William Patrick Brabazon, known at times as Patrick, was a soldier in the British Army. According to the inscription on his tombstone he was born in Ireland on 14 August 1799. His father is said to be William Brabazon born cir 1759 who fought for the King during the American War of Independence and returned to Britain with his regiment afterwards.
William Patrick was in the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, an elite cavalry regiment, most of whom, but not all, were mounted. Troop movements and his children's birth records indicate that he would have been in 'D' troop.
The only Brabazon recorded in the archives of 1st Dragoon Guards is Private P Brabazon with a date of 1834. This is probably him, but some of his children were born before this date in places where ‘D’ troop was stationed. His first four children's births, recorded in the GRO Regimental Birth's Indexes list him as William Brabazon, regiment 'D'Gds'. In church records he is called Patrick.
A Private of the 1st or Kings Dragoons Guards
From Costumes of the Army of the British Empire
by Charles Hamilton Smith.
This uniform was used from 1812 to 1822 when a more elaborate costume was introduced. The flowing horsehair tail on the helmet, seen here, was then replaced by an imposing bearskin crest. Trousers were light blue; later dark blue with a yellow stripe.
The regiment was in Ireland 1810-1814. Regimental headquarters in 1810 were Lisburn and Dundalk. In December 1811 headquarters moved to Dublin and in September 1812 to Clonmell. In May 1813 a detachment of a corporal and seventeen troopers was sent to the Peninsular and on 19 June 1813 the troops were augmented by four boys per troop. There were ten troops, so forty boys would have been recruited in June 1813. William Patrick might have enlisted then as a boy soldier, either by answering an advertisement in Ireland, or from within the regiment if his father was still in the army.
Family history says William Patrick was at the battle of Waterloo, but this is not supported by the records. However he might have been there, but not actually fighting on horseback that day. If he was born in August 1799 he would have been just under sixteen years old in June 1815 when the battle was fought, so maybe he wouldn't have reached the rank of private; would have still been a ‘boy’. In 1815 there were twenty-four lads or boys in that regiment, none of whom were mounted at the time. After Waterloo the regiment was stationed in England and Ireland.
At the battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815 the King's Dragoon Guards formed part of The Household Cavalry Brigade.
The Regiments losses in killed and wounded during the battle were the highest ever recorded.
Of the King's Dragoon Guards 130 officers and men were killed 134 wounded and 269 horses killed. Only 15 were left in action at the end of the day. Tradition holds that the surviving Officers and Sergeants sat down together to share their meal on the evening of the battle. In memory of that evening the officers and sergeants of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards dine together in the Sergeant's Mess on each 18th June.
1st Kings Dragoon Guards, The Baggage Train by Henry Perlee Parker, 1824
Collection of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards Heritage Trust.
This painting shows the baggage wagons of 1st King's Dragoon Guards outside St Nicholas Church (now
the Cathedral of Newcastle), Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the hardships of the Regiment’s move between stations. With its hay cart, bustle, and boxes it gives an idea of the amount of supplies needed to move the soldiers, wives, sweethearts and children from one station to another.(BBC :Your Paintings)
William Patrick Brabazon married Margaret Hardman, 21 November 1826 in Preston Lancashire. Apparently soldiers had to get permission to marry so Margaret must have passed inspection. She later said her religion was Catholic but the marriage was in St John's Parish Church - Church of England. A transcript in ‘Lancashire Marriages’ says the marriage was by banns, Patrick was a bachelor and Margaret was a spinster, both of the parish. There is an X by their names indicating perhaps that they signed their names with an X. Witnesses were James Rishton and Catherine Hardman. Catherine Hardman also has an X by her name. The minister was Robert Wright.
Their first child Isabella was born in Clogheen Co Tipperary Ireland in 1830. ‘D’ troop were stationed there between 16 April and 9 December. Isabella must have died young.
William Robert was born in England 22 Oct 1832 possibly in Leeds. ‘D’ troop had left Ireland in April, and by May were in Leeds. By 8 December they were in Burnley and by 26 December in Sheffield (they kept on the move). In 1834 the Regiment was in Brighton.
17th February. The Troop at Head Quarters paraded in review order and were reviewed in the riding school of The Royal Pavilion Brighton, by Their Most Gracious Majesties King William IV, and Queen Adelaide who were pleased to express their unqualified approbation of the appearance of the regiment in every particular.
23rd February - Horse number 22 'H' Troop, sent for from Brighton Barracks by His Majesty King William IV, being at that time upwards of 25 years old and the only veteran horse from Waterloo still serving in the regiment. His Majesty was graciously pleased to order that it should be turned out in one of the Royal Parks, and presented the regiment in exchange with a very handsome Cream Colour from the Royal Stud. Note: A hoof off horse number 22 is now on display in the regimental museum.
In April 1834 'D' troop left Brighton for Trowbridge in Wiltshire and in April 1835 left Trowbridge for Birmingham. Catherine was christened in Trowbridge on 8 March 1835. Nothing more has been found about Catherine.
In April 1836 'D' troop went from Stafford to Manchester. Richard was christened 30 April 1837 in St George Hulme, the garrison church for the Hulme Barracks, his father recorded in the church records as Patrick. In May 1837 'D' troop left Manchester and embarked for Ireland and were there until sent to Canada.
The regiment was sent to Quebec Canada to quell a rebellion in 1838 and were there until July 1843. Margaret was christened 12 January 1840 in St Stephen's Anglican Church, Chambly, Quebec, father listed as Patrick. John Richard was born in Stanford Ontario 23 April 1843 just before the regiment returned to England
James was born at Niagara Falls Canada 7 August 1845. William Patrick must have decided to stay in Canada and take his discharge there. There was a fort near Chippewa in Welland County, Ontario and in 1851 the family appears in the census living there. All were described as labourers, even though the youngest child was only about six. William said he was Church of England. Margaret gave her religion as Roman Catholic. Their children William, Richard, Margaret, John and James didn't admit to any religion.
About 1856 the family crossed to the United States and by 1860 they were living in Delevan Wisconsin. William was a day labourer.
William Patrick Brabazon died in Sugar Creek Walworth Wisconsin and was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery. The cemetery records say the date was 1874 but the inscription on his memorial says that he died either 10 or 18 January 1870.
Website of 1st the Queens Dragoon Guards: In 1969 Kings Dragoon Guards became part of the Queen's Dragoon Guards. Regimental movements and other details are from their web-site.
Sara Hazzard of Minnesota USA
A J Tyson on Genforum
Church and Cemetery records
Canadian & US Censuses
Charles Dalton, The Waterloo Roll Call.
BBC: Your Paintings Website
‘The Baggage Train’ is reproduced by kind permission of Ist The Queens Guards Heritage Trust. It is on long-term loan to the Firing Line Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier.
Details on Private P Brabazon no 202 (ref. no. 1336) may be ordered online from the Firing Line Museum http://www.cardiffcastlemuseum.org.uk/military-genealogy.html