The history we present in our publications on the role of the Netherlands field army in the 1815 Waterloo campaign, could not have been told without the voices from the past of numerous veterans. They left us a great number of eye-witness account in letters written back home just after the battle, or published these in memoirs, diaries & journals, or answered questions about what they remembered to historical writers on the campaign in later life.
These accounts add up to more than 200 memories! Without their accounts, it would have been impossible to get so close to the events and inside the battles fought. It is the reason why we here at Sovereign House Books decided to incorporate as many of their stories into our publications, so that you, the reader, can get as close as possible as well.
Let us honour some of these veterans from 1815, who did not leave us their accounts, but nonetheless are part of this history! Let us honour all these veterans!
Look here for a few more of these Netherlands veterans!Read more ...
With the victorious battle remembered yesterday, the armies moved on to Paris.
For the Netherlands troops it was Captain Charles Nepveu who brought them the order in the early hours of 19 June.
Nepveu later wrote: I found myself on the evening at 11 p.m. by sheer accident at the side of the Duke of Wellington and Marshal Blücher at the moment they met eachother. Blücher did not speak French and Wellington no German, and they were obliged to have the congratulations on the victory of the battle translated. I went to pass the night between 1 and 3 at Waterloo, where I hoped to find general Constant. I had to take care myself of my horse, which was very fatigued. At 3 o'clock I left to search for the various corps of the Netherlands army to deliver them te order to move to Nivelles, where I arrived on the 19th at 8 o'clock in the morning.
See his portrait here in later life, when he had received the noble title of baron:Read more ...
Each year the Dutch army faithfuly honours its fallen comrades of the 1815 campaign.
Or to be more precise, gathers at the Dutch cavalry monument at the crossroads of Quatre Bras. Here all the officers and men from all cavalry corps serving in 1815 in the Netherlands army, both Dutch and Belgian, are remembered with military honour and distinction. These men gave their lives for the freedom of our once united kingdom and now two befriended nations.
Fortunately this annual remembrance meant that the Dutch army in one small but nonetheless very important way was present on the battlegrounds of 1815 during these bicentanary days! Honouring our fallen heroes and commemorating the 1815 campaign.
I am grateful here to use some of the photographs taken today on 17 June at the commemoration and published by General van Keulen, brigade commander of the 13th Light Brigade and Weapon eldest of the Cavalry in the Dutch army. Remembering is a shared value between us as civilians and our military men.
Please, honour these fallen Dutch and Belgian men for a moment.
And look further down here for this special annual moment.Read more ...
On this day all of Wellington's forces drew together towards two new positions, being the fields south of the hamlet Mont St. Jean and positions south of the town of Halle.
Both the Prince of Orange and his brother Prince Frederik accompanied their troops and found a bit more comfortable shelters for the night, although the first just resided in his field bed at Chenois, just north of Braine l'Alleud, together with his chief of staff Constant-Rebecque sleeping on a chair... Frederik found a much more suitable place at Halle for the night and soon other headquarters at the village of Hondzocht. (...see more photos at the end of this news item!)
You can all read about the retreat in Volume Three "Standing firm at Waterloo".
The ordinary soldiers had to find shelter and food for themselves, as they arrived on the fields of Waterloo. One such example is Private Sebastiaan Allebrandi of the 7th National Militia Battalion. His unit and all other battalions of Bijlandt's brigade initally were placed upon arrival between La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont on the reverse slope! Did you know that? Well, let's see what Allebrandi told in his memoirs:Read more ...