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Private William Napier

Schools Waterloo 200


Captain R. Crawford's Company

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Waterloo Soldier by: Wester Hailes Education Centre

Date added: 30 May 2015

Private William Napier was aged 22 when the Battle of Waterloo was fought. He had been born in Dalkeith, Midlothian in 1793 and served in 2nd Bn 73rd Regiment of Foot (Captain Crawford's company). He is described in his discharge papers as 5 feet 7 inches tall, brown hair, brown eyes, dark complexion. By trade a Labourer.

During the battle of Waterloo, his Regiment was charged by French Cavalry 11 times and bombarded by French artillery. It remained in square without breaking. The Regiment lost 6 officers and 225 men killed and wounded, the second heaviest casualties suffered by a line infantry regiment. Private William Napier was wounded in the right arm and right thigh.

William Napier survived Waterloo and went on to see service in both Ceylon and in the East Indies . He was discharged from the army in 1830. A surgeons report at the time stated " the man is worn out from repeated attacks of fever in Ceylon and varicose vein of right thigh. - Wounded at Waterloo"

News travelled slowly in 1815. It was nearly a week after the battle that confirmation of the victory reached Scotland. Guns were fired from Edinburgh castle to celebrate the news. Later, pottery was made in Portobello, just outside Edinburgh, to celebrate the return of soldiers. Examples are currently on display in the National Museum of Scotland.

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