Dec 17 2010
2nd Battalion: Alcoentre, near the lines of Torres Vedras, Portugal
A view from the Grand Redoubt on the Lines of Tores Vedras
The battalion remains in front of the Lines, waiting for the French, at Santarem to make a move. The weather continues wet and cold, with sickness as an inevitable result. There are eight officers (including the surgeon, Mr Hennen) and 140 men sick in Lisbon, and a further twenty-nine men sick in quarters. The officers, however, are settling into a fairly leisurely life-style; a favourite occupation is wild-fowling, which adds variety to their meals. The men, meanwhile, grumble about the inactivity because they came to Portugal expecting to fight.
There has been one death since the beginning of the month, John Buck on the 10th.
General Leith, in command of the fifth division, has gone to Lisbon for recovery of health and his absence is much regretted. The second brigade, including the 2/30th, is now under the command of General Dunlop who has not so far endeared himself to the officers. He insists on endless drill and seemingly needless other military formalities. Already the officers are less than pleased with General Dunlop, and if he continues in this vein then the men will very likely become similarly disullusioned.
1st Battalion: Trichinopoly
Tytler’s book on the correct procedure for courts martial, which will doubtless
be consulted in the course of Ensign Herring’s forthcoming trial.
The battalion’s health continues good, with just one death (Chester Wells on the 1st December) and minimal sickness rates.
Sergeant Ward has been reduced to the ranks. Sergeant Humphries is now sergeant major at the depot at Poonamallee, which gives him responsibility for all detachments of men arriving in India.
Arrangements are being made for the court martial of Ensign John Herring on a charge of drunkenness.
The recruit and a couple of old soldiers
Nine recruits have joined at headquarters, and another thirteen are on their way from the recruiting companies.
Brevet Major Spawforth has reported that all the men’s accounts have been made up by the officers commanding companies. He has also confirmed that the Articles of War are read regularly as per regulation. Neglect of this requirement would enable a man to escape a charge, since he could plead ignorance as his defence.