What happened to Napoleon’s sword?

January 22, 2017 - The Chairman

On 1 June 1879 in a remote part of South Africa, Napoléon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte, the son of Napoleon III, was killed by Zulus whilst on a badly planned excursion. But that is another story: however at the time he was carrying his great uncle’s sword, which was carried by Napoleon The Great at […]

From Russia with love

January 17, 2017 - The Chairman

Not long ago I went to Russia specifically to visit Stalingrad, now called Volgograd to be present at the commemorations of the great battle.  It was -15 degrees and with wind chill – 30 degrees. But that is another story. I had time during my stay in Russia to visit the battlefield of Borodino. I […]

Copenhagen’s Love Letters

January 11, 2017 - The Chairman

Seeing the recent coverage on the Guardian https://twitter.com/waterloo200org/status/813322108063416320 on Marengo  reminded of this slim volume of the love letters between Marengo and Copenhagen. The letters are fairly frisky stuff and Serjeant Gibson was frankly rather shocked.  The book is sub titled “The World’s greatest gay, equine, military, epistolary romance”.  Make of that as you will but I said […]

The last survivors of Waterloo

January 4, 2017 - The Chairman

We are now back from Christmas leave.  Serjeant Gibson and I spent some time examining some of the 200 items on our website.  This remarkable photograph taken on Waterloo Day in 1880 caught our eye. Until recently the website entry on this http://waterloo200.org/200-objects/page/8/  shows the fourth man to be Robert Horton, in fact it is Robert […]

The half a million pound sovereign

December 23, 2016 - The Chairman

An interesting piece in the current Country Life mentions the value of 1937 Sovereigns with the head of Edward VIII.  Apparently there are as few as 7 that exist and their value is in region of half a million pounds.  The obverse is interesting as it was designed by Benedetto Pistrucci in 1817.  We know […]

The French General who changed sides

December 16, 2016 - The Chairman

Until recently I had never heard of General Bourmont.  He was the French General of a Division who deserted with half of his divisional staff to the Prussians during the Hundred Days.  He is an interesting cove.  A nobleman who fought against the Revolution but succumbs to Napoleon and is appointed to command a Division in […]

Waterloo Medals auctioned

December 8, 2016 - The Chairman

This week a number of Waterloo Medals were sold at Dix Noonan Webb and it is interesting to see that the price seems to have dropped now that we are well beyond the Bicentenary.  Serjeant John Gibson was very interested as his medal is now in my possession complete with original ribbon. However the one […]

1940 – The man who remembered Wellington’s funeral

November 28, 2016 - The Chairman

We seem to have gone rather sonic all of a sudden, here is another clip (sound only) of a man, Frederick Mead, who spoke in 1940 about his memory as a child as his father went to The Great Duke’s funeral. Today St Paul’s holds 2500 or thereabouts, in 1852 it held something like 25,000. […]

Sean Bean documentary on Waterloo

November 27, 2016 - The Chairman

I came across this clip whilst browsing and it’s rather fun. Caught sight of our resident surgeon Mick Crumplin.  Just click on the centre of the image to watch it.

The curse of the Tipu’s ring

November 24, 2016 - The Chairman

Seeing the recent entry on social media about the ring which contains hair from Napoleon reminded me of the ring which was sold by Sotheby’s in May 2014. The ring illustrated here, with the name of Rama, a Hindu God in raised Devanagari script,  was allegedly taken from the hand of Tipu Sultan, The Tiger of […]