Date added: 28 May 2015
Edward Currie was a native of Brydekirk near Annan in Dumfriesshire, south west Scotland. He had an illustrious and eventful career in the armed forces, as too did others in his family. Edward Currie was ,however, killed in the evening of the 18th June, in the later stages of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Our research reveals that he was shot from his horse late in the evening.
The following obituary appeared in an account of Waterloo published shortly after the battle:
'Lieutenant-Colonel Currie.—Amongst the gallant heroes who have fallen in the defence of their country, on the ever memorable 18th of June, on the plains of Waterloo, few are more lamented than Lieutenant-ColonelCurrie, of Dalebank, in Annandale, Assistant Adjutant-General on Lord Hill's Staff. This excellent and valuable officer received his commission at the early age of 13, from the Duke of York, in consequence of the meritorious conduct of his father in the army, and, for a period of above 20 years, had been constantly distinguishing himself in actual service. He fought bravely, and was severely wounded, under Sir Ralph Abercrombie, in Egypt; and served for several years in the West Indies, by which his health was greatly impaired. He was also actively employed as an Aide-de Camp to Lord Hill, the whole of the war in the Peninsula and in France; where he conducted himself with such ability and bravery, as repeatedly on the field of battle to receive the thanks of the Commander-in-Chief;and particularly at Talavera, at the passage of the Douro, Almarez, and Aroyode Molinos. It is melancholy, although glorious to record, that Lieutenant-Colonel Currie was the tenth of this gallant and amiable family who have nobly sacrificed their lives in defence of their King and Country, six of whom have died on the field of battle.'
On the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, Edward Currie was an officer in the 90th (Perthshire Volunteers) Regiment having transferred as a Captain from the 58th Regiment in 1802 but from June 1809 he served as a staff officer to Major General Rowland Hill. General Hill, who had helped raise the 90th in 1794,was a divisional and later a corps commander under Wellington in the Peninsula campaigns. Research suggests that Edward Currie was a capable and well-liked officer. By the end of the Peninsula war he had been promoted Brevet Lieutenant Colonel. In the Waterloo campaign he served on Wellington's staff as an Assistant Quartermaster General and appears to have been assigned to General Hill's II Corps.
On the day of the battle General Hill supervised a counter attack by Adams brigade of light infantry and had his horse shot from under him.
Hill's ADC, Captain Bridgeman, who was wounded, wrote home. "Our Staff were fortunate; none but poor Colonel Currie, who was shot through thehead by a grapeshot, and myself were touched."
Lord Hill later wrote in a letter to his sister:
"Let us be thankful for all mercies; and never forget that Providence which ha sprotected us, and brought to pass the happy prospect of affairs. Alas, poor Currie! Bridgeman is doing quite well"
Writing to Wellington, Hill later said:
"Lieutenant Colonel Currie had been in the army, I believe, about twenty years, and in my staff upwards of nine years, during which latter period he has rendered most essential services to me and to his country. On a rising ground near the Chateau of Hougoumont, they recognised the spot where poor Colonel Currie fell, near which his body was found and buried the morning after the battle, by Colonel Egerton and John Holding, the servant of Lord Hill.'
Edward Currie was married with 3 children. His grave appears to have been lost but a memorial plaque in Troutbeck Chapel, St Mary’son the Hill, Chester, Cheshire was erected in his memory. The chapel, now deconsecrated, today serves an education and arts centre. The inscription is barely legible, but is as follows:
'IN THE VAULT BENEATH LIE THE REMAINS OF /ANNA MARIA CURRIE/WHO DIED AUG.THE 30th 1845 AGED 57,/ RELICT OF LIEUT COLONEL EDWARD CURRIE,/ WHO SERVED WITHMUCH DISTINCTION ON THE PERSONAL STAFF OF THE LATE GENERAL LORD HILL, G.C.B.THROUGHOUT THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGNS AND FELL ON THE FIELD OF WATERLOO/ WHERE HEWAS EMPLOYED AS AN ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL IN THE ARMY UNDER THE COMMAND OFFIELD MARSHAL/ HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON K.G &c ./ THIS HUMBLETRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF THEIR LAMENTED PARENTS IS INSCRIBED BY THEIR SURVIVINGCHILDREN'.
Currie's widow appears to have been living with Edward Currie's cousins near Chester when she died. It is worth noting the Latin flavour of her Christian name, Anna Maria. It would be interesting to know whether Currie met his wife in Spain or Portugal!
Something quite interesting….
As well as serving in the armed forces, our students also discovered a detailed pencil sketch of an Irish Cromlech stone produced by Edward Currie in around 1806. Thepencil sketch (show above) is of the upper stone of a cromlech in Ireland. The specific Cromlech in this case is the Oghil Wedge Tomb (LeabaDhiarmada agus Ghrainne), on the island of Inishmore, the largest of the AranIslands in Galway Bay. Cromlech is a Brythonic word (Breton/Cornish/Welsh) used to describe prehistoric megalithic structures, where crom means "bent"or "curved" and llech means "slab" or"flagstone". The term is now virtually obsolete in archaeology, butremains in use as a colloquial term for two different types of megalithic monument. In English it usually refers to dolmens, the remains of prehistoricstone chamber tombs. However, it is widely used in French and Spanish to describe stone circles.