Samuel Brimelow and the Battle of Waterloo


We have learned quite a lot about our ancestor Samuel Brimelow who was born in Warrington, Lancashire in 1792. The first official record of his life that we have found to this point was his military record for his service with the Royal Artillery from 1812 to 1833.

This record tells us that he was 20 years of age when he enlisted in the Royal Regiment of Artillery on February 10, 1812. He was five feet six and one-half inches in height, his complexion fair, his eyes grey and his hair red. His occupation on enlistment was that of "Locksmith.” 

Within 5 months of joining the artillery he was shipped to France and Spain, where he served from 1812 until 1815, participating in the final years of the Peninsular Wars and then in the famous Battle of Waterloo. His commanding General was Lord Wellington.

The record also shows that he served with the 8th Battalion of the Artillery continuously until October 31, 1833 when he was discharged on account of frequent ulceration of his legs. His pension on discharge was the princely amount of one shilling, two pence half penny per day. In the calculation of his pension, he was credited with 2 years extra service for his participation in Waterloo, and 3 years for some other credit not made clear, for a total of 26 years service, although only serving for 21.

Samuel served in other places while in the artillery. He served at Ballincollig in Ireland, a small town to the west of the City of Cork. At that time, there was a large Gunpowder Factory proving ammunition for the British Navy. (see photo below) During his service Ireland, his wife Helen  Green gave birth to our Ancestor Mary Brimelow in 1821.

He was six years on the island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea, part of the Ionian Islands now controlled by Greece. During this period he held the rank of Corporal and Bombardier. His wife bore him at least two children while living on this island. Both of these children died at a young age.

He also served in the West Indies on two separate occasions for a total of 5 and one half years. While there, they had a son Samuel born in 1828, who was next seen living with his sister Mary in Little Bolton, Lancashire in 1851.

Following his discharge from the Artillery, Samuel and Eleanor returned to England and were found in the 1841 Census living near Bolton. Samuel died at the relatively young age of 53 in 1847. Eleanor lived until 1875.
Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills

The remnants of a large Gunpowder Factory located near Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland. Our Ancestor Samuel Brimelaw and his wife lived here for some number of years while Samuel served in the Royal Artillery. Their daughter and our Ancestor Mary Brimelaw was born here in 1821. The site is completely overgrown and there are numerous remains of stone buildings throughout the brush and vines. Most of the gunpowder for the Royal Navy was produced from here for many years.
French cavalry attacking a British Square at Waterloo. When facing a cavalry charge, the British soldiers formed a square with the front row of soldiers kneeling with their bayonets pointed upwards and braced to the ground. A horse will always shy away from sight of the bayonet, while the soldiers standing behind the front row fire at the attacking force. The only warriors to break a British Square were the Fuzzy Wuzzies of South Africa.

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