Richard (Rickard) Lloyd was born 1777 in Limerick, Ireland.
16th October 1792 Ensign 66th Foot
14th March 1794 Lieutenant – the 66th Foot were transferred from Gibraltar to St Domingo, West Indies, the island having been taken from the French Republicans was in a state of complete anarchy. Between February 1796 and February 1797, 15 officers and 690 n.c.o’s and men of the 66th Foot died on the island.
On 24th September 1798 the 66th Foot vacated the island and went to Jamaica – Lieutenant Richard Lloyd returned to Europe for the recovery of his health
On the 2nd October 1800 he was appointed Captain in Fraser’s Corps of Infantry in Africa and left for Africa 16th October that year. Emigrating to live in St Mary Bathurst, Africa (now Banjul, Gambia) where his brother Edward was already living, he there married a Creole and had two children
He arrived 1st January 1801, immediately joined Fraser’s Corps tried and failed to seize Senegal, then proceeded to the Island of Goree
June 1801 Captain Lloyd led a volunteer detachment in a successful attack against a Spanish ship (30 guns) without losing a man.
December 1801, he was sent with a detachment of men to the British fortress in Sierra Leone after an attack by natives.
November 1802 he took formal possession of Gambia.
25th December 1803 Richard Lloyd was advanced to Majority.
February 1804 a small French force attacked and captured Goree; Lloyd was wounded in the action and a prisoner of war
9th March 1804 the French capitulated at Goree to H.M.S. Inconstant
April 1804 Fraser’s Corps of Infantry was re-named the Royal African Corps
20th August 1804 saw Major Lloyd embark with 50 men for Sierra Leone.
January 1805 Major Lloyd was ordered to raise 35 volunteers from the Corps to escort Mungo Parke’s Expedition to the interior of Africa – He offered them double pay and freedom should they obtain a certificate of satisfactory conduct; the Corps being comprised mainly of deserters and those from the prison hulks, it was hardly surprising that he had a large response for volunteers. Parke’s in a letter dated 10th November 1805 stated out of the original 44 Europeans who left Gambia in good health only Lieutenant Martin and three soldiers Abraham Bolton, John Connor, Thomas Higgins all of the Royal African Corps and himself were left alive, the others having all perished from fever
In August 1807 the Royal York Rangers was born from 6 Company’s of the Royal African Corps
July 1808 Lloyd left Africa and returned to Europe, where he took four months leave
On 5th September 1808 Major Lloyd left the Royal York Rangers
22nd December 1808 Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Lloyd appointed without purchase to 2nd Battalion 84th Foot York & Lancaster Regiment
On returning home the Creole wife was forced by his father into a separation and Richard Lloyd married a Jane Catherine Gough and they had a daughter Georgie
Lieutenant- Colonel Lloyd commanded the Battalion through the ‘Expedition to the Scheldt’, through it’s time in Ireland and on to the Peninsula campaign.
He commanded at the Nivelle and Nive, where on the 10th December 1813 he was killed in action
The fighting was most severe and Robinson’s Brigade in the Chateau was in great danger of being surrounded as the line to the right of it had given way. ‘ A squadron of French Cavalry suddenly cut down some of Campbell’s Portuguese near the wood, and on the right the Colonel of the 2nd/84th Lt. Col. R. Lloyd having rashly entered a hollow road where the French possessed the high banks was killed with a great number of men’
Lieutenant-Colonel Lloyd was killed by a single musket ball to his chest and was buried at Bidart, the inscription on his tombstone in French reads
Front:- A la memoir, Lt Col Richard Lloyd tue au combat de la Nive, le 10 Decembre 1813. A le tete de 84th Regiment D’infanterie Anglais. Age de 37. ans. Admire de respecte par sa patrie reconnaisante. Honore et estime par ses Officiers et ses soldats. Chere regrette par ses nombres amis.
On One side:- Aquelque Nation que tu appartiennes. Refleche. On Contemplat ce tribute de l’affection conjugal que l’amour de la Patrie, L’honneur la philanthrope et le respect pour les Roles de Merit et de la valuer sont naturel dans tous les climats.
On the other side:- Pour perpetues le souvenir de ses vertues ce monument lui a ete eleve par s veuve (Avec le approbation des autres francaises.) Comme au temerique de sa felicitas oasse et dans l’humble esperance d’une reunion heureuse.
Upon his death the Battalion allegedly had a black thread in their gold lace in undying memory of their late Lieutenant- Colonel.
This seems to be at odds with the suggestion that he was buried upright in his grave; being a well-known practice at the time when those responsible hoped the deceased would get no rest even in death.
Limerick – December 13th – Saturday last the 84th Regiment marched to the Cathedral in funeral procession, and heard Divine Service, being the Anniversary of the death of their late Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Rickard Lloyd,
“As the body of Col. Lloyd was consigned to the grave during the continuance of a severe action, the regiment had no opportunity of interring him with military honours; they have, therefore chosen the anniversary of his fall as the most proper time to gratify their own feelings, by paying this last tribute of affection to him, who they loved as a friend and esteemed as a soldier.
The humblest individual finds a mourner for his loss; but the funeral cry of the warrior, who has expired in supporting his Country’s cause, is swelled by the tears of a nation.
The heartfelt grief displayed by the regiment on this occasion, and the handsome monument erected by them; whilst they afforded the greatest consolation to the family, hold forth one inducement more for the proud daring of a soldier, by convincing him, that if death should arrest him in the career of glory, the memory of his virtues and his valour will be upheld to the world by those who witnessed and could best appreciate them”
The following is the inscription on the monument:-
To the memory of
Lieutenant-Colonel Rickard Lloyd,
Who fell on the 10th Dec. 1813
While engaged in a Successful Contest against
Near the City of Bayonne, in the South of France,
This monument is erected
By the Officers, Non Commissioned Officers,
Of the Second Battalion 84th Regiment of Infantry,
As a testimony of Respect for his Valour
As a Soldier,
And of Affection for his Virtues
As a Man
In September 1809 the 2nd Battalion was stopped from sending out recruiting parties due to poor discipline
During his command in Ireland (1810-12) the Battalion had a bad record for deaths and desertions;
Sir Aubrey de Vere the noted Irish Poet wrote an Epitaph for Colonel Richard Lloyd 84th Foot in 1816
- In memory of a man who sleeps not here,
- The heads and hearts of many joined to rear
- This tablet, for there lived not on this earth
- A man of nobler spirit, purer worth.
- Remember Lloyd! He led his war-worn band
- the first who trod the fated Frenchman’s land;
- And fought beneath a hero’s eye, and won
- Applause from him who lavishes on none.
- At length a bullet struck him and he sank
- Envied in death on the triumphant bank
- Of wintry Nive – yet though it be a pride
- To die thus, think not that unavenged he died
- No! round the sacred relics of the brave
- A hecatomb of victims guard his grave
- With them his silent ashes moulder there
- His full voiced fame is here – is everywhere