So this is the first Blog I’m posting for my Waterloo ’15 Tour, since the 50 Shades of Green Tour ended yesterday. I’m still enjoying the peace and majesty and new good friends with the Engineer. In relation to Wellington and Napoleon, Ireland played its part, on bother sides. Today I’ll just mention the Irish who fought for the British in some of their most legendary units all throughout history. My own Irish cousin, Captain Patrick Dunne, was awarded, among others, the Military Cross (2nd highest commendation to only the Victoria Cross) for stringing communication links in from of the trenches (we Dunnes are all a bit mad) in World War I.
I’d get into the reasons so many Irish fought for a country that oppressed them, but that’s for different reflections. Today, just know that 40% of Wellington’s volunteers were Irish, an amazing figure. They made up legendary units like: the Connaught Rangers, the Enniskillens, the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, and the 18th Hussars. Irish soldiers were, like all others, brave, dauntless, frightened, ferocious, bored, overwhelmed, savvy, timid, terrified and terrifying. The most disciplined fighting force in that known world. There were also cowards, thieves, murderers, con men just like in all armies, including that one. But to remember Waterloo, I’d like to remember the best of all of them. Because it took incomprehensible courage to stand their ground that day.
Tomorrow, I’ll say a bit about that other Irishman at Waterloo, Wellington himself. Today, though, is for my own ancestors who probably fought alongside him side-by-side with English, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch, Prussian, Hanoverian, and who knows how many others in a battle that changed the face of the world.
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