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Private Henry Dencker

Waterloo 200

of 4th Battalion King’s German Legion

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Submitted by: Maureen Ann Burnicle

Date added: 10 Feb 2015

My ancestral linkage to Henry is as follows (simplified version):-

I am Maureen Ann Burnicle (nee Brown) born Peterborough 1938, - daughter of Rose Lillian Brown (nee Gunton) born Peterborough 1902 - daughter of Elisa Jane Gunton (nee Jones) born Islington 1872 - daughter of Frederick John Jones born St Pancras 1848 - son of Jane Jones (nee Dencker) born Covent Garden 1806- daughter of Henry Dencker and Ann Lane who were married at Westminster in 1806. This makes Henry Dencker my 3 x Great Grandfather.

Henry Dencker was born Heinrich Dencker in Prussia c.1771. He later joined the Prussian Army to defend his homeland against Napoleon’s French forces. In 1803 the Prussians were facing defeat so many of them escaped to England. Still wishing to fight the French they were formed into the King’s German Legion (KGL) as part of the British Army. The KGL were based at Bexhill-on-Sea where they were first billeted under canvas until huts were built of green wood and turf with straw roofs.

At first the Prussians were not trusted but through their singing in church they won the locals over. Many went on to marry local girls. Heinrich, by now known as Henry, himself married Ann Lane in London. After Jane there were three more children – Thomas and Alice born 1811 and John born1813. These dates mean that Henry could not have fought in the Wellington’s Iberian campaigns. His 4th Battalion KGL served in France and Belgium prior to Waterloo. He was stationed at Mons, Arbre, Casteau and Boulogne. For the three months leading up to the Battle of Waterloo he was paid the grand sum of£2-13s-8d. He was discharged in July 1815, returning to England to work as a Leather Draperer and died in Bermondsey in 1842.

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