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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Did ordinary soldiers get home leave?

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Did ordinary soldiers get home leave?

Postby ctrunfree » April 20th, 2017, 2:09 pm

Hi everyone

I wonder if anyone could tell me if it was usual for a common garden variety Private to get sent home on leave to England during the Peninsular campaign. Someone who has had a look at some Muster books for me has suggested that some of the 48th Regiment returned to England sometime during 1810/1811, presumably during the time the army was behind the Lines of Torres Vedras,prior to returning to the Peninsular.

I found this surprising to say the least. Can anyone comment on the likelihood of significant numbers being sent home on leave during this period?
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Re: Did ordinary soldiers get home leave?

Postby jf42 » April 20th, 2017, 2:27 pm

Being sent home was not so much a matter of men being given home leave as the regiment being reorganised as a result of losses.

48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot
"In 1803 the regiment formed a 2nd Battalion. The newly-named 1st Battalion was back in Gibraltar in 1805. Then in 1809 both battalions were sent to serve in the Peninsular War (1807-14), fighting at Talavera (1809), Albuera (1811), Badajoz (1812), Salamanca (1812), Vittoria (1813), Nivelle (1813) and Toulouse (1814).

1st Battalion remained in the Peninsula until 1814. However, 2nd Battalion had suffered so badly by 1811 that most of its survivors had to be absorbed by 1st Battalion, while a handful were sent back to Britain to re-recruit. 2nd Battalion was eventually disbanded in 1814."

http://blogs.nam.ac.uk/research/famous- ... iment-foot

1803.07.09 1st Battalion, 48th Regiment of Foot redesignated upon formation of 2nd Battalion
1805 Gibraltar
1809.07? Portugal
1809 Peninsular war
1811.06.06 absorbed 2nd Battalion, less cadre sent home to re-form

1803.07.09 2nd Battalion, 48th Regiment of Footraised at Manchester
1803 England:: Manchester
1804 Ireland
1809 Portugal
1809 Peninsular war
1811.06.06 absorbed by 1st Battalion, less cadre sent home to re-form
1811 England
1814 England
1814 disbanded


http://web.archive.org/web/200712230045 ... /048-1.htm
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Re: Did ordinary soldiers get home leave?

Postby ctrunfree » April 20th, 2017, 2:39 pm

Thanks, this confirms what I suspected-that my colleague has been mistaken in his reading of the Muster Books. My 3g grandfather was one of the fortunate and few survivors of the 2/48th decimated at Albuera who was transferred to the 1/48th after the battle.
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