Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Havelock, William

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HAVELOCK, WILLIAM (1793–1848), lieutenant-colonel, was eldest son of William Havelock of Ingress Park, Kent, and brother of Sir Henry Havelock [q. v.] and of Colonel Charles Havelock, late 16th lancers, who commanded a brigade of Turkish irregulars in the Crimean war. He was born on 23 Jan. 1793, educated at the Charterhouse School and under a private tutor, and on 12 July 1810 was appointed ensign 43rd light infantry, in which he became lieutenant in 1812. He carried one of the colours of the 43rd at the passage of the Coa in 1810, and was present in all the subsequent actions in which the Peninsula light division was engaged to the end of the war, the latter part of the time as aide-de-camp to Major-general Charles, baron Alten [see Alten von, Charles, Count], commanding the division. At the combat of Vera in October 1813 a Spanish force was held in check by a formidable abattis defended by two French regiments. Havelock, who had been sent to ascertain their progress, ‘called on the Spaniards to follow him, and, putting spurs to his horse, cleared the abattis at a bound, and went headlong among the enemy. Then the Spaniards, cheering for “el chico blanco” (the fair boy), for he was very young, and had very light hair, with one shock broke through the French, and this just as their centre was flying under the fire of Kempt's skirmishers’ (Hist. Peninsular War, bk. xxii. chap. iv.) Havelock was Alten's aide-de-camp at Waterloo and at the occupation of Paris. In 1818 he obtained his company in the 32nd foot, and served with that corps in Corfu, afterwards exchanging to the 4th dragoons, then lately made light, with which he went to India. He was some time aide-de-camp to Sir Charles Colville [q. v.] when commander-in-chief at Bombay, and was military secretary to Lord Elphinstone while governor of Madras. He became major 4th light dragoons in 1830, and exchanging into the 14th light dragoons, became lieutenant-colonel of that regiment in 1841. He commanded it in the field under Sir Charles Napier, and with the Bombay troops sent to reinforce Lord Gough's army during the second Sikh war. He fell mortally wounded at the head of his regiment in a desperate but successful charge on the Sikhs at Ramnuggur, on the banks of the river Chenab, on 22 Nov. 1848. His sword arm disabled, his left arm and leg nearly cut off, after eleven of his troopers had been killed beside him, he was left for dead on the field. Havelock married in 1824 Caroline E., daughter of Acton Chaplin of Aylesbury, by whom he left a family.

[Foster's Baronetage, under ‘Havelock-Allan;’ Napier's Hist. Peninsular War; Narratives of the Second Sikh War; Gent. Mag. new ser. 1849, xxxi. 318. This notice has been revised by Colonel A. C. Havelock, Madras Staff Corps, son of the above.]

H. M. C.