Home from the Wars

Stephen Brumwell discusses attitudes towards Veterans in mid-Georgian Britain, and the provisions made for them.

In March 1759 a pitiful cargo was landed at Portsmouth after a lengthy passage from North America. The consignment comprised some eighty veterans of the 42nd Regiment who had been wounded nine months earlier during a bungled and bloody assault upon the French fortress of Ticonderoga on New York’s northern frontier. These Highlanders of the Black Watch had returned in a shocking condition: according to The Annual Register of that year’s events, some of them were ‘so lacerated by the slugs and broken nails which the enemy fired’ that they were ‘deemed incurable’.

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