Date added: 14 Apr 2015
Private William Matthews
William Matthews was born in Banstead, Surrey in 1795. He served in the 2nd Battalionof the 73rd Regiment of Foot for four years between 1813 and 1817. He was discharged in 1817 after fighting around Europe with the Battalion, when the battalion was disbanded.
Private Matthews obviously fell on hard times after leaving the army as the next time we see him in the records is at a local Quarter Session where he is a dependenton trial for vagrancy. Matthews was found guilty and imprisoned for one month in Kingston before having to perform Land Service.
There was no evidence of Matthews having married or started a family and he died in 1858 at the age of 63.
Matthews was trained in Nottingham from a militia company. The regiment he was in was called the 2nd battalion of the 73rd regiment of foot and had remained in England until 1813 when they were sent places like Germany and Sweden to do some minor actions.
During the battle of Waterloo, the regiment was fighting against French Cavalry. The cavalry attacked them at least 11 times, and they were told not to move, so they got bombarded really badly.
The regiment had the 2nd heaviest damage in the battle, losing 6 officers with 225 men killed and wounded. After the battle, the battalion was an occupation of Paris military, until they went back to England.