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Lt Colonel Charles Augustus West
Born in Madras in 1766, he was one of a total of 19 children born to his mother in 2 marriages. The family returned to England around 1773/74. On March 9 1782 he was appointed as Page Of Honour to King George III, an appointment he held until March 25 1794. How he obtained this position is a mystery as such appointments were much sought after by members of the aristocracy for their sons but it is believed the position was obtained with the assistance of the Duke of Montague. In 1788 he eloped to Gretna Green with Charlotte Perry and they were married in secret there on September 26. (see Charlotte Perry's biog. for more details).
J H Leslie states in his 'History Of Landguard Fort' that the reason for the elopement was that as page of honour he could not ask the King's permission to marry. A more likely explanation is that George III was suffering from one of his porphyric attacks. His 'insanity' at that time (1788) was such that the reins of power had been temporarily transferred to the Prince of Wales. Hence the king was not in a position to make any decisions. However, the following year the couple were married again in St Luke's, Chelsea - Charlotte being heavily pregnant at the time.
On March 20 1784 he joined the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards as an Ensign. In 1797 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and to that of Captain in 1804. He saw active service in Ireland, Holland, Egypt, Germany, Denmark, Portugal and Spain. He received the GSM for his service in Egypt under General Abercombie and won an additional clasp for his bravery at the Battle Of Talavera, where he was wounded. In 1811 he was invalided out of the Guards and became Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Royal Veteran battalion and Lieutenant Governor of Landguard Fort (a fortification near Harwich), a position he held until his death in Aberdeen Place,Maida Hill, London in 1854.
A memorial tablet to him and his son Lieutenant Colonel Charles Edward West was erected in December, 1909 in the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London. Unfortunately the Chapel was bombed in 1944 and all the tablets were destroyed. The inscriptions below are on the outside wall of the Chapel.