Battleshed Diaries

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Waterloo: captured French eagles reunited



The weekend saw me making a special trip into Edinburgh to see the two eagles captured at the Battle of Waterloo. The eagles have gone on display together for the first time in almost 60 years as part of an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. As I'm currently reading Bernard Cornwall's book on the subject, and have read many other articles and books over the years covering the Napoleonic period, I couldn't resist the opportunity to see these two iconic symbols from the famous battle. Weirdly though, I've never - yet - indulged in gaming this period! A couple of the guys from Livingston Battleground will be travelling to Belgium for the 200th anniversary next month.  
 
The Eagle of the 45th French Infantry, captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart during the charge of the Scots Greys, is currently being displayed alongside the Eagle from the standard of the 105th French Infantry captured by the Royal Dragoons. Ewart’s Eagle, usually displayed in Edinburgh Castle, will be on show throughout the exhibition run, while the Eagle from the 105th, which is on loan from The National Army Museum London, will only be displayed until May 31. There is even a pub on the Royal Mile called the Ensign Ewart!

The Waterloo exhibit itself was small, basically the eagles and a few items picked up from the battlefield by souvenir hunters. However a trip to the National Museum of Scotland is always worthwhile. I used to frequent the museum a lot when I was younger and lived nearby. Its recently had a an extension to the wonderful Victorian halls. Its large, houses a diverse range of exhibits and its free!

So, if my reader is ever visiting Edinburgh for the first time, I recommend The National Museum for the itinerary list!