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258 hits since 20 Jun 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 10:29 a.m. PST

… Waterloo, The Journals of Lieutenant George Woodberry, 18th Hussars, 1813-15.

"My interest in the journals of Lieutenant George Woodberry of the 18th Hussars was initially pricked by contact from a good friend of mine, Colin Yorke, who had previously worked with me on the publication of the Journal of Ensign John Drummond of the Coldstream Guards. He informed me that he had obtained a copy of Woodberry's journal held by the National Army Museum in Chelsea, which covers the period from January to September 1813 only[1]. I was already aware that excerpts of Woodberry's journal had been previously used by Eric Hunt in his book Charging Against Napoleon[2] but on further investigation I became really intrigued when I realised that the journals of George Woodberry had only ever been published fully in 1896 by Georges Helie in French! The French version also interestingly covered a much greater expanse of time, covering George's service from January 1813 right up until July 1815. Even more extraordinary was the discovery that the French version of early 1813, which covered the same period as the handwritten journal held by the National Army Museum, differed significantly in their content; not in the basic facts thankfully, but in the finer detail, each making mention of certain aspects which were not duplicated in the other with some dates also omitted in the French version. These idiosyncracies had also been noted by Peter Hicks, a British professor who works with the Fondation Napoleon, who republished Woodberry's account, having added in the missing dates from the British version, but again only published in French. The handwriting in the English journal has been compared with the image of the one page we have of the notebook containing Woodberry's account as used in the French version by Heli. It is certainly identical, so why were there two versions of the same journal? By now, my interest was definitely piqued and I decided to work with Colin on publishing the entire Woodberry journals for the very first time in English. This is the result, which I trust that the reader will find is an invaluable primary source on the life of a young hussar officer in Wellington's army, one which has for far too long been largely ignored in the Anglo-Saxon world simply because it was only available in the French language. Unfortunately, all records of the whereabouts of the journals Georges Helie was able to view and translate are now lost, but clearly, they were in France and with that country having suffered much in two World Wars, it has to be presumed that the original journals no longer exist…."
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