Author Topic: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815  (Read 26184 times)

Offline Jean McGurn

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32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« on: Sunday 04 January 09 07:48 GMT (UK) »
Have just discovered a possible relative who died at Waterloo in 1815.

Private Michl McGURN
Captain Charles Hawes Company
32nd Regiment of Foot
killed in action

I know from searching various sites for details of the 32nd, Waterloo and Pennisula Wars that the 32nd was a Cornish Regiment. They were in various battles and also in 1801/2 were in Ireland, which is where presumably Michl joined the Regiment.

Question is where do I go from here?

In 1801 the Regiment was in Dundalk and Kilkenny.

In 1802 the Regiment were employed suppressing a rebellion and at some time were in Enniskillen.

Have tried to find out more about the Irish connections but no luck.

So why would an Irishman join a Cornish Regiment and not one of the Irish Regiments. Haven't, as yet, found any details of the rebellion.

Also, in view of the number of deaths at the Battle of Waterloo, where would the bodies have been buried?

Jean





 
McGurn, Stables, Harris, Owens, Bellis, Stackhouse, Darwent, Co(o)mbe

Offline neil1821

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Re: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 04 January 09 13:38 GMT (UK) »
Quote
So why would an Irishman join a Cornish Regiment and not one of the Irish Regiments.

There were many, many Irishmen in the British Army, and in every single regiment of the army, not just the Irish ones. So no great significance to his choice of regiment.
In the early 1830s it was estimated that 40% of all men in the British Army were born in Ireland!
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Offline Martin Aaron

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Re: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 17 January 09 15:47 GMT (UK) »
The 32nd is, in my opinion the most overlooked British Regiment at Waterloo - they were virtually annihilated but are granted almost no mention in histories of the battle. The regiment lost 63 killed in action with a further 31 dying of wounds.
In the ranks of the 32nd there was a colourful blend of English and Irish, with a broad hotchpotch of men coming from almost every corner of the two countries.  There were men from 28 English counties (Somerset and Warwickshire having slightly above average) and 27 Irish counties.  The ratio was approximately 58% English and 40% Irish, with the remainder of only 2% being born in Scotland or Wales.

hope this is of interest

Kind regards
Martin Aaron


Offline Jean McGurn

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Re: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 18 January 09 05:19 GMT (UK) »
I have come to the same conclusion Martin, after searching all over the web and reading countless sites dedicated to Waterloo and other Napoleonic wars, all there seems to be is who was in charge. Not a lot about the regiment's part in the battle it's heroism.

Couldn't even find on any  maps of the battle were the regiment had been on the field.

Thank you for the extra info on how the regiment was made up from men from all over the country. Most of the info I could find was that the 32nd eventualy became the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in the late 19c.

I had presumed this was because the regiment had been mainly Cornishmen, clearly this wasn't the case. 


Jean
McGurn, Stables, Harris, Owens, Bellis, Stackhouse, Darwent, Co(o)mbe

Offline jon andrews

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Re: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 29 July 10 11:40 BST (UK) »
 I expect this message is unnecessary in view of the time since your enquiry of Jan 2009. However, I have an ancestor who fought at Waterloo with the 32nd regiment and was "grievously wounded with a musquet ball through the right leg"
1) the 32nd regiment was not designated a Cornish regiment until mid victorian times when there were a number of reforms including abolition of purchase of commissions. There was no previous formal link to Cornwall. My ancestor came from Durham. He spent time in Chelsea hospital and I have a page from the hospital register with 20 entries of whom there was one Cornishman and many Irishmen. Since regiments are not shown on the page I think all entries on the page are to do with the 32nd.
2) The regiment was part of the 5th brigade or reserve corps both at Quatre Bras and Waterloo and its use was controlled by Wellington himself. As far as I can tell the corps arrived at QB at 3 pm in time to help halt the French attack. At W there are references to it being in a "sunken lane" behind the centre of the ridge occupied by the centre of the Alllied army and I guess subsequently defended the position against the successive French cavalry attacks and artillery bombardment prior to the defeat of the French "Old Guard"
3) You can get a timeline or chronology of the regiment from the internet. My ancestor fought through the Peninsular war and was awarded a  peninsula medal with 8 bars which were only given to survivors in about 1848
Hope this helps
Jon

Offline NEILKE

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Re: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 29 July 10 12:53 BST (UK) »
hi all if you want a good read on this subject try bernard cornwells sharpe it is fiction but is based on fact.
neil
kenny from ireland befre moveing to north shields  flaxen/flexon from cumnor then sunderland robinson from rothbury then north shields urqhart somewhere in scotland then sunderland

Offline Jean McGurn

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Re: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 29 July 10 14:56 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the info  Jon, it is very interesting and you have given info I so far haven't found. I do wonder why,  if there were no links to Cornwall, the 32nd ended up as a Cornish Regiment.

Neil I am a great fan of Sharpe and when I think of the sort of life Michl had I hope he had friends such as in those books.

Since finding him I have also watched the film Waterloo and imagine he may have been similar to the character with the little pig in his knapsack. :)

 Jean
McGurn, Stables, Harris, Owens, Bellis, Stackhouse, Darwent, Co(o)mbe

Offline NEILKE

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Re: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 29 July 10 14:59 BST (UK) »
hi jean ive read all the books several times over and wouldnt like to think how ofton ive seen the tv programes.
neil
kenny from ireland befre moveing to north shields  flaxen/flexon from cumnor then sunderland robinson from rothbury then north shields urqhart somewhere in scotland then sunderland

Offline jon andrews

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Re: 32nd Regiment of Foot 1815
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 08 August 10 20:38 BST (UK) »
I must apologise for my previous message in which I said that the 32nd regiment had no formal links with Cornwall before the Army reforms of the late Victorian period. I have found the following on Wikipedia:
 "On 21 August 1782, the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, Henry Seymour Conway, issued a regulation giving an English county designation to each regiment of foot other than those with a royal title or highland regiments. The intention was to improve recruitment during the unpopular American War of Independence, and the Secretary at War, Thomas Townshend issued a circular letter to the lieutenants of each county in England in the following terms:
My Lord,
The very great deficiency of men in the regiments of infantry being so very detrimental to the public service, the king has thought proper to give the names of the different counties to the old corps, in hopes that, by the zeal and activity of the principal nobility and gentry in the several counties, some considerable assistance may be given towards recruiting these regiments". [8]
The names of the counties were added to the regimental titles in parentheses, ranging from the 3rd (Buffs East Kent) Regiment of Foot to the 70th (Surrey) Regiment of Foot. In some cases more than one regiment was allocated to a county, for eample, the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot and 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot.[9] The attempt to link regimental areas to specific counties was found to be impractical, with regiments preferring to recruit from major centres of population.[10] By June 1783 each regiment was again recruiting throughout the country, although the county names were to remain.[11] In a few cases, affiliations were altered: for example the 14th and 16th Foot "exchanged" counties in 1809.[12]"

So there was a formal link to Cornwall but no recruitment limits
Jon