Arthur Wellesley was born in Ireland in 1769 (the same year as Napoleon Bonaparte) although he himself was always anti Irish and hated being connected to them in any way. As he said "Being born in a stable does not make one a horse". He had changed his surname from Wesley to Wellesley although only a century earlier it had been Colley. His first opportunity came when he was appointed Colonel of the 33rd Regiment (nicknamed the Haversacks) on its voyage to India where Britain was engaged in the Maratha Wars. Wellesley's brother, Marquess Richard Wellesley, Governor of Mysore upgraded Wellesley to the command of the army in the Indian peninsular.
Wellesley had great sucess at Assaye, one of his finest and most renowned moments as he was facing a force of 100,000 Indians under the command of European officers (mainly French) with just 15,000 soldiers of whom only 5000 were trained British men; the rest were sepoys, Indian men who fought for the British because they did not like the Marathas. Wellesley also conquered the fortress at Gawilghur, a mountain stronghold which controlled most of the Peninsular.
Wikipedia:Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington - the Wikipedia entry for the real Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington