3 Apr 1796 - 2 Jul 1864
Date added: 14 May 2015
Lieutenant Anthony Bacon.
10th Hussars, Troop No.4.
After serving under Wellington in the Peninsular War Bacon then joined the 10th Hussars, who after embarking at Ramsgate, set foot on the shores of Belgium on the 17th April 1815. They were brigaded with the 18th and 1st Hussars of the King’s German Legion, all three regiments under the command of Sir Hussey Vivian; Lord Uxbridge was in supreme command of the entire cavalry.
On the 29th May the Duke of Wellington, with Blucher, reviewed the whole of the cavalry and the horse artillery, and expressed himself satisfied with its appearance. On June 17th the troop was selected to ascertain the whereabouts and condition of the Prussian army. The 10th Hussars, under the command of Captain Grey, were sent along the road towards Namur. At a point about five miles from Quatre-Bras in a small hollow stood a house by itself. Bacon was ordered to take a few men and patrol towards the house, whilst the rest of the troop and Captain Grey watched the course of events concealed from the enemy’s view. The patrol came under fire from the French and it was now clear the road was held from this point. The troop were then able to ascertain the whereabouts of the Prussians. Subsequent to this Wellington was satisfied that he had not been outflanked and could retire his columns towards Brussels and halt them in line with the Prussian army in order to confront the French Emperor.
Bacon’s regiment was not actively engaged until the closing scenes. The Imperial Guard made the final attack, which was so gallantly repulsed by the English Guards and the 52nd Regiment. Lord Uxbridge then ordered Vivian’s brigade to the front and the 10th Hussars became the leading regiment to attack the French reserves.They were followed by the 18th and the Germans. Vivian ordered the 10th to charge the French Cavalry. Bacon’s horse was shot under him but after quickly mounting another he joined the pursuit. Hand to hand fighting ensued, his second horse was also killed under him and he received two bullets in the leg. Howard was killed in front of his men.
“Three gallant youths the van exulted led,
Three by the deadly volley instant bled;
Arnold and Bacon fall, again to rise,
From three fell wounds brave Howard’s spirit flies”*
*written by an officer of the 10th who took part.
Of the two bullets which had striken Bacon to the ground, one passed clean through his leg, in close proximity to the knee, but luckily without doing damage to any of the bones. The other, which was a more serious affair, entered the same leg higher up in the thigh. The bullet was never extracted and remained with him till death. The bleeding was copious, he lost consciousness and was passed over as dead. This may well have saved him from death. At night the gold lace was stripped from his uniform and whatever valuables he may have had were stolen by the night-hawks. Early on the 19th an ambulance cart passed close to where Howard and his followers lay rigid and cold where they had fallen. Bacon was found to be just alive, another two hours would have killed him. With the skilful treatment of the army doctor and careful dressing of the wounds he was able to reach a temporary hospital in Brussels. He remained there for some months before returning to England.
Lord Uxbridge once said, “AnthonyBacon is without doubt the best cavalry office I have ever known”
Subsequently Bacon fought in the Civil War in Portugal and was appointed a Knight Commander in the Portuguese Order of the Tower and Sword.
Submitted by Robin Hughes-Parry.
Great, great, grandson of General Bacon.