Mys­tery of ‘Waterloo’ grave­stone in Dumfries

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - APPALLING RECORD -

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

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