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Samuel Ginn 1791-1813

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:34 pm
by sam ginn1
Just dropped in to ask if you guys can help. I was a visitor at one of your events at Waltham Abbey some years ago.

I am researching the above guy. He is part of a study on the Ginn family of Hertfordshire that I have been working on for twenty years or more.

Sam was born in Thorley in Herts and joined the Hertfordshire Militia in 1808. When the Militia were at Ipswich in March 1809 he joined the 2nd Btn Rifles. In February 1810 he was one of the two companies of men (under the ill fated Cadoux) that marched with Benjamin Harris to Portsmouth to embark for the Peninsula, save that poor old Ben was still ill from Walcheren and dropped out.

Sam was at Barrossa in the two companies of the 2nd Btn that were present with some of the 3rd Btn and subsequently joined the 3rd Btn and marched up country. With the 3rd he was at Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca and Vittoria. He was wounded and subsequently died of his wounds at Vittoria (it amazed me that he lived that long, given the way his comrades were going down). I think he was likely wounded at the very start of the day when two battalions of the Rifles were engaged with French skirmishers at the bridge at Villodas.

What I am curious about is this - would we have any idea at all where he might be buried ? I read sometime ago that there is a memorial to the British war dead in Vittoria and that many victims of the battle are buried nearby.

Does anybody have any idea ? He had a lot of brothers and I have corresponded with descendants.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Samuel Ginn 1791-1813

Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:56 am
by Adrian P
It's going to be impossible to know exactly where he was buried as the army simply dug mass graves :cry:

What I would suggest is you look at the history of the battle, and work out where the battalion moved during that day and this will give you a rough idea where abouts he maybe. If he died of wounds rather than killed, it maybe possible he was treated at a make shift field hospitol on the field itself, so maybe another avenue to look into.

A more official way of knowing is to look through the muster roles in the Public Records Office. WO13 is the folder you need to look through. It would give you the date and normally any money he owed etc.

Re: Samuel Ginn 1791-1813

Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:14 pm
by sam ginn1
Thanks for the comments.

I researched the musters and the casualty returns some years ago and assumed that he died in whatever they called a field hospital then as he died some weeks after he was wounded. I also found details of his back pay being sent to his Mum. The main army had obviously moved on by the time he died and I know I read somewhere that there is a monument in Vittoria and the British dead are supposed to be buried under it or near it (like the hill with the Lion on top at the site of Waterloo which I visited a long time ago)

A number of the Ginn family of Herts fought in the Napoleonic wars and I have had great fun researching them. I found that a good many men joined up for short service of 7 years rather than for life (which means that they did not qualify for a pension and do not have a surviving service record for that reason) and were discharged in 1814 or re-recruited and discharged in 1816. In short, a good deal of us have ancestors who fought in the Napoleonic wars without an obvious record surviving.

A good many men also simply died or were killed without any info surviving on who they were. It would be a good research project to put the casualty returns online so that all these guys can have some sort of memorial.

Thanks again