Enquiry Question 1: Who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815?. The Duke of Wellington (Britain and Allies). Napoleon (France). What can we guess about this man from his portrait?.
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The Duke of Wellington
(Britain and Allies)
What can we guess about this man from his portrait?
Think: What clues are there from this portrait about his status, his education, his profession, whether he has achieved great things?
If this was his job, how might he be connected to the Battle of Waterloo?
Sir Charles Bell was a Scottish born surgeon, who had trained in Edinburgh. He became a skilled surgeon and anatomist. Above all he had a real talent for drawing and illustrating many of the books he wrote on the human body.
During the wars with France, he twice volunteered his services to the Army, first in 1809 and again in 1815. Both times he kept a record of his patients’ wounds by sketching and painting pictures of them. He later used them to teach students about the human body.
When we try and find out about the battle of Waterloo, these images are a remarkable record. The men shown would never have otherwise had their faces recorded as the age of photography was yet to come. Sir Charles’ pictures tell us much about the men who fought at Waterloo, not least the wounds they suffered.
What do you think caused these wounds?
Musket ball – shot right through
Musket ball – hole punched into skull. Ball and bone removed.
Cannon ball wound
Musket ball – shot right through from side to side!
Sword cut – bowels escaping
Cannon ball gash
So who were the soldiers that fought Napoleon in 1815?
“Our [Army] is composed of the scum of the earth — the mere scum of the earth. It is only wonderful that we should be able to make so much out of them afterwards.”
What do you think the Duke of Wellington thought about British soldiers?
The Duke of Wellington
What did Wellington’s army at Waterloo look like?
Waterloo was fought between Wellington and Napoleon.
Waterloo was fought by rich and wealthy people who had a lot to gain or lose.
The armies were made up of the ‘scum of the earth’.
Wounded soldiers were treated with sensitivity and skill.