Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Thorn, Nathaniel
THORN, Sir NATHANIEL (d. 1857), lieutenant-general, was commissioned as ensign in the 3rd (buffs) on 15 Oct. 1802, and became lieutenant on 25 June 1803. He went with his regiment to Madeira in December 1807, and thence to Portugal in August 1808. The buffs did not take part in the advance into Spain under Moore, but they formed part of Wellesley's army in 1809. They were the first troops to cross the Douro, and at Talavera they were hotly engaged as part of Hill's division, Thorn being in command of the light company.
He was promoted captain on 4 Jan. 1810, and in March he was appointed deputy-assistant quartermaster-general to the 2nd division. He held this post till the end of the war. He was present at Busaco, the first siege of Badajos, Albuera, Arroyo de Molinos, Almaraz, Vittoria, the battles of the Pyrenees, the Nivelle and the Nive, Garris, Orthes, Aire, and Toulouse. He was wounded at the battle of St.-Pierre (13 Dec. 1813), and General W. Stewart strongly recommended him for promotion, as that was the fourth time he had brought his services to notice in the course of that campaign. He received a brevet majority on 3 March 1814, and ultimately the silver medal with ten clasps.
In July 1814 he was appointed assistant quartermaster-general to one of the brigades sent from Bordeaux to Canada, and he was present at the affair of Plattsburg in September. He was made brevet lieutenant-colonel on 21 June 1817. On 14 Aug. 1823 he was placed on half-pay, but on 29 June 1826 he was appointed to the permanent staff of the quartermaster-general's department, on which he served for twenty years. He was promoted colonel on 10 Jan. 1837, major-general on 9 Nov. 1846, and lieutenant-general on 20 June 1854. On 25 July in the latter year he was given the colonelcy of the Buffs. He was made C.B. in 1831, K.H. in 1832, and K.C.B. in 1857. He went to Windsor for the installation on 24 Jan., caught cold, and on his return home died suddenly at Upcott House, Bishop's Hull, near Taunton, Somerset, on the 28th. He was buried at Halse in that county, where there is a fine window to his memory. He was married, and his wife survived him.[Gent. Mag. 1857, i. 363; Wellington Despatches, Suppl. vol. ix.; Somerset County Herald, 31 Jan. and 4 Feb. 1857.]