While researching another subject I came across a record of a Colonel Henry Anderson with his domestic address given as Fort Amherst Chatham. Now those who know Fort Amherst will know it was not well-blessed with quarters appointed for use by Colonels. The only one I can think of was Amherst House that stood at one time within the Amherst Redoubt. So I resolved to find out what I could about Colonel Anderson and what he was doing in Chatham. It was like peeling an onion, with every layer revealing yet another facet of a distingushed military family that suffered a fair amount of tragedy.
My initial reference to Henry Anderson was dated 20th June 1959 as follows 'Brevet-Lt Colonel Henry Anderson, Major-Superintendent of the Infantry and Invalid Depots at Chatham to be promoted Colonel'. So it would appear that his residence at Fort Amherst could have come with the job as it were, in much the same way that Government House went to the Garrison Commander and Pasely House to the Commanding RE.
Henry Anderson appears to have been of Irish stock. The first mention of him in military service is as a very young volunteer with the Killkenny Militia where he attained the rank of Ensign on 22nd July 1813. He was next promoted to Lieutenant with the 69th regiment on 15th June 1815 and it was at the Battle of Waterloo in that year that his real active service came to a premature end. He had an all too short but exciting period of active service. He served in the campaigns of 1814 and 1815 in Holland and the Netherlands, including the action at Merxem, the bombardment of Antwerp, the storming of Bergen-op-Zoom, and actions at Quatre Bras and Waterloo. Serving in the Light Company, 2nd Battalion the 69th Foot, he was severely wounded at Waterloo by a musket ball, which broke the left shoulder, passed through the lungs, and made its exit at the back, breaking the scapula. (Info from the 1859 Army List). One must assume that his constitution was severely affected by his wound as he only attained promotion to the rank of Captain in February 1836, followed by Brevet-Major in 1846, Brevet-Lt Col. in 1854, Major in 1855 and finally Colonel in 1859. All of these ranks were held while he was on the staff at Chatham.
His Waterloo campaign makes for some interesting reading. He fought with the 69th at Quatre Bras and Waterloo where they formed part of Halketts Infantry Brigade along with elements of the 30th, 33rd and 73rd regiments. At Quatre Bras the 69th suffered greatly from French attacks, were almost overwhelmed and lost one of their Colours. They rejoined the army at Waterloo and took their place in the line on the left of the Guards, forming the extreme left portion of all the British infantry placed on the right of the Brussels Charleroi road. For most of the day the 69th with the 33rd was formed in square to resist repeated attacks by the French cavalry. Between those attacks the light troops were extended out in advance of the position held. Henry Anderson was with these advanced troops. The 69th and 33rd continued in this manner for much of the day until the advance of the Imperial Guard at about 7pm. Anderson recieved his wound from a volley fired by the Guard as they came over the ridge on the front of his position. Following Waterloo Anderson was repatriated to England for recovery from his wound. In November 1835 he was still listed as a Lieutenant, now with the 75th regiment with an address at Thexford(?). A side-note here is that the National Army Musuem has the Coatee worn by Lt H Anderson at the Battle of Waterloo preserved and on display.
The next time I found Henry Anderson was as a 'Captain on the Staff at Chatham' in 1840, so I assume having sufficiently recovered he was placed into a non-active staff role at the Infantry Depot. He is to be found in this position in 1841 and 1843 but in 1844 he is listed as Captain of the Invalid Depot Fort Pitt, and in 1848 he is listed in the same position but now as a Major. In 1851 amd 1852 he is listed as 'Invalid Depot Chatham - Major Hen Anderson as Staff Captain'. he continued as Staff Captain in the rank of Brevet-Lt Col. In 1857/58 & 59 he is listed as 'Brevet-Lt Col. Henry Anderson. Major-Superintendent of the Infantry and Invalid Depots at Chatham., and in June 1859 was promoted Colonel. Surprisingly, after so long on the staff at Chatham, in 1860 he transferred to the 45th regiment as a Major. He died in 1860.
Henry Anderson had a large family of which I can find evidence of six sons and at least two daughters. I have been unable to find any detail of his wife or of the places of birth for their children. Of his children I found the following:
1st Son - No detail found.
1st Daughter - Detail found - February 6th 1849 - Marriage at Brompton, Chatham, the Rev George Jesseps MA of Topcroft Norfolk, to Letitia, eldest daughter of Major Henry Anderson of Fort Amherst Chatham.
2nd Son - Henry J Anderson. Detail found - June 1850, marriage at Dacca, Bengal, Henry J Anderson, 34th Madras light infantry, 2nd son of Major Anderson of the Invalid Depot Staff Chatham, to Annie Hessie, daughter of S J Paxton esq. Bengal Civil Service and grand-daughter of Lt Gen. Carpenter.
3rd Son - William Abbot Anderson. In 1845 I found William as an Assistant Surgeon at Chatham. In 1855 a report of his death is found 'at the harbour at Balaklava of Typhus Fever, William Abbot Anderson, Surgeon 41st regiment, 3rd son of Lt Col. Henry Anderson, Fort Amherst Chatham'.
4th Son - Edward Abbot Anderson also referred to as 'the 2nd surviving son'. In the Army Lists for 1855/56 & 57 he is listed as a Lieutenant in the 37th North Hampshire regiment with its Depot in Chatham. In September 1858 there is a marriage announcement, 'At Sefton, Captain Edward Abbot Anderson, 2nd surviving son of Lt Col. Henry Anderson on the Staff of Fort Amherst, to Martha only daughter of the late Thomas Birkett esq of Walton-on-the-Hill.
5th Son - John Gratton Anderson. I have a marriage announcement of January 17th 1857 'At Allahabad, John Gratton Anderson esq. late of HM 37th regiment and son of Lt Col. H Anderson of Fort Amherst Chatham, to Alice Morgan, only daughter of William Abbot. In 1857 there was a tragic announcement made in a report to Parliament of the massacre by mutineers of all the men, women and children of the garrison at Cawnpore. In the death announcents for that period we find, 'At Cawnpore, John Gratton Anderson, esq. formerly a Lt in HM's 37th regiment, and fifth son of Lt Col H Anderson of the Invalid Depot, Chatham; and at the same time and place, his wife Alice Morgan, only daughter of William Abbot esq. Doctors' Commons London.
6th Son - De Lancey Radcliffe Anderson. I have a marriage announcement for him - ' January 9th 1864 - At St George the Martyr Bloomsbury, De Lancey Radcliffe Anderson, Queens Royals, youngest son of the late Colonel Henry Anderson, to Adela Jane, 2nd daughter of William Henry Power esq. MD of Queens Street. I then found for October 7th 1864 a birth announcement - 'The wife of De Lancey Anderson, 2nd Queens Royals, a daughter.
Of the youngest daughter I can find no mention.
So from one mention of someone having an address in Fort Amherst Chatham quite a story unfolds. From the Army Lists of the 1840's to 1860's we discover that a great many officers with very distinguished records served at Chatham.