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Ben Townsend

The Poisoning of rifleman Crow

Bugler Edwards posted an account of the casualties for the 2/95th during the Waterloo campaign recently, and contained in it is this cryptic reference for 4 company:

John CROW                4   (" died 17TH June  of poison" )

I'm not necessarily suggesting that we recreate this with our very own rifleman Crowe, but thought it might be interesting to get to the bottom of this- so if we do have to poison Ben, it at least happens in a historically accurate manner that might be of some consolation to him.

I believe there is more information on this murder in the memoirs of Thomas Knight- I don't have access to it at this moment, can someone check and post please.

The memoir of Walton, 2/95th also details this unpleasant moment. He says it happened at a midday halt on the 17th when the combined 2/3rd battalions were marching to Quatre Bras. They were fell out for cooking and plundering the houses for provisions- yes, actually ordered to do so by their general, and outside the small town, a name of which he had forgotten, W. Crow (one of two brothers in the regiment) went into a house for a drink of water. They gave him some milk, and half an hour later he was dead.

Note that Walton gives the murdered man's name as W Crow, whereas it is John Crow in the muster lists.

If it's for historical accuracy then I suppose it has to happen, though don't tell Amy else she will be far too happy.

Ben C  - where on earth did you get the image of the poisoned Crow for your Avatar?

From "Rifles at Waterloo" Caldwell Cooper p 27
" .....Rifleman Thomas Knight of Captain Fullerton's Company was one of these, but upon reaching a large farmhouse they found a dead Rifleman. It was Thomas Crow of the 2nd Battalion 95th Rifles who had been poisoned whilst probably looking for something stronger to drink than water. They then proceeded to plunder and smash up everything in the farm in revenge. Going into the cellar they filled their canteens with wine, then stripped the new uniform from the dead Rifleman and divided the clothes among the more needy."

Thomas Knight's own version would be good to have here - I think its in Men of the Rifles (Leonaur)  ?

So was it John , or William or Thomas Crow ?? That's the problem with crows - they all look alike - we will probably discover it was actually a Rook.

Just noticed - I am a Forum Serjeant now!  I must get Anne to make me a sash..........

Getting into a large farm house,and finding one of the 95th dead, we supposed that he had been poisoned,and immediately plundered and smashed everything there. We then immediately filled our canteens in the cellar, and after stripping our dead comrade (who was no other than private rook, in whose place I had volunteered*) to the shirt, and wrapping him in straw, buried him in the garden, and divided his nice new clothes among those who were worse off.'

The Reminiscences of Thomas Knight of the 95th (Rifles)  Men of the rifles, Leonaur Ltd

*Knight recollected volunteering to take the place of Rook,a man with a family, whose wife made a 'great fuss' about her husband being picked out to sail for Holland in Graham's campaign.

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