The 8th Duke of Wellington fights to save Battle of Waterloo farmhouse


Blackleaf
#1
The 8th Duke of Wellington, a descendant of the 1st Duke of Wellington who defeated the French at Waterloo in 1815, is leading a campaign to save the farmhouse which was pivotal during the battle.

Duke of Wellington joins fight to save Battle of Waterloo farmhouse

By Stephen Adams, Arts Correspondent
18/06/2008
Telegraph


Arthur Valerian Wellesley, the 8th Duke of Wellington, is a British peer and a retired Brigadier in the British Army. He is a descendant of the 1st Duke of Wellington who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815


The Battle of Waterloo in 1815, in which the British (led by Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington) and a smaller Prussian force (led by von Blucher) defeated the French during the Napoleonic Wars



The 8th Duke of Wellington has joined leading military historians in a bid to save the farm that was pivotal to British victory at the Battle of Waterloo.

They are trying to raise €3 million (2.4m) to save the dilapidated Belgian farmhouse where the 1st Duke of Wellington's men staged a brave defence that swung the famous 1815 battle in favour of the Allied forces.

They want to turn the Hougoumont farmhouse near Waterloo into an education centre that will permanently commemorate the battle which helped end Napoleon Bonaparte's imperial ambitions.

The group launched "Project Hougoumont" on the 193rd anniversary of the battle.

They hope to have raised the funds and restored the farmhouse by June 2015, in time for the 200th anniversary.

The project has the support of the Belgian authorities, which own the farmhouse.

Military historian Prof Richard Holmes, chairman of the project, said the objective was to save "a fundamental piece of world history" from falling into total disrepair.

He said: "In my long experience of historical battlefields, few spots have the haunting appeal of the farm complex of Hougoumont on the field of Waterloo.

"In seeking to preserve this iconic spot we do not simply remember the British troops who held it.

"We also applaud the courage of their German allies who fought for the wood in front of it, of the Frenchmen who came so close to taking it and turning the fortune of the day, and of the cavalry whose charges swirled up and down the slopes within sight of its ancient walls, now in such acute peril.

"This is not a question of national pride or regimental commemoration. It is about saving a fundamental piece of world history, and we simply must not fail."

The current Duke of Wellington, who is 94, has given his blessing to the project, as has his son the Marquis of Douro. Further endorsement has come from Bernard Cornwell, the historical novelist.

To kick off the campaign, project organisers have commissioned two paintings by renowned military artist Chris Collingwood, simultaneously depicting a critical moment from the farmhouse from the opposing British and French positions. A number of signed prints from the paintings, each worth about 1,000, will also be sold.

Organiser Steve Stanton said they gave "a unique double perspective of both the French assault and British defence of the perimeter wall."

He added: "The final resulting works are truly stunning in their depth and detail, and have surpassed anything I could have imagined."

They plan to produce a series of "double works" of different scenes from the battle, one each year until 2015.

Napoleon wanted to take the chateau to draw in Wellington's troops, but the British leader was desperate to defend it to protect the right flank of his army. He ordered it to be defended to the last man.

A force of 6,500 French infantry, led by Napoleon's brother Prince Jerome, mounted the attack, determined to take it from the British Guards. Enraged at being repulsed, he then threw his whole division behind it.

But throughout the day wave after wave was repelled. Finally Wellington was heard to say, almost to himself, "I believe we shall beat them after all!"

telegraph.co.uk
 
Tomtom
#2
yes its for sale , its a very rare painting
 
Tomtom
#3
i have a very rare painting of the 1st duke of wellington , it is a young portrait of him
 

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