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 DID YOU KNOW THAT?  

DYKT 7: Did you know that, following the Battle of Waterloo, 2nd/95th Rifles headed the triumphal entry of Wellington’s army into Paris on 7 July 1815?


Lt Smith leads the 2nd/95th into Paris on 7 July 1815. Illustration by James
 Dann from Rifles at Waterloo by George Caldwell and Robert Cooper.

Background

Six companies of the 1st/95th Rifles, six companies of the 2nd/95th Rifles and two companies of the 3rd/95th Rifles took part in the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815.

The six companies of the 1st/95th Rifles under the command of Colonel Andrew Barnard formed a part of Major-General Sir James Kempt’s 8th British Brigade in the 5th British Infantry Division commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton.

The six companies of the 2nd/95th Rifles under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Amos Norcott and the two companies of 3rd/95th Rifles under the command of Major John Ross formed a part of Major-General Frederick Adam’s 3rd British Brigade in the 2nd British Infantry Division commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton (Colonel Commandant, 1st/60th (Royal American) Regiment, 1813-15).

The casualties sustained by the companies of the 95th Rifles at Waterloo were substantial:
 1st/95th: 21 killed, 138 wounded from a total of 549 (29%)
 2nd/95th: 34 killed, 193 wounded, 20 missing from a total of 585 (42%)
 3rd/95th: 4 killed, 40 wounded and 7 missing from a total of 188 (27%)
[Source: History of The Rifle Brigade (The 95th), Sir William Cope)]

Following Waterloo

On the day after Waterloo the Allied armies began to march on Paris. On 21 June Napoleon arrived there, but was unable to persuade the Chamber of Peers and Deputies to give him their continued support. On 23 June he abdicated as Emperor in favour of his 4-year old son. Napoleon’s move was ignored and on 29 June Napoleon left Paris hoping to escape from France via Rochefort. He was unsuccessful and on 15 July surrendered to Captain Maitland RN on board the 74-gun warship HMS Bellerophon.

As the Allied armies, under Lord Wellington and the Prussian General, Blücher, approached Paris, French resistance soon collapsed. On 3 July the French agreed to a suspension of hostilities and, on 7 July, 40-50,000 Allied troops marched triumphantly into Paris with the 2nd/95th Rifles led by their Adjutant, Lieutenant Thomas Smith, brother of Captain (later Lieutenant-General Sir) Harry Smith, at the head of Wellington’s army. The Battalion then encamped in the Champs Elysées with a guard at the Tuileries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lt Thomas Smith

 

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