Sergeant George Rose


George Rose was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica and was recruited into the 73rd Regiment of Foot in 1809. Apart from a period of about 16 months in 1822-3, he appears to have had a non-musical career in the army before being discharged, with the rank of Sergeant, in 1837.

These pages have been taken from Rose's army discharge papers. What else do they tell us about him? We know that Rose was Black because he is described as a 'man of colour', with a 'copper complexion'. We know that he served in Europe and on various Mediterranean islands, but that most of his time in the army was spent at home (i.e. in Britain). We know that Rose was wounded at the Battle of Waterloo and during another engagement during the Napoleonic wars. Also, that in common with other Waterloo veterans, including William Affleck, two bonus years were added to the calculation of time served in the army for pension purposes.

However, it doesn't tell us how 18-year-old Rose came to be in Northern Ireland, where he enlisted in the British army. Nor does it indicate what subsequently happened to a 45-year-old labourer with a weakened left arm, once he left the army.

WO 97/581/52 (29 July 1837)

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