Military General Service Medal with clasp 'Martinique'
Isaac was born in around 1778 in Dunmow or Great Dunmow in Essex. We don't know anything about his family or early life.
On the 22nd April 1805 Isaac left his job as a labourer to join the 63rd Regiment of Foot. It was based in Ireland when Isaac enlisted. In November 1807 it left the UK bound for the West Indies.
The 63rd Regiment arrived in the Caribbean in February 1808, and that December it set sail for the French island of Martinique. The Regiment landed and on the 8th February 1809 the French surrendered the island. The 63rd became the island's garrison for the next 5 years.
In around February 1811 Isaac was promoted to Corporal.
Small groups of soldiers from the 63rd Regiment served aboard ships of the Royal Navy during battles with French ships, and others were stationed on smaller islands. We don't know what Isaac did during this time. The war with France ended in April 1814 and the regiment moved to the islands of St Vincent and Grenada. Martinique was returned to France.
The war restarted briefly in June 1815, and the 63rd Regiment captured the island of Guadeloupe. We don't know whether Isaac was involved in this fighting.
By mid 1815 Isaac was based in Barbados. He was suffering from 'chronic dysentery' and the 63rd Regiment's Surgeon decided he was no longer fit enough to stay in the Army. He was sent back to the UK on or shortly after the 24th July.
Isaac was assessed again at York. The doctors here agreed with the 63rd's Surgeon. He was discharged from the Army on the 13th November. Isaac made 'his mark' (an 'x') on his discharge papers, telling us he could not write.
When he left the Army Isaac was 5 feet 7 inches tall. He had a 'sallow' complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. He had served for 10 years 94 days, spending 7 years 171 days overseas.
A civilian again, Isaac returned to Essex. On the 11th July 1816 he married Dudley Heard in Stebbing, very near Dunmow. We don't know whether they had any children.
By 1841 Isaac and Dudley lived on Rayne Hall Green in the nearby village of Rayne. He was working as an agricultural labourer. They were still here ten years later in 1851, and Isaac had the same job.
The Military General Service Medal began to be issued in 1847. It was only awarded to former soldiers who applied for it themselves.
Isaac died in the Braintree registration district, which includes Rayne, between April and June 1852. He was around 67 years old. Dudley was around 63 when she died between January and March 1854.
Isaac's medal came to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment during the Second World War.