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Private John Grimshaw

Waterloo 200

of Coldstream Guards

Lt.Colonel Hon.J. Walople's Company (Light Company)

13 Apr 1789 - 17 Aug 1851

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Submitted by: Anne Grimshaw

Date added: 24 May 2015

John Grimshaw was born at Lane End, Church Kirk, Lancs., to parents John and Dolly Grimshaw. He was baptised 01/08/1789 St James church nearby. John was the third of four children: Sally, Rose and James

John enlisted in 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards (later in Light Company under Sgt John Biddle) in Blackburn, Lancs. 24/10/1806.

He was discharged in London 14 /12/1818.

John was wounded in right arm and left leg at Bergen op Zoom (1813), and was wounded in the jaw and hip and Waterloo (1815) - he was at Hougoumont.

He was 5ft 9in tall with sandy hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion.

His conduct as soldier had been good.

He was literate and signed his army discharge paper.

The whereabouts on John's MGS Medal and Waterloo Medal are not known although the latter was sold at Spinks in 1973.

Occupation: hand-loom weaver

John married Phoebe Tomlinson 28 May 1828. Phoebe, a Luddite, was tried at Lancaster Castle for attacking steam-powered looms in local mill in 1826. These threatened the livelihoods of the hand-loom weavers. She was sentenced to one year with hard labour in Preston House of Correction.

John and Phoebe lived at White Croft, Red Shell Lane, Oswaldtwistle, Lancs. They had no children. He was a silk weaver, she a cotton weaver. John died here aged 61. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Immanuel church, Oswaldtwistle, but there is a memorial script to him inside the church. Phoebe remarried twice and died in 1859 and is also buried in an unmarked grave.

John's sister Sally married Thomas Pollard, a private in the 1st Btn Coldstream Guards in 1815. Thomas was awarded 9 clasps on his MGS Medal but wounded in the right hand and discharged in September 1814 and so was not at Waterloo. Thomas died in 1859 and was buried in the churchyard of St James' church, Church Kirk, Lancs. He has an elegant gravestone citing his military career - most unusual for an 'ordinary' soldier.

His MGS Medal is held by the Coldstream Guards.

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