Yorkshire Regiment Parade at Royal Armouries Leeds – Waterloo 200th Anniversary

It was 200 years ago today that Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo by the allied forces of the Seventh Coalition. I spent most of the day at Royal Armouries in Leeds.

I will be at v the Armouries again at the weekend as the Waterloo commemoration continues. There will be a horse show by Atkinson Action Horses, seen recently in BBC’s Poldark.

The first thing I looked at was a canon newly installed in the Hall of Steel, this cannon is called Le Cigne, The Swan, and was part of the battery at Waterloo.

On the 4th Floor of the Armouries are three items currently on loan.

‘Cartoon of Waterloo’ depicting the meeting of Wellington and the Prussian General Blucher, his ally,  after the battle. This spectacular picture is part of the Palace of Westminster Collection and is on loan from the Royal Academy until January 2016.

Also on loan at the moment, this time from Leeds Art Gallery, is the famous ‘Scotland Forever’ depicting the charge of the Scots Greys.

Both are impressive pictures and worth seeing while they are in the same venue.

Two Waterloo Medals.This was the first battle where all combatants fighting for Britain were awarded a medal, the same medal regardless of rank. These two were awarded to Corporal Robert Thompson and Private David Craig, both of the Scots Greys. These are on loan from the collection of Mr Chris Mercer.

While considering personal items such as the medals awarded to the living it is fitting to remember that many died on both side. This display shows the damage a cannonball does to armour. A man was wearing this breastplate.

You can read another personal story in an article I wrote earlier this month about Friedrich Brandt. Friedrich was a 23-year-old man from Hanover, German territory of King George III till Napoleon took it in 1805. Waterloo Medals were awarded to members of the Kings German Legion.

Finally from the current display I am singling out this item.

This telescope was used by the Duke of Wellington during the battle. A precision instrument with five sections. In the Sharpe novels Sharpe has a spy glass Wellington gave him, this is most likely the inspiration.

I said in the introduction to this article that I spent most of the day at the Armouries. Some of it I wasted as I had failed to empty my SD card before going and at this point my card was almost full. As there was the parade in the afternoon I either had to content myself with 9 chances to get good shots or go home, empty the card and get back. I bit the bullet and did the journey.

The ‘retweet’ and ‘favorite’ were from Royal Armouries… gee thanks for the sympathy… I found the charger though.

So then the parade.

Led in by the Band of the Kings Division over a hundred soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment paraded at the Royal Armouries.

The Yorkshire Regiment was formed in 2004 when all the remaining Yorkshire Regiments merged.

The 2nd Battalion are returning to Britain following their time at the garrison in Episkopi, Cyprus. They will be taking their traditional home of Catterick in North Yorkshire.

As the parade looped around the Armouries Square their own photographer became central in my view, figuratively even though he is actually to my right.

The parade came to a halt lined in front of the Armouries facing outward, in to the square. After the usual commands for the lines to be dressed they were in perfect order as this photo shows.

Dr Edward Impey, Master of the Royal Armouries addressed the Regiment. He reminded all present that part of the history of this Regiment was with the The Duke of Wellington’s 33rd Regiment of Foot.

The current Duke of Wellington is the Regiment’s Deputy Colonel-in-Chief.

Following a drum sequence from the Corps of Drums Colonel Padgett took the Salute.


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