Maitland was born in 1777 at Longparish House, Hampshire. He was appointed ensign in the 1st Foot Guards at the age of 15. Two years later he was Lieutenant & Captain serving in Flanders. He succeeded to a Company in 1803 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He then served at Vigo and Corunna in 1809 and then the Walcheren Expedition. In 1812, as a Brevet-Colonel he commanded six companies in Col Skerrett's force. Maitland's Guards stormed the gates of Triana, defeating 8 battalions of French and 2 cavalry regiments. He continued to lead with distinction for the rest of the Peninsula War and was promoted to Major-General in 1814.
In April 1815 he was appointed CO of the 1st Guards Brigade cosisting of 2000 men of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions 1st Foot Guards. This Brigade saw heavy fighting at Hougoumont and famously repulsed the Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard. They lay in the corn waiting as the Guard approached. Wellington shouted 'Now Maitland, now's your time!' They sprang up and poured musket fire into the mass of Frenchmen and charged them.
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