THE DEATH OF GENERAL WOLFE PAINTING/POSTER Kangar

  • Location: Kangar, Perlis, Malaysia

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Size: 59cm x 42cm
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James Wolfe (2 January 1727 – 13 September 1759) was a British Army officer known for his training reforms and remembered chiefly for his victory in 1759 over the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec as a major general.
Battle of the Plains of Abraham
Wolfe led 4,400 men in small boats on a very bold and risky amphibious landing at the base of the cliffs west of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River. His army, with two small cannons, scaled the 200-metre cliff from the river below early in the morning of 13 September 1759. They surprised the French under the command of the Marquis de Montcalm, who thought the cliff would be unclimbable, and had set his defences accordingly. Faced with the possibility that the British would haul more cannons up the cliffs and knock down the city's remaining walls, the French fought the British on the Plains of Abraham. They were defeated after fifteen minutes of battle, but when Wolfe began to move forward, he was shot thrice, once in the arm, once in the shoulder, and finally in the chest.
Historian Francis Parkman describes the death of Wolfe:
They asked him [Wolfe] if he would have a surgeon; but he shook his head, and answered that all was over with him. His eyes closed with the torpor of approaching death, and those around sustained his fainting form. Yet they could withhold their gaze from the wild turmoil before them, and the charging ranks of their companions rushing through the line of fire and smoke.
"See how they run," one of the officers exclaimed, as the French fled in confusion before the levelled bayonets.
"Who run?" demanded Wolfe, opening his eyes like a man aroused from sleep.
"The enemy, sir", was the reply; "they give way everywhere."
"Then", said the dying general, "tell Colonel River, to cut off their retreat from the bridge. Now, God be praised, I die contented", he murmured; and, turning on his side, he calmly breathed his last breath.
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham caused the deaths of the top military commander on each side: Montcalm died the next day from his wounds. Wolfe's victory at Quebec enabled the Montreal Campaign against the French the following year. With the fall of that city, French rule in North America, outside of Louisiana and the tiny islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, came to an end.
Wolfe's body was returned to Britain on HMS Royal William and interred in the family vault in St Alfege Church, Greenwich alongside his father (who had died in March 1759). The funeral service took place on 20 November 1759, the same day that Admiral Hawke won the last of the three great victories of the "Wonderful Year" and the "Year of Victories" – Minden, Quebec and Quiberon Bay.

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Published date: October 14, 2020

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