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Robert Patrick - Giles Hunt

Robert Patrick cover photo

Robert Patrick: Lieutenant at Fourteen; died a Colonel at Twenty-five

Aged fifteen, Robert Patrick was commanding a company during the Helder Expedition of 1799. Ten years later he died of wounds while commanding a Portugese battalion that held a vital bridge long enough to enable Wellington's army to land at Lisbon before Marshal Soult could get there.

During the years between, we learn how patriotism and wanting to earn more money combined to motivate British officers in those days. Patrick was lucky enough to become a captain when only 17, but his longed-for majority came too late to profit him - or his mother, whose husband, like her son, died just too soon for her to gain the fruits of his promotion.

Because none of these letters were expected to see the light of day, they give an unvarnished account of peace-time soldiering, including the embryonic Staff College at Wycombe Abbey, as well as first-hand accounts of capturing Capetown from the Dutch, and Buenos Aires from the Spaniards. They also show how little the Government and War Office (now Ministry of Defence) have changed in their lack of concern for the men they send to war.

ISBN: 9781871510256

Paperback priced at £11.99

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