The 41st came to Canada in 1799, serving both Upper and Lower Canada prior to the war. They arrived on the western front, at Amherstburg, in 1805. By then, their reputation as an effective fighting force had been well established. General Brock noted the men to be “fit and well informed” and mentioned their “high state of discipline.” When war broke out they had already spent thirteen years in North America and they were expecting to return home to Britain on a rotation transfer. Instead, the marching orders were altered; remain fast and defend the Motherland’s colony.
A small guard detachment stationed at Fort Malden fired the opening shots of the war, their target General Hull’s men at the River Canard bridge. The date was July 16, 1812. The heroic stand became a rallying cry as the Regiment stepped up its war rehearsal manoeuvers.
As a first line fighting unit, the 41st went into action early in August, at Brownstown and Maguaga. Then came their greatest triumph, the total surrender of Fort Detroit (16 August 1812). Of the 21 Gunners that saw action at Fort Detroit, one was Gunner Henry Rammage (1775-1861) who enlisted with the Royal Artillery on December 24, 1796 at Woolwich, England. He served at Quebec, Fort George and Fort Malden, arriving at the latter post in 1804/05. Beside seeing action at Fort Detroit, he was seriously wounded at River Raisin, 22 January 1813.
After the American victory at The Battle of Lake Erie, forces crossed the lake into Canada on October 5, 1813 at what became known as the Battle of Thames. British forces commanded by General Proctor were forced to withdraw. The American forces caught up with the surrendering British and Indians and decisively defeat them. Tecumseh, the Indian chief, was killed in the battle.
At Moraviatown (the Battle of the Thames) October 5, 1813 many were wounded or killed and hundreds taken prisoners. This weary, dispirited lot trudged several hundred miles through the forest to Camp Bull, an American outpost near Chillicothe, Ohio where they spent the next year, confined and sedentary.
November 1, 1814 shows Henry as being present at Longuiel, Quebec and “Invalided.” After his discharge, Henry together with his wife, Jenny, and children Mary, age 9, William, age 7, Jane, age 5, George, age 3 and possibly Elizabeth, an infant, established residence at Trafalgar, Upper Canada. Three additional children were born here — Henry Russel on the 28th March 1818, James in 1824 and Amelia in 1825. It must be presumed that Henry continued to apply his trade qualifications as a carpenter after his discharge from the army. The Trafalgar area was receiving many emigrants from Great Britain and other countries and qualified carpenters would be in demand.
The Public Record office in Surrey, England contains the Chelsea Pension registers for the Colonies from 1817-1826 and 1845-1854. In those records is an entry for Henry Rammage, of the 4th Battalion Royal Artillery, stating that he was a resident near Toronto. Also a letter to the Surveyor General, dated 3rd April 1830, orders that Henry Rammage of the Township of Trafalgar receive a grant of 100 acres of free land, recognizing his status as a discharged Gunner of the Royal Artillery. (Ontario Archives, Toronto. R.G.1, C-I-3, Vol. 113, Warrant #R35)
Gunner Rammage, with nineteen years of service, took his pension in November 1814 (invalided), to homestead, eventually, on a one hundred acre parcel of land near Lynnville, Norfolk County (Certificate #2163) — daily rate of pension 1/0 (one shilling) for being partially disabled, paid quarterly. He suffered wounds at Frenchtown where his crew opened cannonade fire as a softening-up action. In the heat of battle the crew blundered. They swabbed the field piece, then, mistakenly, rammed the ball into the barrel before the powder. In the confusion, they were picked off. As Gunner Rammage told it…
“…having been shot in the arm and leg my fidlin and dancing were stopped and I lay wounded on the field all day.”
They settled north of Lynnville village, near the Lynville school which was built some twenty years after their arrival. In 1856 landowner’s map of the township it shows H.Rammage as occupying lot 6, concession IX. The value of an acre of land in 1830 was around $2-$3.
While living in retirement in Windham, and then 74 years of age, Henry Rammage received the Military General Service Medal 1793-1814 for action at Fort Detroit. The encounter had occurred 37 years previously.
Possession of the medal can be traced as follows: on the death of the recipient in 1861, his eldest son, William took possession of it. He migrated to Louisville, Kentucky in August of 1871 and died there in February, 1872. His son, James then became the possessor and on his death in 1931 the medal was sent to Poomona, California to be kept by Caleb “Ed” Rammage, a brother of James. Ed died in 1932 and the medal was eventually returned to Ontario. A great, great grandson, Stuart A. Rammage presented it to Fort Malden where it is presently in 2012, the 200th anniversary of the war.
[Graveside Team ed — Cemetery GPS coordinates approximate as no definitive location given.]
Veteran SummaryHenry Rammage
Gunner, Royal Artillery
Place of Birth
Dunfermline, County Fife, Scotland
Place of Death
Simcoe, ON, CAN
Died on: 28 SEP 1861
Reason: He was "invalided" during the war and ultimately died of old age.
Location of Grave
Old Windham Cemetery, Hwy 24
Simcoe, ON, CAN
Latitude: 44.42106N Longitude: -80.200239