Gataker was a rifleman of the 95th, one of the survivors of the retreat to Corunna and the Battle of Santiago Compostela. He was described as "as fly a rogue as any" and Sharpe thought him too shifty to make a good sergeant.

In Sharpe's Eagle, he was one of the one men in ten from the Battalion chosen by lot to be flogged following a protest the men made by breaking the quite following the execution of deserters. Sir Henry Simmerson insisted on the orgy of punishment against advice.

When Sharpe told Gataker he knew it was unfair, Gataker grinned and said it wasn't Sharpe's fault, and he had bribed the drummer boys to lay on with a light hand. The punishment was averted when General Rowland 'Daddy' Hill cancelled the punishment parade.

Gataker was killed during a lull in the Battle of Talavera when he was escorting French prisoners up a stream bank. French artillery fired into them, and one shell, bouncing crazily, landed near Gataker. He quickly bent to pinch out the fuse, but was too late. It exploded, killing him.

He was the first of the Rifles to die since the fighting in the northern mountains the previous winter. (Sharpe's Eagle)