Ben Perkins
Ben Perkins
Medium: Television, Book
Also known as: Unknown
Nationality: English
Rank: Riflemen
Appearances: Sharpe's Havoc (first appearance in the novel)
Actor: Lyndon Davis
Ben Perkins was among the youngest Chosen Men in the 95th Rifles.


Perkins first appeared in Sharpe's Havoc. He was described as being from London, an unappealing street urchin who survived by sweeping horse manure out of the way of pedestrians in hope of a coin. Perkins knew neither the day nor the year of his birth, and he did not yet need to shave. He was new to the 95th Rifles on the retreat to Corunna. Perkins was a young rookie alongside Pendleton at the time of Sharpe's Havoc, he fought in the First Battle of Porto.

He fought in the First Battle and Second Battle of Oporto which he survived. Perkins was not mentioned in Sharpe's Eagle. He wasn't mentioned in Sharpe's Gold, but participated in Sharpe's Escape during the battle of Bussaco.

He returned in Sharpe's Fury. And in Sharpe's Battle, where he rescued Miranda after she was raped by the French soldiers led by Brigadier-General Guy Loup. She remained at his side with puppy-like devotion.

It was his green jacket that the French agent, Doña Juanita, stole when Sharpe paroled her after capture, since his was the only one small enough to fit a woman. He was touchy about it's loss since it sported the black arm band that designated him a Chosen Man, one of the best and most reliable Rifles. He survived the battle of Fuentes de Oñoro against Loup's unit, and it was there Sharpe pulled the green jacket off a dead rifleman, and gave it to Perkins, telling him to have Miranda shorten the sleeves for him.

He went on to fight with Sharpe in the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo and the Siege of Badajoz. Perkins was not mentioned in Sharpe's Company, however, he went on to fight in the Battle of Salamanca in Sharpe's Sword.

He reappears in Sharpe's Skirmish in the defense of the Alba de Tormes. Perkins wasn't mentioned in Sharpe’s Honour, Regiment, Enemy Christmas, Siege, Revenge, or Waterloo.


Ben Perkins was a young man who served with the British Army in 95th Rifle Regiment. Initially he served as a private until the Regiment was nearly wiped out by a French cavalry attack during Sharpe's Rifles, however, following the attack, Sharpe was able to recover the Regimental Colours which he entrusted to Perkins for safekeeping. At the end of the episode, Perkins saved Sharpe's life by shooting Pierre De l'Eclin, for which he was rewarded with a promotion to Chosen Man (In the novel, Harper was the one to have killed de l'Eclin). He remained loyal to Sharpe thereafter. In Sharpe's Company, prior to storming the breech at Badejoz, he has his will written up, and leaves everything to Hagman, who returns the favor.

In Sharpe's Battle, he rescues a Portuguese girl, Miranda, from French looters intent on rape. She remained with him, and he agreed when someone referred to her as the girl of his dreams. During the actions against Loup's unit, the Rifle's were trapped, and he played his part in laying a trap for the French, turning the tables. When Irish unit soldiers appeared, meant to be their reinforcements, he dashed across the firing line, taking out two French soldiers, and made a rally call for the Irish Company. The turncoat, O'Rourke responded, running to his side, and when Perkins tried to direct him to safety, the traitor bayoneted the young Rifleman.

The rest of the Rifle's forced their way to Perkin's side, Harper picked him up, and with the help of Harris and Hagman managed to get him inside away from the fight. Crying that it hurt, Perkin's called for Hagman, took his hand, and begged for a tune. Hagman briefly tried to give him one, his voice cracking, when Perkins called desperately for his mother. Weeping, Harper assured him his mother was with him. Perkins told Harper he was sorry, and then died, his three mates shedding tears for him.

Harper claimed right of revenge on O'Rourke as he held the body of the boy. He then tracked the traitor down, and stabbed him to death with his own bayonet "for Perkins."

In Sharpe's report to Wellington after the action, "Special mention should be given to Rifleman Perkins."

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