Inside the municipality of Bombarral, in a remote place surrounded by fields of cultivation and immersed in landscapes of great natural beauty, a monument, well cared for and regularly visited by the local British community, surprises the traveller and complements a visit to the viewpoint and site of the influential Battle of Roliça. This is the tomb of Lt. Colonel Lake, who was killed here while fighting the French invading troops. We reproduce the text that appears on the monument itself:
‘On August 17th, 1808, and as a result of the 1st French Invasion in Portugal, the Roliça Battle took place on these hills between the Napoleonic army, led by General Delaborde, and the Anglo-Portuguese troops, led by General Wellesley.
The Honourable George Augustus Frederik Lake, Lieutenant-colonel of the British army and leader of the 29th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, led by General Major Nightingale, was surprised by the enemy in this valley being under fire from three flanks. Despite the devastating fire, the right flank of the Regiment made it to the top of the ridge.
Part of the French troops placed in the lowest position levels formed a dense front of attack and rushed intensely into the rear-guard of the right flank of Lieutenant-colonel Lake's Regiment. As a result of such offensive approach, the commander himself tumbled just as 4 of his officers as well as 66 soldiers, being also wounded 315 of the 29th Regiment's effective personnel. In this encounter, the Regiment's colours, 30 soldiers and 6 officers were captured. The British Regiment later retook their colours. Lieutenant-colonel Lake's body was buried here by his troops and their contemporary English officers paid him tribute by giving instructions for the present monument to be built.’