Daniel Milton was not native to this area. He was born at Culmstock, east Devon, about 1780. Before entering the army, he was a baker by trade. On 13th March 1801, aged 21, at Hilsea, Portsmouth, he voluntarily enlisted for unlimited service with the 2nd Battalion 95th Rifles. Prior to this he had been attached to the Prince of Wales Fencibles.
His first overseas service was with General Sir Samuel Auchmuty in South America, his regiment embarking with the fleet in December 1806; the expedition arrived at the mouth of the River Plate in mid-January 1807. The troops captured Montevideo, receiving considerable casualties. A subsequent attack on Buenos Aires in July was unsuccessful, and the fleet headed for home. In June 1808 the 95th Rifles sailed for Portugal, where Daniel was to fight under Wellington for several years during the Peninsular Wars. At Waterloo in 1815, Milton served in Captain Francis Le Blanc’s No 6 Company, later receiving the Waterloo medal. He would also have been entitled to receive the Military General Service Medal with 6 clasps; Vimiera, Corunna, Salamanca, Vittoria, Orthes, and Toulouse.
At the time of his discharge on 15th September 1818, his total army service came to 21 years and 83 days including the time he had served in the Prince of Wales Fencibles (1799-1801). On his discharge, he was described as 5ft 6ins tall, with brown hair, blue eyes and a pale complexion. He signed his own discharge papers and was admitted as a Chelsea Out-Pensioner at 1/- per day on 23rd September 1818. His conduct was described as “very good,” and discharge was in consequence of being “old and worn out and affected with chronic rheumatism which commenced in France in the winter of 1815.”
It appears that Daniel married Mary Jorden at Culmstock in 1820. In the 1840s the Milton family settled in the Halifax area. The 1851 Census shows Daniel, aged 74, living at 57 Willson’s Cottages, Northowram (actually Haley Hill area), with his family and two lodgers. All seven were born at Culmstock, Devon. Daniel was recorded as a Chelsea Pensioner and labourer in a factory. His wife was Mary Milton, aged 68; Daughters: Harriet, 26, carpet-factory worker, Ruth, 22, factory worker, with grand-daughter: Mary Anne, 5, scholar.
Daniel Milton died at Range Bank on 9th April 1856 aged 80 (age does not agree with some earlier ones); paralysis was given as the cause of death. His Death Certificate described him not as a be-medalled Waterloo veteran, but simply as “workman at a carpet factory,” and it seems very probable that he worked at Crossleys. On April 12th, Milton was buried in a public grave at Lister Lane, the register of burials stating simply: trade: labourer. The funeral cost 10/-.
Early in 2014, assisted by a legacy in memory of a valued deceased helper, Adrian Smith, and with a view to commemorating the bicentenary in 2015, The Friends of Lister Lane Cemetery employed a local stone mason to create a memorial (image left) to this veteran of the Battle of Waterloo (1815), buried in an unmarked grave. Since that time, the burial of his wife Mary, who died two years later, in 1858, aged 70, was discovered in another unmarked grave in the row just to the west, eight plots to the north.
Daniel Milton’s Waterloo medal came up for auction with a London auctioneer a few years ago, however, the current whereabouts of his Military General Service Medal is unknown.
Robert Nutter was born at Ovenden on 30th June 1792, a younger son of Matthew and Phoebe Nutter, who worshipped at the Pellon Lane Particular Baptist Chapel. As a young man, Robert was a weaver, a trade to which he later returned.
He enlisted in the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) on 16th August 1813, at the age of 19. He was recorded as 5 ft 9 ins tall, with brown hair, grey eyes, and of dark complexion. Two years later he was serving with Lieut.-Colonel Sir Robert Chambre Hill’s troop at Waterloo, where he was wounded. He was discharged on 7th February 1817, returning to Halifax.
On 26th November 1821, he married Martha Atkinson at Halifax Parish Church. They lived at New Pellon, and had five children, several of whom were baptised in one batch at Halifax Parish Church in 1828, suggesting a move away from the Baptist doctrine. The older children were James, born 1823, Mary, born 1825, Matthew, born 1826, and John born 1827; oddly mother Martha’s name was wrongly given as Mary in the Register. Elizabeth the youngest was born in 1830.
By 1851 the family had moved to 25 North Darley Street; Martha died in 1860. Robert died at 72 Crossley Terrace, Halifax on 23rd February 1867, aged 74. The funeral was held at Lister Lane four days later, the cost being £1 4 shillings.
Between 1847 and 1850 Mary cohabited with a man known as “George” and gave birth to Matthew Henry in 1850, who took her surname of Nutter. In 1856 Mary married Abraham Benn; they had one daughter, Hannah, but Abraham committed suicide after a short while “due to temporary insanity".
In 1870 she married John Blackburn, who had recently moved to Halifax from Scissett; and the family was living in Crossley Terrace in 1871, with Matthew, but without Hannah who was living with her aunt Elizabeth and her husband Richard Kershaw. (In the 1861 Census Hannah was living with her uncle James Nutter).
The images of Robert Nutter's Waterloo medal and gravestone courtesy of Fred Shelley.
After her father’s death, and leaving her second husband Blackburn, Mary and her two children emigrated to Massachusetts, where Matthew married Lydia Craven in 1876, a girl from next door in the same street in Halifax. Lydia had joined others of her Craven family in Massachusetts at some stage.
Early in 1877 the whole family emigrated again - via New York - to New South Wales, Australia. Matthew’s son Joseph was born on board ship a few miles out of Sydney; and he was the direct ancestor of Fred Shelley, with whom we have been in touch by email about Robert Nutter. Fred still has the Waterloo commemorative medal belonging to his 3-x great grandfather Robert Nutter (images right). In September 2016, whilst on vacation from Australia, Fred paid a visit to the cemetery and for a brief time the medal and its original recipient were reunited (image left).