On 'Never Chief' William Gunn born circa 1757, died India 10 Sep 1780.
MacHamish Generation 11 – William Gunn born circa 1757, died India 10 Sep 1780.
William Gunn was born circa 1757 and died at Conjeveram, Mysore (now Tamil Nadu), India, on 10 September 1780. William was the elder son from the second marriage of Alexander Gunn of Badenloch and later of Wester Helmsdale. We do not know William’s exact birthdate (although his military enrolment document might show it if it could be found) nor the date of his parents’ marriage. William joined (most likely through a bought commission) the First Battalion of the 73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot (MacLeod’s Highlanders) as a lieutenant. It was raised in December 1777. The First Battalion landed at Madras 20 January 1780. ‘Of the 19 lieutenants of the 1st battalion (of the 73rd Regiment), William Gunn stood 15th... six feet three’.
William Gunn died in the Battle of Pollilur of the Second Anglo-Mysore War of 1779-1784. It was a battle of importance;
After the treaty of Paris in 1763, the only serious political threats to the British in the Madras area came from Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. During the war of 1780, the prowess of Hyder Ali and his cavalry sometimes greatly intimidated the British. In no situation was this more apparent than during the battle of Pullalur, an area about ten miles north of Kanchipuram to the west of Madras. This battle was fought by a British force under the command of Colonel John Baillie against those of Hyder Ali and Tipu on 10 September 1780, shortly after the beginning of the war. Various mistakes made by the British commander-in-chief Sir Hector Munro and by Baillie himself resulted in the isolation of Baillie’s force. Hyder Ali and Tipu, aided by the French, soundly defeated Baillie’s forces: of the eighty-six officers in Baillie’s force who participated, thirty-six were killed or died of their wounds, thirty-four were wounded and taken prisoner, and sixteen were unwounded but taken prisoner.
Though the military encounter was brief, it had great consequences for the fortunes and self-esteem of the British at the time and long afterwards. Moreover, because the defeat placed in doubt the British ability to defend Madras, Hyder’s rout of Baillie greatly decreased British political and economic credibility...
In other words, William Gunn was killed in a battle which the British lost, to a significant extent because of British mistakes. He was unfortunate; out of the British force of 3,820 only 336 were killed. The final result of this war was the East India Company was told by the British government to make peace with the Kingdom of Mysore and basically the status quo resumed.
The official view of the events involving William Gunn is simple –
‘Upon this unfortunate occasion, the flank companies were almost annihilated. Capt. Baird received seven wounds, and fell into the hands of the enemy. Lieut. Lindsay received nine and was also made prisoner. Lieut. Lindsay was totally disabled by his wounds; and Lieut. Gunn, of the grenadiers, and Lieut. Geddes Mackenzie, of the light company, killed, being the sum total of the officers serving at the time with the two companies. Of the non-commissioned officers and privates, only two men joined the battalion, and those were found in the jungle, desperately wounded. The melancholy fate of these companies rendered it necessary for Lord M’Leod to form two new flank companies from the battalion’.
 From 1786 the Regiment was called the 71st Highland Light Infantry.
 From Thomas Sinclair’s first supplement, published by the ‘Northern Ensign’ 2.12.1902.
 http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft038n99hg&chunk.id=s1.1.2&toc.id=ch01&brand=ucpress accessed 27 March 2013.
 Figures abstracted from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Anglo-Mysore_War accessed 27 March 2013.
 There, are of course, all sorts of other stories attached to how William died, none of which have supporting evidence.
 Page 278, The United Services Journal and Naval and Military Magazine, 1831, Part III.