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A tribute to Private William Norgate by Judy Humby

Date added: 12 Feb 2015


Judy Humby

Waterloo 200
Dear Family and Friends, As a way remembering those that fought at Waterloo in June 1815 including $personFirstName$, we have created a page within the $bookTitle$ book. Please contribute by adding your thoughts, messages, photographs or even videos about this soldier. Add your insight or expertise to help build and lock-in our knowledge about this person, simply go to: $findPersonLink$ and make your contribution too. Thank you,

William Norgate, my 3x Great-Grandfather, was born in Hinton Ampner, Hampshire and baptised there on 16th November, 1783, with his mother, Ann, in attendance.

On 15th March, 1804, at Hastings, with his occupation given as a Labourer, he enlisted in Captain Sleigh’s troop, (an experienced and well-regarded officer), of the 11th Light Dragoons. William’s first pay is given as £1 13s 9d. (It was James Sleigh, who went on to be General Sir James Sleigh, KCB, who commanded the Cavalry Division at the siege of Bhurtpore.)

In 1807, the 11th sailed to Ireland where they were garrisoned at Clonmel and then Waterford. It was in Ireland that he met the woman he was to marry, Catherine Moran. She followed the Dragoons to Radipole, (Weymouth), where they were married by the Army Chaplain, the Reverend George Chamberlain, at All Saints Church, Wyke Regis, on 23rd December, 1810.

After service in The Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal between 1811 and 1813, the 11th went back to the UK, where, whilst stationed at Hampton, Middlesex, Catherine gave birth to their first child, William, (my 2x Great-Grandfather,) on 15th February, 1814 and who was baptised on 6th March 1814 by the same Army Chaplain, at the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, in Hampton.

With the return of Napoleon in March 1815, the war with France resumed and the 11th arrived in Belgium the following month. William saw battle at Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo (Captain John Jenkins’ troop) and was awarded a Waterloo Medal. During William’s time in France, his wife also gave birth to Catherine, in Wormhout, on 16th June, 1816 and Henry in Bailleul on 14th February, 1818.

On 25th August, 1818, with the 11th stationed in Desvres, France, William Norgate is listed as murdered, in nearby Hucqueliers. With no debts, the Casualty Returns say Catherine, ‘the wife of the deceased’, received a sum of £1 5s 10d.

Catherine returned to Hinton Ampner with her children. She gave William’s Waterloo Medal to their daughter, Catherine, who also married a soldier, George Lovell Foster.

From the ‘Portsmouth Evening News’ of 14th December 1903 –
Hants Woman with a History.
There has passed away in Alresford Workhouse Catherine Foster, aged eighty-seven.Her father, William Norgate, served at the Battle of Waterloo in the Light Dragoons. He was one of the army of occupation left in the country, and his wife went over to him. Their daughter, Catherine, was born on 6th June the following year (1816). Some time later the father was murdered by a Frenchman and the mother and daughter returned to their native parish, Hinton Ampner, near Alresford. About 1843 Catherine married George Foster of the 16th Regiment and followed the regiment to Gibraltar, Corfu, Video, Pasco, Cephalonia, the West Indies and Canada. She always wore her father’s Waterloo Medal with pride through what she termed ‘Waterloo Month’.

I would love to find out where William was buried and would also love to see his Waterloo Medal.

Submitted by Judy Humby

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