Tom Garrard was initially a private soldier serving in the light company of the 33rd foot regiment in late 18th century India. The battalion at the time was commanded by the future Lord Wellington, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Arthur Wellsley. Garrard appeared in Sharpe's Tiger (1799) as a private, but had miraculously jumped to the rank of Lieutenant in the Portuguese army by the time of Sharpe's Gold and by Sharpes Battle he had attained the level of Captain.

Private Tom Garrard was with Ensign Richard Sharpe at the siege of Gawilghur in 1803.

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