Friday, 21 June 2013

French cuirassier


The cuirassier was a mounted cavalry soldier in armour, prominent during the Napoleonic Wars. 


  1. Years ago I read a Near Run Thing by David Howarth, about the battle of Waterloo, this was my first introduction into Napoleonics. He mentioned a little fact that the British often thought females fought alongside their men, as indeed ours fought in British ships.

    I have come across this a couple of times and vaguely remember it was a Cuirassier that was found on the ridge near the Crossroads close to La Haye Sainte. I have often wondered about whether she was in a curassier's uniform, as the body amour weighed about 309lbs.
    After a little delving into my books and cross referencing I found out that indeed she was a Cuirassier. from Dubois' brigade.

    Around 2pm Dubois' Brigade consisting of the 1st and 4th Cuirassiers advance to protect the Western Flank on D'erlon's corps attack on the Anglo-Allied centre and left. Fighting swirled around the Farm of La Haye Sainte. West of this farm the Curiassiers attacked and destroyed the Lüneburg light battalion hurrying to assist the farmhouse. Capturing their colour and killing the commander Col Klenke some Cuirassiers reached the Ohain Road, the crest of the ridge west of the "Elm Tree" crossroads.
    They got into difficulties by being surprised by a steep cutting through which the road ran.
    The Household brigade counter attacked Dubois' men with a substantial loss of life.

    I hope you find this interesting.

    1. That's fascinating, thanks so much for sharing it.

  2. Jamie: I have a feeling that my gendered pronouns were all over the place in Part II: feel free to edit them before they appear on the site!

    Part III: Colonel Linda Newton felt elated: the day was going even better than she had hoped. She had only been formally introduced to Robin a few days earlier, at his coming-out dinner on his eighteenth birthday to which her friend, Lady Belinda, had invited her. As a young boy, Robin had always been what was known as a 'tom-girl', insisting on dressing in trousers and shirts rather than dresses or skirts and blouses, and the Colonel had paid him little attention on her visits to Belinda's. But the other evening, at the dinner-party, when she had seen Robin in a dress for the first time, she had been struck by how attractive he was. After the meal, Francis, Robin's father had played the piano, and a few of the female guests had taken turns to invite Robin to dance. There was Lady Imogen, a rich local landowner, and Ms Miller, one of Belinda's wealthy business associates. But Robin had seemed particularly flirtatious with the dashing young Colonel. Linda knew that her full dress-uniform, including armoured breast-plate, plumed helmet, tight breeches and gleaming black boots, made her cut quite a figure and Robin, although understandably shy, had seemed quite taken with her. She had invited Robin to go out riding and had called on him a couple of days later mounted on her favourite stallion. The two of them were now riding side-by-side, Robin in a black velvet dress, his tightly laced riding boots just visible below the hem. Linda longed to give her horse a full work-out, galloping off across the fields and fearlessly jumping hedges but,in his dress, Robin was obliged to ride side-saddle and so the two of them trotted sedately down the country lanes. They chatted and she gradually drew out Robin, who seemed rather charmingly gauche. In her youth, Linda had, as Belinda often teased her, 'sown her wild oats' - all the young officers did this on their campaigns and tours of duty abroad. After all, in the past, when men had been the ones with wealth and status, they had acted like this and so it was only natural that women would enjoy themselves now that they were the ones with power and influence. But now, in her early 30s and expecting promotion to the headquarters staff, she felt that it was time for her to settle down and find a husband to look after their home. She saw a stream up ahead and suggested they allow their horses to drink. She swung her leg over her saddle and jumped down to the ground. She put her arms out to help Robin dismount. Her hands were round his tiny waist as he slipped out of his saddle and then, instictively, as his feet touched the ground, she pulled him to her, kissing him firmly on the lips. She could feel him quiver. She was sure he was a virgin - something she was looking for in a husband. A tom-girl until recently, Robin was unlikely to have had a succession of girlfriend pawing at him and tryng to get him into bed. She wondered if she could have him there and then, on the river bank, but decided that she could wait until their wedding night to consumate their relationship...