• Stephen Callaghan

A Peninsular War Veteran's Grave in Lucan, County Dublin

In a previous post, we looked at the grave of an American Revolutionary War veteran in the old medieval graveyard in Lucan Village. Today we return to this burial ground to examine the grave of a Peninsular War veteran. The plain rectangular gravestone bears the following incised inscription.


TO THE MEMORY OF

CAPTN B. J. SMITH

WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 19TH SEPT 1847

AGED 56 YEARS


Poſseſsed of every Virtue to endear him to his Friends

lamented in death yet not mourned for

as those who had not in JESUS placed

their hope and trust.


Blesses are the righteous with the Lord,

for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.


While the inscription is somewhat sparse in details, with some research we can establish that Captain Smith’s full name was Boys Jenkin Smith.


Boys was born around 1791. He was commissioned as an Ensign in the 11th Regiment of Foot on 13 October 1808. The 11th Regiment of Foot traces its formation back to 1667. It’s first action was in Ireland during the Battle of Boyne in 1690.


Ensign Smith was sent to the Portugal in 1809 with the 1st Battalion, 11th Regiment of Foot to take part in the Peninsular Wars. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 13 September 1810. Lieutenant Smith was present at the Battle of Bussaco (27 September 1810) which was fought in the Portuguese mountain range of Serra do Buçaco and then the Battle of Salamanca (12 July 1812).


The 11th Foot returned home in 1814, and remained on garrison duty for much of the 19th century.


Lieutenant Smith was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the 8th Royal Veteran Battalion dated 24 February 1820. Veteran battalions were mainly comprised of men who were no longer fit or too old for front line service or men who were invalided. The 8th Battalion had been raised in 1804 at Fullham.


Lieutenant Smith was later commissioned as a Captain. His death was noted in the 27 September 1847 edition of The Pilot, where is stated ‘At Lucan, Captain B. J. Smith, of rapid consumption, late 11th Regiment.’ Other newspaper had stated that he had gone to Lucan for the benefit of his health. This was likely due to the sulphur spa, discovered in 1758 by Agmondisham Vesey, the water was claimed to have medical and curative properties.

Captain Smith's grave, Lucan, County Dublin







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