Wednesday, January 28, 2015
New website features objects recovered from the Battle of Waterloo
Objects associated with the Battle of Waterloo including Napoleon’s Arab travelling cloak, Wellington’s boots, a blood-stained amputation saw, a French breast plate with the hole left by the shot that killed its owner, and a vertebra from a British soldier taken from the battlefield and brought back as a gruesome souvenir – or to his wife – feature on a website launching on Wednesday.
The site, Waterloo200.org, features 100 objects from the National Army Museum, the Royal Collection and other museum and private collections, and 100 more will be added before the actual anniversary on 18 June. It also covers hundreds of national and community events and projects. Events include a 200-mile bike ride from the site of Waterloo in Belgium to London, joined by injured service personnel and members of the British and Irish Lions.
The battle was regarded as an epic victory for Wellington and the allies and marked the final defeat of Napoleon, but saw 65,000 casualties of the 200,000 who fought, with many of the dead lying on the battlefield for days, plundered by souvenir hunters, including those who took teeth to be sold to dentists. A set of “Waterloo teeth” also features on the site.