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Topic : 18 June 1815 Waterloo - but something you may not know!

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17/06/2015 : 11:40:08      reply with quote

18 June 1815 - 200 years ago

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher.

Upon Napoleon's return to power in March 1815, many states that had opposed him formed the Seventh Coalition and began to mobilize armies. Two large forces under Wellington and Blücher assembled close to the north-eastern border of France. Napoleon chose to attack in the hope of destroying them before they could join in a coordinated invasion of France with other members of the coalition. Waterloo was the decisive engagement of the Waterloo Campaign and Napoleon's last. According to Wellington, the battle was "the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life". The defeat at Waterloo ended Napoleon's rule as Emperor of the French, and marked the end of his Hundred Days return from exile.

Two days before the battle, Blücher's Prussian army had been defeated by the French at Ligny. Wellington decided to offer battle upon learning that the Prussian army had regrouped and was able to march to his support. Wellington's army, positioned across the Brussels road on the Mont-Saint-Jean escarpment, withstood repeated attacks by the French, until, in the evening, the Prussians arrived in force and broke through Napoleon's right flank. At that moment, Wellington's Anglo-allied army counter-attacked and drove the French army in disorder from the field. Pursuing coalition forces entered France and restored King Louis XVIII to the French throne. Napoleon abdicated, eventually surrendering to Captain Maitland of HMS Bellerophon, part of the British blockade, and was exiled to Saint Helena where he died in 1821.

The battlefield is located in the municipalities of Braine-l'Alleud and Lasne,[11] about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Brussels, and about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the town of Waterloo. The site of the battlefield today is dominated by a large monument, the Lion's Mound. As this mound was constructed from earth taken from the battlefield itself, the contemporary topography of the battlefield near the mound has not been preserved.


A bit of local history you probably don't know about:

In July 1812, after the Battle of Salamanca, the French had evacuated Madrid, which Wellington's army entered on 12 August 1812. Deploying three divisions to guard its southern approaches, Wellington marched north with the rest of his army to lay siege to the fortress of Burgos, 140 miles (230 km) away, but he had underestimated the enemy's strength and on 21 October he had to abandon the Siege of Burgos and retreat. By 31 October he had abandoned Madrid too, and retreated first to Salamanca then to Ciudad Rodrigo, near the Portuguese frontier, to avoid encirclement by French armies from the north-east and south-east.

Wellington spent the winter reorganising and strengthening his forces. By contrast, Napoleon withdrew many soldiers to rebuild his main army after his disastrous invasion of Russia. By 20 May 1813 Wellington marched 121,000 troops (53,749 British, 39,608 Spanish and 27,569 Portuguese[3]) from northern Portugal across the mountains of northern Spain and the Esla River to outflank Marshal Jourdan's army of 68,000, strung out between the Douro and the Tagus. The French retreated to Burgos, with Wellington's forces marching hard to cut them off from the road to France. Wellington himself commanded the small central force in a strategic feint, while Sir Thomas Graham conducted the bulk of the army around the French right flank over landscape considered impassable.

Wellington launched his attack with 57,000 British, 16,000 Portuguese and 8,000 Spanish at Vitoria on 21 June, in four columns.[4] After hard fighting, Thomas Picton's 3rd Division broke the enemy's centre and soon the French defence crumbled. About 5,000 French soldiers were killed or wounded and 3,000 were taken prisoner, while Wellington suffered about 5,000 killed or wounded. 151 cannons were captured, but Joseph Bonaparte, erstwhile King of Spain, narrowly escaped. The battle led to the collapse of Napoleonic rule in Spain.

shocked 8Oshocked 8Oshocked 8Oshocked 8Oshocked 8O

Bells have been used thoughout history to call to prayer, celebrate, and to mark events. The battle of Vitoria (as described above) was one such event and there is a peal board in St Andrew's, Keighley which records the event.

The incription reads:

On Monday June 21st 1813, the Society of Change Ringers belonging to this steeple, rang an harmonious Peal, of new Treble Bob, containing 10,080 Changes; composed by the Justly celebrated Mr Joseph Tebbs of Leeds. The Bells were struck into Changes at 9 Minutes past 9 in the Morning and were brought round in a masterly Style 12 Minutes past 3 in the Afternoon.

The ringers names:

The Performace delighted and astonished Connoissours and greatly pleased the Inhabitants of the Town and its Vicinity.
The English under Wellington beat the French at Vitoria in Spain and slew 10,000 men while this Peal was ringing.

happy :)happy :)happy :)happy :)

If you would like to know more about bell ringing please contact me. I ring at Kildwick, practice night is at 7.30 on Wednesday nights. happy :) Tel 01535 655441 happy :)


The practice night for Silsden is at 6.30 on Thursday nights.

We are always looking for new ringers, so give me a call.
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17/06/2015 : 11:51:39      reply with quote

If my memory serves me, bells were rung sometime in July 10 years ago to celebrate 60 years since the end of
WW 2, do you know if there are any plans to mark the 70th anniversary. It will probably be the last the. Veterans will see.
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17/06/2015 : 12:04:53      reply with quote

We always try to ring for these occasions but the problem is a lack of ringers so it's not always possible.

Ringing is a team effort. If you are 9 to 90 years young we would be pleased to see you.
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17/06/2015 : 12:07:30      reply with quote

Some names lived on with Waterloo Mills and Bonepartes wine bar!!
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17/06/2015 : 12:10:37      reply with quote

I've always loved to hear bells, does it take long to learn. I've watched ringers at church, they make it look easy, is it very demanding physically.
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