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Captain Bt.Maj Edward Charles Whinyates

Waterloo 200


Major Whinyate's (Rocket) Troop

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Submitted by: Richard Tennant BCMH

Date added: 2 Nov 2016

Kane’s List No 1012.

Enrolled as a Gentleman Cadet at 15yrs 10mths on 16th May 1796,
commissioned 2nd Lieut 1st Mar 1798,
promoted 1st Lieut 2nd Oct 1799,
to 2nd Captain 8th July 1805
& Captain 24th Jan 1813
(Brevet Major 18th June 1815).

Served in the expedition to the Helder and campaign in North Holland in 1799, and was at the capture of the towns of Helder and Huysduinen, and the seizure of the Dutch fleet in the Texel. Was in the expedition to Madeira in 1801 and assisted in the capture of that island.

He Commanded one of the principal siege batteries (the "Churchyard," consisting of eight 24-prs. and two howitzers) in the attack on Copenhagen in 1807 and the vigorous and well-directed fire there from materially contributed to the success of that important operation, the capture of the Naval Arsenal and the Danish fleet.

Served in the Peninsula in ‘D’ Troop from February 1810 to July 1813, including the Battles of Busaco and Albuera; affairs at Usagre, Aldea de Ponte, San Munos and the attack and defeat of General Lallemand's cavalry at Ribera.

Captain Mercer, who commanded ‘G’ Troop RHA during the battle, described an incident in his Journal of the Waterloo Campaign that perfectly illustrates the Duke of Wellington’s continued dislike of rockets :Captain Whinyates having joined the army with the rocket troop, the Duke, who looked upon rockets as nonsense, ordered that they should be put into store, and the troop supplied with guns instead. Colonel Sir G Wood ( the Duke’s artillery commander at Waterloo ), instigated by Whinyates, called on the Duke to ask permission to leave him his rockets as well as guns. A refusal. Sir George, however, seeing the Duke was in a particularly good humour, ventured to say ‘It will break poor Whinyates’ heart to loose his rockets.’ ‘Dam his heart, sir! Let my orders be obeyed’ was the answer thundered in his ear …

Later he must have relented, as Whinyates took into the field 800 rockets as well as five 6-pounder guns at Waterloo; so it would appear that the rockets replaced the usual howitzer in the structure of the Troop.

During the Battle of Waterloo Captain Whinyates had three horses shot under him and was wounded in the leg and severely in the left arm. He did not rejoin until after Paris had been captured.

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