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"Scottish heroism at Waterloo should not be forgotten" Topic

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07 Feb 2019 5:20 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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850 hits since 7 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse07 Feb 2019 4:08 p.m. PST

"They are charging straight at you, their horses like cannonballs hurtling forward, the men a gallery of courage, sabres aloft, red coats flaming as they advance in reckless unison.

This is a painting of the charge of the Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo 200 years ago, and one of the defining images of that bloody day. What we are seeing is a tragic folly, for the dashing cavalry charge so vividly represented here carried on straight through an array of French cannon and left the Greys isolated from their own lines. Their horses exhausted, they were cut down by Napoleon's 6th and 9th cuirassiers.

When the Duke of Wellington said of Waterloo, "It has been a damned serious business … It has been a damned nice thing the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life", this is the kind of setback he was talking about. Roughly a quarter of all Scots Greys at Waterloo died, and about the same proportion were wounded…."
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ConnaughtRanger07 Feb 2019 10:35 p.m. PST

Typical rubbish from The Guardian.

Snapper6908 Feb 2019 2:10 a.m. PST

It is generally accepted that the painting bears no resemblance to the actual charge, which was probably initially carried out at a slow trot, if not a walk. Still an inspiring picture, though, and I have a print of it on the wall of my Gin Palace, donated by a friend.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 4:59 a.m. PST

It is funny piece of journalism however when you are left asking "What was the point of that article?"

Jingoist for the Guardian I thought. Rubbish certainly (grin)

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 6:51 a.m. PST

"Err.. right." It reads like a sentence without a verb. I am reminded of 'Private Eye's regular dig at the hack journalist signing off his copy- "(will this do?)"

He is evidently ignorant that the regiment was the ROYAL Scots Greys's and oblivious of the irony that their correct title in 1815 had been '2nd Royal North British Dragoons' since 1737 and remained so till 1877, shortly before Lady Butler's painting was exhibited in 1881.

Jonathan Jones, the author, is Welsh.

It appears he once aspired to being 'a professional historian.'

C M DODSON08 Feb 2019 10:43 a.m. PST

Whilst the painting is fabulous, it is an undoubtably totally inaccurate depiction of the charge of the union Brigade.

I have no wish to detract from the heroism of the Scottish troops but memory suggests, hopefully accurately that it was lancers and chasseurs that repulsed these brave men. The Cuirassiers were engaged with the Heavy Brigade.


Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 11:24 a.m. PST

The Hinchliffe 25mm Scots Greys were clearly based on the Lady Butler picture.

This figure depicts the officer in the left foreground


and this I reckon is the bloke to the left of him


Can anyone remember Hinchliffe's address back in the 70s? It was Station Street, Meltham, Huddersfield IIRC. I can't find anything on Streetview that looks like it was once a model soldier factory, but neither are there many buildings that look like they've been put up where one's been demolished. Unless the ingrate vandals built that supermarket on it. Hinchliffe's HQ should have preserved for the nation as a Grade II* Listed Building.

My brother and I used to pore for hours over the price list, putting £10.00 GBP orders together to get the free postage. I never really thought about what the premises actually looked like.

Jeffers08 Feb 2019 11:50 a.m. PST


The postcode from my 1978 Battle says HD7 3NX, but no street name. Perhaps it had a big sign to help the postie!

Jeffers08 Feb 2019 12:05 p.m. PST

Strike that!

According to the Napoleonic Adventure Gaming (!) booklet its 21 Station Street.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse08 Feb 2019 12:08 p.m. PST



42flanker Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 12:37 p.m. PST

"Cuirassiers.." – sheesh.

Lambert Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 2:31 p.m. PST

I remember going to the Hinchliffe shop at Meltham when I was about 11, but remember very little about it except being immensely happy.
The Scots Greys were in the second line and are famous because they captured an eagle and got slaughtered. The fight was won by the Household cavalry, Royals and Iniskillings, who are generally ignored because of Lady Butler's painting and the Waterloo film, which lead the casual observer to think that all British cavalry rode grey horses. This is not to disparage the immense contribution made by Scottish troops to the campaign overall.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 4:56 p.m. PST

This is not to disparage the immense contribution made by Scottish troops to the campaign overall.

Oh, go on. You know you want to.

Mercer describes falling in with a Highlander on the retreat from Quatre Bras. The Highlander had been shot in the knee. He asked if G Troop happened to have a surgeon, which they did, who duly dug the bullet out by the roadside with some hideous 19th century surgical doodad. The Highlander then carried on walking to catch up with his unit.

Strong as an ox and almost as smart.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 4:58 p.m. PST

@ Jeffers

Dammit. If it's 21 it looks like they paved paradise and put up a parking lot. Well, a Morrisons.

Lion in the Stars08 Feb 2019 7:37 p.m. PST

Strong as an ox and almost as smart.

Hey, you take that back! That is extremely insulting to all the heroic oxen that served in the British army!

evil grin

Jeffers09 Feb 2019 3:57 a.m. PST


How to turn heaven into hell….

Stoppage09 Feb 2019 4:04 a.m. PST
Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 4:15 a.m. PST

The Cuirassiers mention is odd as he is trying to be very specific "6th and 9th" C he tells us . I always understood that Travers 7th and 12thC and Farine's 5th and 10th did get involved in the counter attack

Whirlwind09 Feb 2019 5:16 a.m. PST

I liked the article on its own terms, explaining a little about the context of the painting and its impact.

C M DODSON09 Feb 2019 10:31 a.m. PST

Hello Mr D.

Adkin illustrates the 7/12 Cuirassiers against the 2nd Lifeguards and 1st Royal Dragoons.

5/10 Cuirassiers against the 6th Iniskilling Dragoons.

3rd Chasseurs, 3/4 th Lancers tackled the 2nd Dragoons, the Greys, killing Ponsonby in the process.

There is no mention of 6/9 Cuirassiers,2nd Brigade 14th Cavalry Division taking part in this particular action.

Lady Butlers epic painting is romanticised fiction but still impressive.

I prefer this from a childhood book.


The bearskins were probably covered, the drummer is not in livery but I feel it is more realistic and oh look the principle target, Marcognets troops are involved too!

Best wishes,


C M DODSON09 Feb 2019 10:32 a.m. PST

Oh, just spotted the incorrect lancer headgear.


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse09 Feb 2019 11:41 a.m. PST

Glad you like it my friend!.


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 4:15 p.m. PST

The picture above is great and unlike Lady Butler's does show some context to the charge.

OK the French are in pre 1812 uniforms, the white plume on the 2RNBDs is a late Regency look, the bearskin is a Grenadier's shape, the cap cords are wrong, the cuffs are wrong, the epaulettes look white, the Highlander is wearing a sporran, the harness is black not brown…plus the Polish lancer and indeed the drummer not in Imperial or even converted Royal lace….but apart from that.

Seriously it does give the right impression and I agree, it makes more sense than the famous picture

C M DODSON09 Feb 2019 7:02 p.m. PST

Hi, yes it does have it's inaccuracies but for a 1970' S Eagle book for boys drawing it does have a ' feel' to it I think.

It would make a great diorama .

Best wishes,


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2019 3:22 a.m. PST

Oh this is a far more respectable painting than just a comic book illustration. It is by Richard Caton Woodville Jr, who painted many a fine and spirited military topic. His work is very well known and I agree entirely that it beats Lady Butler's version.

C M DODSON10 Feb 2019 9:55 a.m. PST

Well I never knew that. I remembered the picture from the Annual but got the 'copy' off a Waterloo blog regarding the film and excitement around its release , the other year.

Thank you for the information Mr D.

Best wishes,


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