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Captain Jonathan Leach

Schools Waterloo 200

1st Battalion, 95th Regiment of Foot

Capt J Leach's Company

1 Jan 1785 - 1 Jan 1855

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Waterloo Soldier by: Ethan Storey, Bishop Luffa School

Date added: 6 May 2015

Captain Jonathan Leach (pictured on the top right of the attached image) of the 1st battalion, 95th regiment (Rifles) was born in 1785 and served in the West Indies from 1803 to 1805, Copenhagen in 1807 and at Quatre Bras in 1815, two days before he fought at Waterloo where he was in charge of the 95th Rifles.

At the start of the battle his men were standing behind a small ridge so that they could avoid becoming a victim of the French artillery (cannon) bombardment. In his notes he then said that this was followed up by a 'desperate attack' of a large force lead by Jerome Bonaparte on the chateau of Hougoumont. He then says 'I shall not attempt to describe the many desperate and impetuous attacks made by the enemy'. You can see from this quote that he did not believe that the French army was a good one and that their attempts to make a good attack were not successful.

His battalion fought mostly at the end of the battle, and thankfully he survived Waterloo. He was awarded the Waterloo medal for his service to his country, as did every British soldier who survived the Battle of Waterloo.

He retired on the 24th of October 1821 as a lieutenant colonel and during his retirement he wrote a book about his experiences called 'Captain of the 95th (Rifles)'. This recalled his experiences in the Napoleonic wars that he had kept in a journal that he added to every day. In the book he refers to his regiment as 'Wellington’s sharpshooters'. Sadly Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Leach died in the year 1855 and is buried in Worthing, West Sussex but his life will always be remembered through his books and by his family.

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