200th Anniversary of WaterlooThere is almost too much to celebrate at the moment.
We had National Beer Day on the same day as the 800th anniversary of the hugely important Magna Carta (commemorated by the Royal Mint on a two-pound coin) — the link between the two being that the Magna Carta enshrined the right to have your ale served in a standard measure. Quite right.
And today it's the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Royal Mail has brought out a spiffin' ten-stamp collection to commemorate the event that ushered in the century of Pax Britannica. You can see a couple of the stamps here. That's a 92nd Gordon Highlander stamp above. The stamp below has the scene of a French assault.
Letters from 1815As part of the promotion, Royal Mail has also published an interesting collection of letters sent home from the front.
They say the art of letter writing is dead, but even in 1815, and in the middle of one of this country's most significant events, there was tweet-like terseness:
The fight is over, I am safe. Napoleon beaten with loss of 40,000, all his baggage and artillery; 3 days fighting, half the cavalry on our side destroyed, and the infantry and artillery suffered immense. Love to all, yours always JCC