Napoleonic, Regency and Victorian soldiers of Ryedale.
Ryedale soldiers who fought at Waterloo.
Compiled by Paul Brunyee Adv Dip Ed, MA.
Colonel Samuel Rudyerd, Royal Artillery.
He was appointed as a 2nd Lieutenant in March 1803 and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in September 1803. He was promoted steadily until reaching the rank of Colonel in 1846.
He had an unusual service, serving in bomb vessels off the coast of France in 1804 and the coast of Ceylon between 1805-12. He was present at the capture of the fortress of Travancre, in the East Indies.
These vessels were crewed by the Royal Navy and mounted one very large mortar. The weapon which was then, rightly considered to be potentially lethal to both the enemy and it's crew, was manned by the Royal Artillery. Then, as now the artillery were regarded as a highly technical branch of the British Army.
Later he served in the American War of 1812 where again he was afloat on a bomb vessel off the coast of New Orleans. After this disastrous war he returned to Europe, probably in 1814. Here he was posted to Major Lloyd's Brigade (being a battery of six guns) and he was present at both the battle of Quatre Bras and Waterloo as the battery Second Captain.
Later he served on St Helena, at the Cape and in the West Indies. He is seen here wearing his Waterloo Medal and the picture is included with the owners kind permission
He is buried with his mother, Mary Rudyerd in Saint Hilda's parish church at Sneaton near Whitby, North Yorkshire. Their grave lies directly to the east of the church beneath a large flat memorial tablet.
RELICT OF THE LATE
LIEUT GENERAL HENRY RUDYERD
OBIT MARCH 22 1831
ALSO OF THEIR SON
SAMUEL RUDYERD ESQ
COLONEL OF THE
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
AT WHITBY JULY 19TH 1847
Extracts of letters written to Captain William Siborne by Colonel Samuel Rudyerd to with his recollections of the Waterloo Campaign
United Services Club,
16th June 1815
At daybreak . . . . I was with two guns attached to the 69th, Lieutenant Colonel Morice, and placed myself on their right, when I was directed to follow the four other guns of Major Lloyd's Battery ordered into action in front of the farm of Quatre Bras, on the Charleroi road, to the support of the Duke Brunswick. I had hardly quitted the 69th when the Cuirassiers charged from the wood
, and before the 69th could get into square they were rode over, broken, and sad havoc made among them, their only colour taken, the other being "in the Hospital of Invalides at Paris, taken at Bergen-op-Zoom," and but for a Battalion of British Guards coming up to their support, and, throwing in one of their destructive fires, compelling the Cuirassiers to return to the wood, not a man save the Colonel and Adjutant would have escaped but for this timely aid, as Colonel Morice stated to me before he fell at Waterloo, having there received four musket ball wounds.
On my reaching the farm at Quatre Bras, two of Major Cleeve's guns enfiladed the Charleroi road, and had literally macadamised it with the carcasses of the Cuirassiers and their horses, who had made a most desperate charge in great force, but never returned to it.
At this moment Major Lloyd's six guns were ordered to the point marked D to support the Duke of Brunswick troops who were getting severely handled by the enemy, particularly from two batteries in the wood marked E. Colonel Kelly, Q.M.G.D., ordered us to take up the position we did this under heavy fire, and before we unlimbered some three or four horses of each Gun and wagon were killed, some wheels disabled, and literally some of our gunners were cut in two, for we were not more than from four to five hundred yards from the Enemy's Batteries.
We succeeded in silencing them, and also in obliging a solid mass of French Infantry, marked F, to retrograde and return to the wood. Finding ourselves now alone without any support , except a few lancers of the Brunswickers and the duty executed that we were ordered upon, we limbered up and walked off towards the Quatre Bras farm and joined our Division. . . . . . . . . . . .
Having sustained much damage from the enemy's fire, we were occupied the whole night in repairing broken axle trees, wheels, &c., and had just finished in time to move off the field, in view of the whole line of French Cavalry, when a Cannonade between our Horse Artillery and theirs commenced, and continued at intervals the whole retirement we made towards our position at Waterloo. By General Picton's orders, our six guns were united with those of Major Cleeves and took up a position on the height, close to the Brussels road, right leading from the wood, and we opened our fire upon the French Infantry who had followed us up rather too close, and [were] disposed to continue. The range we had was La Belle Alliance, or just where the road widens into a quarry or open space (at that time). There we dealt out or round shot liberally and caused much destruction, as the head of the Enemy's Columns were unable to retrograde from the pressure in their rear, and did not extricate themselves for some time, and must have suffered much. Two batteries of French Horse Artillery played upon us at the time, but not with much effect. The shot holes in La Belle Alliance (which you have seen, perhaps) were perforated at this period. By order of the Duke, we ceased firing and remained on our ground until morning, when we took up our position for battle on the 18th in front of Hougomont.
I remain &c.,
Early on the morning of the 18th our position was taken up on the very crest of the slope in front of our division ; the Regiments were 69th and 33rds in our rear ; the grain, I can't day whether wheat or barley, it was above our heads, but soon trodden down. From this position we never moved one instant until the battle closed ; the Batteries contiguous to ours were Major Sandham's Royal Artillery on the right, Major Cleeves' King's German Legion [on] our left. Major [?Sinclair's] Royal Artillery and a Dutch Battery were in reserve, and came into action late in the day. At seven o'clock, when the Imperial Guards advanced, out Guns were still in line. The French advanced in masses of Infantry, upon which we directed our fire. Never during the Action did we return the heavy fire kept upon us by their Artillery. Our fire was ever oblique towards the ground in front of and right of Hougoumont.
When at the close the British Infantry advanced in line to the charge, it very much resembled the curvature of the surf upon the shore. You ask me for nay local remarks as may assist in the accuracy of the Model. My horses, ammunition waggons, were in rear of our Guns under cover of a little hollow between us and our Squares of Infantry. The forge cart, artificers' stores, and such like were in rear of all out of fire. When ammunition was to be replenished , a Subaltern conducted such waggons as could be spared. Hey were supplied from the depot in the wood, and returned without delay. The ground we occupied was much furrowed up by the recoil of our Guns and the grazing of the shot, and many holes from the bursting of shells buried in the ground. As horses were killed or rendered unserviceable, the harness was removed and placed on the waggons, or elsewhere. Our men's knapsacks were neatly packed on the front and rear of our limbers and waggons, that they might do their work more easily. Every Gun, every carriage, spokes carried from wheels, all were struck in many places.
The Cuirassiers and Cavalry might have charged through the Battery as often as six or seven times, driving us into the Squares, under our Guns, waggons, some defending themselves. In general, a Squadron or two came up the slope in our immediate front and on their moving off at the appearance of our Cavalry charging, we took advantage to send destruction after them, and when advancing on our fire I have seen four or five men and horses piled upon each other like cards, the men not having ever been displaced from the saddle, the effect of canister.
The Duke and all his staff were frequently in our rear under the heaviest fire, also he Prince of Orange. I saw the fore-legs taken from the horse of one of his Highness's A.D.C's at the shoulders, and [he] continued rearing for some time with his very fat rider, dressed in green. My own horse was shot through by a 9-pounder shot behind the saddle flap, and did not fall for some time. Some of the Cuirassiers were left, every charge among our Guns, killed.
Believe me. &c.,