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Peninsular War

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Peninsular War

Postby absolutechaos » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:50 pm

My ancestor fought in the Peninsular War with the 43rd Foot and was awarded a medal with 5 clasps. I'm starting to read Napier's account but what I'd really like to know is why my guy joined up. Was there a recruitment campaign for the Napoleonic wars? Was it seen as an attractive proposition and a chance to visit foreign shores? Or was it perhaps a way to guarantee a wage? Can anyone help to paint the picture of why an 18 year old from a little village in the South Downs ended up in Wellington's army?
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Re: Peninsular War

Postby Sylcec » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:22 pm

Money, adventure, or - he could have been pressed!
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Re: Peninsular War

Postby junkers » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:11 am

Possibly to protect Britain from the very real threat of invasion. I would not think a visit to foreign shores would be a reason as you could be killed, but a regular wage is also a good reason. There was a need to raise militia especially around the coast and he may have thought joining a regiment was a better idea.
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Re: Peninsular War

Postby Millst » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:46 pm

The Army of Reserve Act was passed in 1803. This meant that each county had to provide a number of recruits who were either “volunteers” or sometimes “substitutes” for someone else. This applied to men aged 17 to 55. “Marching money” of 2 guineas was given to the soldiers when they joined. They went into the Militia and served in England or Ireland but could transfer to a regiment to serve abroad.

FindMyPast has Army of Reserve records. I found details of my ancestor who was recruited for the Army of Reserve as a “substitute” aged 18. After an initial period in England he transferred to a regiment and was sent to the garrison on Malta. Later, he served in Portugal, Spain, France and Canada. (Regimental Muster records at the National Archives).

There is a good website that explains about the Army of Reserve in detail: http://www.britisharmyresearchnapoleoni ... .php?p=1_9

I found a lot of general information about recruitment and the Peninsular war in the newspaper archives.
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Re: Peninsular War

Postby absolutechaos » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:26 am

That's fantastic - thanks for that information!


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Re: Peninsular War

Postby absolutechaos » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:25 am

I posted a look up request on Rootschat as I couldn't see John Tuckey on the 1803 Army of Reserves list and it seems he's not on there. Would anyone be able to confirm if this means he signed up voluntarily rather than being part of the enforced recruitment drive?
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Re: Peninsular War

Postby Millst » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:11 pm

I suggest you visit http://www.napoleonicwarsforum.com/ where there may be someone who could help you.
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Re: Peninsular War

Postby absolutechaos » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:39 pm

Thanks for the tip!


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Re: Peninsular War

Postby ksouthall » Sat May 03, 2014 11:24 am

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Re: Peninsular War

Postby Editor » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:55 pm

We printed your query in the June issue of WDYTYA? Magazine and one of our readers has written in to share his advice. This is what he said:

A few years ago I had a similar query to your reader who asked (June issue) whether there was a recruitment campaign for the Napoleonic Wars; like your reader, I have an ancestor in the 43rd Regiment of Foot. The website www.lightinfantry.org.uk (or search “43rd Foot Timeline” on Google) reveals the regiment mustering in Shorncliffe, Kent in 1803 and raising a 2nd Battalion at Worcester in 1804. My ancestor was born in Worcestershire, according to the 1851 census, so there was an obvious link here, as well as an indication of recruiting. In your reader’s case, there appears a likely link between the South Downs and the regiment’s presence not far away in Shorncliffe in 1803.

Hope that helps,

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