The Waterloo Association: Members Area

The Statement of Sergeant Thomas Patton


To his Grace Arthur Duke of Wellington, Commander-in-Chief of all her Majesty’s Forces.

The petition of Thomas Patton, late Sergeant in Her Majesty’s 28th Regiment of Foot, humbly sheweth, that petitioner entered the ranks of the 28th Regiment on the 10th of September 1806 and passed the Board of Chelsea Hospital on the 4th of June 1823, at one shilling per diem; and was present at the following actions, as the returns and muster-rolls of the regiment can certify:-

Names and Dates of Actions…….

Copenhagen from Aug till Oct 1807

Sweden in May 1808

Oporto 1st battalion – Detached May 10, 11 and 12, 1809

Talavera July 27, 28 and 29, 1809

Bussaco Sept. 27,28 and 29,

1810; 2nd Batt,28th Regt.

Torres Vedras Oct. 1810

Olivenca April 1811

Badajoz May 1811

Albuhera May 16, 1811

Camp Major Oct 1811

Arjadel Molinos Oct 1811

Castle of Mana Beata July 1812

Retreat from Madrid at Tunia Bridge Nov 1812

Vitoria 21st June 1813

Alexandria July 7th 1813

Majo Heights July 25th 1813

Bayonne Dec 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13, 1813

St. Palias Feb 15, 1814

Ayre March 18, 1814

Toulouse April 10, 1814

Waterloo 16, 17, & 18 June, 1815

Total actions, which were fought in 33 days and nights besides skirmishes innumerable.

Petitioner was wounded in the right shoulder at Talavera, and severely through the right knee at Majo heights; in the head at Palias, and in the left arm at Waterloo. Petitioner begs to give your Grace the names of the excellent officers who came under his notice through fire and smoke, shell and shot, to lay the proud usurpers low:- Colonels: the Hon. Sir E. Paget, Sir F. Stovin, Richard Llewellyn; Lieutenant Colonel Charles Cadell, J.F. Briggs and Charles Toulon. Majors; W.H. Hartman, William Irwin; and Captains Richard Kelly, C.B. Carruthers; Lieutenants Henry Hilliard and E.E. Hill. Petitioner believes the whole world could not produce braver officers and gentlemen than he personally witnessed in the field. Such were the simple annals, and such were the materials which checked the proud and unbounded Corsican and his legions, and hurled him from sovereignty of (Petitioner might nearly say) all Europe to end his days in an island a prisoner.

Petitioner begs your Grace will pardon him for making a few remarks, and begs refer your grace to the gallantry of a detachment of the 28th Regiment, of one captain, 5 subalterns, and 200 rank and file, under the command of Captain Bradley, when called for by General the Hon. E. Paget, when they crossed the Douro along with the 3rd Buffs and other regiments of the fourth division of the army, on the 12th May 1809, and after a hard engagement with the French for more than an hour got possession of the Castle of Oporto, where our gallant General Sir Edward Paget lost his arm. The 28th Regiment ought to bear on their colours and appointments the word ‘Douro’ in addition to any other badge that has heretofore been granted.

Petitioner begs also to refer your Grace to the 28th July 1809, for the gallantry of the detachment of the 28th regiment, under the command of Captain Bradbey, in the 1st battalion detachments under the command of Colonel Bunbury, 3rd Buffs, when we charged the invincible Grenadier Guards of the French, broke their columns, and drove them in disorder, when the 23rd Light Dragoons and 2nd German Hussars in one brigade charged the enemy through a false ground, unperceived in their gallant charge, and were nearly all cut off; and at the hour of 12 o’clock, noon, when an order was given by a flag of truce to bring in the wounded men, and also to go for water to the watering place on the left of the hill where your Grace stood. The French thought to take the water first, when the British soldiers took their canteen straps and pelted them about the heads, until they gave up, and the British took the water first, when your Grace (exhausted with laughter), exclaimed ‘when we beat them with our fists we will beat them with powder and ball and the point of the bayonet.’ Petitioner himself was one of the watering party. The 28th regiment ought to bear on their colours and appointments the word ‘Talavera’ in addition to any other appointments that they have heretofore been granted.

Petitioner also refers your Grace to the 10th April, 1814 at Toulouse, when the 2nd division were in contiguous columns at battalion distance on the opposite side of the Garrone. There were a nine-gun battery on the right on our rear going into Toulouse, and a redoubt in our front, when the redoubt and two batteries opened a heavy fire upon us, which nearly cut us off. The regiment deployed into line, advanced and charged the redoubt, and drove the enemy over the bridge of Toulouse, before the order had arrived from Lord Aayes, Aide-de-Camp to Lord Hill, silenced the two batteries. Such an exploit never was committed by any regiment of the British army. The 28th regiment ought to bear on their colours and appointments the word ‘Toulouse’ in addition to any other badge they may have heretofore been granted.

Petitioner further begs to refer your Grace to the 15th June 1815, at Quatre Bras, when the regiment, being in square, the French cavalry had charged and broke through the squares of the regiment on our right, they charged the 28th with the force of all their cavalry, in your Grace’s presence, for upwards of three quarters of an hour, and could not enter our square. Petitioner was the second file of the front face of the Grenadiers. The French General commanding the cavalry came over our bayonets with his horse’s head and encouraged his men to break into our square. Petitioner instantly lifted his piece and shot him. Lieutenant Irwin struck petitioner across the left cheek with his sword. Petitioner brought down his piece to his knee and again loaded, and remained steady, when the word ‘Kneeling ranks present fire’ was given; petitioner stood and loaded, and asked Lieutenant Irwin what was the reason he struck him with his sword? Lieutenant Irwin replied, ‘for firing without orders,’ Petitioner told him it was enough for the enemy to cut him down and not him; when the gallant General Sir James Kemp called out, ‘silence, gentlemen, let the men alone; they know their duty better than you, the men please me, and not a word gentlemen. ‘General Sir Thomas Picton, commanding the 5th division, said, ’28th if I ever live to see the Prince Regent, I will make this day’s work known unto him, for your gallantry and steadiness is better than you name.’ The 28th ought to bear on their colours and appointments the word ‘Quatre Bras’ in addition to any other badges that may have heretofore been granted them.

Petitioner also refers to the 18th June 1815, at Waterloo. After many charges, the last made by the regiment was 75 paces and upwards, when we broke the French Invincible Grenadier Guards. The 28th wheeled back by grand division on the right and left, and let general Sir William Ponsonby through with his brigade of cavalry, composed of the 1st Royal Dragoons, 2nd Scotch Greys, and 6th Enniskillen Dragoons, and we brought nearly 15,000 prisoners and a French stand of colours at that moment when your Grace came to the left of the line. Sir James Kempt said, ’My Lord, if I am charged again by the enemy, I am not able to stand, for my division is cut up to a skeleton.’ Your Grace’s answer in petitioner’s hearing was, ‘You must stand while there is a man, and so must I. The Lord send night or Blucher!’ Your Grace then raising his telescope to your eye exclaimed, ‘There’s Blucher! Blucher coming up on the right rear of the enemy!’ The British line of the whole was ordered to advance and follow the enemy’s retreat. The 28th regiment ought to be called Her Majesty’s Invincible Grenadier Guards, for their distinguished gallantry and the memorable action that ended the war in Europe. That gallant General, Sir James Kempt, and Colonels Llewellyn and Cadell can certify the foregoing statement is correct.

Petitioner looks for no merit for himself, but prays that the 28th, or ‘Old Slashers’ may wear the badges to which their gallantry justly entitles them, and that a gratuity medal, with the number of actions fought by petitioner be granted him, and, as is duty bound, petitioner will ever pray.

Thomas Patton

Ballyshannon, July 17, 1846

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