Wollaton Park was turned into a battleground on 3rd May (Sunday) as the Anglo-Allied army battled the French battalion in the decisive Battle of Waterloo.
The battle re-enactment was organised by The Napoleonic Association. The lives of the soldiers and their families on campaign during the Napoleonic Wars were re-created as accurately as possible by the re-enactors. Dressed in Georgian era, the re-enactors set up their camps early in the morning and relived the war with their spouses and children for two days.
The displays were impressive. They dressed, slept and cooked just like the Georgian era. Modern food and utensils were not allowed in the tents. They even spent their own money in making costumes and equipment.
The visitors were delighted with the spectacle.
Passion and hobby; these were the main reasons why they participated. They took pride in what they were doing and wanted to share their experiences as well as knowledge with curious visitors. At the same time, they wanted to educate people of Nottingham on one of the most colourful periods of history.
“First of all, there’s social side of it. I got to know lots of people not only from this country, but all over the world. Secondly, I love the history, the period and it’s the opportunity for people to come along and give impression of what war time looks like”
Wick Smith, Commandant Officer
The gloomy weather in the morning did not kill their enthusiasm. All they wanted was a good turnout when the battle began in the afternoon. Their wishes came true, by 2.30pm hundreds of spectators already waiting for the main event. One of the re-enactors, Tony Barceló (Coach Master), said what would happen in the battle.
The re-enactors slept overnight in the park and continued the battle the next day. The war ended with the defeat of the French army just like the real event.
Battle of Waterloo facts:
- 6 April 1814, Napoleon was forced to abdicate
- 20 March 1815, he returned to Paris and embarked on Hundred Days Campaign
- Many states who opposed Napoleon’s return to power formed Seventh Collision
- Seventh Collision comprised Anglo-allied army under Duke of Wellington and Prussian army under Gebhard van Blucher
- 16 June 1815, the French forces defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Ligny
- 18 June 1815, Napolean led his army against the British troops which included the Belgians, Germans and Dutch
- At first, the French were able to mount strong attacks on the British army
- Napoleon made huge blunders enabling the Allied forces to fight back
- The Battle of Waterloo ended with the defeat of the French