Some news from the Waterloo battlefield
Latest update : 07/02/2013
11/12/12 : the soldier found in June on the battlefield was most probably Hanoverian : read here. In our Magazine, page 50 : ACMN201207-12.pdf
26-27/10/12 : Great restoration operation at Waterloo this week-end. We (the ACMN) restored/cleaned 8 memorials on the Waterloo battlefield, among these 5 at Goumont. To see the pictures before/after, just follow the link :
04/07/2012 Mont-Saint-Jean farm. The pigeon house is finished, apart form the roof.
25/06/2012 : destruction of the Hôtel des Touristes, the Lion hamlet's oldest buiding (1823).
As a comparison, a few years later, the same place from the same point of view, after the building of the panorama.
This old postcard shows the l'hôtel des Touristes and the l'hôtel du Musée, now theBivouac de l'Empereur, before the panorama was built.
The body of a Waterloo soldier was found during works near the Lion mound, on June 5, 2012.
The skeleton was nearly complete but, contrary to what was said before, there were no buttons. He was mortally wounded by a bullet in his right lung and just had the time to go (or was carried) a few hundred meters to the rear. The bullet was found in place. In his pocket, there were some coins, among them a 1811 demi-franc. There was also a spoon, a piece of wood with the initials C.B., a piece of leather, 2 gunflints and two other yet unidentified pieces of metal. If it is confirmed he was a British soldier - which is probable, he might be buried in the Evere memorial, the first common soldier to be buried there. It is a good thing the British ambassador was informed.
Some views taken today
The parking place for the coaches. The parking for the cars will be closer to the freeway. It's approximatively here that the skeleton of a soldier was found. This picture was taken on the day the skeleton was found. Maybe the archeologists are near the cars on the left of the picture.
Towards the freeway.
The restoration works on the pigeon house of the Mont-Saint-Jean farm are advancing.
The Templar's stone is back in place.
The plaque to the British Army Medical Services has been cleaned, but unfortunatley, the bottom left corner has been chipped.
How the memorial will look like.
Movie made by Tempora, the company in charge of the project.
A complete page with a small interview in La Capitale.
Press conference announcing the project :
Follow these links :
- http://www.lacapitale.be/411648/article/regions/brabant-wallon/2012-05-09/lion-de-waterloo-30-millions-de-travaux-et-un-nouveau-memorial-video You can see a movie presenting the project of the underground memorial.
- Another movie : http://newsme.skynet.be/fr/video/418121/International/Belgique-Waterloo-se-r%C3%A9am%C3%A9nage-pour-faire-vivre-sa-bataille.html
The press release (in French)
Works have started !
Maybe a last look on some buildings. This house dates back to 1823 and was there when the mound was built.
The former "restaurant de la Paix" (pictures right).
Works have also started near the motorway.
Dear Friends of (Napoleonic) History,
The 2015 bicentenary is nearing and things are at last moving on the battlefield. We have the pleasure to announce you some good news, mostly from the Allied side.
On the Allied side of the battlefield
There are some very positive evolutions.
- The stele to the 27th Foot (Inniskillings) was straightened up on March 7, 2012 by Mr Lucien Cécille and his team of the Waterloo Committee. A great job ! Congratulations.
- The restoration works on Lt-Col Sir Alexander Gordon's column are nearing completion. These were greatly needed, since the column had not been restored since... 1931 !
- The restoration works to the façade and to the pigeon house above the entrance of the Mont-Saint-Jean farm are advancing. The commemorative plaque to the British Army Medical Services has already been put back in place.
- Regional Walloon minister of Tourism, Mr. Paul Furlan, has announced on Twitter and Facebook that the Walloon regional government had accepted a financial arrangement of 27 millions of euros for the redevelopment of the Lion Mound hamlet for the 2015 bicentenary. It was nearly too late, because the planning permit, given in October 2010, expired on 18 May 2012! The renovation works should start at the beginning of May 2012. Without this decision, any redevelopment of the Lion mound site would have been impossible before 2015. We just hope that most part of this amount will not be spent on a "scenography imagined by Franco Dragone".
- The monument to the Belgians killed on the 18 June 1815 "fighting for the defence of the colours and the honour of the arms" (i.e. on both sides) should also be restored soon, probably when the Gordon column is finished. This was also greatly needed.
- The Lion should also get a face-lift before 2015.
From the French side
Here, we have far less reasons to rejoice, but there is some reason to hope.
- Like we announced more than a year ago, the province of Walloon Brabant has bought the Wounded Eagle monument on 28 December 2010 and the Victor Hugo column the next day. Unfortunately, restorations works haven't started yet, even if they are urgent. We have been unable to hear any news about this matter.
- The Association pour la Conservation des Monuments Napoléoniens (ACMN) will take care of the restoration of the French Eagle monument in the orchard, just like it did in 1986-87, as well as of the repairing of the plate to General Bauduin, as soon as we will get the necessary authorisations.
- Nothing new concerning the eagle stolen from the 8th Line Regiment (Division Durutte) monument, opposite la Haie-Sainte farm. Nobody seems to care about it... apart from us. Maybe the only way to get this done is to start a fund in order to get the needed money?
If you want some more information about a monument, don't hesitate to contact me.
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