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Ensign George Simon Harcourt Ainslie

Schools Waterloo 200

69th South Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot

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Waterloo Soldier by: The Priory School

Date added: 26 Apr 2015

George Simon Harcourt Ainslie left Eton on December 6, 1814 and was gazetted an Ensign to the 69th Regiment of Foot on Saturday, November 19th 1814. On the 24th February 1815 he had joined the Regiment at Ostend. The 69th South Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot was involved at the Battle of Quatre Bras on the15th June. The 69th as part of the British 5thBrigade were caught in line formation by a brigade of French cuirassiers. The 69th lost their King’s Colour. It is generally acknowledged that Ainslie carried the Regimental Colour into battle the following day andsurvived to take part at the Battle of Waterloo on the 18th wherethe 69th were combined with the 33rd. From his memoirs itis clear that he had good sight of the battle unfolding;‘the Infantry of our Army were chiefly formed into squares, on which occasion our regiment composed our frontright face; the rear and left remaining to the 33rd ‘ This formationby squares, is admirably adapted for sustaining a heavy cannonade, and forbeing at the same time ready to receive the attack of cavalry; for, by causingthe men to lie down, a square of four or five hundred men is no easy object to strike with shot or shells, and on the approach of cavalry, it is ready in amoment to receive them. The experience of the whole day confirms this’Ensign Simon Harcourt Ainsliesurvived the Battle of Waterloo and for his service received 34 pounds, 14 shillings and 9.5 pence.Helater joined theRoyal Dragoons. In 1823, he changed is surname from"Ainslie" to "Harcourt". Harcourt was a residentof Graffhem,Sussex, when hemarried Emily Catherine Ximenes of Sidmouth, Devonshire,on March 9, 1830, at Sidmouth. The couple took up residencein Cheltenham,Gloucestershire in 1839, where he becameone of the two founders of Cheltenham College and named Honourary Secretary, while the College'sco-founder, Captain Iredell, was named its Registrar. He gave up his positionas Honourary Secretary when the couple moved toBedford,Bedfordshire,where they both would reside for the rest of their lives.Harcourt died atBedford, on December 29, 1869, at the age of 72, documented as beingoneof the last officers who participated at the Battle of Waterloo at the time ofhis death. He wasburied in Foster Hill Road Cemetery, Bedford, Grave #157IG8.His widow, Emily Catherine Harcourt,died on January 11, 1880,at the age of 71.

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