Mystery of ‘Waterloo’ gravestone in Dumfries
A Dumfries man has been trying to piece together a Napoleonic Wars mystery in the town.
Liam Chalmers came across an unusual gravestone in St Michael’s Churchyard two years ago.
And he has searching for answers as to why Dr Henry Abergavenny Wootton, who died in 1871, is buried in the cemetery there.
Mr Chamlers said: “It is a mystery how he came to be here because he was the youngest son of Sir William Wootton, Kt., M.D. of Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, London and Mary, his wife, who was the niece of the right honourable Margaret Georgiana Countess Spencer who was the great-great-great-great-grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales.
“It i s a n u nu s u a l g rav e s t o n e a n d mentions both Trafalgar and Waterloo which is rare for Dumfriesshire.
“I enjoyed the articles in the Standard on Friday featuring local links to Waterloo for the bicentenary and want to raise awareness of another Dumfries significant Waterloo internment in that churchyard.”
Mr C ha l mer s e s t a b l i s h e d t hat Dr Wootton was a midshipman in the navy and that he fought at the battle of Trafalgar.
Transferring his services to the army, he was present at Badajos, Salamanca and other battles of the Peninsular War and finished by serving at Waterloo.
In his army career he was twice wounded and received three medals and two clasps. After Trafalgar he was captured by the French but escaped from prison by in female attire.
In addition to several good ser vice badges, he received a government reward for saving a besieged garrison by picking up a shell thrown in by the enemy and tossing it over a parapet before it exploded.
After Waterloo, he studied medicine, rejoined the Army and served for some years in India.
Mr Chalmers added: “He came to Dumfries for family reasons but I have no idea what they were. It looks as if he was in his 80s when he died.
“Why was he buried in Dumfries? I’ve searched the Census records for the 1800s but cannot find any record of his family.”
If anyone has missing pieces to the puzze, call reporter Sharon Liptrott on 01387 240330 or email sharon.lip[email protected] trinitymirror.com.
Puzzled Liam Chalmers at the gravestone of Dr Henry Wootton