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New Waterloo Dispatch arrives with a fanfare in Kent, in the presence of HRH The Duke of Kent, 20th June, 2015

From L-R: The Lord Lieutenant, Commander Trish Kohn of HMS Northumberland, Commander Nicholas Chatwin, and Brigadier (Retd) David Ralls, gather at the start of the ceremony. (c) Barry Duffield

From L-R: The Lord-Lieutenant, Commander Trish Kohn of HMS Northumberland, Commander Nicholas Chatwin, and Brigadier (Retd) David Ralls, gather at the start of the ceremony. (c) Barry Duffield

The New Waterloo Dispatch, the Duke of Wellington’s report of victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo, arrived to a fanfare in Kent. Two days and 200 years after the battle on June 18, 1815, a replica dispatch and two Imperial eagle standards, reached Kentish shores at Viking Bay, Broadstairs.

Lord De L’Isle, The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, in Broadstairs with the rowing crew from Ramsgate Sea Cadets,  who rowed 20 miles from Ramsgate to Broadstairs. (c) Barry Duffield.

Viscount De L’Isle, The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, in Broadstairs with the rowing crew from Ramsgate Sea Cadets, who rowed 20 miles from Ramsgate to Broadstairs at the event. (c) Barry Duffield.

Years of planning by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, his deputies and many others, resulted in a number of exciting events in Broadstairs and Canterbury on Saturday June 20. HMS Northumberland, a Royal Navy frigate, was anchored in the Channel in view of more than 1,000 people lining the Esplanade and packing the beach at Broadstairs. They witnessed a re-enactment – or “interpretation” – by actors of the arrival of two officers who played such a crucial part in the original Dispatch.

Watching the arrival of the post-chaise, from L-R:  Brigadier (retd) David Ralls DL,  Frank Martin DL, Commander Nicholas Chatwin, the Lord Lieutenant, Viscountess De L'Isle, and foreground Sea Cadets. (c) Barry Duffield

Watching the arrival of the post-chaise, from L-R: Brigadier (Retd) David Ralls DL, Frank Martin DL, Commander Nicholas Chatwin, the Lord-Lieutenant, Viscountess De L’Isle, and foreground, Sea Cadets. (c) Barry Duffield

Captain James White, who commanded HMS Peruvian, a Royal Navy sloop that Wellington’s aide-de-camp Major Henry Percy boarded to take the Dispatch to London, and Percy rowed ashore  – HMS Peruvian had been becalmed mid-Channel – and walked up the beach to huge applause.The Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers played while five re-enactors in period costume for the 41st Welsh Regiment of Foot, which took part in the battle in 1815, stood to attention.

The arrival of the Post-chaise interpreters representing Major Henry Percy and Captain James White. (c) Barry Duffield.

The arrival of the Post-chaise in Broadstairs with interpreters representing Major Henry Percy and Captain James White. (c) Barry Duffield.

Major Percy presented a replica Dispatch to the Mayor of Broadstairs Councillor Rosalind Binks and unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of The Waterloo Way. Major Percy said: “I am here to tell you that fine British, Belgian and Dutch forces have met the Corsican ogre in the field and have dealt him the most shattering defeat.” Percy and White then left for Canterbury in a replica black and yellow post-chaise pulled by two horses.

They later travelled to London to present a replica dispatch to HRH The Princess Royal, retracing the journey on June 21, 1815, to tell the Prince Regent and Prime Minister of the historic victory.

The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, HRH The Duke of Kent and the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent Lord De L’Isle, outside Canterbury Cathedral. (c) Barry Duffield

From L to R: The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, HRH The Duke of Kent, Mr Nicholas Marden, Private Secretary to the Duke of Kent and the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent outside Canterbury Cathedral. (c) Barry Duffield

Viscount De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, said: “Today we commemorate all those who took part in a very savage battle. There were many acts of heroism and bravery and all sides suffered heavy casualties and many families were ripped apart. The peace it brought was the first move towards a unified Europe that took another two world wars to achieve. He added: “Kent has a proud history of defending England from invasion and supporting our forces fighting in North West Europe. It is therefore most appropriate for us to commemorate this moment in history.” He added his thanks to Deputy Lieutenants of Kent Brigadier (Retd) David Ralls and Frank Martin, who were involved in two years of planning the anniversary events.

The Post-chaise arriving at Canterbury Cathedral. (c) Barry Duffield

The Post-chaise arriving at Canterbury Cathedral. (c) Barry Duffield

Young people have been involved in the project and after a competition, ten visited HMS Northumberland to see a working naval ship, all part of the Hungry for History project supported by broadcaster Peter Snow.

Viewing the Dispatch. From L-R: Iona McCaul Company Sgt Major, Combined Cadet Force,  acting as the Lord Lieutenant's Cadet from Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School; the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis; Lord De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent; and “Major Henry Percy.”

Viewing the Dispatch. From L-R: Iona McCaul Company Sgt Major, Combined Cadet Force, acting as the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet from Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School; the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis; Viscount De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent; and “Major Henry Percy.” (c) Barry Duffield

Later in the day, hundreds of guests joined HRH The Duke of Kent in Canterbury Cathedral for a special Service of Commemoration.

This was followed in the Cathedral Precincts by the arrival of Major Percy and Captain White in the post-chaise, the presentation of a replica dispatch to the City of Canterbury, and a stunning display by the Corps of Drums, young people from the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, Dover.

 

The Deputy Lieutenants, from L-R: Colonel James Partridge TD DL, Jacques Arnold DL, Algy Cluff DL,  Major (Retd) Dennis Bradley BEM DL, and Colonel (retd) Peter Bishop OBE DL. (c) Barry Duffield DL

Deputy Lieutenants, from L-R: Colonel James Partridge TD DL, Jacques Arnold DL, Algy Cluff DL, Major (Retd) Dennis Bradley BEM DL, and Colonel (Retd) Peter Bishop OBE DL. (c) Barry Duffield DL

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