Ilkeston’s ‘Waterloo Men’

Ilkeston’s ‘Waterloo Men’

Researched by Peter Cave.

Sixty or so local men who served in the army during the Napoleonic Wars have so far been rediscovered. Mostly these are the survivors, the ones who were discharged when their time was up or when their strength or agility failed them. There are probably another forty or more waiting for a researcher to go through record books line by line to find those who were killed, died by disease or simply ran away. Of those sixty, those listed here took part in the final bloody battles. Each man who took part in the Battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras or Waterloo over 16-18 June 1815, for the first time in British history, was awarded a medal, granted two years’ additional service on his pension and was allowed to call himself a “Waterloo Man”. In 1847 the survivors of the Peninsula Wars were awarded the Military General Service Medal (MGSM) – if they were still alive to claim it.

Infantry – 1st (King’s) Regiment of Foot Guards   

Private Joseph Deaken (sometimes as Daykin) Born: Stanley, 1788 / Framework knitter / Service: 31 Aug 1808 — 11 July 1832, Walcheren, Peninsula, Paris.

Private Samuel Hatton Born: Horsley, 1790 / Framework knitter / Service: 8 Dec 1813 — 7 July 1815 Probably signed on from a reserve or militia. Lt-Col Saltoun’s Light Company / Died of wounds.

3rd (Scots) Regiment of Foot Guards

Sergeant Thomas Goddard Born: Ilkeston, 1776 / Framework knitter / Served: 24 Oct 1799 — 26 Nov 1818.

Samuel Whitehead Born: Ilkeston, 2 Dec 1777 / Framework knitter / Service: 20 Aug 1798 — 12 May 1818, Hanover, Copenhagen, Aboukir, Peninsula. MGSM with clasps for Egypt, Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes d’Onor. Died: 27 Oct 1870

52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot

Corporal John Potter Slater Born: Ilkeston, 1784 / Stocking weaver / Service: 6 May 1804 — 24 Feb 1819. Peninsula, Waterloo. MGSM with clasps for Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes d’Onor, Cuidad Rodrigo, Badajos, Salamanca, Vitoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse. “Wounded by a musket ball in the head at Sara(?) 10 Nov 1813.”

From Waterloo Roll Call, Charles Dalton, 1890: “Born at Ilkeston, co. Derby. Enlisted in the 52nd in 1803. Served through the whole of the Par. War with that regt. Afterwards exchanged into 69th. In 1848 Slater claimed his right to the silver war medal with 14 clasps – one clasp more than Wellington obtained – but only got a medal with 12 clasps. He died at Nottingham in 1860.”

Waterloo Memorial, Cossall Parish Church (Grant Shaw)


1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards

Private Joseph Starbrook Born: Dale (interpreted as Dale Abbey), 1775 / Labourer / Service: 11 March 1793 — 2 Feb 1819

Private James Vickers Born: Smalley, 1787 / Labourer / Service: 27 Feb 1805 — 31 July 1827

2nd Regiment of Life Guards

Private John Shaw Born: Wollaton, 1789 / Service: 16 Oct 1807 — 18 June 1815 / Died: 18 June 1815, killed in action

Private Richard Waplington Born: Cossall, 1787 / Miner / Service: 1809 — 18 June 1815 / Died: 18 June 1815, killed in action

23rd Light Dragoons

Private Thomas Wheatley Born: Cossall (“Ilkstone” in the regiment’s Description Book), 1795 / Framework knitter / Service: 26 Aug 1810 — 24 Nov 1817


Royal Regiment of Horse Artillery

Gunner William Hawley Born: Kirk Hallam, 1788 / Labourer / Service: 30 Aug 1807 — 31 Aug 1819

Staff Sergeant Thomas Whitehead Born: Ilkeston, 1785 / Labourer / Service: 5 July 1805 — 13 Oct 1835, Peninsula, Capture of Paris. MGSM with clasps for Vittoria, San Sebastian, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse.

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