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Death of Sir John Moore, 16 January 1809

Aquatint by T Sutherland, after W Heath, published by J Jenkins, 2 January 1815. From 'The Martial Achievements of Great Britain and Her Allies from 1799 to 1815'.

Napoleonic Generals, unlike their counterparts today, had to lead their men directly from the battlefield and had to be seen to be in the thick of the action. This explains why so many senior officers, from both sides, were killed or wounded during the Peninsular War (1808-1814).

Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore (1761-1809) was a commander of British troops during that campaign. He had taken command following the removal of General Sir Harry Burrard for his signing of the Convention of Cintra in 1808. When Napoleon arrived in Spain with 200,000 soldiers, Moore withdrew northwards to the port of Corunna. There he fought a skilful rearguard battle on 16 January 1809 that kept the French from attacking his embarking army. Moore was mortally wounded during the engagement and buried in the ramparts of the town. His French counterpart, Marshal Soult, was so impressed by Moore that he ordered a monument erected to his fallen foe as a sign of respect.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1971-02-33-532-12


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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