Humor Magazine

Sorry, Yet More Waterloo

By Davidduff

I am grateful to my e-pal and regular commenter, Ortega, for pointing me to this story in The Mail which somehow I missed.  It concerns a diorama of the battle of Waterloo which was constructed in the early '70s before the age of cgi-effects.  It shows the field at Waterloo and illustrates the five main actions that took place although, of course, in real-life they took place at different times of the day.

Sorry, yet more Waterloo

This amazing model is on display at the museum of the Green Jackets regiment in Winchester thanks to a truly dedicated couple, Kelvin and Mary Thatcher, who undertook the massive task of cleaning it up and repairing the ravages of time, and now they have finished their painstaking work it's back to its glorious original state.

Conservation: Kelvin and Mary Thatcher used a vacuum cleaner to help remove the grime which had built up

From these pictures you can gain some idea of the monumental task they set for themselves.  There are 21,500 soldiers and 10,000 horses on the 25m/sq table.

Repair: The diorama was in a poor condition before being restored ahead of the anniversary


The oddity is that despite all the sophistication of modern cgi-effects, this rather quaint, old-fashioned diorama with its tiny model soldiers, horses and guns is actually ten times more compelling to see.  You really do get a 'feel' for the battle.  The Green Jackets museum is in the old barracks at the top of Winchester and should you find yourself in the town I recommend a visit - particularly if you have 'kiddie-winkies' in tow!

Crucial: One of the key moments depicted is the battle for Hougoumont, a fortress which was successfully defended by Wellington

Hougoumont - holding out to the end.


Busted: Two British soldiers are depicted trying to sneak off with their regiment's entire ration of gin

Apparently this shows two British soldiers trying to sneak off with the Regimental gin ration - surely not!

Grim: Major General William Ponsonby being cut down by a group of French lancers during the battle

This shows poor old Gen. Ponsoby meeting his end at the hands, or rather the lances of the famous Polish Lancers.  Sorry, General, but you should have controlled your head-long charge!

Family: Women and children in the back of a cart on the edges of the Waterloo battlefield

A small oasis of calm on the edge of the battlefield.

For anyone traveling to the West Country, Winchester is a super place to break your journey.  Apart from the magnificent cathedral you now have this fascinating diorama to visit.

Thanks, Ortega, for the link.


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