Waterloo ’15 Tour: June 12

WaterlooGiveaway copyAs you know, tomorrow I head to Brussels for the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball. Now, much has been written–certainly in romance novels–about the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball; the color, the setting, the players. Who hasn’t read about the Gordon Highlanders doing their famous Sword Dance? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLeGkf6DeA0 and Wellington getting the dispatch and claiming that Napoleon had humbugged him. There has been much speculation over the years on why the duke insisted the Duchess of Richmond hold the ball. Was it because he wanted to hoodwink any Napoleonic spies into thinking the British weren’t prepared? Was it so he could have all his officers in one place so he could dispatch orders with ease? Was it the famous British stiff upper lip? Whatever his reason, the even went down in history and legend as part of the story of the battle.

What isn’t so well remembered is the famous cricket game….wait. The what? Yes. In fact, another event the duke insisted on was a cricket game among the guards. (again, everybody in one place, stiff upper lip, the illusion of indifference to Napoleon’s advance). Held in Engheim to the West of Brussels, it was organized by, not the Duchess of Richmond, but the Duke of Richmond, who was evidently quite a cricket player himself. It was, in fact, the first official cricket game played in Brussels. http://brusselstimes.com/magazine2/2731/battle-of-waterloo-preparations-anyone-up-for-a-game-of-cricket

And, just like other events surrounding the battle, the cricket game(although nobody today knows the score)will be reenacted by teams consisting of serving Guards and local Belgian players from the Royal Brussels Cricket Club. I’d say I hope we get to see it, but if we do, by the time it’s over, so would the battle reenactment, my trip, and probably my grandson’s gradeschool years(he’s 6). Hopefully we’ll drive by. I would like to at least see it in passing. I just don’t want to stay for the thousands of points(and yes, my English friends. I am exaggerating. A bit)

 

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