Mar 15 2010
2nd Battalion: Gibraltar
A 1750 map of Gibraltar. For more details go to: http://www.mapsorama.com/map-of-gibraltar
The strength of the battalion on paper is over 800, NCOs and men, which suggests they could be usefully employed at Cadiz, where the French are being held at bay by a Spanish and Anglo-Portuguese force. Although half the battalion has signed up for limited service (seven years) this is not due to expire until 1813 or 1814. However, 100 of this paper strength comprises prisoners of war in French hands, who have been transferred (on paper) from the 1st battalion to the 2nd, while a further 38 are on detachment recruiting in England and Ireland, and 29 are boys, who are not yet fit for active service. Furthermore, the number of sick (124 at the moment) is fairly constant.
The strongest element in the battalion is probably the NCOs, who were particularly praised in the recent inspection report, and are proving effecient and reliable. At the moment there is no sickness among them.
Drummer Jeremiah Hughes has just returned from serving with the provost, a duty which has not made him popular with his fellow soldiers.
1st Battalion: Trichinopoly
An Indian Batik
Lieutenants Skirrow and Lewin have been sent to the Presidency for recovery of their health. They have been granted twelve months’ leave, indicative of the seriousness of their condition.
Having spent nearly three years in India, the battalion has discovered from experience that deaths from natural causes and serious sickness increase every year in February and March, as the temperatures begin to rise after the more temperate winter conditions.
Captain Chambers is still waiting for the detachment to assemble at Poonamallee so that he can sail to Europe. Two other officers have also been granted leave to return to Europe. Major Christopher Maxwell is preparing to retire, while Captain Beaumont has recently suffered serious health problems.
Assistant Surgeon Griffin is highly respected in the battalion for his expertise and his generous character. There was considerable surprise, therefore, when he was placed under an arrest, and even more surprise when the nature of his offence was revealed. Drunkeness, of itself, is not so surprising; the effects of arrack are unpredictable. But no-one would have expected him to break into a magistrate’s house under the effects of alcohol. His Court Martial is awaited.
Sleaford, Lincolnshire, where the 30th Foot recruited continuously between 1789 until the 1820′s
Four recruits have joined at head quarters, and nine volunteers from the milita have also been received. There has been one desertion, which is no great surprise when so many of the recruits are coming from Ireland. Irish recruits are notorious for a propensity to enlist for the bounty, desert, and then re-enlist in a different regiment.
Both battalions are in urgent need of replacements, and depend upon the depot to supply them. The 1st battalion are not only losing men to disease; they are also having to invalid men home to Europe at a steady rate. If the 2nd battalion is sent to Cadiz, which is becoming increasingly likely as General Campbell looks for ways to assist General Graham, commander-in-chief of the Anglo-Portuguese force, they will also need reinforcements. Thus the activities of the recruiting parties are becoming increasingly crucial.