IN THE SERVICE OF THE KING: THE LETTERS OF WILLIAM THORNTON KEEP, AT HOME, WALCHEREN, AND IN THE PENINSULA, 1808-1814.

Fletcher, Ian (Ed.).


£25.00




Staplehurst, 1st ed., 1997. 214 pp., silhouette frontis., 13 photo & other plates + 6 maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. Errata tipped-in to f.e.p., bookplate to f.f.e.p., some pencil annotations o/w Nr.FINE. Seven Original Colour Photographs, One Colour Postcard & Two Items of Ephemera relating to Berry Head, Brixham, home of a Napoleonic Fort. William Thornton Keep served with the 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment and the 28th (North Gloucester) Regiment during his period of service with the Colours between 1808 and 1814. During that time he saw action in the ill-fated Walcheren Campaign, in 1809, and the Peninsular War, between 1812 and 1814. These previously unpublished letters were written by Keep whilst on active service and include graphic accounts of both campaigns. The Peninsular letters are particularly vivid and include one of the best accounts of the desperate fighting at the battle of Maya, on July 25th 1813, where Keep saved one of the Regiment's Colours. He has also left us with one of the few accounts of the fighting on Hill's left flank at the battle of St. Pierre on December 13th 1813. Here Keep was wounded by a bullet which entered his mouth, broke his jaw and lodged in his neck. The letters also include much new information on training methods used in the army, of his uniform and equipment, and what life was like on garrison duty at home in England. The letters also cast new light on the relationship between the officers and men, particularly during the march from Lisbon to join Wellington's main field army.


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