Denis Pack was one of a phalanx of senior Anglo-Irish officers who served with great distinction in the British army in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, earning a reputation as one of the Duke of Wellington’s most able brigade commanders. Despite his remarkable and varied military career, he hasn’t received the individual attention he deserves, but this omission has now been remedied by Marcus de la Poer Beresford’s full biography.
Pack, who was born in 1774, served extensively in Europe as well as in Africa and South America. He was one of the few brigade commanders to serve first with the Portuguese army, and then with Wellington, in the Peninsula, at Quatre Bras, Waterloo and afterwards in the occupation of France. His life was cut short by an early death in 1823, which may have been the result of the many wounds he received in his thirty years as a soldier.
This perceptive and meticulously researched study draws on previously unpublished material from archives in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Ireland. It complements other works on notable officers of the period, as Pack served with Cornwallis, Baird, Beresford, Whitelocke, Chatham, Picton, Henry Clinton, and others as well as Wellington. In addition it offers an absorbing portrait of Pack himself and gives the reader a fascinating insight into the many campaigns he took part in and the military life of his day.