Blantyre Men at Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo, 18th June 1815. It prompted several stories about bravery, inspired the naming of the rows of homes in the expanding Blantyre Works Village and was even the subject of a Eurovision song!

Scotland_Forever!67,000 British and Allied troops with 160 guns went up against 74,000 French troops with 250 guns, At Waterloo, Belgium. The allies were commanded by the Duke of Wellington. According to Wellington, the battle was “the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life”, a reference to the almost equal number of guns and troops. Despite odds slightly in favour of the French, the British won the battle, forcing Napoleon, the French leader, into exile and retreat.

This iconic picture shows one of the allied regiments, the Royal Scots Greys charging the French. The ground was so bad, they had to canter the charge rather than storm in. Amongst those 945 horseback soldiers were 2 Blantyre men. A senior ranking officer Serjeant Arthur Pollock, originally a weaver from Blantyre and Private Robert Mackie, a labourer. Unfortunately, both Blantyre men were killed in action.

scotsgreys1815The Caledonian Mercury newspaper reported the loss on Monday 7th August 1815.

The Royal Scots Greys were first formed in 1678, later becoming the Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons, where thy kept this title until 1971, merging with the 3rd Carabiniers. They form a vital part of the British army , seeing a lot of service especially in the 2 great world wars. The names Pollock and Mackie should be remembered in our town. These were two brave men fighting for their country, to protect their homeland

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