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Private Samuel Ackroyd

Waterloo 200

of 2nd Life Guards

22 Apr 1774 - 20 Aug 1823

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Submitted by: Mary Morris

Date added: 12 Feb 2015

Samuel was born on 22nd April 1774 in Manningham, Bradford, Yorkshire and in 1797 his occupation was recorded as a Farmer. He is believed to be the son of George Ackroyd, from Haworth, and Frances Walker who were married on 17th July 1771 in Bradford.

On 24th June 1799, aged 25, Samuel enlisted in the 31st Regiment of Foot Guards with the rank of Sergeant, probably in London. The following year on 20th January 1800 he was married in St Peter's Parish Church, Bradford, to Eliza Wilkinson who was born 20th July 1766, also in Bradford. From the birth records of the children, it appears that the family moved from Yorkshire to the Whitechapel area of London after the marriage.

Samuel served three years as a Commissioned Officer with his first Regiment for 3 years until 24th June 1802. On 29th June 1802 he was recruited at Hyde Park into 2nd Life Guards, with the rank of Private. His monthly pay in 1802 was £1 12s 11¼d.

There are six recorded children of Samuel and Eliza, of whom five died in childhood. Their only surviving child - Joseph, was born on 10th September 1803. George, died on 19th August 1808 aged 1, John died the next day aged 7, and Mary aged 3 died the following month; all are buried in St Marylebone Churchyard. Two years later Frederick, born in 1809, died aged 16 months and Mary Ann died aged four on 22nd June 1815, a few days after her father had fought at the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June.

The Waterloo medal was still in the family in the 1990s and we have a photograph of it. On 14th November 1816 his discharge papers were signed because of ill health. Private Samuel Ackroyd was discharged from the army on 21st November 1816 “in consequence of frequent attacks of pain in the back and shoulders (preventing him from attending to his duty) during a period of several years.” According to his record, he had served a total of 19 years and 156 days, after the age of 18. He had served 3 years with the Foot Guards, 14 years with the Life Guards and an additional 2 years was added to his service for Waterloo. On his discharge papers he is described as being "five foot eleven inches in height, with brown hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion". His pension was 9d a day, paid from Chelsea, although he was not a resident at the Royal Hospital. There is no record of how long the pension was paid.

Samuel died nine years later, aged 49, on 20th August 1823 and was buried on 24th August in St Marylebone, London. His wife, Eliza, died 11 years later on 18th June 1844 at 13, George Street, Mile End Town, Whitechapel.

Notes: Much of this information came initially from my cousin, Alan Sabey's research. (He died 2 years ago.) Copy of military record is on file with additional information provided by Alan from the Discharge Papers, 2nd Regiment of Life Guards Household Cavalry, stored at the Public Record Office Kew (ref:W.O.97/1)There is no record of discharge from the Foot Guards, as all previous papers not relating to pension were accidentally destroyed many years ago. Samuel was my 4 x Great Grandfather - there are many descendants of whom I have extensive family tree details.

The medal was handed down via the family of his grandson, also named Samuel, and firstborn great grandson, Frederick. (I am descended from the second great grandson, Thomas. My grandmother's maiden name was Ackroyd.) I understand the medal was sold and I would love to know where it is now, even though I still have the photograph!

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