James Betts was born C1797 at Birmingham, Warwickshire
25th September 1811 he was enlisted age 14 years at Ashton by Lieutenant St Clair’s recruiting party
29th September 1811 he attested before a magistrate for unlimited service, with a bounty of £4/13/6d – description 5’ tall, light complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, a nailor by occupation and joined the Depot companies
25th December 1812, having learnt his drills he then joined the 2/84th from Depot Companies and shown as ‘boy’
24th July 1813 joined ‘columns of men’ and sailed at the end of the month with the battalion to northern Spain.
In the quarter September to December, he spent 57 days out of 90 in hospital, missing Battle of Nivelle, however he was present at Battles of Nive
In the quarter January to March 1814, he spent a further 84 out of 90 days in hospital. During this period the battalion was in isolation from the remainder of the army due to illness, when the 2/84th suffered heavy losses from disease
On returning to Irish shores, he was on detachment to various places and was retained on the battalion being disbanded.
In 1818-9 he was a guard on the convict ships to New South Wales, before again returning to Ireland
25th June 1828 James Betts was discharged from the Regiment as unfit for service with dropsy from the lower extremities. He was described at discharge as 5’ 6½, dark brown hair, brown eyes, light complexion and having been a good soldier.
9th July 1828, he was admitted to pension and lived with his Irish wife and three daughters in the Harbourne area of Birmingham until his death on 4th January 1859.
For his service in Spain/France he was awarded a Military General Service Medal with the single clasp Nive; he did also make claim for clasp Pyrennees, which was refused