A well-known 90-year-old woman from the Fountain area of Londonderry has spoken of her honour that her great-great-grandfather’s remarkable service in the British Army has been finally recognised after two centuries.
Ruby Jordan’s ancestor, Daniel Gallagher, served with distinction in some of the most famous battles of the early 19th century. particularly during the Peninsular War from 1807-14.
He fought in the Second Battle of Copenhagen and watched the city burn.
He fought in the Battle of Corunna where he was one of the British troops who famously marched barefoot through snowy passes after their boots had worn out.
He served during the three-week Siege of Badajoz, one of the bloodiest events in the entire Peninsular War.
He served in the decisive Battle of Salamanca, where the Duke of Wellington outmanoeuvred the French.
He was denied a medal for his courageous and remarkable service only on a technicality - the application was made to the War Office after he had died.
Now, thanks to Ruby Jordan’s persistence on behalf of her ancestor as wellas the intervention of a local historian, Frank Carey, his service has been posthumously recognised
Ruby was presented with the medal by Mayor of Londonderry Hilary McClintock at a small ceremony in the Fountain area of the city.
Ms Jordan said: “My cousin, my second cousin, who lives in Castlerock lived in the house belonging to my great-grandfather.
“This lady found this scrap of paper from an old copy of the Sentinel, dated 1893.
“She had been listening to me on the BBC Radio Foyle and she knew I was interested in history so she sent it to me.
“When I got it, my imagination was running away and I thought that it really wasn’t fair that he didn’t get the medal.
“He had been in every battle, even one called suicide battle.
“I am absolutely delighted.”