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"From Bugler to Lieutenant Colonel: Alexander ..." Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2022 9:11 p.m. PST

… Joseph Wolff


"One of the joys of having written a regimental history is that I still get contacted by descendants of the men I wrote about, long after the book has been published, and I get to learn a little more about the riflemen and their later lives. This week a great great grandson of a rifleman who served in the 5th Battalion 60th Foot sent me his ancestor's obituary:

In our issue of the 10th instant, it is our painful duty to announce the death of one of our best known and most respected citizens, Alexander Joseph Wolff, J.P. of Valcartier, formerly Adjutant of the 5th Battalion of H.M. 60th Rifles and Lieut. Col. Of the 11th Battalion of Quebec Militia. Col. Wolff was born in Vienna, in the Empire of Austria, and at the early age of thirteen entered the British Army. In 1801 he was in Egypt with Sir Ralph Abercromby whose name is sacred to every British soldier. He was with the force dispatched from Cork in 1808 under the command of the Duke of Wellington (then Sir Arthur Wellesley) and fought under the great General against the French at the battle of Rolica and Vimeiro in Portugal, on the 17th & 21st of August of that year. He was with the army which crossed the Douro in May 1809, under Sir Arthur and which defeated Marshal Soult and took Oporto from the French. He continued with the troops stationed in Portugal until they advanced into Spain and commenced operations against the French to complete their expulsion from the Peninsula. He was at the battle of Talavera in July 1809; at Fuentes d'Onora, when Marshal Massena made his impetuous but unsuccessful attack upon the British; at Albuera in May 1811; at the storming and taking of Ciudad Rodrigo in January 1812; at the siege and capture of Badajoz in April; at the battle of Salamanca in July and at the battle of Vittoria in June 1813. He served during the whole campaign in the Pyrenees, and mountain passes of which had become the scene of fierce encounters. He was at the battle of Nivelle and Nives in November 1813; at the battle of Orthez, in France, in the Lower Pyrenees in February and finally, at the taking of Toulouse in April 1814, from the French under Marshal Soult. He was wounded on five several occasions, that is, at the storming and taking of Ciudad Rodrigo, and of Badajoz, and at the battles of Oporto, Salamanca and Orthez. As a reward for his military services, he received the war medal with thirteen clasps, being entitled to sixteen, and three remaining to be sent to him. The latter part of his life was spent in the retirement of the country and occupied chiefly in improving and managing his property at Valcartier. There, in the bosom of his family he passed many years beloved and respected by all around him, making himself useful by the faithful discharge of his duties as the commander of a Battalion of Militia and as an active and upright magistrate. Col. Wolff possessed an excellent understanding and was distinguished by suavity and modesty of manner and most benevolent disposition and by a conscientious attention to his religious duties as a sincerely attached member of the Church of England…"


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