Sergt. William Lees

    As one of the 23d Light Dragoons he served at the Battle of Telavera, in 1809, and at the Battle of Waterloo, under the Duke of Wellington, June 18, 1815. He died Oct 30, 1868 and his remains are interred at St. John’s graveyard.

Interesting footnote of History that a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and the Battle of Waterloo is buried here in Windsor…

5 Comments on Sergt. William Lees

  1. Thanks for finding and sharing this Andrew. Who knew Windsor had such an interesting person buried here.

  2. The British were busy establishing an English Protestant presence in what would become Essex County in the early 1800’s. They wished to counteract the French Catholic and American origins of the Detroit River region. Mr. Lees would have been a prime candidate for a free land grant or lot: an English-speaking, Protestant veteran officer. St. John’s was just being established to serve these types of residents. This might explain why he ended up buried in the St. John’s cemetery. It would be interesting to see if he served in the War of 1812, before Waterloo.

  3. Only the grievously wounded veterans of the Napoleonic wars qualified for a British army pension. By the 1820s, Britain was feeling the burden of supporting the injured. A plan was devised to get the disabled soliders out of the country by offering incentives to leave. Some 3,161 were lured to Canada. “But it’s difficult to see how these men, some of whom had been in the army for 30 years, could have any idea what awaited them in Canada, or could understand the physical strength and mental determination needed to clear a farm and grow crops. British records show that at least half of them had lost a limb during war service. Others had gunshot or artillery wounds, back injuries or psychological problems. Few of the former soldiers knew anything other than army life: Regular rations of food and rum, small but steady pay, and endless hours of drill. Farming, or even gardening, was not normally part of the life of a British private or non-commissioned officer.”
    More here:
    Lees would have been about 31 when he fought at Waterloo. The cemetery record gives his occupation as “pensioner.”

  4. He apparently had a young wife, Milly, her gravestone is next his and she died in 1910 ( or 1918) at the age of 67.

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