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The Peninsular War and Waterloo told in an ordinary British infantryman's own wordsYoung Dorset-man William Lawrence had no appetite to be apprenticed to an abusive builder. He attempted to sign on as a sailor bound for Newfoundland, but when that failed he launched himself into a military career in the 40th regiment of foot. He was now a red-coated infantryman of the British Army at a time when there would be years of continual war-first with Spain during the River Plate Expedition in South America and then in the Iberian peninsula fighting under the command of the Duke of Wellington against Napoleon's invading French army. Lawrence adapted well to the life of a soldier and was no angel. He stole, looted and absconded and had the marks of the lash on his back to show for it. Yet he was also the consummate soldier-a typical, tough, hard-fighting component of the army that could 'go anywhere and do anything'. He fought in most of the famous engagements of the Peninsular War including it's most bloody assault at Badajoz. After Napoleon's abdication Lawrence sailed to America, only to return in time for the momentous battle of Waterloo of which he gives us an often quoted account. This are Lawrence's entire recollections told in his own simple dispassionate style-essential as a memoir of the quintessential British infantryman on campaign during the Napoleonic Age.
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