Tittle World

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Monday, August 21, 2006

War Hero

F&I No. 10: Captain John Moore Tittle.
An ancestor of mine, Captain Tittle was born on 17th July 1792 at the family seat of Farmhill, Coleraine in the far North of Ireland. His father, also John Tittle was a member of the Corporation of Coleraine for 40 years and was appointed Prothonotary (a sort of clerk of the court, with the power to affix the seal of the court on documents) and Landwaiter (I think this is a sort of customs officer; derived from ‘landing waiter’).
At the age of 17 John Tittle served in the 38th Regiment as part of the Walcheren expedition. This was a military expedition during the Napoleonic wars to try and seize the port of Antwerp. Unfortunately, due to poor leadership, it got bogged down (literally) on the marshy island of Walcheren, with many of the soldiers catching malaria. Two years later Captain Tittle saw active service in the Peninsular War. This was a war in which British and Portuguese forces, under Wellington, fought against Napoleon’s forces in the Iberian Peninsular (Spain and Portugal). Captain Tittle took part in the storming of Badagoz, the battle of Salamanca, various skirmishes on the retreat from Burgos, action at Osma, the battle of Vitoria, the siege of San Sebastian and the investment of Bayonnne. At the siege of San Sebastian he acted as an engineer and was severely wounded on 31st August while showing a ford to Col James of the Portuguese service. He received the war medal with four classes.
At 27 he was serving in South Africa as commando through what was then known as Cafferland. Earlier the British had taken advantage of the fact that the Dutch were temporarily indisposed (being overrun by Napoleon’s forces) and taken possession of their colony at the Cape of Good Hope. They declined to give it back after the war. As a concession to the Dutch colonists the British, for a while, let them have their own ‘parliament’ called the Burgher Senate. On 11th March 1820 Captain Tittle married Johanna Catherine Vos, daughter of James Vos Esq., president of the Burgher Senate. Their first daughter, Anne, was born on the Cape in 1821 and they then returned to Farmhill where their second daughter, Johanna Catherine, was born in 1823. A son, John Moore followed in 1824. However, four months after giving birth to their forth child, James, in 1826 Johanna Catherine died.
In 1834 the Captain served as Mayor of Coleraine for a year.
In 1844 John Moore remarried, this time to Sophia Hardy of Loughgall, Co Armagh and he was widowed for a second time in 1863. He died on 5th September 1874.


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