William Topaz McGonagall

(1830 - 1902 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

A Humble Heroine - Poem by William Topaz McGonagall

'Twas at the Seige of Matagarda, during the Peninsular War,
That a Mrs Reston for courage outshone any man there by far;
She was the wife of a Scottish soldier in Matagarda Port,
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Comments about A Humble Heroine by William Topaz McGonagall

  • Susan Williams (12/21/2015 4:26:00 PM)

    I had heard about her before! This was a real woman and did the deeds described in this poem. Her attention to the wounded soldiers made her a heroine to her husband and all the soldiers. When she wasn't nursing the injured, she carried sand bags for repair of the battery, handed along ammunition, and supplied the gunners with wine and water. When the battle looked lost, other women in the battery were taken to safety but she refused to go. She stayed in the shattered fort with the men although there was little ammo left.. After her husband died in 1844, she was poverty stricken and became an inmate in a hospital. Even though she was 72 years old, she worked there as a nurse. When the soldiers heard this, they appealed for money for this truly valiant and deserving, though sadly neglected woman. They collected an annuity for her of £30 a year. She was now independent, but she preferred to remain in the hospital, paying for her board. After setting aside sufficient for her funeral expenses, anything left over she gave to charity. She died on Christmas Eve,1856, at the age of 85 her gravestone has the inscription:
    In memory of James Reston, late serjeant 94th Regiment, who died on the 24th day of October,1834, aged 63 years, and of Agnes Harkness, his wife, The Heroine of Matagorda, who died 24 December 1856, aged 85 years.- -reference Wikipedia
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  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (12/21/2015 12:57:00 AM)

    So the French were beaten and were glad to run,
    And the British for defeating them golden opinions have won.....
    Nice one.
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  • Brian Jani (5/2/2014 10:36:00 AM)

    Nicely writen poem I like it so much (Report) Reply

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