When I was at the National Archives many years ago I looked through the Pay Lists for the 7th Regiment of Foot. I knew from the pension records that John Ridley had served 16 Years, 10 months and he was discharged on Oct 21 1821. I ordered a series of pay list that for the 7th Regiment starting in the 1804 -1806 time period. (WO12/2542) I was thumbing through the actual pay list books that the regiment carried with them. I found in the list where John Ridley first appears. It was on May 10 1805 the he joined the 7th regiment of foot, he had volunteered from the militia. Many of the men on the list had joined from the militia about the same time he did. His pay due was 15 shilling. There is a column on the preprinted form that says ‘in lieu of Beer’ He received his pay in beer. Everyone on the page received some of their wages in lieu of beer. The list is dated June 7, 1805 at Wakefield. It appears that he joined the regiment while it was at Wakefield, Yorkshire.
I followed the movements of the regiment through the pay lists. In 1808 the regiment went to Nova Scotia. It was there most of the year. In early 1809 I find a list of men who were killed in the siege of Martinique, 38 privates and 7 officers. Over the next five years the regiment was in Denmark, Spain, Portugal, and France. In 1815 it says they camped near Paris. The 7th was in many battles and suffered many casualties. John Ridley was wounded twice.