Waterloo Women and Children
All too easy to forget the bravery and involvement of the fair sex and children in the caldron of Waterloo.
Here are four of note.
A Scots woman Margaret Tolmie had the distinction of being one of the girl children born the day after the Battle of Waterloo 1815. Margaret's Mother travelled with her husband and father both of the 2nd Royal North British Dragoons Scots Greys famous for their valorous charge that was in many ways as deadly as the charge of the light brigade a t Balaclava.
The day after the Melee on a June morning Mrs Margaret Tolmie and other ladies left the safe confines of Brussels to look for their loved ones. On the battlefield itself all of the wounded that could be found had been removed and all that remained considered dead. With great determination she ventured int o the mass of bodies and examined individuals to identify her husband. Luck was on her side and recognised the initials she had sewn on the uniform that clearly identified him.
On discovering he was alive Margaret acquired the help of two other women who carried her wounded husband to a medical location. The excitement of discovering her husband alive. Overcome by the excitement of the day she gave birth to baby girl. This special child named after her brave Mother Margaret lived to be an octogenarian chronicled in 1901. She became the wife of a Rosewell tradesmen, on his death she moved to Fifeshire to live with her daughter and remained there until her death. One of her sons became a fairly rich man in America, whilst a grandson a chairman of a large commercial enterprise in Scotland.
Thomas Deacon of the 73rd of Foot became one of the wounded at Quarte Bras. Martha Deacon spend a horrifying night looking for her Ensign husband. Martha was pregnant and cared for her three children by her side. With her brood she marched twenty miles to Brussels in a torrential down pour desperate to find her husband. Fortunately he was alive and the added excitement of a baby girl made it a time to be remembered by naming their new daughter Waterloo.
The brave wife of Private McMullen serving in the 27th Foot did her best to carry him of the field when he was wounded in the knee. During this time the battle was in full swing when a musket ball struck her leg and fractured the bone. The private's courageous wife gave birth to a daughter and Waterloo was added to her family name. The Duke Of York and Albany so famous for making of the British Army the most efficient in the world, and commander of the British Army, became a proud godfather of the battle offspring.
One five year old girl, the daughter of a gardener was caught in the initial assaults at Hougoumont. The Duke of Wellington chose this position well tempting the French to assault it at great loss.
The Chateau eventually was set alight by artillery fire and a Sergeant of the Guards Regiment took her to a safe haven. In 1876 on a visit to England the London Times reported her dramatic memories of our troops. She was sincerely impressed by the kindness displayed and the games the soldiers played to amuse her.
Acknowledgements to Old Books and The History net.com