Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Edinburgh at Waterloo: Quatre Bras

Waterloo archive anecdotes: 16 June 1815

Jun 16, 2015

Following the initial hostilities of the Waterloo campaign on 15 June 1815, the following day the armies of the Duke of Wellington re-engaged again at Quatre Bras, this time in all out battle with the French forces of Marshal Ney. To the east, the remainder of the French forces, commanded by Napoleon, engaged Blücher’s Prussian forces at Ligny.

Fighting was fierce and, although both sides suffered heavy casualties, strategic advantage was gained by the French who were also victorious at Ligny (Napoleon’s last ever victory). Wellington and Blücher re-grouped and, two days later encountered Napoleon at Waterloo.

The British memorial at Quatre Bras (illustration above), reveals that several Scottish regiments were involved in the battle. Many of their number were from Edinburgh.

Illustrated left is Robert Henry Dick KCB KCH of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment (Black Watch) who was from a leading Edinburgh family. He served with great courage in the Waterloo campaign. At Quatre Bras, on the death of his commander Lt Col Robert Macara, he took command during a period of ferocious hand to hand combat. He led his soldiers until he too was unable to continue due to serious wounds in his hip and shoulder.There is a memorial tablet to him above the organ loft in St Giles.

While Dick survived, another Edinburgh man was not so fortunate. John Kynock served as Lieutenant and Adjutant in the 79th Cameron Highlanders.  He was killed in action at Quatre Bras on the 16 June 1815 and his name is listed on the regimental monument at Waterloo. (Illustrated right)


Illustration of Quatre Bras memorial: Oo Cities Archive

Illustration of R H Dick: NPG, Creative Commons

Illustration of Cameron Highlanders memorial: Findagrave.com


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