago, John F. said:

Jonas (aka: GRA) -  Thanks for the heads-up on the book "The Cavalry that Broke Napoleon"   I just ordered it from Amazon!

 

John, you might also find "And They Rode On" by Michael Mann of interest. Published back in 1984, so it may be easier to find at the Queen's Dragoon Guards museum shop than at Amazon: http://www.qdg.org.uk/shop/qdg.php/products_id/236

/Jonas

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Yes, one didn't get to be a Troop Sgt Major for having shiny boots.  Despite the strict discipline, one still had to deal with 60-80 men and 100 horses preferably without flogging and visits to defaulters, so practical psychology and man management were musts, plus a head for numbers [forage, shoes, rations, grog, pay...].

I have all the respect in the world for the senior NCOs/Warrants in every army, having had the privilige of being a Regimental Sergeant Major 'for pretend' for three years in a re-enactment community.  That is to say, dealing with 200-400 men who did not in fact HAVE TO do what I said!  I still got to tell the joke, though:  'The diffrence between the RSM and God is that God doesn't think He's an RSM!"  And if I'm not in step with the 400 other guys, THEY are our of step! :)

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On 20/12/2016 at 16:52, John F. said:

Owen: I'm going to take advantage of Ancestry.com free trial 14 day membership.

Best,

John

John,

Shout if you need need any help, I have membership of both Ancestry and FMP.

Merry Christmas,

owen

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Well John F. I cannot believe my luck, you happen to be in possession of my 3xGreatGrandfathers Waterloo medal and please don't worry I will not be nagging you to sell it too me? I have already taken a screenshot of the excellent photo you printed on this forum which is proberbly as much as I'm ever going to expect and I'm sure I'll never be able to afford it anyway. You say you don't want any information so I won't give you any unless you change your mind. I will tell you this though, I am a genealogist of over 40 years expearience in searching this (my) family back to 1480 and started a family group on Ancestry.com over 10 years ago and we have about 25 expearianced  researchers all connected to this family in some way. One clue I will give you is to start with John Levitt's discharge papers mention else where in this stream.

Anyway John F. all the best in your research and the door is always open to you if you desire to join our group

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