Date added: 2 Jun 2015
Researched by Jeremiah Browne, Harris Academy Greenwich
Field Marshal Sir William Maynard Gomm GCB(10 November 1784 – 15 March 1875), was a British Army officer. After taking part in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland, he served in most of the battles of the Napoleonic Wars notably the Battle of Waterloo. He was educated at a private school in Woolwich, just down the road from our school at Harris Academy Greenwich.
Gomm took part in the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. He served in the fifth division. He was awarded the Russian Order of St.Anna, 2nd Class on 8 October 1815. He retired from active service in 1856 and, after advancement to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 21 June 1859 and after further promotion to Field Marshal on 1 January 1868, he became Constable of the Tower in October 1872. He also served as honorary colonel of the 13th Regiment of Foot. He died at Brighton in Sussex on 15 March 1875 and was buried at Christ's Church in Rotherhithe. Under his widow's will £15,000 was left to Keble College, Oxford to endow scholarships in his memory.
Field-Marshal Gomm's letters and journals provide a first-rate account of the numerous actions, battles and events that he was involved in during the Napoleonic wars. A seasoned officer from a military family, he was an accurate observer of all that went on around him, and the notes and letters he wrote, edited by his son, provide a lot of excellent information.This collection of his diary entries and letters focuses on the Napoleonic Wars. He was fought in the furious combat of Quatre Bras and the "hard pounding" of Waterloo two days later. His position as an unattached staff officer gave him a view of the fields of battle from a position on horseback, and with freedom of movement around the field that few could match. His notes and letters of Waterloo are annotated with his more considered thoughts and views.