Diary of a Regiment – December 1814
2nd Battalion – Antwerp
Lieutenant White has left the battalion, having been promoted into the 11th Foot. Ensigns Prendergast and and Warren have been promoted to lieutenant, and three gentlemen have been commissioned ensign, although they have yet to join.
Captains McNabb and Howard have joined from leave.
Majors Vigoureux and Hawker, and Captain Bridges are still absent without leave.
Corporal Patrick Gunning has been appointed hospital serjeant. Five corporals have been promoted to serjeant, and one private, to sergeant. There have been three reductions.
Eight serjeants and 39 rank and file are to be discharged, having served their seven years. Captain Chambers and Lieutenant Latouche, both of whom belong to the first battalion, have accompanied them to England, and it is assumed that they will join the first battalion in India.
Before his departure from Antwerp, General Halkett inspected the battalion and wrote a very positive report. There was uniform praise and much use of the word zealous for Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton, the officers and the NCOs, while the privates were described as having a “healthy and clean appearance” and being well-drilled and well conducted. The field exercises were performed with precision. During the previous six months there had been fifteen regimental courts martial. The General concluded by writing that he had “found this battalion with the exception of the accoutrements in good order and perfectly fit for service.”
1st battalion – Cannanore
There have been three deaths this month. Serjeant Peter Condron and Corporal Robert Murray have resigned. Two corporals have been promoted to serjeant, and three privates, to corporal.
General Weatherell, in his inspection report, has praised the battalion in most respects, although he noted that the privates are somewhat addicted to drinking. He also commented on the 82 courts martial, three general and the rest regimental, “on a large proportion of whom I am concerned to observe Corporal Punishment has been inflicted but which I hope and trust will hereafter be superseded by a more lenient and less disgraceful measure, that of solitary confinement.”
His concluding comments have been welcomed by the battalion. “I have great satisfaction in reporting the high state of discipline, order and interior oeconomy which distinguishes this corps…In summing up the character of the 1st Battalion His Majesty’s 30th Foot I have no hesitation in saying that I consider the general state of it calculated for the most active and enterprising service.
Depot – Colchester
Serjeant John O’Brien has been sent to join the second battalion in Antwerp.
Seven men have been discharged. There are two men with the recruiting parties.