Military Engineers | Sir Thomas Hyde Page
Captain Sir Thomas Hyde Page (1746-1821) by James Northcote
Captain Sir Thomas Hyde Page was born in the City of Westminster in 1746. He followed in his father’s footsteps and became a military engineer after attending the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. He was first cadet at the academy and received a gold medal from George III for his efforts. Upon graduation in 1769, he was appointed to Sub-lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, and in 1774 was promoted to Second Lieutenant and worked on civil engineering projects in England.
Page served in America as aide-de-camp to General Pigott, who commanded the British left flank in the Battle of Bunker Hill in June, 1775. Page was wounded by a cannon ball during the battle and lost his leg below the knee and was evacuated to England. During this recovery, he drew a series of maps of the actions around Boston. In 1790, Lieutenant Colonel John Small wrote to Page about the day he was wounded:
“The interesting position we were placed in side by side at the memorable Battle of Bunker’s Hill will never be forgotten, and will ever excite the most anxious emotions in the breast of the fellow campaigner who has now the honour of addressing you; who witnessed in the most trying moments, your innate worth, your professional intrepidity and skill, and was most seriously affected when at your side he saw you fall from a very dangerous wound, receiv’d when displaying your exertions in the field, when your cool and manly example, and sound judicious advice, contributed much to acquire success and victory.”
Page was awarded a pension of ten shillings per day for his disability, and he continued in the service of the Army working on engineering projects. He was knighted in 1783 for his service to the country and ended his military career with the rank of Captain in 1787, when he was placed in the invalid engineers. Page continued to consult on engineering projects around the United Kingdom and retired to France where he died in 1821. He was buried in the city of Boulogne, France.
Rix, Herbert, “Page, Sir Thomas Hyde (1746–1821)”, Rev. W. Johnson. In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed., edited by Lawrence Goldman, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/21097 (accessed July 23, 2014).
History of the Corps of Royal Engineer by Whitworth Porter MG Royal Engineers Volume I, London Longmans, Green and Co. New York 1889
1 History of the Corps of Royal Engineer by Whitworth Porter MG Royal Engineers Volume I (London Longmans, Green and Co. New York 1889), 204.