Lt Col William Gammell

William was the son of James Gammell, banker of Greenock and his wife Janet Geils.  They had two sons named William Gammell, the first William was born 6 August 1762, but died in infancy, and the second, and the youngest child of this couple, was born on 25 August 1765. William the second was educated like his elder brother Andrew at Greenock Grammar School, but after that we lose sight of him entirely, until in July 1793 he joined the Army as an Ensign at the same time as his brother. He evidently was quickly promoted since on 22 October it was announced that Lt. Gammell would become a Captain, and in November 1794 he was promoted Major, finally becoming a Lt. Colonel in March 1795. At that time he was serving with the 113th Foot and when this was disbanded in 1795, he became attached to the 93rd Foot (but this was not the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders which was not raised until 1799).


From his father's and grandfather's memorial stone in Greenock churchyard, it would appear that he died in the West Indies in 1802 and is buried in Martinique, but 1802 is incorrect.  The Edinburgh Gazette gives notice in February 1997 of his death.  A history of British Guiana (published in 1855) refers to his commanding a detachment of the 93rd foot, when they were sent to seize Guiana from the Dutch in April 1796.  This is also referred to in Notes on the West Indies Volume 1.  However, the author of a letter written on 17 November 1796 regrets hearing of his death in Martinique.  So we know that he was in Guiana and died in the summer or autumn of 1796 in Martinique. Family tradition is that he died of Yellow Fever, which is almost certainly correct.