Wellington had actually recced the area of Waterloo the previous year and remembered it, he actually thought at the time, this would be an excellent ground to defend against Napoleon. And yes Stig is correct the film Waterloo is excellent, even with the portrayal of a Royal Inniskilling fusilier (27th) stealing a pig, and in his best irish accent telling wellington he found the pig and was just helping him find his way home. The Skins lost almost every Officer at Waterloo and even when I was in the Royal Irish Rangers (27th (INNISKILLINGS)83rd and 87th) when celebrating Waterloo day the Sgts would take over commands of the companies due to the fact that during the battle the Sgts took over command and a neighboring English Bn offered some officers but the only one left said no I would not take away the honour from my Sgts who like to command.
GI Jane, its BRITISH Soldier not English, Wellingtons troops were heavy with Scots and Irish, even the English Battalions who were stationed in Ireland for up to 30 years would have gone to Ireland as English and left topped up with Irish. Some English Bns were 30-40% Irish, Wellington said of the Inniskillings "They saved the center of my line at Waterloo"
At Waterloo, where so many Regiments performed with high valour and endurance, none exceeded and few equalled the deeds of the Inniskillings, Ordered to hold an important crossroads, they were decimated by heavy cannon fire which carved bloody gaps in their squares, but the survivors stood firm, repelling determined cavalry charges. At the end of a terrible day, most companies were commanded by sergeants, and few could muster as many as 20 unwounded men. close by the crossroads 450 of the 700 Inniskillings who had marched into battle lay dead in their squares where they had fallen.
There are so many contributing factors to why Napoleon lost, his age, illness, the weather the rain, the french split and sent some of his force to pursue the Prussians, the British facing him did not cave, there are so many variables that you can not put it down to just one thing alone.
After the battle the 1st Foot Guards were given the title “the Grenadier Guards” to commemorate the regiment’s role in overthrowing the French Grenadiers of the Old Guard. All ranks were given the bearskin cap to wear.
14th Foot: The 3rd Battalion of the regiment fought at Waterloo. The battalion had been newly raised and was awaiting disbandment, having seen no service, when Napoleon escaped from Elba. The battalion crossed to Belgium and won the battle honour for the regiment. Most of the soldiers were under 20 years of age.
The Emperor Napoleon, some years before Waterloo, presented to each of his marshals a silver snuff box. Marshal Ney’s snuffbox was looted from his carriage after the battle by a British officer. Some years later the snuffbox was presented to the officers of the 19th Foot, the Green Howards, who used it in their mess for formal occasions.
The 27th Inniskilling Fusiliers, in the course of Ney’s cavalry attacks was bombarded by a French horse battery. By the end of the battle the battalion had suffered 478 casualties from a pre-battle strength of 750. An officer from a nearby battalion, Captain Kincaid, commented that the 27th seemed to be lying dead in its square. Kincaid, a veteran of the Peninsular War, said “I had never thought there would be a battle where everyone was killed. This seemed to be it.”
The Duke of Wellington spent his early army service as the lieutenant colonel of the 33rd Foot. After the Duke’s death Queen Victoria permitted the 33rd to adopt the title “the Duke of Wellington’s”, a fitting attribution for one of the army’s most persistently successful regiments of foot.
79th Cameron Highlanders: As the French cavalry approached for the attack the regiment formed square. Piper Mackay marched around the square playing the pibroch “Peace or War”. The King subsequently presented Mackay with silver mounted pipes.
In spite of their presence in the film “Waterloo”, the 88th Foot, Connaught Rangers, were not present at Waterloo. They were on the far side of the Atlantic fighting the Americans.
The 95th had three battalions at Waterloo. After the battle the regiment was given the title of the “Rifle Brigade” in place of its number, which was reallocated to a newly raised infantry regiment.
In the closing moments of the battle a cannon ball struck the Earl of Uxbridge as he rode with the Duke of Wellington. The Duke said “By God you’ve lost your leg.” The Earl said “By God, so I have.” The remains of the leg were amputated in a house nearby and the owner buried the leg in his garden where it was a place of interest for some years.
Every year after 1815 the Duke of Wellington held a “Waterloo” banquet for his officers. The banquet is still held.
· 1 decade ago