BY JENANITA01 ON JUNE 12, 2015
Not far from where I live is a little town called Waterlooville and I had never given its name any great thought. Possibly thought it might have had something to do with the battle, but that was about it.
It has been brought to my attention this week by the fact that they have just started three weeks of celebrations, so thought I would find out why.
The first thing I discovered was that the town itself is 200 years old and apparently named Waterlooville because of all the weary soldiers who stopped there for a rest after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
This is more than probable, because the main road that runs through it is the London Road, an old turnpike road since 1710, which runs from Portsmouth to London. They must have seen their fair share of travellers.
The town I live in, Petersfield, is bigger and much older than Waterlooville, founded in the 12th century, and we too, are on the London to Portsmouth road. We have burial mounds here believed to be more than 4,000 years old. The more I read about all the historical connections, the more amazed I became. And there was I, thinking the battle of Waterloo had something to do with Nelson and the sea!
At first I thought it hadn’t been an English battle at all, which confused me, so why all the fuss?
The hero of the day was our very own Duke of Wellington, rated at the time as fifteenth in the list of 100 greatest Britons. (I wonder who the others were?) He commanded an army of British, Dutch and German forces and between them, managed to defeat the French and end Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign as the Emperor of the French. Something they would like us to forget, I think.
And as for being a sea battle, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The battlefield is in Belgium, 15km south of Brussels, just 2km away from a little place called Waterloo and nowhere near the sea.
None of this explained why it had happened, so I dug a little further.
I discovered that Napoleon Bonaparte was a cold-blooded dictator who had single handedly caused more than 20 years of conflict on the continent. He wanted to rule all of Europe, actually becoming Emperor of France in 1804. We defeated him in 1805, but this didn’t stop him. He continued to invade countries across Europe and needed to be stopped.
You have probably gathered that I was probably not paying much attention in my history classes, but I can honestly say I don’t remember learning about it. I like history, as a rule, and never had any clue as to its origins whenever I have visited Waterlooville.
I am including some links, just in case you need to know more.
Could not reblog in normal way so photos dud no one though, sorry Evelyn