Sharpe, Harper, Cooper, Harris, Perkins, Hagman

"They're coming, sir."
"Of course they were coming! They were his men.
— Sharpe's Company

Chosen Men were the Napoleonic eras equivalent of today's Lance Corporal. Whilst one step below the NCO (Non-comissioned Officer) ranks, the Chosen Man was selected from the ranks to lead a sub-unit of the Company, often for their intelligence and ability. The rank was unofficial insomuch as it was used only within the Company, with Commanding Officers able to promote and demote at will those who were chosen to wear the single white armband which denoted Chosen Men. Thy were usually spared ordinary duties, and often went on to become NCOs.

In the Sharpe TV Movies the rank is used to denote a special unit within the company, where the Riflemen are Chosen Men, giving Sharpe a group of comrades with which he can form a stronger bond than is the norm between officers and the army's lowest ranks.

Novel SeriesEdit

In the novels, 31 Rifles were separated from their unit during the Retreat to Corunna in 1809, these men became to core of the Light Company when the South Essex became a Battalion of Detachments, which included the orphaned Rifleman. By 1812, in Sharpe's Company, it is specified that only 12 remain on active duty.


===Note of Sharpe's Chosen Men 11 were described as killed in the novels:===
  • Rifleman Cooper, Sharpe's Rifle's on a retreat to Corunna and was killed when a Battalion's mule bolted eastwards when he tried to save his belongings and was killed by the French Dragoon Soldier,
  • Sergeant Williams, Sharpe's Rifle's during a battle.
  • Rifleman Sean Donnelly, Sharpe's Havoc while on watch duty from a French Sharpshooter.
  • Rifleman John Williamson, Sharpe's Havoc killed by Sharpe for desertion and fleeing to the enemy.
  • Rifleman Gataker, Sharpe's Eagle killed during the Battle of Talavera.
  • Rifleman Pendleton, Sharpe's Eagle killed during the Battle of Talavera.
  • Rifleman Isaiah Tongue, Sharpe's Gold killed while warning Sharpe of a French ambushed.
  • Rifleman Fergus Slattery, Sharpe's Fury killed during the Battle of Barrosa.
  • Rifleman Thompson, Sharpe's Battle killed at fort San Isidro.
  • Rifleman Christopher Thomas Cresacre, Sharpe's Company killed during the Battle of Badajoz.
  • Rifleman Daniel Hagman, Sharpe's Waterloo he was the last Rifleman to be killed in the novel series. Hagman was mortally wounded.
===Note of Sharpe's Chosen Men, only two where listed as missing in action during the novels:===
  • Corporal Matthew Dodd, Sharpe's Escape missing in action after the Battle of Bussaco, according to Rifleman Carter he was  last seen  escaping from the French when he was surrounded.
  • Rifleman Ned Tarrant. Sharpe's Havoc he was wounded in action after the French victory at Oporto and was unable to walk so Sharpe was forced to leave him behind, his fate is unknown.
===Note of Sharpe's Chosen Men may have survived the war:===
  • Regimental Sergeant Major Patrick Harper. Survived both the Peninsular War and also the Battle at Waterloo, alive as of Sharpe's Devil,
  • Sergeant Latimer.
  • Rifleman Harris. Survived in the novels, alive as of Sharpe's Christmas, did not appear in Waterloo (differing from the TV Series)
  • Rifleman Parry Jenkins. Survived in the novels, alive as of Sharpe's Sword, he is not mentioned in Sharpe's Waterloo.
  • Rifleman Jedidiah Horrell.
  • Rifleman Nicholas Hine.
  • Rifleman Ben Perkins. Alive as of Sharpe's Christmas, he does not appear in Sharpe's Waterloo
  • Rifleman Carter.
  • Rifleman McNeil.
  • Rifleman Finn.
  • Rifleman Green.
  • Rifleman McDonald.
  • Rifleman Cameron.
  • Rifleman Sims.
  • Rifleman Harvey.
  • Rifleman Smith.

See AlsoEdit

Lance Corporal definition in Wikipedia Non-commissioned Officer definition in Wikipedia