Diary of a Regiment – May 1815

2nd Battalion – Soignies

At the end of April the battalion marched to Hal to join Halkett’s British brigade (the 33rd, 2/69th and 2/73rd). Headquarters were at the Chaussée de Notre Dame and the brigade was quartered in the villages of Roveulx and Steenkerk. They were well-received, particularly when the villagers were reminded that their “guests” might have been the Dutch or the Prussians,

The Prince of Orange inflicted forced marches and drill on the brigade. These exercises sometimes lasted from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Many men fainted from the exertion, while others demonstrated their thespian skills by feigning a faint.

On the 20th May the battalion, along with the 33rd, marched to Soignies, where they are now quartered. The drill continues.

Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton has leave of absence and Lieutenant Colonel Bailey is in command. Captain Finucane joined on the 17th May. Lieutenant Tincombe has also joined, but Ensign Berridge remains at Ostend. Ensign Moneypenny has been promoted to lieutenant.

Several serjeants are on detached duties: Pat Gunning is serving as hospital sergeant; Joseph Newberry is clerk to Captain Machell, who is town major of Antwerp; John Organ is orderly to the same officer; John Ward is assistant provost marshall.

John Dent is servant to General Halkett and Thomas Roycroft is servant to the Paymaster General.

Two men have been sent to England for discharge, and two men have deserted.

Serjeant William Watkins has been appointed colour sergeant. Corporal Isaac Burns has been made sergeant, and Joseph Saville, corporal.

Corporals John Burns, Thomas Kelly and Richard Rothera have all been reduced for drunkenness. Sergeant Bernard Cline was reduced for disrespect to the Quartermaster, but was then pardoned and reinstated.

News arrived from the agent that Captain Jackson and Lieutenant Ward had been lost at sea while returning from India. These officers were known to some of the battalion’s officers and their loss was regretted.

1st battalion – Camp near Colar

Lieutenant Colonel Vaumorel remains in command of the troops marching to Vellore.

There has been increased sickness and four deaths this month.

Depot – Colchester

Eleven recruits have joined, 3 at headquarters and the remainder from the recruiting parties. Two men are still with the Grantham recruiting party.

There has been 1 death, 1 discharge, 1 desertion. 1 transfer to a Royal Veteran Battalion, and 1 transfer to a Garrison Battalion.

Seven men have been invalided to Chelsea or Chatham.

Lieutenant Cockburn has joined the depot. It is supposed that Captain Finucane has travelled directly to join the 2nd battalion.

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