Stories of Midleton Veterans of the Peninsular Campaign & Waterloo 18th June 1815.

Damian Shiels has done it again – this interesting account of the Midleton Waterloo pensioners appeared on his blog in January. Sadly there’s no record of the Midleton men who died at Waterloo two hundred years ago, on 18th June 1815.

The Midleton Archaeology & Heritage Project

We are currently in the midst of the 100th anniversary of World War One, but recent years have also marked the 200th anniversary of the Napoleonic Wars, a conflict in which tens of thousands of Irishmen fought. As anyone who has been on the tour of Midleton Distillery will be aware, part of that site was in use as a military barracks around this time. Unsurprisingly many men from Midleton and the surrounding parish ended up in the army- it is likely that recruiting parties were a regular sight around the town during the wars with France. Those that joined up embarked on lives that took them from East Cork to far flung locations, like the West and East Indies, to battles in Portugal and Spain, and even to Waterloo. After their service some went through soldier’s homes, such as the (still famous) Royal Hospital in Chelsea or the Royal…

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Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Midleton Barracks.

waterloo logo

One of the big commemorations this year will be the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo (June 1815) in which Napoleon was finally defeated.  During the Napoleonic War men from Midleton enlisted in the Royal Army and Royal Navy (in the latter case under duress, such as happened to Edward Bransfield of Ballinacorra who was press ganged from his father’s fishing boat).

Waterloo reenactment

Re-enacting the battle of Waterloo in Belgium.

Damian Shiels has posted two very interesting items on his blog: The Midleton Archaeology and Heritage Project (midletonheritage.com).

The first is on the men who enlisted in the Royal Army and fought at Waterloo:

http://midletonheritage.com/2015/01/04/stories-of-midleton-veterans-of-the-peninsular-campaign-waterloo/

The second post is on the Midleton Barracks and the Hanoverian and Brunswickers who were briefly based there – as well as the other units:

http://midletonheritage.com/2015/02/05/hanoverian-riflemen-black-brunswickers-midleton-barracks-during-the-napoleonic-wars/

Midleton still preserves the ‘barracks’ that was used by the British and Hanoverian troops – it’s the old woollen mill built by Marcus Lynch in the 1790s and later acquired by the Murphy brothers to become the centerpiece of their distillery!

Old Distillery Midleton

Now part of the Jameson Experience, the vast woollen mill built by Marcus Lynch was acquired by the British Government for £20,000 in 1803 to house troops in transit to Spain and Portugal to fight the French. It later became the centre of the Murphy distillery in Midleton.