The Hundred Days and the Waterloo campaign, March-July 1815 Ireland and the outbreak of hostilities
Irish soldiers and the Waterloo campaign
Irish military experiences during the Waterloo campaign Ireland and the aftermath of hostilities
(i) Irish Waterloo campaign veterans – 3rd Battalion, 1st Foot
(ii) Irish Waterloo campaign veterans – 1st Battalion, 32nd Foot Bibliography
This reports intention is not to re-write history books and underwrite what happened in Waterloo in anyway shape or form. As my job takes me to places that I’ve read or heard about so often Waterloo has always been one of those places what happened and what was achieved there is mind blowing for centuries after. What started off as a routine day out in the field turned into an experience that took me to Ireland where learnt that a little Island like Ireland could have held such an important role in Napoleonic Wars. During this time Ireland was under political and social turmoil and the Napoleonic Wars were considered by a large amount of Irish Society an ‘English’ fight and was never a high concern for Ireland except for the families involved and the people that actually didn’t have a choice in the matter. First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone involved in the research team, the guys on the field, back in the office and to everyone who spent days and nights answering my very often stupid questions that i had to ask none of this could be done without any of you and your assistant. More particularly I want to mention Bronwyn. Bill, Doug, Warren, Mark, Sarah, Elise, Justine, Lenard and Jason for bearing with me and particularly the constant flow of information that you’ve fed me throughout this time. If they were alive they’d be 212 years old but a special mention needs to be made to Thomas O’ Donnell and Fritz O’ Connell they were the inspiration that started the ball rolling with a simple water canister and a makeshift grave that held more than just one story. These two soldiers entered our lives and their lives and stories touched ours with a simple glance we knew there had to be a story and were hell bent on telling it. They are the reason and motivation on what lead us into finally putting something together that was dedicated specifically to all the Irish soldiers who were all present at Waterloo and who have since served their lives in the British Army. These two boyhood friends that were on opposite sides of political arena somehow managed to become friends at a young age stay friends join the British Army and fight a fight they didn’t necessarily believe in and die on the same field together like many they enlisted into the army because the circumstances at home on their farms were deteriorating daily they joined the military to save their farms this was the main reason but they also got sucked into stories and tales of far out lands and impossible situations by the return of Wellingtons men as well as the increasing military personal that had been station all over the Island - just like their story there are hundreds of forgotten Irishmen that lost their lives on that battlefield nearly 200 years ago. Although there are too many to mention I hope that in many cases this report will outline some stories that happened on that field 197 years ago. More particularly I’d like to thank the O’Donnell and O’ Connell families who were more than willing on few occasions to re-educate me on Irish history it was mainly due to their pride in Thomas and Fritz that redirected the focus from two untold stories to Irelands Waterloo Story. Thomas and Fritz are the pride of their families still today they still remember the sacrifice and in Thomas O’ Donnell’s own words “the living conditions in Ireland at the time were deteriorating rapidly and they...