Author Topic: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :  (Read 2056 times)

Offline Iain...

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William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« on: Friday 26 March 21 18:03 GMT (UK) »
Good evening All… 

I am researching a certain William West. 
Birth abt 1790 in the Parish of Higham, Canterbury, Kent.  5 feet 81/2 inches.  Complexion fair, eyes grey, hair dark brown.  No distinguishing marks or scars.  Labourer.
Enlisted in the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards (Scots Guards) on the 6th of December 1813 at the age of 23.
Character – “gallant, meritorious.” (he was the only Private in his Company to receive this distinction)
Service abroad – Flanders and France from Feb 1814 to January 1816…, Bergen op Zoom,  Battle of Waterloo. 
DISTINGUISHED himself – At the Battle of Waterloo.
Discharged on the 8th April 1834 in consequence of repeated attacks of Rheumatism and a chronic cough.

On to my problem:  William served with about 250 Regimental Comrades in the farm of Hougoumont. (Wellington’s right flank)
Using Ancestry, I have been unable to trace any 2021 genealogical descendants.  I would so much like to contact someone who has him as a ‘3’xGr Grandfather.  This family must be informed about his heroism, and, his contributions to the British and Allied Armies having ‘won the Napoleonic war.’  For the specialists among you, you already know that the balance between win and defeat was a hair’s thickness.  William, more than others, did his fair share.

Thanks in advance…, Iain. 
McArthur - Campbeltown and Tiree Scotland
Black - Campbeltown Scotland - Rathlin Ireland
MacFarlane - Tiree
Wood / Boorman / Gimber / Lee... KENT
Dennett / Mase / Varrier /  Over... KENT

Offline bearkat

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Re: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« Reply #1 on: Friday 26 March 21 19:18 GMT (UK) »
The only Higham that I know of in Kent is near Rochester (happy to stand corrected)

William West is a common name.

Have you found marriage or any children?  If he was career soldier he may never have married and settled down and had children.

Have you found him on the 1841, if he lived that long?
Middx - VAUS, ROBERTS, EVERSFIELD, INMAN, STAR, HOLBECK, WYATT, BICKFORD, SMITH, REDWOOD
Hants - SMALL, HAMMERTON, GRIST, FRYER, TRODD, DAGWELL, PARKER, WOODFORD, CROUTEAR, BECK, BENDELL, KEEPING, HARDING, BULL
Kent - BAYLY, BORER, MITCHELL, PLANE, VERNON, FARRANCE, CHAPMAN, MEDHURST, LOMAX, WYATT, IDEN
Devon - TOPE, BICKFORD, FOSTER
YKS - QUIRK, McGUIRE, BENN
Nott/Derbs - SLACK
Herts - BARNES
L'pool- PLUMBE
 All UK census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Bookbox

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Re: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« Reply #2 on: Friday 26 March 21 19:23 GMT (UK) »
Have you noticed that his discharge papers say 'Intends to reside at Bath' ?

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Re: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« Reply #3 on: Friday 26 March 21 23:05 GMT (UK) »
  There is Higham Park, near Bridge, not a parish of course. I can't see a baptism around the time in that area, but he could have been brought up on the estate, but not born there.
Pay, Kent
Codham/Coltham, Kent
Kent, Felton, Essex
Staples, Wiltshire


Offline Iain...

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Re: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 27 March 21 09:13 GMT (UK) »
Thank you everyone…  Yes, Higham does seem to be in hiding, however, I did find a Higham Park near Canterbury.  As for the 41 census, no luck.  But then again, knowing the expertise of RootsChat members, I consider myself as being less than proficient.  For example…, Bookbox:   Where did you find that remark, “intends to reside at Bath”?

I have the 3-page service records provided by Findmypast, and having read each page word-for-word, there’s nothing of much interest other than his years of service with three promotions and one demotion.  Bookbox…, could you be reading something I’ve not yet seen ?
Please permit me to explain: 

The following information is sourced from a friend who has since ‘gone to ground.’ (multiple reasons)  His expert remarks had him telling me that Private William West from Lt. Col. Masters Light Company, participated with the fourth breach of the Hougoumont farm.  This was the farm’s western door and gave access to the byre. (a small room with no windows, just two ventilation holes near the ceiling)  During this breach, West distinguished himself. (Scots Guards RHQ archives at Wellington Barracks know nothing about it)
I’ve been researching this 15-minute event for over 7 years and the only thing he could have done was to bayonet a French Officer.  In doing so, he was the only Private in the Light Company to have “distinguished himself” on his service records.
Now…, my friend was never a soldier, so he wouldn’t have fathomed out the tactics used by the Guards during this event.  Which pushes me to believe he read the story from another document, on which he could also have read…, “intends to reside at Bath.”

Lol…, is this wishful thinking ?  If not, then Bookbox’s page could contain additional information, perhaps even describing the event.
I had intended to visit Kew last year, but Covid halted the research.
 
.....,  ;)
McArthur - Campbeltown and Tiree Scotland
Black - Campbeltown Scotland - Rathlin Ireland
MacFarlane - Tiree
Wood / Boorman / Gimber / Lee... KENT
Dennett / Mase / Varrier /  Over... KENT

Offline Bookbox

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Re: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 27 March 21 09:38 GMT (UK) »
Take another look at his discharge to pension papers (WO 97), on FindMyPast, top of page 1. Maybe you've not seen all the pages?

It is usual for such papers to state intended place of residence, since that would determine the district where his pension would be sent.

Offline bearkat

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Re: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 27 March 21 09:39 GMT (UK) »
If William was in poor health when he left the army he may have died before the census.

The marriage section of his service record is blank meaning he may never have married.
Middx - VAUS, ROBERTS, EVERSFIELD, INMAN, STAR, HOLBECK, WYATT, BICKFORD, SMITH, REDWOOD
Hants - SMALL, HAMMERTON, GRIST, FRYER, TRODD, DAGWELL, PARKER, WOODFORD, CROUTEAR, BECK, BENDELL, KEEPING, HARDING, BULL
Kent - BAYLY, BORER, MITCHELL, PLANE, VERNON, FARRANCE, CHAPMAN, MEDHURST, LOMAX, WYATT, IDEN
Devon - TOPE, BICKFORD, FOSTER
YKS - QUIRK, McGUIRE, BENN
Nott/Derbs - SLACK
Herts - BARNES
L'pool- PLUMBE
 All UK census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Iain...

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Re: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 27 March 21 10:13 GMT (UK) »
Thank you. 
My additional problem for this man is my bank card.  Its new (linked to Master Card) and I used it to update my Ancestry subscription this month.  However, Findmypast didn't accept it. 
The three pages I have were given to me by the Scots Guards Association.  I'll ask if there were other pages.
Found this on Ancestry..., which confirms the Higham birth place. (Charles Dickens died there)  Quite far from Canterbury..., 'Higham, Gravesham, Kent.'
Note the Regimental name-changes:
3rd Regiment of Foot Guards - Scots Fusilier Regiment of Foot Guards - Scots Guards. 
McArthur - Campbeltown and Tiree Scotland
Black - Campbeltown Scotland - Rathlin Ireland
MacFarlane - Tiree
Wood / Boorman / Gimber / Lee... KENT
Dennett / Mase / Varrier /  Over... KENT

Offline bearkat

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Re: William West - a Napoleonic Hero :
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 27 March 21 10:17 GMT (UK) »
You may already have seen this

http://www.rootschat.com/links/01qgi/

During this incursion, a distinction was added to Private William West’s service record for gallantry (SG) for the service he rendered at this moment in the byre.  Offered probably for killing Toulouse and recommended to Dashwood in the Bruxelles hospital (alongside Capt. Evelyn) by Captain Erlington, who had been in charge of the group in the byre.
Middx - VAUS, ROBERTS, EVERSFIELD, INMAN, STAR, HOLBECK, WYATT, BICKFORD, SMITH, REDWOOD
Hants - SMALL, HAMMERTON, GRIST, FRYER, TRODD, DAGWELL, PARKER, WOODFORD, CROUTEAR, BECK, BENDELL, KEEPING, HARDING, BULL
Kent - BAYLY, BORER, MITCHELL, PLANE, VERNON, FARRANCE, CHAPMAN, MEDHURST, LOMAX, WYATT, IDEN
Devon - TOPE, BICKFORD, FOSTER
YKS - QUIRK, McGUIRE, BENN
Nott/Derbs - SLACK
Herts - BARNES
L'pool- PLUMBE
 All UK census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk