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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Spring 2017 Trip, part one, Waterloo

This tour was organised by The Cultural Experience, a company in Salisbury that specialises in battlefield tours.

16th June. An early start on Friday morning, leaving from London St Pancras railway station, a lovely station in the Gothic style. The Eurostar train was running from London to Brussels where we arrived in time for lunch in the Grand Place. From there we drove to Waterloo.

The town of Waterloo seems to be going through an up-swing. The town has become an expensive suburb of Brussels with a number of houses, shops and restaurants built or modernised in the last ten years. Our hotel, the Cote Vert, was to be our base for three nights.

Our first campaign stop was the Wellington Museum in the centre of town.

Napoleon, On Campaign, Spring 1814, original painting by Meissonier, this copy painted in 1992

French artillery piece, cast in Douai

17th June. First stop of the day was at Fleurus to see the windmill that was converted to an observation platform for Napoleon.

Next - Ligny

Monument translation below

Entrance to Ligny village, the French attacked down this lane

Ligny Main square - a little more built-up than in 1815
The monument reads "In homage to the Emperor's valiant Grognards, artisans of his last victory.
Ligny 16th June 1815. This monument is a gift from Ben Weider, President of the International Napoleonienne Society." - or something close to that.

From Ligny and after lunch at a golf club, we drove to Quatre Bras.

View from the far left of the British position.

View from centre-right of the British line.

View from the French line.

From the French centre towards Quatre Bras

Monument to the Duke of Brunswick who died on the field of battle.

I am not able to demonstrate the undulations between the opposing armies of Wellington and Ney. As an example, from the centre of the British line, I could see a dip in which there were several paddocks with horses and donkeys, from the French line the paddocks could not be seen.

Monument to British troops that fought at Quatre Bras, unveiled by 8th Duke of Wellington in 2002

Dutch monument to their cavalry

My photos end here, but I have found some more images on the Internet.

Monument to the Belgian forces at Quatre Bras

Cuirasiers v infantry caught mid-manoeuvre, (29th South Lincs?)

Brunswick Hussars

Gemioncourt Farm

The crossroads, before the barns were demolished

Monument to the Dutch forces at Quatre Bras

Saxe-Weimar briefs his commanders at the start of the battle.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Spring Trip 2017

I have had a great trip to Waterloo and Lille. I will share the photos over the next few days but here is a taster. This bust is thought to be of Vauban, it is in Lille's Fine Art Gallery.

Also in Lille

This magnificent gate - the Porte de Paris - a triumphal arch that was built when Lille was occupied by Louis XIV's armies and taken into France.

From the Waterloo tour



The Duke of Brunswick Memorial at Quatre Bras

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Eboracum Roman Festival, York.

"Good morning Eboracum. When we left , 1700 years ago, we said we'd be back. Well. Here we are, a little late maybe, but here we are."

The opening words from the Roman compere when introducing the Legions at the Eboracum Roman Festival on Sunday. The re-enactors are mainly showing the uniforms of around year 125 AD, with a few from 400 AD 9those with the trousers and round shields). The running order was a parade and a march through York, a display of birds of prey, the Romans returned to Museum Gardens for a display of drill and sparring. All great fun.

Here are some of my photos.