Monday, 22 June 2015

Waterloo 2015: French Bivouac

As some of your will know already, I spent last weekend at the Waterloo 2015 re-enactment event. This was a truly spectacular event with more than 5000 participants who had come from all over the world. There were plenty of spectators too - we are told about 60,000 on each of the two days (including us). Here are some pictures from the French bivouac which we visited on Friday. 

There was much drill practice going on here as people worked together in preparation for the battle later that evening but also plenty of camp life too. One thing I did take away from this was how complex the whole drill thing was. It isn't easy changing from line to column and back again. 

As for cavalry, you'll see some pictures further down.

Grenadiers of 8eme ligne (I think) 

Drill practice changing formation...ligne

et colonne


Chef de battalion

from the voltigeurs

45eme ligne, IIRC - these guys were English!

Note the pheasent!

Limbered artillery en route to the battlefield

The OG had their own bivouac - here they are on duty

...and relaxing playing cards (mostly)

Napoleon was not easy to photograph - mostly he was surrounded by 'paparazzi'

Napoleon & Soult?
Mostly the French cavalry kept themselves hidden behind screens (presumably because of safety concerns with the horses). However we were very fortunate to see the column of  more than 100 cavalry walking from the bivouac to the battle; there were all sorts of cavalry here including the L'Empereur himself. This was a real treat...

Finally we saw the band of the guards playing in town on Saturday

Pictures from the allied bivouac to follow soon, I promise...


  1. Nice photos for a great event...

  2. Thanks for sharing.

    I was there as a 21eme (fifer) and you capture it well. As a miniatures gamer like you, amazing how participating in an event like this gives you a real appreciation for what was being asked of the men back then.