The canister shot-pierced breast plate demonstrates the force of
penetration of the firearms of the period. Canister shot consists of
cylindrical metal canisters filled with small lead balls and fired by
The weapon on display is a gun of the type used
by the French dragoons, complete with bayonet. It is shorter than an
infantry gun but would have had just as good a firing distance : 100
Bust of Baron Goethals. Born in Brussels in
1782, he served successively in the armies of Austria, France, the
Netherlands and of Belgium, depending on the fortunes of the Belgian
provinces at the time. He was in Napoleon's army during the Emperor's
campaigns and was taken prisoner during the retreat from Russia. After
Napoleon's abdication, and after he himself had returned from
captivity, he went to serve the Netherlands. At the Battle of Waterloo
he commanded the 36th Belgian Chasseurs battalion helping to repel the
Imperial Guard from the plateau at Mont-Saint-Jean. On the independence
of Belgium he allied himself to the new power and in 1832 became
Inspector general of the army and aide de camp to King Leopold 1st.
At the end of the battle Lord Uxbridge, in command of the British
cavalry, was hit in the right knee by canister shot and his leg was
amputated. The museum has this example of an open prosthesis
demonstrating the skills of the craftsmen at that time.
A sabre belonging to an English sapper of the early 19th century. The
saw shaped back is a working tool, the blade a defensive weapon. The
engineering corps were responsible for constructions or for the
creation of obstacles.
It was in this room on the campaign table that Wellington wrote his
victory bulletin for the British government. Many of the souvenirs
conjure up memories of the Duke.
In the display cabinet: the canteen trunk of General Baron de Constant
Rebecque, Chief of staff in the Dutch army. A general officer when on
campaign would not deprive himself of a certain level of luxury as this
reflected his important status in the hierarchy. The egg-cup set is in
silver and vermeil.
Blücher, wounded at Ligny on 16th June, is shown here with his leg in a
bandage. Here he can be seen at the Roi d’Espagne inn in Genappe on the
evening of 18th June. During their pursuit of the French troops the
Prussians seized one of Napoleon’s light four-wheeled coaches,
containing amongst other things a hat and a State sword.
On the wall between the windows there are two standards that the
Emperor should have returned to the National Guard. Each 'département'
(administrative subdivision of France) was obliged to raise a regiment
of national guards to defend its territory. Note that the 'Champ de
Mars' has been changed to 'Champ de Mai'.
The model of Lion Mound, the monument erected by the Dutch at the place
where Crown Prince William of Orange-Nassau was injured. The
construction of the hill took from 1823 to 1826. Some 30,000m3 of earth
form the pyramid, which is 40.5 m high and 169 m in diameter. A stone
pillar supports the 28 ton lion made in cast iron with a pedestal of
The « Congreve » rocket, filled with shot, had
a range of 2.3 km. This weapon was a British invention (1804) and could
be fired 3 to 4 times a minute, but with no great precision.
A 6 lb French cannon, a real trophy of war, greets you in the entrance.
The luminous panels give an hour by hour account of the battle.
Alcove 9 gives an idea of the battle losses.
For over two weeks the medical corps worked
tirelessly to help the injured who had been taken into churches,
convents and farms all over the region before being evacuated to the
urban centres. Tens of thousands of wounded were treated in this
immense field hospital. The dead were buried in their thousands in
communal graves. This had to be carried out quickly in order to avoid