Monday, July 25, 2011

The Fourth Regiment, Waterloo

The King's Own Regiment at Waterloo

The Fourth Regiment of the British Army was formed July 13th, 1680. In 1715 the Regiment received the distinctive title, “The King's Own Regiment of Foot.” Its service extended from its founding all the way through to the 1950s. Along this path, the Fourth collected an impressive service record including Culloden, Bunker Hill and in the Napoleonic wars, illustrious campaigns in the Peninsula, such as Badajoz and Salamanca. They are depicted here as they would have appeared later on 18 June, 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.

The King’s Own Regiment arrived on the Waterloo battlefield with reported deplorable equipment despite their high spirits. They had been on their way to the Americas when ordered to turn around to face the return of France’s Emperor Napoleon. There was no time to refit and repair broken gear. Veteran troops such as the 4th were highly sought after by Wellington in the planning and organizing Britain’s finest defense.

Colonel Brook

During the battle they fell beneath the higher organization of the 10th Brigade under Sir John Lambert. The 4th Regiment played a supporting role early in the battle, located behind the British main lines near the infamous Sir Thomas Picton’s Division. After Picton’s death, the 4th moved into the British front lines around 3 o’clock. At this time they came under fire from French Light Infantry or “Voltigeurs,” springing from the newly captured La Haye Sainte Farm. They remained under the French guns exchanging fire for the rest of the battle.

Voltigeurs move forward
The Fourth responds to French Fire

After the French Old Guard was repulsed following their 7 p.m. attack, the King’s Own charged alongside the remnants of Wellington’s and Blucher’s newly fielded armies in their steady advance. With banners waving  in the wind, the 4th advanced over the broken French army and pressed home the allies attack. Casualties of the Fourth Regiment at the Battle of Waterloo were recorded officially as 10 officers, 114 men killed and wounded, no small skirmish. Yet the victory gained has gone down in history as one of the finest.

The Fourth is depicted here in a two file battle line opening up on the French. I have chosen to show them in covered Belgic shakos. The models themselves are mostly Perry Bros. Miniatures from Perry’s “British Line Infantry box set.” This is a great set that was constructed pretty much as it came.  Some firing arms also come from Victrix Plastics; Waterloo British Infantry Centre Companies which fit almost interchangeably with the Perrys.

The banners were drawn off of a Victrix rule sheet provided in their boxed set. As with most of my colors, I have scaled it to the right size and painted over to match the colors with the models. 

Stand Fast Fourth

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