Rfn William Edwards 2/95

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Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:32 am
Location: Australia

Rfn William Edwards 2/95

Post by kevin »

I am in the process of writing the History of my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather WILLIAM EDWARDS (15th January 1792 - 28th October 1865) who enlisted in the 95th Regiment of Foot (Rifles) in 1807 and served in the 2nd Battalion (2/95th Rifles) in the Peninsular Wars and at Waterloo.

My understanding is that he sailed with Sir Arthur Wellesley to Portugal in 1808, and was one of the men from the 2/95th Rifles who remained in Lisbon when LtGen Sir John Moore marched into Spain and then retreated to Corunna. William must have sailed later to Cadiz, because he fought in the Battle of Barrosa.

I have personally seen his medals, and the Peninsular War Medal has eight bars for the following Battles:

Barrosa, Vittoria, Pyrenees, St. Sebastian, Nivelle, Nive, Orthez and Toulouse.

He was wounded at Waterloo, with one bullet damaging his right hand, and he carried a bullet just under his heart until he died.

He came to Western Australia on the ‘Rockingham’ in 1830, under Thomas Peel’s land scheme.

I have read Sir Charles Oman’s ‘History of the Peninsular Wars’ and a number of other books on the subject, but I am seeking any information that may make it more personal, such as details of his Company, duties, etc., and any other wounds he may have received, because I do not believe, after reading these books, that he could have gone through these Battles without receiving any other wounds.

My name and address is: Kevin Lindsay Fowler
PO Box 314

Email: klfowler@lasar.net.au

I thank you for any information that you can give me, or suggestions on where I may get additional information, it would be very much appreciated.

From a fellow veteran, I served in the Vietnam War.

Kevin Fowler
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Alan Earp
Colonel 1/95th
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:14 pm
Location: St Albans

Post by Alan Earp »

Hi Kevin,
Very interesting post.
I've had a quick look in some of my books and I can tell you that he was in 2/95th No.1 Company at Waterloo commanded by Capt George Miller. His "In Corps" date is given as 4/4/1809. This would explain his absence from the retreat to Vigo with the 2/95th under Craufurd. Therefore not sure of your 1808 date for him going to Portugal.
The 2/95 arrived at Waterloo on the evening of the 16 June thus missing the Battle of Quatre Bras. At Waterloo they were in General Adam's Brigade, part of Lt. General Clinton's 2nd British Infantry Division. As such they were stationed on Wellington's right flank between La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont. They received French cavalry in square during the period of the concentrated attack by Ney. During this time the square was also severely mauled by cannon fire only 100-150 yards distance. Senior officers fell in rapid succession and Capt Miller, for a short time Battalion commander, fell wounded too.
Later when the Imperial Guard advanced the 2/95, being nearest to the French troops, took severe punishment from their skirmishers.
When Adams pushed his skirmishers forward the 2/95th were able to pour accurate and deadly fire into the Guard. As the Guard fell back Wellington himself rode along with the 2/95 for a short while ordering them to charge the French. The 2/95 advanced so rapidly in skirmish order that they were in danger of being vulnerable to counter-attack. They were halted near La Belle Alliance to regroup.
No doubt during all of this your ancester received his wounds.
Well that's a starter for you.
Lt Col Alan Earp
Colonel of the Regiment 1/95

"True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders"
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