Feb 25 2011
2nd Battalion, Torres Vedras
A map showing the principal fortifications on the lines of Torres Vedras
This has been a bad month for sickness, with ten deaths, five within three days (18th-20th February), including Corporal Owen Rice, while the death of Assistant Surgeon Irwin on in the early hours of the 2nd after a brief illness was regretted by both officers and men. Officers of the garrison were invited on a pass memorandum to attend his funeral, and most did.
Surgeon Hennen, who had been in Lisbon on sick leave re-joined the battalion shortly before Irwin died, and is now the only medical officer present. He continues to deal with a heavy case load; the return for today is 36 sick present and 91, plus two officers, sick absent.
Major Grey and Ensign John Rumley have also returned from sick leave, bringing with them newspapers to the 21st January which have been gratefully received. For John Rumley, however, it was a sad departure from Lisbon because he had to leave behind his brother, Lieutenant George Rumley, who is known to be mortally ill.
On the 4th February an earthquake rocked Torres Vedras. There were no casualties, but some damage to buildings. Although the locals panicked and ran into the streets, the men of the 30th Foot seemed to accept it phlegmatically.
News has arrived that Lieutenant Colonel Minet has accepted a staff appointment, which means that Major Hamilton remains in command. He has taken the opportunity to drill the flank companies and institute ball practice (live ammunition firing) for the recruits.
On the topic of recruits, when the Paymaster, Wray, Lieutenant Garland and Ensign Brissac joined from sick leave two days ago, they brought news that more reinforcements were expected.
The first part of the month brought very wet weather but conditions have now improved and there is increased expectation of action as the weather contnues to improve and troop movements become a more realistic proposition. Although they are reasonably comfortable behind the Lines, with good provisions and a degree of comfort, the battalion is eager to go into action. It is rumoured that the French, to the north of here, are not as well provisioned and are having a difficult time.
1st Battalion, Trichinopoly
There has been only one death this month, William Goode on the 2nd February, and very little sickness. At the moment India is proving much healthier than Portugal. The climate at this time of year is very pleasant and those accustomed to European conditions do not find conditions especially trying.
Lieutenant Hutchinson resigned his commission today, rather than face a court martial.
Lieutenant Nicholson returned from a month’s leave. His health is still poor and there is some expectation that he will soon return to Europe for recovery of health. Lieutenant Vaumorel would certainly not prevent his departure. Nicholson is still seen as a disruptive element in the battalion, even though it is nearly a year since his court martial.
Captain Thomas Williamson is expected to join when the next fleet arrives from Europe. His arrival has been anticipated since October.
One man and one boy have joined at head quarters for unlimited service.
A contemporary popular view of the Militia
It has been a quiet period for recruiting but four men have volunteered from the Tipperary Militia.