1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gurwood, John

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GURWOOD, JOHN (1790-1845), British soldier, began his career in a merchant's office, but soon obtained an ensigncy in the 52nd (1808). With his regiment he served in the “Light Division” of Wellington's army throughout the earlier Peninsular campaigns, and at Ciudad Rodrigo (19th Jan. 1812) he led one of the forlorn hopes and was severely wounded. For his gallant conduct on this occasion Wellington presented Gurwood with the sword of the French governor of Ciudad Rodrigo. A little later, transferring to the 9th Light Dragoons, he was made brigade-major to the Guards' cavalry which had just arrived in the Peninsula. In the latter part of the war he served as brigade-major to Lambert's brigade of the sixth infantry division, and was present at the various actions in which that division played a conspicuous part — the Nivelle, the Nive, Orthes and Toulouse. At Waterloo Captain Gurwood was for the third time severely wounded. In the first twelve years of the peace he was promoted up to the grade of lieut.-colonel, and in 1841 became brevet-colonel. He was for many years the duke of Wellington's private secretary, and was entrusted by him with the collection and editing of the Wellington Despatches, which occupied Gurwood from 1837 to the end of his life. This work is a monument of industrious skill, and earned its author a Civil List Pension of £200. But overwork and the effects of his wounds had broken his health, and he committed suicide on Christmas day 1845. He was a C.B. and deputy-lieutenant of the Tower.