…From Mr C’s perspective

Waterloo 200

Battlefield - Lion Mound

I was lucky enough to be able to visit the battlefield of Waterloo on the 18th June 2015, that date being the 200th anniversary of one of Europe’s most important battles. Waterloo, for those unfamiliar with the battle, saw the end of Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign as Emperor of the French 1st Empire and led to far reaching political changes throughout the continent.

The anniversary was marked by a re-enactment which that took place over two evenings (the 19th and 20th June). This evening arrangement did not fit my itinerary so I elected to be present on the anniversary day itself.

Initially, I had some trouble getting on to the battlefield because official ceremonies were taking place. However, this was not a complete disaster because at the site off the battlefield, the Scots Greys re-enactors were doing a film shoot which I would not have seen had the battlefield been open.

Battlefield - Mercers Battery

Britain - Scots Greys - Walking Crop

I found my way (circuitously) to the Lion Mound, which is the main memorial to the battle and encountered many re-enactors in the cafes and bars and in the tented market that was there to tempt the public into buying books, mugs, games, models and re-enactment equipment including muskets, leather riding boots and even reproduction saddles.

The battlefield opened to the public at 3pm and I walked along the ridge that the Duke of Wellington’s forces had defended arriving at the chateau of Hougoumont which saw some very heavy fighting throughout the battle, until the French eventually withdrew. It was interesting to see the terrain and to note how close the two armies would have been to each other. Napoleon’s headquarters, the coaching inn called La Belle Alliance, was clearly visible as I passed along the British position.

Hougoumont is not as large as I thought it would be but I was still impressed by it and gained a good appreciation of the difficulty the French would have had trying to assault it through awkward tree lines and up steep slopes. In my mind’s eye, I could imagine the heroic efforts of soldiers on both sides as they struggled for supremacy at this key site.

The photographs are of various re-enactors I encountered whilst at Waterloo on the 18th June and also, obvious from the building and cobbled streets, of some additional re-enactors that happened to march past as I was sightseeing in Brussels next day. I was amazed by the historical accuracy of the costumes they wore and equipment they carried.

Britain - HIghlanders - Black Watch Grenadiers - Group

Guest post by T.A.G.

I have only included a few of the photographs so I recommend you look at the full photo gallery here. Just click on any photo to enlarge it and scroll through the gallery.

16 Comments CherryPie on Jun 30th 2015

16 Responses to “Leuven – Day Four…”

  1. Did you see Prince Charles?
    He was there too according to BBC news. ;)

  2. ....peter:) says:

    i enjoyed your presentation of the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo Cherie… i see that the Scott’s found the pub all right….peter:)

  3. lisl says:

    What a photo opportunity, Cherie

  4. james higham says:

    Nothing like using next to primary sources,Cherie. :)

  5. ubermouth says:

    Oh, I am so envious! I bet that was a fantastic outing! I shall definitely head over to your gallery to see the rest of the photos.

    But first…something, I thought I would never say….

    The guy sitting on the stool has legs too fat for a skirt! :)

  6. ubermouth says:

    Okay,back…. Crikey! You’d think the battle would have ended when both sides looked up at Lion Mound and both decided neither were going to climb that!

  7. Fritz says:

    Do you have any more pics of the Greys? I am the commander of the unit, can we have permission for use for our foundation? http://www.warhorsefoundation.com. And

    Visit our Greys and glory page on FB.


    • Mr C says:

      Hi Fritz,

      I took a total of 5 photos of the Greys at Waterloo 200. It was whilst a photo shoot was taking place late morning on the 18th June. I am happy to share them with you and to give permission for you to use them for your foundation. CherryPie has passed your email address to me so, unless you tell me differently, I will email them to you in their original, unedited format.

      I didn’t have tickets for the re-enactment. How was it from the perspective of the saddle?

      Best regards,

      Mr C.