“I was so weak myself that I could scarcely walk, so I crawled on my hands and knees till I got out of the reach of the enemy’s musketry. After proceeding for some way I fell in with Lord Wellington and his staff, who seeing me wounded, asked me which regiment I belonged to. I told them the Fortieth, and that I hads been one of the forlorn hope.”
The military memoirs of one who enlisted in the 40th Foot (later 1st Bn South Lancs) in 1804 and was eventually discharged in 1821. He served in South America against the Spaniards, in Ireland, the Peninsula, the West Indies and in the Waterloo campaign, after which he married a French girl. A vivid account of life in the British Army in peace and war at the beginning of the 19th century. His experiences included being sentenced to 400 lashes for being absent without leave, and receiving 175 of them. After discharge he became landlord of a pub in Studland, Dorset.
Sergeant Lawrence’s fascinating memoir is one of the most important sources of information on life in the ranks during the Napoleonic Wars.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SERGEANT WILLIAM LAWRENCE. A HERO OF THE PENINSULAR AND WATERLOO CAMPAIGNS.
Sergeant Lawrence’s memoir is one of the most important sources of information on life in the ranks during the Napoleonic Wars. Lawrence enlisted in the 40th Regt., served in the River Plate expedition, Peninsular 1809-14 (inc. Talavera, Busaco, Badajoz, Vitoria &c.) & Waterloo campaigns.