Brigadier General Robert Anstruther

Brigadier General Robert Anstruther went to Portugal as Brigadier-General in 1808. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Vimiera. At Corunna, he commanded the rearguard which he brought safely into Corunna on the night of 12th January. He died two days later. He was buried in the north east bastion of the citadel of Corunna where also, by his own desire, Sir John Moore was buried.

Detail from "Retreat from Corunna" by Richard Beavis.

Sir John Moore

The retreat to Corunna lasted for about 17 days, in which time the Army covered some 250 miles under the most difficult conditions. It was the middle of winter and the desolate countryside was either buried in snow or deluged in heavy rain. There was no fuel and the food supply was uncertain. Baggage and stores had to be destroyed to lighten loads and prevent the French from getting them. The Army reached Corunna only to find that the naval transports had not yet arrived. The French were so close behind that there was nothing for it but to turn and fight. During the battle the transports did arrive and as the British troops pushed back the French, the British forces were able to embark in comparative safety.