BOOKS, MUSINGS, PAPERS, REVIEWS & VIDEOS
Our go-to collection of writings.
Videos from our gentleman film star, Richard Heffer, on filming the big screen epic in 1969.
G TROOP RHA
Waterloo's legendary junior artillery officer Cavalié Mercer and his grave restored.
Thoughts and submissions from our team, we'll be steadily building this section through 2024.
The history and evolution of battlefields laid bare. Fascinating!
YEARS IN REVIEW
What we've done, where we've been, how we've travelled.
All that reading from pre-teenage years has paid off. We find that some authors are exceptionally reliable, whilst others prove less so, so here we share the best of those that we repeatedly refer to within our ever-expanding collection.
History is a moving target, as facts are freshly unearthed or re-interpreted. Yet it is a minefield; often the most outwardly confident and popular authors are those who should really reconsider, and we politely remain silent on those works.
Robert has quietly but materially contributed to varying degrees to a number of these books, including some by our Contributing Experts, but regardless and without fear or favour, here they are.
Two videos on the 1969 Waterloo movie set, with "Colditz" actor Richard Heffer. Richard played the famous Captain Cavalié Mercer, commander of G Troop Royal Horse Artillery in the fabulous and timeless Waterloo big screen epic.
The recorded 'living memories' of former soldiers are all the rage, but for the Napoleonic era this is as close as we can get. Richard's introduction to life on the Waterloo filmset is fascinating enough, but what follows is a quite astounding description of the very real dangers of facing the destructive power of a cavalry charge!
We have greatly enjoyed touring across Belgium with Richard on Mercer's campaign route from Bruges to Waterloo. Robert was also selected to provide the 'expert commentary' on Sony's Blu-Ray special anniversary limited release of the film.
G Troop RHA
After years of researching the life, from cradle to grave, of surely Waterloo's most famous junior officer, Robert found his grave in a local church in St.David's, Exeter, Devon, and set about gathering permissions then leading its restoration to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the battle in 2015.
The grave attracts numerous Waterloo fans eager to pay their respects to what Mercer handed down to us through his still published 'Journal of the Waterloo Campaign', including many serving soldiers from Mercer's Troop which continues to this day within 7 Para based in Colchester.
Every June, prior to the anniversary, it is professionally cleaned at Robert's expense, so time your visit right and it'll be gleaming white! And do get in touch, we'd love to meet you there and show you around if you have the time.
Here is the full story, previously on its own website GTroopRHA.co.uk and now incorporated here.
The start of many articles that we'll feature from Robert, our team of Contributing Experts and guests.
Robert's is a first night review of Ridley Scott's film, "Napoleon".
Andrew's extensive thought piece takes a fresh look at the farm complex of Hougoumont and its role during the Battle of Waterloo. Since writing this piece Andrew is now the historical adviser to the interpretation centre at Hougoumont, which is currently being upgraded for 2024 just in time for us to share the stories behind the displays.
Rob's remarkable research for a forthcoming book highlights the reality of life on campaign for the everyday soldier, within an army forced to live off the land, a land often unfriendly and incapable of supporting the numbers marching through. Ignorant of what lay beyond the horizon, without the benefit of modern logistics and communications, Junot's invasion army arrived in Lisbon in rags, and this is the tale of how they got there.
This amazing image shows it all, the Victoria (London) to Waterloo coach. Whether it normally plied its trade between rail stations in London, or made a regular feature of travelling to the battlefield is unknown. But what a great image of an early battlefield tour.
Robert's collection of old postcards allows us to trace the evolution of the battlefield over the years. The prolific postcard industry fills the gap between now and then, showing the evolution of the places we visit, enabling us to unwrap layers of the past on tour.
To kick off here are a few of Robert's articles published by the Waterloo Association a few years back.
Years in Review
This wonderfully Dickensian but unknown couple effortlessly display the rigours of daily life in the 1800s. Proudly displaying his Peninsular War medals is this fine fellow, blessed with surviving numerous major battles and sieges (count the clasps, one for each) as he faced Napoleon's finest.
Happily nowadays we face an easier task on tour, and can only marvel at the supermen and women of the era who went through so much to leave such a rich history behind them. Truly inspirational in their stamina and fortitude.
Our annual reviews share some of what we've got up to on our research trips and tours, each with a few gorgeous photo and explanations. Enjoy!
More Books, Articles & Postcards, plus ....
Integrity in history
Napoleonic Luxury in Paris: A perfumier's guide
Barba del Puerco: it's about more than the 95th
Impact lost: D'Erlon's perambulations of 16th June
Bussaco Palace: A garden history
The Economic causes of the French Revolution: Lessons for today
The true Prussian route to Waterloo
History's Dirty Secret: What the books don't tell
Almeida: The Explosive French Siege
Genappe Uncensored: You haven't been told half of it
Albuera: A multi-national re-analysis