9 Oct 1771 - 16 Jun 1885
Date added: 16 Jun 2015
Lt.Gen. Frederick William of Brunswick -'The Black Duke'
by Heide School Pupils (Service Children's Education Germany).
Frederick William was a German prince and the Duke of Brunswick. In 1789 he joined the Prussian army as a Captain and fought in many battles against Napoleon and the Revolutionary France who had taken control of Brunswick.
Frederick William was born in Brunswick(Braunschweig),his father was Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick and his mother was Princess Augusta from Great Britain. He was also the cousin and good friend of George IV, Prince Regent of the united Kingdom.
Frederick William the duke of Brunswick was nicknamed 'The Black Duke' because he led a corp of allied soldiers called 'The Black Brunswickers', who wore black uniforms in mourning for their occupied country. On the 1st July,1809 Frederick William and the 'The Black Brunswickers' joined forces with Britain army and was given the rank of Lieutenant General.
When Napoleon escaped from Elba in 1815, Frederick William raised fresh troops and placed himself under wellington's command. He fought bravely in many battles and skirmishes and calmed his troops before action by riding his horse up and down the lines whilst smoking a pipe.
On the evening of the 15th July,1815 he attended the famous ball of the Duchess of Richmond in Brussels and left it happy to have the chance to show off his fighting ability.
Sadly, he was killed at the battle of Quatre Bras on 16th June,1816 by a musket ball that passed through his hand and into his liver. He was carried by his men using their muskets as a stretcher.
The Dukes final words were to his aide Major von Wachholtz were:
'Mein lieber Wachholtz, wo ist den Olfermann?'(My dear Wachholtz where is Olfermann?)
Colonel Olfermann was the Dukes's Adjutant general and he assumed immediate command of the corps.
Brunswick losses that day amounted to 188 killed and 396 wounded.
(see painting left 'The death of Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick- Wolfenbuttell (1775-1815)at the battle of Quatre Bras, 1815 by Johann Friederich Matthai.)