More Army pension records from the UK’s National Archives have been made available online.
Find My Past has recently made available almost 20,000 more British Army pension records:
- Royal Hospital, Kilmainham: pensioners’ discharge documents 1771-1821 (known as WO 119 at the National Archives);
- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: pensioners’ discharge documents 1760-1887 (WO 121);
- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: pensioners’ discharge documents, foreign regiments 1816-1817 (WO 122);
- War Office: Imperial Yeomanry, soldiers’ documents, South African War 1899-1902 (WO 128);
- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: documents of soldiers awarded deferred pensions 1838-1896 (WO 131);
About the Kilmainham records, Find My Past says: “Records of an Irish soldier, Private Hugh Burke, one of the so-called ‘Green Redcoats’, have been published online today for the first time. These records are part of a major collection of newly-digitised records of those pensioned from the British army by the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
“These records contain the names and discharge documents of almost 20,000 soldiers held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham from 1783-1822. The task of cataloguing the records took a team of 14 people from the Friends of The National Archives volunteer group just over 3 years and includes the records of 19,109 soldiers. The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the building that now houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art, was established in 1681 to house sick and veteran troops from the British Army.
“The records show details of soldiers, including their height, weight, colour of hair and eyes and any distinguishing features such as a tattoo or scar, as well as where they served and their regiment.
The Battle of New Orleans
“Among them is Private Hugh Burke from Wicklow, who was pensioned from the army on the 26 June 1816 after four years’ service. He was deemed unfit for further service after receiving ‘a gunshot wound to the left shoulder received in action near New Orleans in America on the 8th of January 1815.’
“The Battle of New Orleans is famous because it was the last major battle between the British and American forces in the War of 1812 and was fought after a peace treaty had already been signed. The Treaty of Ghent, which signalled the end of the war, came into effect at the start of February 1815 but due to slow communications the news did not reach New Orleans until two weeks later. Unfortunately for Private Hugh Burke this left him with ‘a mark on each side of his left shoulder’ – entry and exit wounds from the bullet.”
Those of us who are old enough to remember what was in the charts in 1959 will recall Jimmy Driftwood’s song “The Battle of New Orleans” as performed by Johnny Horton (big hit in the US) and Lonnie Donegan (big hit in the UK).