|Waterloo 1815 - French guns being taken back to Brussels after the battle, with Wellington's HQ on the left opposite St Joseph's church.|
The other thing that comes to mind when first visiting Wellington's HQ is the similarity this building has to any other coaching house that can be found in most county towns in England today and I am sure the Duke must have felt very at home in this inn prior to and after the battle.
|The Royal Chapel and St Joseph Church of Waterloo as it looks in 2015|
These smallish Napoleonic museums all have similar items in their collections ranging from uniform examples on manikins to show them off to the different weaponry and battlefield finds. The Wellington museum is no different and so I thought I would select items that caught my attention the most.
|The old coaching house and inn at Waterloo, now houses the Wellington museum. Gun carriages replaced by cars|
The museum has some wonderful personal items on display, such as these pipes belonging to General Ziethen commander of the I Prussian Corps. As a wargamer I like to see items like these as occasionally you end up painting a figure carrying the trusty pipe. I, for instance, have the AB model of General Lasalle carrying one of these items and these pictures will come in handy when I end up painting him.
|Prussian General Zieten's pipe collection|
The rooms in the museum are themed around the various armies involved in the campaign and in the French room was this excellent sepia drawing of a French cuirassier corps drawn up in line of battle. The picture is in three parts as seen and really captures the awesome appearance of such a force.
|French Cuirassier Corps drawn up in line of battle|
|The close up of the HQ staff, with Imperial ADC heading off having delivered his orders|
|An original French shako of the period|
|Battlefield debris collected over the years|
By this period the pistol was now a very functional mass produced piece of kit without the fancy metal scroll work seen on pieces from earlier periods.
|French light cavalry pistol|
|British "Tower" cavalry pistol|
|Prussian cavalry pistol|
This area also appears to be where old memorial stones replaced for this bicentenary have been relocated as the Scots Guards stone seems to be the one that was at the North gate of Hougomont and that I pictured in 1976 as shown in my Waterloo bicentenary post.
|The rear courtyard of the museum|
|The last time I saw this was at Hougomont in 1976|
|"Here liest the leg of his Majesty's illustrious, brave and valiant Lieutenant General, the Earl of Uxbridge commander in chief of the English, Belgian and Dutch cavalry wounded on the 18th of June at the memorable battle of Waterloo who by his heroism contributed to the triumph of mankind's cause so gloriously decided by the victory of that day".|
|"To the memory of Colonel Sir H. W. Ellis 23rd Regiment, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Killed in action at Waterloo 18 June 1815|
Thus it was very nice to see this smaller French cannon on display at the museum that I took to be a French 6lbr which formed the mainstay of French artillery on the day of Waterloo.
The Wellington museum is a great place to start your visit to Waterloo from and I thought the building and collection of various artifacts well laid out and of interest to the knowledgeable visitor as well as those less so.
Thus ended our first Waterloo visit, with our tour to Quatre Bras, Ligny and Wavre ending in Plancenoit, arranged for tomorrow. Whilst writing this post the weather is still very hot, but even now I can hear the noise of summer rain, and a bit of thunder. How about that for a little reminder of the weather two hundred years ago.