Robert Wallace of Kilmichael, County Cork - First Anglo-Sikh War

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Robert Wallace of Kilmichael, County Cork - First Anglo-Sikh War

Post by fw200condor » 11 Jan 2022 12:21

I am searching for additional information on Robert Wallace, a Protestant of Kilmichael, County Cork (near Dunmanway).

He was an Irish linen weaver who became an infantryman who served in the 6th Foot Regiment, 29th Foot Regiment and 40th Foot Regiment and was discharged aged 42, eligible to be a Chelsea pensioner.

After this he worked as a prison guard on a convict ship to Van Diemen's Land and worked as a gaoler once he arrived.

A detailed obituary can be read here: ... ace%20sikh

The article notes he was present at the capture of Aden and the Battle of Maharajpore in the Gwalior campaign.

He was wounded at the Battle of Ferozeshah in the First Anglo-Sikh War, in which one of his sons was killed at his side.

What else can we determine about his early life (I've heard his ancestors came from Lanarkshire in Scotland but have been unable to confirm) and military career? Any information would be appreciated. Why did a weaver join the army? This was before the potato famine so that would not be a factor. Would his Protestant faith have a bearing on him joining the British Army and fighting for the East India Company? How were Irish Protestants in the army perceived at that time? In general, did the army have a reputation as a refuge for the uncouth or a more respected image in the first half of the 19th Century in Britain?

His wife was with him as at least one of his sons was born in Mumbai. How common was it was a wife to travel with an infantryman to India? Would she have had any kind of duty assisting the soldiers?

Thanks in advance!


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