I am here in Belgium for the bicentenary commemoration of the Battle of Waterloo, and so as I gather images which support some of the stories about the battle I thought I would share them here.
Sir Alexander Gordan
Sir Alexander was the Duke of Wellington’s aide-de-camp (French for assistant in the field) in Belgium, he’d supported Wellington for months, and Wellington had become close to him. Alexander would have been privy to all of Wellington’s very valuable and sensitive knowledge about both the Allied and the French armies and leaders. They would have spent hours in each others company, living side by side, so that Alexander was always there to be called upon to write dispatches and ensure orders were passed on.
I recently visited the Churchill museum in London, and having worked in military colleges, I’ve had the luxury of learning a lot of the history around military leadership, I know that Churchill used the men about him as sounding boards to discuss ideas and views. I am sure Wellington would not have contained the burden of such a great issue and concern as a battle over Europe to himself, he would have shared his thoughts with men he could trust, both his plans and his fears, and his aide-de-camp would have essentially been one of those men because he was so close to Wellington.
When Sir Alexander was injured in the battle by a round shot, which took off his leg, Wellington was horrified by the injury of someone he was so close to. He had Alexander tended in his own bed in his rooms at the Inn at the Village of Waterloo which is now the museum.
He wrote to Sir Alexander’s brother himself, and a copy of the letter is in the Wellington Museum in the inn in the Village of Waterloo and it is a heartfelt letter which seeks to express both Wellington’s personal sadness and his admiration for Sir Alexander. It said that Sir Alexander gained his injury when he had ridden onto the battlefield to rally troops who were losing heart, and therefore Wellington saw him as a hero.
Consequently, when the Evere crypt was built to commemorate the officers who died during the battle, Sir Alexander was one of the mid-level officers who was honoured, his body was lifted and reinterred within the crypt, where he lies today.
If you would like to read my fictional story set around the lead up to the Battle of Waterloo then now is the time to do it, Harper Collins have put on some amazing deals this month to commemorate the battle. In one country the deal only lasts two weeks, though, I have not put the amounts as they are different in different countries, just click on the cover of The Lost Love of a Soldier in the side bar to find out your deal.