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Serjeant James Livesey

Waterloo 200


Lt.Colonel R. Bull's Troop

1 Jan 1783 - 20 Jan 1870

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Submitted by: Neil Harrison

Date added: 11 Jun 2015

Serjeant James Livesey Royal Horse Artillery

James Livesey, Driver. Enlisted 9th March 1798 at Rochdale, aged 15, Height, 5ft. 10ins, Fair hair, fair complexion, blue eyes. Weaver, born in Bury, Lancs.

• 1st December 1802, Transferred to Gunner.

• 20th February 1805, Bombardier.

• October 1808, Corporal.

• 23rd September 1812, Serjeant.
Present at the following Battles:

• 27th September 1810 Busaco.Wellington occupies the heights of Busaco, a 10-mile long ridge, with 50,000 men, half British, half Portuguese. Masséna, with 65,000 French troops. Marshal Ney’s corps, attack five times, and fail after fierce fighting.

• 3rd to 5th May 1811 Fuentes de Onoro.Wellington defeats Masséna after a 3 day fight as the French try to relieve Almeida from Wellington’s siege. On James Livsey’s discharge note, the Lieut-Colonel commanding R.H.A. says 'he particularly distinguished himself by his bravery on various trying occasions during the Peninsular Campaign & at the battle of Fuentes d'Onoro he bravely seconded his officers in repelling the French Cavalry who charged the 2 guns to which he belonged.'

• 7th to 20th January 1812 Ciduad Rodrigo, 2nd siege of Ciduad Rodrigo.

• 22nd July 1812 Salamanca. Wellington defeats Marmont, with 50,000 troops and 78 guns.

• 21st June 1813 Vittoria. Wellington defeats King Joseph Bonaparte.

• 8th August to 8th September 1813 St Sebastian, 2nd siege of St Sebastian.

• 18th June 1815 at Waterloo with ‘Bull's Troop

’Burnley Gazette 22nd January 1870:‘At Waterloo Bull's Troop were on the right of the line of guns, and what better place for the R.H.A. WhiIe on their Immediate left were Major Norman Ramsay's Troop. Both Troops suffered heavy casualties, and Majors Bull and Ramsay were killed in the battle’.Burnley Gazette continues:'After the peace of 1815 Mr. Livesey went to the fields of Waterloo to recover the body of Major Ramsay, his old Peninsular Troop Commander and to convey it to Inveresk to be laid in the family grave. Mr Livesey found the body of Major Ramsay but to get it back to Inveresk was a task of great difficulty, for, in those days, sailors were so superstitious that they would not sail with a corpse on board, so he packed the body in a box with no resemblance to a coffin and shipped it as "Soap" and after various adventures succeeded in carrying it to Inveresk.'

• 1st September 1818. James Livesey was discharged from the Army in 1818 with a pension of 1s. 10d a day, and retired to his native Lancashire, where he died in 1870; he named his son Norman after his old commander.

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