• Stephen Callaghan

A Forgotten Peninsular War Veteran in Kilbeggan


Bell tower and graveyard in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath

In the town of Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, lies the ruined 19th century bell tower of St. James Church. The 18th church building was demolished in the mid 20th century. Today the associated graveyard contains 29 inscribed memorials. Many of these memorials are to prominent locals, however one is to a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars. Today we take a brief look at the memorial to Captain Robert Robinson.


Captain Robinson's memorial takes the form of a table tomb, which is supported by two legs (the other two missing), the inscription reads:


Here lies the Body of

Robt Robinson late Lieut in

The 32 Regt of Foot Capt in

the 9th or Portugueze Regt of

Viana died Aug 3rd 1820

Aged _ _ years


Captain Robinsons table tomb.

Robert was commissioned into the 32nd Regiment of Foot as an Ensign on 31 August 1804. The 32nd Regiment of Foot had been raised in 1702 and saw much service prior to the Napoleonic Wars.


Ensign Robinson was further promoted to Lieutenant on 27 November 1806 and then to Captain on 26 August 1809. He saw service throughout the Napoleonic Wars and was present at the Battles of Roliça (17 August 1808), Vimeiro (21 August 1808), Corunna (16 January 1809) and the Battle of Salamanca (22 July 1812) where he was slightly wounded.


As recorded on his tomb, some of his service was with the Portuguese Army. Captain Robinson died in Kilbeggan on 3 August 1820 and rests forgotten in a quiet corner of this small midlands town.

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