British Army General. Born at Westerham, Kent, England, the son of Colonel Edward and Henrietta Wolfe. A child of apparently delicate constitution, he nevertheless resolved to follow his father into the army. At thirteen he joined his father's regiment as an ensign. At sixteen he served as acting adjutant with the 12th Foot in the Rhine Campaign during War of the Austrian Succession. At Dettingen he distinguished himself and earned a promotion to lieutenant. In 1744 was made a captain in the Fourth Regiment of Foot and served in the Forty-five Rising against Charles Edward Stuart's forces and saw action at Falkirk and Culloden. Promotion to major of the 20th Regiment followed his service in 1749, and then in 1750 to the lieutenant-colonelcy. In 1757 he served as a staff officer on the abortive Rochefort assault. The following year he was posted to North America as a brigadier-general with the Louisbourg expedition. Wolfe led the landing against Fort Louisbourg under heavy fire. He quickly captured the Light House battery and reduced the Island battery. With the batteries silenced the fortress was bombarded from three sides. On the July 25, the fortress surrendered. Wolfe's efforts in the siege and capture of Louisbourg earned him a promotion to major general and the command of an expedition against Québec. Wracked by ill health, the ‘Hero of Louisbourg' sailed up the Saint Lawrence in June 1759 with about 9000 troops and encamped above Québec. Wolfe ordered an ultimately unsuccessful frontal attack on their entrenched positions on July 31. On September 12, Wolfe moved about 5000 of his men to the south-west of Québec. On the Plains of Abraham above the city, the British forced the French into an open battle on September 13. Wolfe was wounded twice during the battle and refused to leave the field. A third bullet through his chest inflicted a fatal wound and he died on the field, assured by his officers that the French had been routed. On the battlefield a memorial was erected and inscribed: "Here died Wolfe victorious on the 13th of September 1759." In the governor's garden in Québec, there is a monument to Wolfe, as well as his opponent Montcalm, who survived him only by a few hours, with the inscription "Wolfe and Montcalm. Mortem virtus communem, famam historia, monumentum posteritas dedit." Westminster Abbey unveiled a memorial to Wolfe in October 1773. In 1930 a bronze statue of Wolfe was dedicated in Greenwich Park. The statue bears the inscription "This monument, a gift of the Canadian people, was unveiled by the Marquis de Montcalm."
Bio by: Iola