Lieutenant Matthew Latham
Matthew Latham was the hero of the Buffs who saved one of the Colours at Albuhera despite having his face badly cut and his arm severed. This photo of Latham was taken in 1870 and shows that his left arm is intact. The silver table ornament depicting his brave deed shows his left arm as being the one that was cut off in the act of saving the King's Colour at the battle of Albuhera on 16th May 1811. The story has different versions in the histories of the Buffs. Some say that he was carrying the Colour throughout the battle rather than having picked it up from the dead Ensign Walsh. Also that it was he that shouted "Only with my Life!" not Ensign Thomas. What is puzzling is why Richard Cannon failed to mention Latham or his heroic fight in the first history of the regiment. This was rectified in 1840 by Surgeon John Morrison who served with the Buffs. He wrote a long letter to the United Service Gazette.
This photo is of a man whose face does not look disfigured so we cannot be sure how severe his injury was. The medals must be the Military General Service medal, awarded in 1847 for Peninsula veterans, on the left, and the special medal purchased by his fellow officers at a cost of 100 guineas. It is the larger of the two medals and is gold suspended from a ribbon of scarlet with buff edges.
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