John Moore joined the army at fifteen. He saw rapid promotion but was so frequently wounded in action that he became known as 'unlucky man'. He was in command of the British forces at the beginning of the Peninsular War against Napoleon in Spain. On hearing that the French had taken Madrid, Moore was forced to march his men through the mountains in appalling weather conditions. They reached Corunna and the coast, but the enemy attacked on the afternoon of 15 January 1809. Against all the odds, the British were victorious, but Moore was fatally wounded. This picture is a fragment of a large history painting depicting the death of Sir Ralph Abercromby at Alexandria in 1801, an earlier episode in the wars against Napoleon. It was cut into six pieces in the 1930s, with each portion, a portrait, being sold separately.