Monday, 22 June 2015

Waterloo 2015 - Part 1 - The Allied camp

Blimey! What a day!

As you see we returned save and sound from our trip to Belgium. The trip was really great but pretty exhausting so I used the small breaks during our family Sunday with relaxing the tired and constrained limbs. But the event was worth it all. Two dear friends of me and I spent an interesting, entertaining and wonderful day in Waterloo and collected irreplaceable and unrepeatable impression of the battlefield and the people there. Mostly of course impressions of the actors who brought the scenery to life but likewise of the thousands of interested and affable spectators.

But let's take on thing at a time. After our really early start the journey to Waterloo went really well. The roads were rather clear and the driveway to the parking areas was very well-signposted. Thus we found a good parking space between La Haye Sainte and Belle Alliance. So with disembarking I took the first breath of history. Well... It was about a quarter past nine, weather seemed indecesive and there ware only a few spectators at the site and I caught my first impression of the field of honour: The Lion's Mound.
The Lion's Mound, Saturday morning 09:30 a.m.
First we headed to the Allied bivauc which was set near and around Hougoumont. Luckily the Allies where rather early birds as we and thus we got to see a lot of well-dressed reenactors and overall plenty of kind, hospitable and affable fellows from Germany, Sweden and the UK.  
Please click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Black Watch on guard portrayed by a multi-national group.

95th Rifles on guard as well.
In this early morning not only the common soldiers were on duty. Event High Command was awake and full of zest for action:
Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher and ADCs
Meanwhile everywhere came to life and most people were busy with their morning duties or with breakfast:
Prussian sentries.
A gunner of the Royal Foot Artillery cleaning one of their numerous guns.

Our friend Holger inspecting a piece. He was an artillery NCO during active service though.
British hussars and light dragoons.
Female duty.
A British camp site.
Strolling around in the Allied camp we met one of the most impressive, formidable and credible persons I've seen this very day. A seasoned veteran who called himself the 'camp rottweiler' barking at some visitors wearing French uniforms. But barking with a with a wink. Somehow all reenactors are comrades no matter which uniform they're wearing.
The seasoned 'Camp Rottweiler'. My greatest resepct, Sir!
An officer inspecting the camp site.

A pleasantly relaxed day's schedule for the II / 95th
Plannig surgeries in advance appears strange, doesn't it?
Hougoumont as seen from the Allied camp.
A humble visitor in front of a historically important gate.
With respect for those who gave their lives there 200 years ago.
While our first walk through the Allied camp was coming to its end we heard bugles and drums. Obviously there were preparations for a larger parade or exercise starting. First unit in full dress were the black Brunswickers:
Brunswickers receiving a medal for their efforts at Quatre Bras reenactment.
Redcoats in line formation awaiting a speech of their brigade commander.
Indeed the Allies initiated a large parade and marching exercise on the field in front of their bivauc. Actually I missed the Prussians but there were a lot of British redcoats as well es some Belgian troops and a Swedish / Finnish force:
King George's men marching.
Riiiiiiiight Dress !
Black Watch preparing for a photo.
Prince William of Orange inspecting his troops. In the background the Swedes and Finns.
Unfortunately we didn't meet the Iron Duke but it was after noon meanwhile and especially my travelling companions didn't want to miss the French camp. Thus we left the Allies and firstly headed towards the 'Village du Lion', a tent city of merchants, and towards some other attractions. But this part of our journey as well as my encounter with fellow blogger Carl ('Hitting on a double 1') will be told in part two of my report.

Let me end with another picture of the Lion's Mound. Obviously at 01:00 p.m. attendance figure had grown essentially...
The crowded lion...
Follow our way to the French camp in part 2 of my report:
http://montys-caravan.blogspot.de/2015/06/waterloo-2015-part-2-french-camp.html

23 comments:

  1. Great photos! The bivouc seemed like a wealth of inspiration for painting :) Too bad we never managed to get tickets for that. But luckily there are photos like yours :)

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    1. At least the Allied bivauc was simply awesome. I'm glad that we bought those tickets in January already.
      But I hope you enjoyed your visit anyway.

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  2. Wouldn't it be grand to actually take part in one of these, to wear those uniforms and carry those guns and swords. like that they included the women in the camp as we tend to forget about them. Everyone looks so smart in their uniforms and the day turned out beautifully.

    Thank you so much for the pictures!

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    1. You're very welcom, dear Anne. Part 2 and maybe 3 will follow during the next days.

      Actually it was hard to resist and not to grap a redcoat somewhere and get in line. But I presume with two little girls and some wargaming appointments here and there the time requirement for reenactment is unacceptable even for forbearing Mrs Monty...

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  3. Excellent pictures of the allied camp. Will be posting up mind soon. I was overwhelmed with the allies set up on the edge of Hougomont. It was great to see this important landmark restored.

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    1. Although I didn't see Hougoumont in its pitiful state I was very glad to see that its future appears safe.

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  4. The stunning series of pictures.
    Thank you for sharing

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    1. You're welcome. It was an event to remember.

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  5. Awesome photos Monty! Thank you very much for sharing them!

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  6. Great photos, Monty.

    Giles

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  7. Well done monty, glad you had an ace time!!! Brilliant pics!!!

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  8. Great pictures, thanks for sharing. Part 1 already looked like a splendid day.

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  9. Such a special day, thanks for sharing

    Ian

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    1. Very special indeed. You're welcom, Ian.

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  10. Thank you for these, Stefan. A little confusing to see Swedes and Finns - I gather the important thing was to bring the Napoleonic reenacting community together from across the world.

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    1. Actually that's it. Besides the Swedes and Finns there were Austrians and Saxons on the Allied side that didn't take part in the real battle as well. The French had some troops from Switzerland which were actually inappropriate.
      But however it was an international event and for me it was no problem to see some troops that were less correct.

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  11. I think those '95th Rifles' in your third photo down are actually - wait for it - King's German Legion! Seriously. I have a photo of two similarly dressed and equipped fellows standing in the same place outside the same tent from that weekend and I was surprised to be told that too. I also thought they were 95th. They were definitely Germans because I spoke to them.

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    1. Thanks for the hint. I'll check that but there were a couple of Germans acting as English soldiers...

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  12. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say "cara mengobati kurap di leher belakang". All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

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