The Tour and Your Guide
Henry Bolton OBE is the President of the Primrose League, but he's also a former British army officer and is able to apply a military eye to explain why the geography of the Waterloo battlefield was so important to the Battle’s outcome.
Between February 2013 and March 2016 Henry worked as a Chief Defence and Security Planner for the European Union in Brussels. During that time, he spent many weekends walking the battlefield, matching specific moments within the battle to the ground.
Waterloo was a ferocious battle fought on the 18th June 1815 between the 'English' and Prussian armies on the one hand, commanded by The Duke of Wellington and Field Marshall Blucher respectively, and the Imperial French Army under the command of the Emperor Napoleon on the other. It was fought at the end of a hard four-day campaign involving marches, counter-marches and three other battles. It is likely that the combined armies of England, Prussia, Austria and Russia (the Austrians and Russians were mobilising at the time) would have eventually defeated the Emperor Napoleon, but they didn’t have to. Waterloo changed everything.
A battle is a chaotic affair with many incidents taking place concurrently. Waterloo was no different. It consisted of five main phases: First, a French diversionary attack on the British right, second, the huge French infantry assault on the British left and the subsequent dramatic charge of the British Heavy Cavalry, third, the charge of the around 12,000 French Cavalrymen against Wellington's centre, fourth, the French Imperial Guard assault, and finally, the arrival of the Prussians in the East.
Within that overall frame there were the dramas of the defence of Hougmont Chateau and the farmhouse of La Haye Sante.
During this tour, Henry will, literally, walk you through the battle, bringing it alive by pointing out key moments and locations and telling you the stories of some individual participants. You will also visit the Waterloo museum on the battlefield, and Wellington's Headquarters in the town of Waterloo itself and where you will see, among other artefacts, the grave of Lord Anglesey's leg!
There will also be plenty of opportunity to socialise. This is meant to be a interesting and enjoyable excursion into the moment the Napoleonic wars were brought to an end.