Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Waterloo Field Hospital To Be Excavated

Discussion in 'Military History' started by GRW, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    19,082
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Be interesting to see if they turn anything up.
    "A group of 25 British and Dutch military veterans are to join the first excavation of the main field hospital established by the Duke of Wellington during the Battle of Waterloo.
    The former soldiers, sailors and RAF personnel will work with archaeologists, led by Prof Tony Pollard of Glasgow University, to explore the farm buildings of Mont-St-Jean, where thousands of wounded soldiers received primitive first aid as shot and shell rained down on them.
    The dig has been organised by Waterloo Uncovered, a charity founded by two Coldstream Guards officers, Charles Foinette and Mark Evans, who suffered from PTSD after a tour in Afghanistan.
    The project seeks to combine world-class archaeology with support for veterans. In 2015, the charity’s excavation of the battle site at Château d’Hougoumont, the farmhouse defended by the Coldstream Guards, discovered musket balls from some of the first shots exchanged between the French and allied troops and evidence of the close-quarters fighting.
    Napoleon had instructed the French army in June 1815 to seize Wellington’s position on the Mont-St-Jean Ridge, a few miles from Brussels.
    “Once the cannons opened fire, the farm buildings rapidly overflowed with the wounded,” Pollard said. “Mont-St-Jean became a place of suffering and endurance. It’s possible that as many as 6,000 casualties passed through the place.
    “Many men died there. The site has never been excavated before. As an archaeologist this is a unique opportunity to look for evidence of the battle to save lives.”
    It is hoped the site around the field hospital, where medics operated without anaesthetic, amputating shattered limbs and suturing wounds, will reveal secrets of the effort to save lives during and after the fighting.
    The Waterloo battle site does not have a cemetery but is marked by a museum and monument. The dead, apart from a few officers, were either burned or buried in unmarked graves, with the bones taken as souvenirs or used by local farmers for fertiliser."
    Evans said: “It will be thought-provoking and moving to be excavating on the site of the field hospital. Some of our team have themselves experienced battlefield first aid.
    “The men of 1815 would have hoped for very little. Many of those who survived returned to an uncertain future because of their injuries. The care and recovery process has changed so much today.”
    Among the group working on the site from July will be military personnel who have been wounded, or suffer from post-traumatic stress after action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their ages range from 19 – a soldier serving in the Coldstream Guards who is recuperating from training injuries – to mid-70s.
    The field hospital at Mont-St-Jean was 600 metres north of the frontline.
    A plaque marks the work of the surgeons of the Royal Army Medical Corps, whose patients included the Prince of Orange and Wellington’s military secretary, Lt-Col Lord FitzRoy Somerset, who had his arm amputated."
    www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jun/24/wellingtons-waterloo-field-hospital-to-be-excavated-for-first-time?fbclid=IwAR1069RL4MiHoSl5AN-LVKzuWPiFkmmQaur0g5sMqtYokAeZlYlmnaQpyPc
     
    Buten42 likes this.
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,030
    Likes Received:
    1,041
    From the photo included to the article, looks like one guy was aiming for the moon!

    As a wee lad I toured the Gettysburg battlefield over a couple of days and a park ranger/guide pointed out one of the most dangerous places on a battlefield was the tree line up at 8 to 10 feet as so many men tended to shoot high, especially at range.
     
  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    19,082
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    And bumped for a (gruesome) update-
    "The main allied hospital site of the Battle of Waterloo has been unearthed and it reveals the grisly details of the finale to the Hundred Years' War.
    Army veterans helped unveil the site and found human remains, dozens of musket balls and a 6lb cannon ball.
    Archaeologists from the University of Glasgow also discovered a number of coins and uniform buttons during the ongoing dig at Mont St Jean in Belgium.
    The finds from the excavation – the first time the particular site has been excavated since the 1815 battle – are said to show evidence of a fierce fight having happened very close to the hospital area.
    Details of the work have been revealed by the veterans charity Waterloo Uncovered, with the dig led by Professor Tony Pollard of the University of Glasgow.
    The team began by conducting a metal detector survey of the orchard at Mont St Jean, which is right next to a farm, seeking evidence that the farm was used as one of the main field hospitals during the battle.
    The digging of trenches at the site revealed a concentration of musket balls – allied ones fired by the Brown Bess infantry musket, and the smaller calibre French musket balls."
    www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7257739/Human-remains-cannon-ball-unearthed-Battle-Waterloo-hospital-site.html
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Michigan
    Are they saying that Waterloo was the finale to the Hundred Years War? Wiki at:
    Hundred Years' War - Wikipedia
    Has that conflict ending in 1453 quite a few years before Waterloo.
     
  5. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    19,082
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Never noticed that!
    That Corsican bugger was older than he looked....;)
     

Share This Page