William UPHILL was born 28 Apr 1782 and baptised 26 May 1782, St James', Westminster, London.
He enlisted as a private (Drummer) in the 3rd Regiment of Foot, 2nd Battalion, 21 Nov 1803, aged 21 at Alderney.
He was stationed at Berry Head (Berry Head Napoleonic Fort) at the time of his first son's birth, and Reading for the birth of his second son.
I have been unable to determine if William participated in any of the 1st Battalion's expeditons during early stages of the Peninsular War (1807 to 1814), although he was certainly an avid admirer of Arthur Wellesley (1st Duke of Wellington), naming 2 of his sons after the revered man.
It does, however, seem that he served with the 1st Battalion from the end of 1813 (probably joining a bit too late for the Battle of Nivelle 10 Nov 1813, but possible in time to participate in the Battle of the Nive 9-13 Dec 1813). Following two further battles in 1814 (Battle of Orthez 27 Feb 1814, and Battle of Toulouse 10 Apr 1814), the Battalion sailed from Bordeaux, France, to Lower Canada, reaching Quebec in August where it served on the frontier during the War of 1812. The Battalion returned to England in the summer of 1815, and on to Paris via Portsmouth and Ostend.
His regiment was in Croix, France, 24 Jun 1817, when he was discharged from service suffering with asthma; and he was admitted, aged 35, to the Royal Hospital Chelsea 25th June 1817:
At the time of his third son's baptism in 1818, he is a shoemaker in Newington.
He died aged 43, 20 May 1825, and was buried 27 May 1825 Kennington Lane, Upper, Vauxhall Chapel, London.
He married Elizabeth COLE 10 Aug 1809, Stoke Damerel, Devon.
At the time of marriage, William is described as a “Musician in the 3rd Regiment of Foot”. This may merely indicate being a drummer, but may also suggest he doubled up as a fifer.
Refrencing the information from "British Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 3rd Regiment of Foot, By Steve Brown"
2nd Batt. 1803: 21 July – formed at Portsmouth
Enlists 21 Nov 1803
2nd Batt. 1804: May – Jersey; October – Horsham; Hilsea; November – Guernsey; December – Alderney
2nd Batt. 1805: Alderney
2nd Batt. 1806: January – Guernsey
2nd Batt. 1807: Guernsey; February – Portsmouth; Broomgrove; September – received draft of recruits from Tower Hamlets Militia; October - Plymouth
2nd Batt. 1808: Plymouth
Marries Elizabeth COLE 10 Aug 1809, Stoke Damerel, Devon
2nd Batt. 1809: Plymouth; September – Berryhead; October - sent draft to 1st Battalion
2nd Batt. 1810: Berryhead
Son Henry William UPHILL baptised 3 Jun 1810, Brixham, Devon
2nd Batt. 1811: Berryhead; May – received draft of recruits from Royal Monmouth Militia; July – sent draft of 300 men to 1st Battalion
2nd Batt. 1812: Recruited back up the strength; November - sent draft to 1st Battalion
2nd Batt. 1813: Reading; September – sent draft to 1st Battalion
Son Arthur Wellington Mestayre UPHILL, baptised 3 Oct 1813, Reading, Berkshire
1st Batt. (Estremadura; Salamanca; Hormaza; VITTORIA; Doña Maria; Bastan; NIVELLE; NIVE;)… November - received draft from 2nd Battalion
1st Batt. 1814: St. Palais; ORTHEZ; Aire; TOULOUSE; May – to Lower Canada; August – Quebec; Plattsburg
1st Batt. 1815: Quebec; June – to England; July – Portsmouth; Ostend; Paris; Army of Occupation.
1st Batt. 1816-18: part of the Army of Occupation of France
Discharged from service 24 Jun 1817, Croix, France
Cannon, Richard “Historical Record Of The British Army Third Regiment Of Foot Or Buffs”
1839, pp. 234-238
Digital copy available at Archive.org
The regiment encamped in the mountains in the Roncesvalles' pass for several months. In the early part of November the army prepared for a forward movement; but heavy rains near the coast, and snow in the mountains, delayed the operation until the 10th of November, when the whole, having entered France, advanced to dislodge the enemy from a line of works on the river Nivelle. The BUFFS, having issued from the mountains, formed part of the right division of the army under Lieut.-General Sir Rowland Hill, which attacked the heights of Ainhoe; and having forded the river, distinguished themselves by a gallant assault on the entrenchments and a redoubts on the enemy's left, which were carried after a sharp resistance. The French were driven from their position, and they lost fifty pieces of cannon, with ammunition, stores, and a number of men killed, wounded, and taken prisoners. In this action the BUFFS earned the honour of bearing the word “NIVELLE” on their colours; their loss was three men killed, and Captain Charles Cameron, one serjeant, and seven men wounded.
After this brilliant exploit the army went into cantonments between the Nivelle and the sea, and the BUFFS were quartered at Cambo, a town situate behind the river Nive. Further operations were retarded for a short time by the snow and rain; but the weather having improved, the army crossed the Nive on the 9th of December, and drove the French into an entrenched camp in front of Bayonne. The enemy, however, issued from this post on the three succeeding days, and attacked various parts of the position occupied by the allies; on the last day the BUFFS particularly distinguished themselves, - having, together with the other regiments of the brigade, carried, in superior style, a hill on the French left which covered their manoeuvres, and captured two guns; and this height was successfully maintained against all the efforts of the enemy to retake it. The loss of the regiment was three men killed, with Captains Thorn, Cameron, and Hamilton, Lieutenants Wright, Fielding, Houghton, Gillman, Woods, Home, Twigg, Murphy, and Blake, and Ensign Everdern, four serjeants, and sixty-nine private men wounded; and the excellent conduct of the officers and men was rewarded with the royal permission to bear the word “Nive” on their colours.
The regiment was afterwards stationed for some time at Vieux Mogure, between the rivers Nive and Ardour; and the further operations were suspended by severe weather. The army was, however, in motion in the middle of February, 1814, and the BUFFS were engaged in the operations, by which a body of French troops were driven from the vicinity of St. Palais; and on the 18th of the same month posts were established on the Gave d'Oleron, Soon afterwards Bayonne was blockaded. In the action on the 14th of February the regiment had one man killed, and Brevet-Major Cameron and one man wounded; and on the 15th of February it had one serjeant and three men killed, and two serjeants and fifteen men wounded.
Again advancing up the country on the 24th of February the BUFFS passed the Gave d'Oleron at Villeneuve, when the French retired to Orthes, where they were attacked by part of the allied army on the 27th of February; while the second division, of which the BUFFS formed a part, forced the passage of the Gave above the town, and menaced the enemy's left; and the French were driven from their post with great loss. The only loss sustained by the regiment on this occasion was two men wounded.
The regiment also formed part of the force under Lieut.General Sir Rowland Hill, which proceeded on the 2nd of March along the left bank of the Adour to Aire, and drove, with great bravery, the French troops from the vicinity of that town; on which occasion it had two men killed, and Lieutenant Woods, one serjeant, and nine men wounded.
After a series of advances and manoeuvres, in which the BUFFS took part, the French army, under Marshal Soult, was assembled in position at Toulouse, where it was attacked and drive from its ground on the 10th of April. The BUFFS, though actively engaged in the operations connected with this victory, had no opportunity of signalizing themselves in conflict; and soon afterwards hostilities were terminated by the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty to the throne of France.
[ … ]
The first battalion of the BUFFS was soon afterwards ordered to a new scene of conflict. During the progress of the war in which this battalion had taken so splendid a part, Bonaparte attempted to ruin the commerce of Great Britain by prohibiting the reception of British goods by neutral nations; this gave rise to an order in council, which was issued by the British government to counteract the decrees of Bonaparte; the United States of America were afterwards induced, by French interest, to resist this order in council, and ultimately to declare war against Great Britain; and, after hostilities had ceased on the continent of Europe, the BUFFS, with several other corps, were ordered to proceed to America. The regiment accordingly marched to the coat, and having embarked at Pouillac, near Bourdeaux, on the 31st of May, arrived, after a passage of two months, in the river St. Lawrence, and landed about a hundred miles above Quebec, in Lower Canada; being formed in brigade with the fifth, twenty-seventh, and fifty-eighth regiments, commanded by Major-General Sir Manley Power.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 1813.
Downing-Street, November 21, 1813.
THE Marquess of Worcester has arrived with a dispatch, of which the following is a copy, addressed to the Earl Bathurst by the Marquess of Wellington dated
St. Pé, November 13, 1813.
THE enemy have, since the beginning of August, occupied a position with their right upon the sea, in front of St. Jean de Luz, and on the left of the Nivelle, their centre on La Petite La Rhune in Sarré, and on the heights behind the village, and their left, consisting of two divisions of infantry, under the Comte D'Erlon, on the right of that river, on a strong height in rear of Anhoue, and on the mountain of Mondarin, which protected the approach to that village; they had had one division under General Foy at St. Jean Pied de Port, which was joined by one of the army of Arragon, under General Paris, at the time the left of the allied army crossed the Bidassoa on 7th October; General Foy's division joined those on the heights behind Anhoue, when Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill moved into the valley of Bastan.
The enemy, not satisfied with the natural strength of this position, had the whole of it fortified, and their right, in particular, had been made so strong, that I did not deem it expedient to attack it in front.
Pamplona having surrendered on the 31st of October, and the right of the army having been disengaged from covering the blockade of that place, I moved Lieutenant General Sir Rowland Hill, on the 6th and 7th, into the valley of Bastan, as soon as the state of the roads, after the recent rains, would permit, intending to attack the enemy on the 8th instant; but the rain which fell on the 7th instant having again rendered the roads impracticable, I was obliged to defer the attack till the 10th, when we completely succeeded in carrying all the positions on the enemy's left and centre, in separating the former from the latter, and by these means turning the enemy's strong positions occupied by their right on the lower Nivelle, which they were obliged to evacuate during the night, having taken fifty-one pieces of cannon;, and fourteen hundred prisoners.
The object of the attack being to force the enemy's centre and to establish our army in rear of their right, the attack was made in columns of divisions, each led by the General Officer commanding it, and each forming its own reserve. Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill directed the movement of the right, consisting of the 2d division under Lieutenant-General the Honourable Sir William Stewart, the 6th division, under Lieutenant-General Sir H. Clinton, a Portuguese division, under Lieutenant-General Sir John Hamilton, and a Spanish division, under General Morillo, and Colonel Grant's brigade of cavalry, and a brigade of Portuguese artillery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Tulloh, and three mountain guns, under Lieutenant Robe, which attacked the positions of the enemy behind Anhoue.
Marshal Sir William Beresford directed the movements of the right of the centre, consisting of the 3d division under Major-General the Honourable Charles Colville, the 7th division under Mariscal de Campo Le Cor, and the 4th division under Lieutenan-General the Honourable Sir Lowry Cole. The latter attacked the redoubts in front of Sarré, that village and the heights behind it, supported on their left by the army of reserve of Andalusia, under the command of the Mariscal de Campo Don Pedro Girou, which attacked the enemy's positions on their right of Sarré, on the slopes of La Petite La Rhune, and the heights beyond the village, on the left of the 4th division. Major-General Charles Baron Alten, attacked with the light division and General Longa's Spanish division, the enemy's positions on La Petite La Rhune, and having carried them, so-operated with the right of the centre on the attack of the heights, behind Sarré.
General Alten's brigade of cavalry, under the direction of Lieutenant-General Sir Stapleton Cotton, followed the movements of the centre, and there were three brigades of British artillery with this part of the army, and three mountain guns with General Girou, and three with Major-General Charles Alten.
Lieutenant-General Don Manuel Freyse moved in two columns, from the heights of Man dale towards Ascain, in order to take advantage of any movements the enemy might make from the right of his position towards his centre; and Lieutenant-General Sir John Hope, with the left of the army, drove in the enemy's outposts in front of their entrenchments on the Lower Nivelle, carried the redoubt above Orogne, and established himself on the heights immediately opposite Sibour, in readiness to take advantage of any movement made by the enemy's right.
The attack began at daylight, and Lieutenant-General the Honourable Sir Lowry Cole having obliged the enemy to evacuate the redoubt on their right, in front of Sarré, by a cannonade, and that in front of the left of the village having been likewise evacuated on the approach of the 7th division, under General Le Cor, to attack it, Lieutenant-General Sir Lowry Cole attacked and possessed himself of the village, which was turned, on its left, by the 3d division; under Major-General the Honourable Charles Colville, and on its right by the reserve of Andalusia, under Don Pedro Girou, and Major-General Charles Baron Alten carried the positions on La Petite La Rhune.
The whole then co-operated in the attack of the enemy's main position behind the village. The 3d and 7th divisions immediately carried the redoubts on the left of the enemy's centre, and the light division those on the right, while the 4th division, with the reserve of Andalusia on the left, attacked their positions in their centre. By these attacks, the enemy were obliged to abandon their strong positions, which they had fortified with much care and labour; and they left in the principal redoubt on the height the 1st battalion 88th regiaient, which immediately, surrendered.
While these operations were going on in the centre, I had the pleasure of seeing the 6th division under Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton, after having crossed the Nivelle, and having driven in the enemy's piquets on both banks, and having covered the passage of the Portuguese division, under Lieutenant-General Sir John Hamilton, on its right, make a most handsome attack upon the right of the enemy's position behind Anhoue, and on the right of the Niivelle, and carry all the entrenchments, and the redoubt on that flank. Lieutenant-General Sir John Hamiltom supported with the Portuguese division, the 6th division on its right, and both co-operated in the attack of the second redoubt, which was immediately carried. Major-General Pringle's brigade of the 2d division, under Lieutenant-General the Honourable Sir William Stewart, drove in the enemy's piquets on the Nivelle and in front of Anhoue, and then Major-General Byng's brigade of the 2d division carried the entrenchments and redoubt further on the enemy's left, in which attack the Major-General and these troops distinguished themselves. Major-General Murilli covered the advance of the whole to the heights behind Anhoue, by attacking the enemy's posts on the slopes of Mondarin, and following them towards Itzatee. The troops on the heights behind Anhoue were, by these operations, under the direction of Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill, forced to retire towards the bridge of Cambo, on the Nive; with the exception of the division in Mondarin, which by the march of a part of the 2d division, under Lieutenant-General the Honourable Sir William Stewart, was pushed into the mountains towards Baygory.
As soon as the heights were carried on both banks of the Nivelle, I directed the 3d and 7th divisions, being the right of our centre, to move by the left of that river upon St. Pé, and the 6th division by the right of that river, on the same place, while the 4th and light divisions and General Girou's reserve, held the heights above Ascain, and covered this movement on that side, and Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill, covered it on the other. A part of the enemy's troops had retired from their centre, and had crossed the Nivelle at St. Pé; and as soon as the 6th division approached the 3d division, under Major-General the Honourable Charles Colville, and the 7th division under General Le Cor crossed that river and attacked, and immediately gained possession of the heights beyond it.
We were thus established in the rear of the enemy's right; but so much of the day was now spent, that it was impossible to make any further movement, and I was obliged to defer our further operations till the following morning.
The enemy evacuated Ascain in the afternoon, of which village Lieutenant-General Don Manuel Freyre took possession; and quitted all their works and positions in front of St. Jean de Luz during the night, and retired upon Bidart, destroying all the bridges on the Lowa Nivelle. Lieutenant-General the Honourable Sir John Hope followed them with the left of the army, as soon as he could cross the river; and Marshal Sir William Beresford moved the centre of the army as far as the state of the roads after a violent fall of rain would allow; and the enemy retired again on the night of the llth, into an entrenched camp in front of Bayonne.
In the course of the operations of which I have given your Lordship an outline, in which we have driven the enemy from positions which they had been fortifying with great labour and care for three months, in which we have taken fifty-one pieces of cannon, six tumbrils of ammunition, and fourteen hundred prisoners, I have great satisfaction in reporting the good conduct of all the officers and troops. The report itself will show how much reason I had to be satisfied with the conduct of Marshal Sir William Beresford, and of Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill, who directed the attack of the centre and right of the army; and with that of Lieutenant-Generals the Honourable Sir G. L. Cole, the Honourable Sir William Stewart, Sir John Hamilton, and Sir Henry Clinton; and Major General the Honourable C. Colville, Charles Baron Alten, Mariscal de Campo P. Le Cor, and Mariscal De Campo Don Pablo Morillo, commanding divisions of infantry; and with that of Don Pedro Girou, commanding the reserve of Andalusia.
Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill, and Marshal Sir William Beresford, and these general officers have reported their sense of the conduct of the Generals and troops under their command, respectively; and I particularly request your Lordship's attention to the conduct of Major-General Byng, and of Major-General Lambert, who conducted the attack of the 6th division. I likewise particularly observe the gallant conduct of the 51st and 68th regiments, under the command of Major Rice and Lieutenant-Colonel Hawkins, in Major-General Inglis's brigade, in the attack of the heights above St. Pé, in the afternoon of the 10th. The 8th Portuguese brigade, in the 3d division, under Major-General Power, likewise distinguished themselves in the attack of the left of the enemy's centre, and Major-General Anson's brigade, of the 4th division, in the village of Sarré, and the centre of the heights.
Although the most brilliant part of this service did not fall to the lot of Lieut. Gen. the Hon. Sir J. Hope, and Lieutenant-General Don. M. Frere, I lave every reason to be satisfied with the mode in which these General Officers conducted the service of which they had the direction.
Our loss, although severe, has not been so great as might have been expected, considering the strength of the positions attacked, and the length of time (from daylight till dark) during which the troops were engaged : but 1 am concerned to add, that Colonel Barnard, of the 95th, has been severely, though I hope not, dangerously wounded; and that we have lost in Lieutenant-Colonel Lloyd, of the 94th, an officer who had frequently distinguished himself, and was of great promise.
I received the greatest assistance in forming the plan for this attack, and throughout the operations, from the Quarter-Master General Sir George Murray, and the Adjutant-General the Hon. Sir Edward Pakenham, and from Lieutcnaut-CoJonel Lord Fitzroy Sommerset, Lieut.-Colonel Campbell, and all the Officers of my personal Staff, and His Serene Highness the Prince of Orange.
The artillery which was in the field was of great use to us; and I cannot sufficiently acknowledge the intelligence and activity with which it was brought to the point of attack, under the direction of Colonel Dickson, over the bad roads through the mountains, at this season of the year.
I send this dispatch by my Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant Marquess of Worcester, whom I beg leave to recommend to your Lordship.
I have, &c.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1814
Downing-Street, November 16, 1814
DISPATCHES, of which the folloing are copies and extracts, were this day received from Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Bart. addressed to Earl Bathurst, one of His Majesty's Principle Secretaries of State:
RETURN inclosed in a dispatch addressed to Earl Bathurst by Lieutenant-General Sir G. Prevost, dated head-quarters Plattsburg, State of New York, 11th September 1814.
Return of Killed, Wounded, and Missing of the Left Division, under the Command of Major-General de Rottenburg, in Action with the Enemy, from the 6th to the 14th Septemer 1814, inclusive.
Names of Officers.
3d Foot - Captain (Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel) James Willington, Ensign John Chapman;…
3d Foot - Lieutenant R. Kingsbury, severely (since dead;) Lieutenant John West, severely; Lieutenants G. Benson and John Home, slightly…