More extracts from my forthcoming book telling the story of the Battle of Waterloo and its aftermath in the words of those who were there.
The story so far…
Recently married Lady Magdalene de Lancey is tending to her husband, Sir William, who was hit by a cannonball while riding alongside the Duke of Wellington. At first it seemed certain he must have been killed by such a blow, but though very ill he remained conscious and was taken from the battlefield for treatment.
On Friday evening Sir William was very feverish, and the appearance of the blood was very inflammatory. I had learnt now to judge for myself, as Mr Powell, seeing how anxious I was, sometimes had the kindness to give me a little instruction. About ten at night Mr Powell and Mr Woolriche came. While I told them how Sir William had been since their last visit, and mentioned several circumstances that had occurred, I watched them and saw they looked at each other. I guessed their thoughts. I turned away to the window and wept.
The Battle is also over for Gunner John Edwards, who thankfully emerged unhurt from a conflict whose casualty rate shocked even hardened soldiers. The letter to his brother outlining his experience ended thus:
I have the onner of waren a blue and red ribbon as a marke of that day… My account may not be quite so great as you may have it in England—so my papper is dun and I must give over… so I remain, your loving Brother John Edwards til dath.