|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)