Sergeant Matthew Clay


Napoleonic Wars



Matthew was born in 1796 in Blidworth, Nottinghamshire, England.
He started work when he was 11 or 12 as an apprentice framework knitter. He remained in this occupation until joining the Scots Guards at the age of 18. From an article written by Christine Dabbs Clay
In 1815 Mathew was a sergeant at the Battle of Waterloo and took part in the defense of the fortification at Quartre - Bras which was under siege by Napoleons army From an article written by Christine Dabbs Clay
1818 He returned home with his battalion and settled into family life. He was promoted to Corporal on 21st march 1818 Bedfordshire, England, Land Tax Records, 1797-1832
Matthew was a hero at Waterloo. He is well documented on line. He was the only soldier to write a diary which contains the daily life of the war - he gives a full account in his diary of the hand to hand fighting. His sword and medals are in a museum in London and a portrait of him is on the village green at Blidworth.- His descendants still live in Blidsworth.
He became the 1st Pay and Drill Sergeant of the Scots Fusilier Guards on 14th 1822.
He married Joanna Cornish in 1823 in Devon, England.
Matthew was lucky never to be wounded and was eventually discharged from the service at his own request in 1833 when he became Sergeant Major of the Bedfordshire Militia until 1852.
The 1841 Census notes Matthew as being in the army and his residence is Bedfordshire
In 1851 Matthew is home in Bedfordshire his occupation is Retired Sergeant
1861 and Matthew is listed as a Chelsea Pensioner his residence Bedfordshire
He died at Bedford on the 5 June 1873 aged 78 years
Burial 05/06/1873 Cemetery Foster Hill Road Cemetery Burial or Cremation Place Bedford Bedford Borough Bedfordshire England, Sgt Matthew Clay Birth


Country Location Name of Memorial Campaign Names Date(s)
England Blidworth, Mansfield NG21 0QX Memorial to Private Clay at St. Mary's Church Blidworth Napoleonic Wars
Matthew Clay 15-6-1873 View

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