Waterloo Despatch - June 2006

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Waterloo Despatch - June 2006

Post by Forum Manager » Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:11 am

What a fantastic event and what organisation by the Belgiums, coaches to deliver troops to & from the battle zone and lots of water afterwards to combat the effects of the seering heat.
The Deerings and the Earps represented the 1/95 and joined forces with the 2/95 under their command as the Rifles at Waterloo.

Day 1 - Saturday 17 June 2006
We started the engagement skirmishing against the French in the woods next to Hougoumont. Meanwhile, the main French force literally crashed though temporary North gates to be repelled by the Allied defenders inside Hougoumont. Having been driven out of the woods by superior forces we fought a steadily retreating action until we had to take shelter within Hougoumont with the rest of our troops. After defending the walls so strongly, the Allied brigade marched out of Hougoumont onto the fields on the north side to meet the French head on. The Rifles skirmished on the right flank steadily against Volitgeurs and eventually charged and wiped out a 6 man gun crew. Unfortunately, the main body of the army were defeated by successive charges by the Imperial Guard.
Wow, we didn't think we could top the experiences of recreating the defence of Hougoumont AT Hougoumont itself. This is the Holy Grail for Napoleonic re-enactors.
But...

Day 2 - Sunday 18 June 2006
Starting in the centre of Plancenoit we skirmished on the left flank of our brigade successfully picking off many French with our fire and repelling their light infantry in several hand-to-hand melees. This year's action saw the Allies push the French back through the streets of the village, in the manner that the Prussians did on this day 191 years ago, where we drove their troops back steadily with house to house skirmishing and prolonged fire whilst the main body of the brigade followed up. The windows rattled as the sound of musket and rifle fire reverberated down the narrow streets.
Having pushed the French back into open field near the Farm of Chantelet, the battle continued with the brigade held in several squares whilst the the French cavalry relentlessly tried to prise open our formations. Bit by bit we forced our way forward towards the retreating French army. Eventually we outflanked them and their troops were repeatedly charged and forced into hand-to-hand combat. The Rifles had the honour of facing the Old Guard and defeating them in a well-co-ordinated charge and its ensuing melee. The day was ours.
In Napoleonic re-enactment, it doesn't get ant better than this!

Many thanks to the gallant and thoroughly professional and friendly(!) French brigade. Equally to the other Allied regiments.

Special thanks to Neil Collins and the lads & lasses of the 2/95 for their friendship and hospitality. I look forward to marching with you again.

Some pictures taken by 95th Rifles War Correspondent, Les Earp, (seen chatting with the Peer himself!)

Laughing in the face of defeat, the fallen Imperial Guards lay at the feet of the riflemen of the 95th Rifles:
Image
Last edited by Alan Earp on Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:12 am, edited 14 times in total.
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Plancenoit Pictures by Phil Thomason

Post by Forum Manager » Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:31 am

Phil Thomason, an amateur photographer specialising in Living History, was present throughout the weekend as a guest of the HLI. He has set up a suberb collection of photographs that truly capture the excitement and feel of the re-enactment.

Click here to view this marvellous collection.
Last edited by Alan Earp on Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
95thRLHS Forum Manager

"Managers are people who do things right, leaders are people who do the right things"

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