Tuesday, 8 May 2018

23rd Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers)

Here are 90 men of the Royal Welch, part of a square of the whole regiment I have been working on.


The Royal Welsh Fusiliers was a battle-hardened regiment whose battle honours included Coruna, Martinique, Albuera, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vitoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthes and Toulouse. Amongst those men who lived to receive their MGS medals in 1848 claims for 10 or more clasps were not uncommon.


Despite their heritage, this “Welsh” regiment contained twice as many Englishmen as Welshmen. The known places of origin amount to as follows:
English   407
Welsh     190
Irish         62
Scots         5
Other         2





When Byng’s Guards moved forward to reinforce Hougoumont their place in the line was taken by the 23rd who formed square.  The regiment remained in this position all day sustaining repeated cavalry attack and one infantry advance.



Obscured from view here (his pike is just visable from the rear rank) is Serjeant Ingham, from Kenyon, Lancs who had enlisted in 1807 aged 23.  He served in the Peninsula and during the storming of Badajoz carried the wounded Major General Colville from the breach. So began a cycle of promotion and reduction (he was demoted to Private at least three times) which lasted over his 20 years service.



Here was can see Lieutenant Harry Palmer.giving orders in the midst of the ranks. He was born circa 1793, the son of a reverend in County Longford and commissioned in 1808. Upon quitting the army in 1819 he followed his father, and grandfather, into the church.  He was posted as a chaplain to the colony in Freetown, in Sierra Leone where he soon died aged 30 leaving a young widow.


In the foreground the wounded man is Private James Brockley, from Manchester, who served 26 years in the Regiment.  By Waterloo he was a veteran of six Peninsula battles and had been wounded in the shoulder at Badajoz. At Waterloo he was wounded again, this time in the leg, but continued to served until 1836.  His conduct on discharge was listed as “excellent”.  He never married and, in 1861, became an In-Pensioner at Chelsea.


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

71st Highland Light Infantry

Here are 2 companies of the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot, part of Adam's Light Brigade at Waterloo. Spared Quatre Bras, the Brigade were fresh at Waterloo and, along with the 52nd and 95th, an extremely experienced veteran unit.



The 71st had been fighting Napoleon at Rolica in 1808 and since then had seen action at Vimeiro, throughout the Coruna campaign, Fuentes D'Onor, Vitoria, the Pyrenees, Nive, Nivelle, Orthes, and Toulouse. At Waterloo they had a nominal role of 841 (of whom around 760 would probably have been in the field). I have therefore gone with companies of 60 other ranks plus officers, serjeants and buglers. 



Although their record of service was one of the finest in the British Army, and their behaviour at Waterloo in general superb, it would seem that the long years of fighting had taken their toll and many of the men were at breaking point.  After years of hard fighting and terrible hardship in the Peninsula to be asked to continue in some new theatre of war without respite was asking too much of some men. One soldier had written of his feelings upon returning from Spain only to be boarded on a ship to America, “I wanted but a few months to be free. I sought my discharge, but was refused. I was almost tempted to desert. I lamented my becoming a soldier” Such sentiments cannot have been unusual.  In the occupation of Paris following Waterloo 12 men who had fought at Waterloo deserted.



Despite the title “Highland” this regiment was not “Scottish” in the way of the 42nd, 79th or 92nd; the 71st had abandoned the kilt for trousers and the bonnet for the shako, albeit adorned with a tartan band.  Furthermore, the proportion of Scotsmen was not so great, the proportion being:


Scottish 59%
Irish        34%
English    6%




"Highland" was also pretty unrepresentative of most of the Scotsmen in the battalion, the majority of whom were from Glasgow or Edinburgh.


So, 120 down, another 640 to go. 


p.s. I've recently been very distracted by the lovely new Perry brothers Chasseurs a Cheval. I've now got lots of spare pre-1812 torsos and hungarian boot legs. If anybody has spare 1815 torsos and overall legs please get in touch (info@waterloomen.com) and we can swap!

Friday, 9 March 2018

3rd Foot Guards - Hougoumont defenders

Now traditional apologies for tardiness in posting updates,  I will skip the boring excuses and just post some pics of a few men of Bowater's Company, 3rd Foot Guards. I haven't based them because the plan is for them to (one day!) be placed inside Hougoumont, skirmishing in the orchard etc.



Captain Edward Bowater (seen here at the front) was born in 1787, the only son of Admiral Bowater.  He joined the 3rd Guards in 1804 and served in the Peninsula where he was wounded at Talavera.  He was wounded at Waterloo and for these wounds later received £284-15-6.  He was afterwards a Groom-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria and a Colonel-in-Chief of the 49th (Hertfordshire) Foot. In 1861 he was sent, with Lady Bowater, to accompany the ailing Prince Leopold for a winter in the south of France but died at Cannes.

Behind Bowater we see Private George Osborne scrounging some ammo from Private Jarvis Kent. Kent was killed during the defence of Hougoumont. Captain Bowater was tended, whilst still inside Hougoumont, by the wife of Osbourne who was accompanying her husband on campaign. She attended many of the wounded officers and men, tearing up her spare clothes to make bandages, until she herself was wounded, being hit by a musket ball in the left arm and breast.  In view of her bravery and assistance at Hougoumont,  Bowater saw to it that she was granted a form of pension , known as “the Queen’s bounty”, until her death.





I realise now that I've missed a few buttons etc. So will have to go and tidy these up! It never ends!


Furthest right is Corporal William Dorward, one of the few non-Englishmen in the Company - he was from Monilkiee, Angus. He had enlisted in 1813 and was aged 26 at Waterloo.


More to follow soon.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year from the 71st Highland Light Infantry

Sorry, it's been a long time - have been very busy with new home etc. Lots of painting done but unfortunately all with a roller and very little with a brush. But Christmas has been a nice break from all the D.I.Y and I'm currently working on a couple of companies of the 71st Foot. Plenty to still be done on these guys, but I'm happy with the progress.





With some old leftover bits of chipboard I built myself a new painting station. This has gone down well with Lady Hill who previously could get quite riled about losing all of the kitchen table to my "painting stuff". This box can be quickly cleared away when necessary (which, to be honest, is hardly ever). Perhaps more useful is that it keeps me on task - I used to get easily sidetracked and start painting any other units lying sprawled around, but now I have to focus just on the few figs I can fit onto the painting station.


Anyway, I'm still here, still alive, still working on the project, and will try and post some pics soon - hopefully of these 71st chaps finished and based. Thanks for looking and Happy New Year to you!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Happy Waterloo Day

Currently in the chaos of buying a new home, hence very little time for all things Napoleonic and 28mm.

Here is the unit I'm currently working on - 56 men of the 23rd (Royal Welch) Fusiliers. Apparently, being fusiliers, all companies wore the winged epaulettes, which makes them among the most fiddly and time-consuming units to do, although at least they're better than the 52nd in that I'm having a nice break from all those buff crossbelts!


The new place (fingers crossed) has a brick outbuilding where I might be able to finally unpack some of my Waterloo army and have them out on display. I will try to post more when we are settled and I am able to give this project my proper attention again.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

52nd Foot - No.1 Company

It's been too long since I posted here, but I have been quietly continuing the project. Here is the most recent unit I've been working on - the light infantry regiment, the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Foot.




With the exception of one of the Guards battalions, the 52nd Foot was the largest British Regiment at Waterloo, its numbers recently bolstered by the recent arrival from England of the best men of the 2nd Battalion. They were not at Quatre Bras and were thus at full strength on the 18th. Consequently, I've been kind of dreading the task of painting these thousand! Here then, are the first 100.


The 52nd were considered one of the finest regiments in Wellington’s army. They had fought with distinction throughout the Peninsula, often in the thick of the fighting as part of the crack Light Brigade.
At Waterloo, with such a large number of men present (double the size of some other Waterloo regiments) it was decided that it would be more manageable if the Regiment formed in two squares instead of one.  The right square was commanded by Colonel Colborne – the left by Captain Chalmers (Colburne writes “[Major Charles] Rowan was anxious to take the command of the Square in which Lieutenant Chalmers was, but on my acquainting him that I should superintend both the Squares he remained, at my request, with me.”)
The majority of casualties came during the firefight with the Imperial Guard and the ensuing manouvre, Colborne estimating “the right wing of the 52nd lost nearly one hundred and fifty men during the advance.”
The pursuit of the Imperial Guard was interupted when a number of cavalry suddenly rode in front of the  52nd, who presuming them French, fired into them. They were in fact British, the 23rd Light Dragoons, not for the first time the blue of their uniforms and the French-style shako causing them to be misidentified. Wellington rode up during the shouted confusion which followed, as officers tried to make themselves heard and call a halt to the firing. The Duke, when told of what had happened, had no interest in apportioning blame but was keen no further delay should take place in pursuing the French, saying to Colborne“Never mind, go on, go on.”

Number 1 Company (shown here) had a nominal strength of 111 men and suffered 19 casualties.The origin of the men of the 52nd was among the most diverse of the British regiments at Waterloo. It consisted of approximately:

56% English
35% Irish
6% Scottish
4% Welsh
The diversity continued within these national groupings with hardly a part of the British Isles not represented. The English, for example, came from 35 different counties (the most common being, in order: Kent, Warks, Lancs, Yorks, Berks, Hants) while 28 Irish counties were represented (Galway, Tyrone, Roscommon, Donegal, and Antrim being in that order the most common place of birth.)







Private Patrick Lowe was born in Kilandra, Wicklow.  He enlisted in 1804 and served in the Peninsula where he was part of the Forlorn Hope at the storming of Badajoz. He not only survived the slaughter of the assault but also captured the governor of the town for which he was rewarded.  He was discharged in 1819 and died in Inniskillen in 1852 aged 84.





Privates Dempsey, Lane and Scatterhorn of Number 1 Company were Court Martialled for theft at Liiliers on 1st June 1816 and found guilty. Dempsey and Lane received 600 lashes and Scatterhorn 300.

I'm already working on No.2 Company but might have a rest when they're finished and do a different unit. Anything but more buff and scarlet!