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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

A flag discovered.

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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby Iain » May 17th, 2017, 2:36 pm

Hi All... This was the reply from RHQ:

Dear Mr Wood,

The Coldstream Guards Light Company did have colours. These are illustrated and described in The Standards, Colours and Guidons of the Household Division, 1660=-1973 by N.P.Dawnay (Midas Books, Tunbridge Wells, 1975) on pages 155-157, with illustrations on pages 164-165. Dawnay is regarded as authoritative: he certainly had the Colours Books and the Colours in the Guards' Chapel on which to base his research.

The general view, backed to an extent by Mackinnon in his history of the Regiment, was that the King's Colour of 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards remained on the ridge behind Hougoumont Farm throughout the Battle while Battalion Companies from 2nd Coldstream (among others) were sent forward piecemeal to reinforce the Farm during the day. By the end of the Battle, all but two companies of 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards were in and around the Farm, and the Battalion lost c.50% casualties in holding Hougoumont.

There is a No.15 (Light) Company Colour preserved in the Guards Museum in Wellington Barracks. It is said to have been carried during the battle, a claim that Dawnay prints in his book; the Colour had remained in Regimental or other military hands (The Guards' Chapel) during its life.

There is a question as to the date of the Colour that Mr Gary Lawrence bought and which is now being conserved. Although in poor condition when purchased, a colour that witnessed firing for six hours or so, and then the burning of much of the Farm, might have been expected to suffer at least from smoke damage. Whether the No.15 Company Colour that had been in the battle then had the battle honours granted in 1815 for PENINSULA and WATERLOO added after the battle is a matter for conjecture - and further research (not least into the design of the Crown on the damaged Colour, which may help with the dating). Colours were issued in 1814 (to which the two battle honours were added in late 1815, issued) 1821 and 1828 (with the Imperial State Crown). Certainly, some officers did buy in Colours when they were replaced.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Boscawen
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby Iain » May 17th, 2017, 2:41 pm

MarkW:
Quote-

"Having never heard of these small company colours before....why would it be 'no. 15', only 10 companies per regiment, one a light one....why is #15?...did all the other companies possess their own? if not why not?"
Last edited by Iain on May 17th, 2017, 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby Iain » May 17th, 2017, 2:42 pm

Josh :
Quote-

"If number 15 is the light company colour Ian then that is a organisational thing, but it won't have been carried by any but the Colour party and the stand will have stayed on the ridge. Light companies didn't use colour's and it was unusual to carry colour's into buildings that were under heavy attack, where their use would be limited and they could more easily be captured.

Josh."
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby PaulD » May 20th, 2017, 2:48 pm

Iain wrote:MarkW:
Quote-

"Having never heard of these small company colours before....why would it be 'no. 15', only 10 companies per regiment, one a light one....why is #15?...did all the other companies possess their own? if not why not?"


The Foot Guards did not carry the same number or pattern of colours as the Regiments of Foot - The company colours were full size union flags with the company number and badge - one was used in rotation as the regimental colour (at Waterloo this was the 13th company's colour according to Milne) - re the number 15, remember that the Coldstream Regiment had two battalions at this time - in 1815, it had a total of 24 colours. Although it was a company colour, it was being used as the regimental colour and would have been carried by the colour party - as has been pointed out by Josh, it would certainly not have been carried by the light company into action.
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby PaulD » June 12th, 2017, 12:02 pm

Another Coldstream colour has turned up at auction (no claims for Waterloo this time!

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auct ... 630116fd78
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby Iain » June 20th, 2017, 12:45 pm

Hi All..

Independent of the Guards, I found the following on the website of 'Project Hougoumont.'
Could this be correct ?

Büsgen placed three companies, totalling four hundred men, in the orchard and three companies within the farm complex, which he found empty but prepared for defence, the light companies of the Coldstream and 3rd Guards having previously moved into the western lane area. The Grenadier Company of the Nassau battalion occupied the gardener’s house and guarded the south gate, planting their colour defiantly on the rooftop; the other two companies lined the garden wall.”

https://projecthougoumont.com/defence-of-hougoumont/

If this is so, then this could have been the only Colour in the farm and it was there until late in the evening because the gardener's house was not set on fire.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

An update:
Just read this with John Franklin.

Question: I do not think they carried their flag that day ?

Answer: The 1st Battalion certainly did. It was with the Grenadier Company and was consumed in the fire at Hougoumont. The 3rd Battalion momentarily lost their Colour during the fighting at Papelotte and Smohain. But they recovered the item according to Capt. Carl Frensdorf, whose unpublished report I discovered in a family collection in the USA.

Meaning that Colour was not positioned over the gardener's house, but over the chateau.
Last edited by Iain on July 9th, 2017, 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby MarkW » June 20th, 2017, 1:43 pm

the flag drew alot of fire so was ordered taken down
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby Iain » June 20th, 2017, 4:47 pm

MarkW wrote:the flag drew alot of fire so was ordered taken down


Hi Mark...
Where is the proof of such info ?

Thanks..., Iain.
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby MarkW » June 21st, 2017, 1:19 am

i will find it for you, i believe it is in one of Glover's books, re Germans...just in for work and will look for it tonight..it is definitely there
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Re: A flag discovered.

Postby Iain » June 22nd, 2017, 2:16 pm

MarkW wrote:the flag drew alot of fire so was ordered taken down


Hi Mark..., no need !
Found it this morning on the next page of the Project Hougoumont site:
https://projecthougoumont.com/defence-of-hougoumont/

Quote: "Following this close call the battalion's standard was removed from the rooftop and Buchsieb was ordered to take the colours to safety behind the ridge."

07h15 in Vancouver and 11° :
35° in the shade at Waterloo and too hot !

Have a nice day..., Iain.
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