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Narrative of the Eventful Life of Thomas Jackson

Militiaman and Coldstream Sergeant, 1803-15

Narrative of the Eventful Life of Thomas Jackson : Militiaman and Coldstream Sergeant, 1803-15

Series : From Reason to Revolution 1721-1815 #14

Author : Thomas Jackson, Eamonn O'Keeffe

Paperback Helion & Company 234mm x 156mm 134 pages 13 b/w ills., 3 b/w maps

£16.95 including FREE UK delivery

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Thomas Jackson’s autobiography provides a colourful account of his experiences as a militiaman, Coldstreamer, and Chelsea pensioner. Son of a Walsall bucklemaker, Jackson joined the Staffordshire Militia aged 17 and spent a decade on home service, much of it passed at Windsor Castle and Weymouth guarding King George III. As a sergeant in the Coldstream Guards, he served in Sir Thomas Graham’s 1813-14 campaign in the Netherlands and was wounded and captured during the storming of Bergen-op-Zoom. Jackson provides a harrowing account of this failed assault, the ensuing amputation of his right leg, and his subsequent year-long convalescence. While many military memoirs end with news of peace or discharge, Jackson also chronicles his post-war life as a Chelsea pensioner and war amputee, describing his struggles raising a family amidst economic turmoil and cholera outbreaks. Jackson provides a fresh and often critical perspective on service in the ranks. Embittered by the loss of his leg, he laments the plight of army veterans, doomed by an ungrateful nation to lives of ‘pinching poverty’. His memoir also does not shrink from graphically describing the horrors of combat. Indeed, Neil Ramsey, author of a recent comprehensive study of military memoirs, wrote that Jackson’s story deserved ‘far wider attention as one of the most harrowing accounts of war’s miseries to be written in the nineteenth century’.   Yet despite the clear merits of his testimony, Jackson’s Narrative has never been reissued since its initial publication. Enhanced with additional research and commentary by historian Eamonn O’Keeffe, this new edition makes Jackson’s lively and invaluable autobiography publicly available for the first time in 170 years.


“Read Jackson's narrative and you cannot fail to agree: honour the memory of the Walsall soldier by giving generously to those charities that support the young men who have lost limbs in more recent wars.” Miniature Wargames


"Narrative of the Eventful Life is filled with much detail on topics that I have not found in any other set of memoirs. ……….is extremely well written. Its wide variety of unusual topics will hold the interest of even the casual reader. It is destined to be a classic among Napoleonic memoirs. Highly recommended." Napoleon Series

Additional Information

Helion & Company
Date of Publication
February 2018
Book Size
234mm x 156mm
134 pages
13 b/w ills., 3 b/w maps
English text
Helion Book Code
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