British Infantry

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British Infantry regiments during the Battle of Waterloo including the 28th Gloucester regiment, 2nd Yorkshire regiment, Royal Scots, 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, Cameron Highlanders, Coldstream Guards, Gordon Highlanders, Blackwatch and 95th Rifles, shown in historical military art prints by Cranston Fine Arts.

Grenadier Guards at Waterloo  In the campaign of Waterloo the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the First Guards, under Maitland, and the 2nd battalions of the Coldstream and Third (Scots) Guards, under Byng, formed the First Division of the army. They rendered service never to be forgotten. The Division reached Quatre Bras about half past six on the evening of June 26th, having met many wounded who said the day was going badly for us. Maitland was at once directed to clear the Bots de Bossu, on the right of the position, and his men straight away rushed into the wood with a cheer, and drove all before them, but the French turned their gun fire upon the wood, and many were killed or injured by trees cut down by the balls. Maitland's Guards were then formed outside the wood, where they were furiously charged by cavalry. Taking shelter therefore at the edge of the thicket and supported by some Black Brunswickers, they almost annihilated their assailants and, with heavy loss, held the ground.

At Waterloo the light companies of both brigades were posted in the wood and gardens of Hougoumont, where they were reinforced at midday by four more companies of the Coldstreamers, while the brigades themselves were on the ridge of the position to the rear, on the extreme right of the line. At Hougoumont the First Guards fought with heroic valour. It was a conflict worthy of Titans. In vain did Prince Jerome throw his strength against the old château, to the possession of which Bonaparte attached high importance. The walls were loopholed, and the place was held in strength, but repeatedly the French came on to achieve a temporary success, and then to be driven out again. A desperate struggle took place in the wood, where on one side or the other, men retreated fighting from tree to tree. Not less than 8,000 Frenchmen were put hors de combat in the tremendous onslaught made upon Hougoumont. But Lord Saltoun maintained his position, and renewed attacks were in vain. The loss, however, was terrible and the light infantry were almost annihilated when the Coldstreamers came to their aid. During this momentous struggle, the farm buildings were set on fire by the guns, adding immensely to the difficulty of the defence, and consigning many wounded to an agonizing death.

While the attack on Hougoumont was thus being made, a tremendous fire was poured on the allied line. When it ceased, the Imperial Cavalry, at headlong speed, charged the steady squares of the Guards, and the decimated ranks recoiled, but to hurl themselves anew on our bayonets.

The 3rd battalion of the First Guards was one of the regiments most exposed to this terrible onslaught. "It was upon these troops," says Siborne, "that fell the first bursts of the grand early attacks, and it was upon these troops also that the French gunners seldom neglected to pour their destructive missiles." Through all that terrific day the vast masses of gallant Frenchmen were broken against the iron sturdiness of the British squares, which stood like stoney islands amid the lapping waves of a sea of fire. General Cooke, commanding the division of Guards, and Colonels D'Oyly and Stables, in command of battalions, retired wounded from the field, and Lord Saltoun, who had returned from Hougoumont, succeeded to the 3rd battalion. At length, as the day wore on, Bonaparte, seeing the oncoming of the Prussians, concentrated his furious cannonade mainly on the position held by the Guards preparatory to his grand attack, and but for the shelter of a hollow way, they must have been annihilated. At this time, Maitland, by the Duke's orders, formed his two battalions into line four deep, and scarcely was the change made, when 5,000 men of the Old Imperial Guard, led by Ney, were seen advancing at the pas de charge to the attack. Shouting Vive l' Empereur! they came steadily on, but, when they reached the crest, the Guards rose up like a wall and poured out a pitiless volley, the rear ranks passing with loaded muskets to the front. What matters it, says Lord Saltoun, whether Wellington cried "Up Guards and at 'em!" or no? He never heard the words only "Now Maitland, now's your time!" Thus was the iron shower set free. The Old Guard wavered and when at length the column reeled, shattered and broken, Saltoun cried out, "Now's the time, my boys!" and the Guards sprang forward, and drove the enemy over a hedge of dead and dying down the hill. In that conflict of giants, and at Quatre Bras, the First Guards lost 181 killed, including 7 officers, and had 853 wounded, making a total of 1,034. They had rendered glorious service, and earned undying fame. "Guards," exclaimed Wellington, "you shall be rewarded for this." and so it happened that, as a distinguished honour, they became "The First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards." (Excerpt from The Navy and Army Gazette November 20th 1896  by John Leyland )

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Up Guards and at Them by Richard Caton Woodville.


Up Guards and at Them by Richard Caton Woodville.

Wellington orders the Grenadier Guards to advance during the closing stages of the Battle of Waterloo.
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Scotland yet onto Victory by Richard Caton Woodville.


Scotland yet onto Victory by Richard Caton Woodville.

The Battle of Waterloo.18 June 1815. The Scots Greys (The Royal North British Dragoons ), as the rest of the British heavy cavalry advanced against the French infantry, just after 1:30 p.m., Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton witnessed Pack's Brigade beginning to crumble, and the 92nd Highlanders (The Gordon Highlanders ) were falling back in disorder. On his initiative, Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton ordered the Scots Greys forward at the walk. Because the ground was muddy and uneven, The Scots Greys remained at the walk until they had passed through the Gordon Highlanders. The arrival of the Scots Greys helped to rally the Gordons, who turned to attack the French Infantry. Even without attacking at a full gallop, the weight of the Scots Greys charge proved to much for the French column attacking Pack's Brigade.
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Gordons and Greys to the Front by Stanley Berkeley.


Gordons and Greys to the Front by Stanley Berkeley.

The charge of the Scots Greys with the Gordon Highlanders holding onto the stirrups. Although this is a point of argument as to the improbability, both regiments concur that this action did happen.
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Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler.


Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler.

28th Gloucester Regiment shown in square repelling the French cavalry.
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28th Gloucester Regiment at Waterloo by William Barnes Wollen.
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Charge of the 2nd Carabiniers against the Square of the 23rd (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) at the Battle of Waterloo by Brian Palmer.


Charge of the 2nd Carabiniers against the Square of the 23rd (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) at the Battle of Waterloo by Brian Palmer.

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The Battle of Waterloo by Felix Philippoteaux.


The Battle of Waterloo by Felix Philippoteaux.

Depicting French Cuirassiers charging onto the British squares during the Battle of Waterloo.
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28th Gloucester Regiment at Waterloo by William Barnes Wollen.


28th Gloucester Regiment at Waterloo by William Barnes Wollen.

Under the command of James Kempt and as part of the 8th Brigade (consisting of the 1/28th Reg 1/32nd Reg 79th Reg and the 1/95th regiment) the 28th Gloucester Regiment fought at Quatre Bras and at Waterloo. The regiment distinguished itself during the battle and were mentioned in the dispatches of the Duke of Wellington. The 28th Regiment continued to wear the old style stovepipe shako, distinguishing them from most British regiments that had adopted the new Belgic shako. In this painting the 28th Gloucester are seen repulsing the French Cuirassiers while in a square. During the Battle of Alexandria some 14 years earlier, the 28th Gloucester Regiment were given the unique honour of wearing a badge on both the front and rear of their head dress. From 1751 to 1782 they were the 28th Regiment of Foot, and merged with the 61st (South Gloucestershire) regiment to form the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1881.
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51st (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding) Light Infantry at Waterloo June 1815. by Brian Palmer.


51st (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding) Light Infantry at Waterloo June 1815. by Brian Palmer.

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Royal Scots at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.


Royal Scots at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.

Royal Scots 1st of Foot about to form square around their colours during the Battle of Waterloo.
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1st Regiment of Foot Guards at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.


1st Regiment of Foot Guards at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.

The light company of the 1st Foot Guards commanded by Lord Saltoun, defending the hollow way, behind Hougoumont.
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The Cameron Highlanders at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.


The Cameron Highlanders at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.

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Piper Kenneth Mackay at Waterloo by J. B. Anderson.


Piper Kenneth Mackay at Waterloo by J. B. Anderson.

Piper Mackay marching repeatedly round the Camerons square, outside the bayonets, playing the Pibroch Cogadh na Sith at the height of the Battle of Waterloo.
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Saving the Kings Colour of the 32nd During the Battle of Waterloo by Richard Simkin.


Saving the Kings Colour of the 32nd During the Battle of Waterloo by Richard Simkin.

A French Officer attempts to seize the Colour but was instantly run through by Sgt. Switzers Pike and also by the sword of Ensign Birtwhistle.
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Cameron Highlanders in Square at Waterloo by Richard Simkin.


Cameron Highlanders in Square at Waterloo by Richard Simkin.

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Defence of Hougoumont Farm by Robert Hillingford.


Defence of Hougoumont Farm by Robert Hillingford.

1st Foot Guards and The Coldstream Guards are shown manning the walls of Hougoumont Farm against the heavy French forces at the height of the the Battle of Waterloo. Also shown are some captured French soldiers. During the Battle of Waterloo the 1st Foot Guards and the Coldstream Guards losses were as follows: 1st Foot Guards - 125 Killed, 352 Wounded, and the Coldstream Guards - 97 killed and 446 wounded and four missing.
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Hougoumont by Robert Gibb.


Hougoumont by Robert Gibb.

Showing the 1st Foot Guards and The Coldstream Guards struggling to close the gates at Hougoumont Farm against the Heavy French forces at the Height of the the battle of waterloo. During the Battle of waterloo the 1st Foot Guards and the Coldstream Guards losses were as follows. 1st Foot Guards, 125 Killed, 352 Wounded, and the Coldstream Guards losses, were 97 killed and 446 wounded and four missing.
Item Code : DHM0058Hougoumont by Robert Gibb. - Editions Available
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Waterloo, Defence of Hougoumont by Dennis Dighton.


Waterloo, Defence of Hougoumont by Dennis Dighton.

One secondary market print available, numbered 591 / 850. This very rare art print was published in 1978 and was personally signed by the 8th Duke of Wellington
Item Code : AX0025Waterloo, Defence of Hougoumont by Dennis Dighton. - Editions Available
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Image size 24 inches x 18.5 inches (61cm x 46.5cm)Artist : Dennis Dighton£200.00

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Grenadier Guards at Waterloo Excerpt from  In the campaign of Waterloo the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the First Guards, under Maitland, and the 2nd battalions of the Coldstream and Third (Scots) Guards, under Byng, formed the First Division of the army. They rendered service never to be forgotten. The Division reached Quatre Bras about half past six on the evening of June 26th, having met many wounded who said the day was going badly for us. Maitland was at once directed to clear the Bots de Bossu, on the right of the position, and his men straight away rushed into the wood with a cheer, and drove all before them, but the French turned their gun fire upon the wood, and many were killed or injured by trees cut down by the balls. Maitland's Guards were then formed outside the wood, where they were furiously charged by cavalry. Taking shelter therefore at the edge of the thicket and supported by some Black Brunswickers, they almost annihilated their assailants and, with heavy loss, held the ground.

At Waterloo the light companies of both brigades were posted in the wood and gardens of Hougoumont, where they were reinforced at midday by four more companies of the Coldstreamers, while the brigades themselves were on the ridge of the position to the rear, on the extreme right of the line. At Hougoumont the First Guards fought with heroic valour. It was a conflict worthy of Titans. In vain did Prince Jerome throw his strength against the old château, to the possession of which Bonaparte attached high importance. The walls were loopholed, and the place was held in strength, but repeatedly the French came on to achieve a temporary success, and then to be driven out again. A desperate struggle took place in the wood, where on one side or the other, men retreated fighting from tree to tree. Not less than 8,000 Frenchmen were put hors de combat in the tremendous onslaught made upon Hougoumont. But Lord Saltoun maintained his position, and renewed attacks were in vain. The loss, however, was terrible and the light infantry were almost annihilated when the Coldstreamers came to their aid. During this momentous struggle, the farm buildings were set on fire by the guns, adding immensely to the difficulty of the defence, and consigning many wounded to an agonizing death.

While the attack on Hougoumont was thus being made, a tremendous fire was poured on the allied line. When it ceased, the Imperial Cavalry, at headlong speed, charged the steady squares of the Guards, and the decimated ranks recoiled, but to hurl themselves anew on our bayonets.

The 3rd battalion of the First Guards was one of the regiments most exposed to this terrible onslaught. "It was upon these troops," says Siborne, "that fell the first bursts of the grand early attacks, and it was upon these troops also that the French gunners seldom neglected to pour their destructive missiles." Through all that terrific day the vast masses of gallant Frenchmen were broken against the iron sturdiness of the British squares, which stood like stoney islands amid the lapping waves of a sea of fire. General Cooke, commanding the division of Guards, and Colonels D'Oyly and Stables, in command of battalions, retired wounded from the field, and Lord Saltoun, who had returned from Hougoumont, succeeded to the 3rd battalion. At length, as the day wore on, Bonaparte, seeing the oncoming of the Prussians, concentrated his furious cannonade mainly on the position held by the Guards preparatory to his grand attack, and but for the shelter of a hollow way, they must have been annihilated. At this time, Maitland, by the Duke's orders, formed his two battalions into line four deep, and scarcely was the change made, when 5,000 men of the Old Imperial Guard, led by Ney, were seen advancing at the pas de charge to the attack. Shouting Vive l' Empereur! they came steadily on, but, when they reached the crest, the Guards rose up like a wall and poured out a pitiless volley, the rear ranks passing with loaded muskets to the front. What matters it, says Lord Saltoun, whether Wellington cried "Up Guards and at 'em!" or no? He never heard the words only "Now Maitland, now's your time!" Thus was the iron shower set free. The Old Guard wavered and when at length the column reeled, shattered and broken, Saltoun cried out, "Now's the time, my boys!" and the Guards sprang forward, and drove the enemy over a hedge of dead and dying down the hill. In that conflict of giants, and at Quatre BRas, the First Guards lost 181 killed, including 7 officers, and had 853 wounded, making a total of 1,034. They had rendered glorious service, and earned undying fame. "Guards," exclaimed Wellington, "you shall be rewarded for this." and so it happened that, as a distinguished honour, they became "The First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards."

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