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.
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
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)
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
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)]
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