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Private Peter McMullen

Waterloo 200

of Down, County Down

1 Jan 1781 - 15 Jan 1816

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Submitted by: Neil Harrison

Date added: 16 Jun 2015

Pte Peter McMullen, 1st Battalion 27th Foot (Inniskilling Fusiliers)

Peter McMullen, Private, 27st Foot: Aged 33 on first appointment to the 27th foot.

• Born c1781 in Down, County Down. By trade a weaver.

• 5ft 6”, brown hair, hazel eyes, sallow complexion.

• Private, 27th Foot, 17th January 1814.

Where he served:

• 18thJune 1815 at Waterloo.Private Peter McMullen was wounded in both arms and body by French cannon fire and having both cap and haversack removed by musket fire but was saved by his heavily pregnant wife who ran onto the battlefield and dragged him to safety. Pte McMullen was a member of the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot. Mr Armstrong said Pte McMullen and other soldiers from Enniskillen regiments had taken part in an event that "changed of the course of world history". The town of Enniskillen gave its name to two British Army regiments - the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot and the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, both of which fought at Waterloo. Pte McMullen, who was originally a weaver from Downpatrick, County Down, joined the 27th - the only Irish infantry regiment to take part in the 1815 battle. The private's wife, Elizabeth McMullan, was hit by musket fire during the rescue bid, fracturing her leg. After both being repatriated to York Hospital, Chelsea she gave birth to a baby girl while the couple were still in hospital. On hearing of the family's story, the then Duke of York, Frederick Augustus Hanover, visited them in hospital. Famed in the nursery rhyme as the Grand Old Duke of York, he was commander in chief of the British Army. The duke agreed to be godfather to the baby girl, who was named after him and christened Frederica McMullen of Waterloo. The royal honour was reported by the Belfast News Letter on 28 November 1815. The newspaper article read: "It reflects equal honour on a humble warrior, his faithful wife, the Officers of the York depot, and the kind-heartedness of His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief." However, the couple's baby girl died a few months after birth. The family's story is already commemorated in a display at Inniskillings Museum. Pte McMullen's entire regiment was also praised by the Duke of Wellington after the battle, who is reported to have said of the 27th: "They saved the centre of my line at Waterloo."

• The 27th Regt suffered very heavy losses at Waterloo with 463 casualties out of a total of 747 officers and men.

• Discharged 31st December 1815.

• After losing both arms at Waterloo he was awarded a pension of 2 shillings 6 pence per day

• His medal is now on display at The Inniskilling Museum, Enniskillen Castle

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