Deservedly well-known to historians, these are the recollections of a Scottish soldier whose military career stretched for some 21 years, from a private in Picton’s Division in the Peninsula War to service as a recruiting officer for the East India Company in the Victorian Raj. This book covers the early part of the author’s life and relates Donaldson’s deprived Glasgow childhood, his enlistment in the army, and his experiences in Iberia. After leaving the army in 1814, he wrote up his recollections in 1817 while attempting to study medicine. Dire necessity – including the burden of supporting ten children – forced him to resume military life as a recruiting officer. Tragically, he died in 1830 of lung disease while studying anatomy in Paris, at the early age of just thirty-seven.
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE EVENTFUL LIFE OF A SOLDIER
Published in association with The National Army Museum London, this memoir of civilian life in Glasgow and of the Peninsula War tells the early story of a private who served with Picton’s Division, left the army in 1814, and ended his military career as a recruiting officer for the East India Company.
Joseph Donaldson, Sergeant in the Ninety-Fourth Scots Brigade
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2009 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1854). SB. vi + 375 pp
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